Eternity Road (novel)

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Eternity Road
Eternity road novel cover1.jpg
First edition cover
Author Jack McDevitt
Country United States
Language English
Genre Science fiction novel
Publisher Eos
Publication date
March 4, 1998; 20 years ago (1998-03-04)
Media type Print (hardback & paperback)
Pages 416 pp (paperback)
ISBN 0-06-105427-5

Eternity Road, published in 1998, is a science fiction novel written by Jack McDevitt.

Plot introduction[edit]

1,700 years after a deadly plague has wiped out the great civilisations of man, the survivors' descendants have built up a new, comparably primitive society. A group of explorers sets out on an expedition to find a legendary haven of knowledge and ancient wisdom, and in the process learn more about the people they only remember as "the Roadmakers".


In a post-apocalypse North America where almost everyone was killed by a plague over 1,700 years prior, little is known about the ancient "Roadmaker" civilization that is said to have built the devastated ruins of enormous cities, and the magnificent roads that still cover the landscape. In the valley of the Mississippi River, a number of towns have united again, trade and science have begun anew.

When a copy of Mark Twain's novel A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court is discovered in the estate of the sole survivor of an earlier expedition to the north, a young woman named Chaka Milana, whose brother died in the previous expedition almost a decade ago, decides to gather a band of explorers and try to find Haven, a legendary stronghold where the knowledge of mankind is said to have been collected and kept safe for future generations. A long voyage ensues, taking the group, among other places, to the ruins of the ancient city of Chicago.

After losing several members of their team and traveling by an extraordinary means of transport that still functions after hundreds of years, the team eventually finds Haven and salvages some of the knowledge stored there before the facility is struck by a disaster that they themselves cause.[1]

Major themes[edit]

One of the core themes of the book is the loss of knowledge and collective memory after an apocalyptic disaster: even though the people of the Mississippi valley are aware of the remnants of the "Roadmaker" civilization, they have great difficulties understanding the purpose of certain concepts.


  1. ^ McDevitt, Jack: "Eternity Road." (New York) Eos, 1998