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Encyclopedia > The Icarus Hunt
The Icarus Hunt
Author Timothy Zahn
Cover Artist Paul Youll
Country USA
Language English
Genre(s) Science fiction
Publisher Bantam Spectra
Released August 3, 1999
Media Type Hardcover, Paperback, Audiobook
Pages 368 (Hardcover)
ISBN ISBN 055310702X

The Icarus Hunt is a science fiction novel by Timothy Zahn. It was first published in hardcover in August 1999, and was released in paperback in July of 2000. Timothy Zahn (born September 1, 1951) is a science fiction novelist. ... The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ... Science fiction is a form of speculative fiction principally dealing with the impact of imagined science and technology, or both, upon society and persons as individuals. ... Bantam Spectra is the science-fiction division of Bantam Books, which is owned by Random House. ... A hardcover (or hardback or hardbound) book is bound with rigid protective covers (typically of cardboard covered with cloth or heavy paper) and a stitched spine. ... Paperback may refer to a kind of book binding by which papers are simply folded without cloth or leather and bound - usually with glue rather than stitches or staples - into a thick paper cover; or to a book with this type of binding. ... An audio book is a recording of the contents of a book read aloud. ... Science fiction is a form of speculative fiction principally dealing with the impact of imagined science and technology, or both, upon society and persons as individuals. ... Timothy Zahn (born September 1, 1951) is a science fiction novelist. ...

Plot summary

Prior to delivering a cargo to the nearby planet Xathru, Jordan McKell, a smuggler for a crime lord nicknamed Brother John and his shadowy boss, Mr. Antoniewicz, is on the planet Meima with his partner, Ixil, the member of an alien species called the Kalixiri. While visiting a bar one night, McKell is offered a job by a man named Alexander Borodin, whom he recognizes as the famous archaeologist Arno Cameron. Cameron wants McKell to pilot the ship Icarus, which is carrying a very important cargo in its sealed storage core, to Earth.

McKell accepts the job, leaving instructions for Ixil to continue on to Xathru, intending to pick him up there. In the meantime, he becomes acquainted with the rest of the Icarus' rag-tag crew, all of whom are complete strangers to him and to each other. At the last minute, they are informed that Cameron is unable to accompany them, and are forced to set out on their mission alone.

One of the crewers is killed in an accident a few days later, and a series of other bizarre occurrences leads McKell to believe that they have a saboteur aboard; he begins keeping a wary eye on the crew. He stops as planned on Xathru to pick up Ixil and contact Brother John, who gives him a reluctant go-ahead to carry on with the mission. While on Xathru, he is assaulted by a pair of strange aliens who say they want the Icarus' cargo.

McKell escapes and pilots the Icarus to a planet called Dorscind's World. Convinced that the Icarus is carrying something far more important than he'd originally supposed, and that they are being hunted, he lands the Icarus under a false name. He then attempts to make contact with his immediate superior, "Uncle Arthur", to inform him of his current mission and get information. Before he can get a call through, he is confronted by an old acquaintance, who tells him that there is now a reward out for knowledge of his whereabouts.

McKell realizes that the Icarus is being hunted by the Patth, an alien race who have a monopoly on the galaxy's shipping industry. He becomes suspicious that the Icarus isn't carrying a vital cargo; instead, he thinks the Icarus itself is a special stardrive that, if it remains outside Patth hands, could give competitors an advantage over the Patth's economic empire. Faster-than-light (also superluminal or FTL) communications and travel are staples of the science fiction genre. ...

There are more scattered sabotage incidents aboard the ship, leading McKell to believe that one of the crewers is a Patth agent. He requests background information on all of them from Uncle Arthur, which is delivered to him when the ship stops at the planet Morsh Pon. McKell and Ixil realize that the ship's computer tech, Tera, is in fact the daughter of Arno Cameron, and that Cameron himself had been aboard the ship, hidden in the 'tween-deck area; he had unexpectedly jumped ship, however, during one of the fuel stops.

The Icarus successfully evades an attack off the planet Utheno, and McKell decides to make a break for Earth, outrunning the Patth by using the stardrive. This means dismantling a good deal of the ship; and while exploring deep inside the Icarus' interior, McKell discovers by accident that the Icarus is not a stardrive at all; it's an actual stargate, and Arno Cameron, instead of jumping ship as they had supposed, had instead been at the stargate's other end.

A forced landing on the planet Palmary leads to McKell being captured by the Patth; he is rescued, however, by some of the crew. They decide to take a temporary refuge at the isolated planet Beyscrim. There, they are confronted by Antoniewicz, and it is revealed that Antoniewicz, through the crewmember Everett, had engineered most of the sabotage incidents, believing that McKell was no longer loyal to him and intending to bring him back into line. Then, recognizing the Icarus' value, he had decided to take it for himself, and maneuvered the Icarus and crew into coming to Beyscrim.

Antoniewicz's plans are thwarted, however, with the arrival of a Kalixiri task force that had been sent by Uncle Arthur. In the end, McKell reveals that he and Ixil are not smugglers, but instead members of a military intelligence organization who had been assigned to infiltrate Antoniewicz's operation. McKell had been on Meima for the sole purpose of meeting up with Cameron and taking the job as the Icarus' pilot, and landing the Icarus on Beyscrim had merely been bait to bring Antoniewicz out of his cover.

Character list

  • Jordan McKell, the main protagonist. A skilled pilot, he is also a major in the EarthGuard Military Intelligence unit, and has been assigned to work undercover inside the galaxy's crime rings and smuggling operations. He has been in intelligence for twelve years.
  • Ixil T'adee, McKell's long-time partner, a colonel in the Kalixiri Special Command. He acts as a mechanic aboard the Icarus.
  • Arthur Graym-Barker, a former intelligence operative and the director of the unit to which McKell and Ixil belong. He goes by the nickname "Uncle Arthur".
  • Arno Cameron, a well-known archaeologist and owner of the Icarus.
  • Elaina Tera Cameron, the daughter of Arno Cameron; the computer technician aboard the Icarus.
  • Johnston Scotto Ryland, or Brother John, Antoniewicz's second-in-command.
  • Mr. Antoniewicz, the kingpin of the large smuggling operation which McKell and Ixil infiltrated. His first name is unknown.
  • Almont Nicabar, the engine technician on the Icarus. He is a former EarthGuard Marine.
  • Chort, the only alien member of the Icarus' original crew. He is a Craea, a species with a talent for spacewalking
  • Hayden Everett, the ship's doctor.
  • Geoff Shawn, the Icarus' electrician.
  • Jaeger Jones, the Icarus' mechanic.

Astronaut Bruce McCandless on an untethered EVA Extra-vehicular activity (EVA) is work done by an astronaut away from the Earth and outside of his or her spacecraft. ...

External links

  • Review of The Icarus Hunt on SFSite.com



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