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McDonough, Thomas R

Entry updated 12 September 2022. Tagged: Author.

(1945-    ) US author and lecturer in engineering at Caltech, perhaps best known for his nonfiction and for serving as the coordinator of the SETI programme of the Planetary Society. The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence: Listening for Life in the Cosmos (1987) argues the case for seeking out First Contact with other races in the Galaxy; that there have been no successes to report over the past quarter of a century may account for the fact he has not revised this text, despite advances in technology. Much of his earlier work was also nonfiction, beginning with "They're Trying to Tell Us Something" in Analog for March and April 1969, which likewise concerned SETI matters.

McDonough began to publish fiction only in 1979 with "Statues of the Gods" for Starlog. His first novel, The Architects of Hyperspace (1987), features a clearly argued Hard-SF vision of a Galaxy containing at least one artificial toroidal world; there is also sophisticated speculation about the growth of civilizations throughout the Universe. Unfortunately these cognitive virtues are muffled by an only intermittently humorous pulp style; the novel features at least one bibulous Irishman. The Next Wave #3: The Missing Matter (1992), part of the Next Wave sequence of thematically connected tales by various authors packaged by Byron Preiss, provides a similar mix of intriguingly couched cognition and comic turns in its investigation of black matter (see Cosmology). [JC]

Thomas Redmond McDonough

born Massachusetts: 4 October 1945




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