Cover for OUTBOUND

The Author Comments: Outbound

Recommended Reading

Locus magazine's Recommended Reading: 2006 named Outbound one of the year's best collections.

Reviews for Outbound:

"...We read (in these stories) the humanity behind the hard SF. A humanity expressed in the anti-war stance of "Valkyrie" or "Date with Destiny," in the religious doubts implicit in "Act of God" and "Ignition," in the political skepticism of "The Candidate" and the scientific skepticism of "Henry James, This One's for You." These are, perhaps, old-fashioned virtues just as McDevitt's craftsmanship is of the old-fashioned kind, but in the end there is nothing old-fashioned about these stories, or the impact they achieve."

— The NY Review of SF

"The last section of Outbound contains essays on the writing of science fiction and its place in the world. Especially useful for aspiring writers of SF is "Blundering Through" a point-by-point guide to the mistakes every writer should avoid, along with some advice about how to do it right. It's a professional seminar in writing condensed into seventeen highly informative pages.... While McDevitt's prose style may not go for flash and dazzle, there will always be an interesting idea to puzzle over and a story that entices the reader into caring. By McDevitt's own statements, that's the standard that science fiction demands of its practitioners, and it's one that Jack McDevitt lives up to very very well."

— Greg L. Johnson
The SF Site

"Sixteen stories...all of them well worth your attention....If you see a new book with his name on the cover, grab it. You're not likely to be disappointed."


"McDevitt's work is what the Golden Age Renaissance is all about. It's got deep space settings and perilous situations, but it's peopled by three-dimensional characters and more monsters from the id than from the stars.... It's a pity that ISFiC Press is only running off a thousand copies."

— Ernest Lilley


ISBN: 0-9759156-4-9
ISFiC Press
November, 2006
Publication coincides with Windycon

Table of Contents:

  • Ways of Considering an Absent Introduction, by Barry N. Malzberg
  • Stories:
    • The Candidate
    • Henry James, This One's for You
    • Date with Destiny
    • Windows
    • Combinations
    • Nothing Ever Happens in Rock City
    • The Mission
    • Melville on Iapetus
    • The Far Shore
    • In the Tower
    • Whistle
    • Valkyrie
    • Act of God
    • Ignition
    • Lighthouse, with Michael Shara
    • Collaboration for "Lighthouse," with Michael Shara
    • The Big Downtown
  • Essays:
    • Where Do You Get Those Crazy Ideas?
    • Infinity Beach
    • Why We Should All Be Reading Science Fiction
    • Blundering Through
    • A Golden Dozen: Twelve Stories fo Demonstrate to Reluctant Seniors What They're Missing
    • Science Fiction: An Eye on Tomorrow
  • Interview, conducted by Thomas Harbach for Phantastisch, 2004.
  • Celebrating Jack McDevitt, by Michael Bishop
  • Bibliography


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