Ace, July 2002, 22.95, 416 pp.
In the far distant future, man has learned to travel at FLS (faster than light speed) but has also terraformed other planets so that humans could colonize them. One thing mankind has not found is a sentient species that is their equal or superior. They have found remnants of other civilizations that have long since died when man was crawling out of the caves and they have found a warlike race of beings that have depleted the resources of their planet with their many wars.
Priscilla Hutchins, Hitch to her friends, is a very good space pilot in the academy who is nearing burnout and ready to retire. She is asked, on behalf of the academy, to take control of the civilian spaceship the City of Memphis and guide the crew, members of the contact society, into deep space in hopes of meeting intelligent alien life. They discover that someone has left a series of stealth satellites in orbit around space bodies all across the galaxy. Every time they find one of their trackers, they beam something new about this universe and those who have and continue to inhabit it.
CHINDI is a space opera with plenty of action and unexpected developments in almost every sense. Jack McDevett has created a realistic space-faring universe mindful of Star Trek that is just waiting to be explored by Hutch, her fellow adventurers, and readers. There are many characters in this novel that deserve to have their own story told.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner