Re: [sl4] Looking for a post-light-singularity online short story.

From: Greg Gaither (
Date: Thu Dec 30 2010 - 19:47:56 MST

This sounds like The Engines of God by Jack McDevitt. Here's the Kirkus Review blurb on Amazon:

In the early years of the 23rd century, archaeology has expanded to the stars. Teams of linguists, historians, and engineers are excavating ruins on a number of planets in search of clues about the Monument-Makers, whose civilization was leaving its mark on distant worlds when our ancestors were inventing the wheel. Coming from a planet whose population has outgrown its resources, these archaeological teams must race to finish their work before colonists from Earth are sent to occupy these worlds. Priscilla ``Hutch'' Hutchins serves as pilot for one of the teams. Though untrained in archaeology, she's the one who first sees connections between the spectacular monuments left on various worlds and the peculiar, massive false cities made of solid cubes of rock. These cities, composed only of right angles, appear with regularity throughout the galaxy; all show signs of having been subjected to massive destructive forces. Scientific curiosity and grief over the accidental death of their leader take Hutch and the remains of the team to the edge of the galaxy. There they encounter the Monument- Makers and are faced with a mystery whose solution may hold the key to human survival. McDevitt (The Hercules Text, not reviewed) is at his best award-winning style in this intelligent and wide-ranging novel

On Dec 30, 2010, at 12:22 PM, Robin Lee Powell wrote:

> I don't think that's it; I've read Revelation Space, but I think
> that's the only Reynolds I've read.
> Also, my recollection is quite clear that the ruins are dead; no
> living aliens at all.
> I dunno; I just don't think that's it.
> -Robin
> On Thu, Dec 30, 2010 at 03:08:19PM -0500, Johnicholas Hines wrote:
>> Possibly Alistair Reynolds's Redemption Ark?
>> Do the names Clavain and Skade ring any bells?
>> On Thu, Dec 30, 2010 at 2:20 AM, Robin Lee Powell
>> <> wrote:
>>> I really didn't expect this to be hard, but even rec.arts.sf.written
>>> failed (
>>> )
>>> I read this on the web. I *think* it was a short story; at most
>>> novelette length. This was within the last 5 years or so.
>>> Basically, it's the future, humans have done lots and lots of
>>> intelligence enhancement; each generation is smarter than the one
>>> before. Then we find a planet with alien ruins. There is a ship
>>> sent there. For reasons I can no longer remember, one of the people
>>> (male?) on the ship tries to destroy the ruins, and another tries to
>>> stop her (pretty sure female). She is younger, and hence smarter,
>>> than him, so he ends up taking lots of heavy-side-effect nootropics
>>> to keep up with her. The war is fought almost entirely by 3-D
>>> printed robots from the ships machine shops.
>>> The emphasis is very much on intelligence: that a standard deviation
>>> of IQ is going to determine the results of any strategy game
>>> (probably mostly true, given equal experience) and that war is
>>> basically that (also mostly true in this case, since the robots
>>> won't freak out and run).
>>> -Robin
>>> --
>>> : Our last, best hope for a fantastic future.
>>> Lojban ( The language in which "this parrot
>>> is dead" is "ti poi spitaki cu morsi", but "this sentence is false"
>>> is "na nei". My personal page:
> --
> : Our last, best hope for a fantastic future.
> Lojban ( The language in which "this parrot
> is dead" is "ti poi spitaki cu morsi", but "this sentence is false"
> is "na nei". My personal page:

Greg Gaither

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