Revealing Jack McDevitt’s Latest Academy Series Novel, The Long Sunset

We’re excited to share the cover for The Long Sunset, the 8th book in Jack McDevitt’s Academy series! Priscilla Hutchins’ job is on the line now that the Academy may be shut down for good. After receiving a mysterious interstellar message, she and her crew are off on a last ditch mission across the galaxy…

Learn more about the novel and check out the full cover by the great John Harris below!

Cover art by John Harris; design by Michael McCartney

The Long Sunset publishes April 2018 with Saga Press. From the catalog copy:

An interstellar message is discovered that could be Priscilla “Hutch” Hutchins’ last chance for a mission before the program is shut down for good, as world politics have shifted from exploration to a growing fear that the program will run into an extraterrestrial race both more advanced and dangerous.

However this message is a piece of music from an unexplored area, and despite the growing paranoia Hutch and her crew are determined to make an early escape to interstellar space—but what they find across the galaxy is completely unexpected.

Jack McDevitt on writing The Long Sunset:

We all got excited in 1960 when Frank Drake launched the initial SETI effort. I remember thinking that it meant I would very likely live long enough to find out whether there was intelligent life elsewhere. Of course, what has followed is a puzzle: Why is it so quiet out there? We’ve responded to the silence by taking an increasingly active role, launching probes with messages, and establishing organizations like the Breakthrough Initiative, which is advocating we actively send transmissions to nearby stars. And upgrade the technology to ensure that whoever is on the receiving end gets the message. Hello, out there.

Numerous scientists, most visibly Stephen Hawking, have responded by trying to wave off the idea. It’s too dangerous. High tech aliens might perceive us as nothing more than bacteria. Keep in mind, Hawking says, what happened to Native Americans when the Europeans crossed the Atlantic. It has left me wondering how we would respond if the technology went further, if FTL travel is actually possible and we developed the capability to visit other stars? Would we send interstellar vehicles out to investigate the cosmic neighborhood? Or would we shut everything down?


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