It's one I read a long time ago. I remember a few choice details:

  1. It was about a scientific expedition surveying the death of a planet by gravitational destruction. A rogue gas giant is ripping the crust off the smaller planet as it passes before consuming it

  2. The original expedition (somewhat far in the past of the book's setting) either crashed or couldn't take off after landing when their shuttle malfunctioned. They had to be retrieved by a second shuttle.

  3. There were razor birds. They swarmed and tore people apart.

  4. The second expedition (the one right before the planet's death) crashed and has to go get to the original shuttle (the one from the first expedition) before the planet dies.

  5. They discover the ruins of an alien civilization as they're making the mad dash to the shuttle from the first expedition.

I really want to read this again, but can't seem to find it anywhere. If anyone knows what this book is, I'd really appreciate the info.

  • how long ago roughly? also do you remember any of the cover art work it could help identify it. Sep 29, 2015 at 7:39
  • It was a few years ago. Five or so, maybe? It's a book from the 80's or 90's, I'm pretty sure. As for the cover art, I believe it was a green space with a shuttle crashed into a planet with a larger planet looming above. I remember the few plot points, but not much else. OH! I remember that one of the scientists from the first expedition became a writer, got somewhat famous, and went back for the second expedition. He was a pompous ass, if I remember correctly.
    – Gregg
    Sep 29, 2015 at 7:48
  • So there were survivors from the first crash? The question sounds like there weren't. You should update the question and put that in.
    – Mr Lister
    Sep 29, 2015 at 8:02
  • Done. Thanks for pointing it out. The entire thing is confusing. I'm hoping someone can make sense of it :/
    – Gregg
    Sep 29, 2015 at 8:22

1 Answer 1


Deepsix by Jack McDevitt. From wikipedia:

Priscilla "Hutch" Hutchins leads a crew of space archaeologists to investigate a lost civilization on planet Maleiva III (aka Deepsix) with only a window of weeks before the planet is destroyed by the impending collision with a rogue gas giant.

The exploration team was definitely attacked by red birds; I can't remember if they were 'razor' or not but it seems likely. It definitely has the pompous ass; he's a famous writer or journalist.

This may be your green cover -

enter image description here

but mostly I've seen this one:

enter image description here

  • 2
    – Gregg
    Sep 29, 2015 at 13:39
  • Glad to be of help. I think you actually remembered more about the book than I did :) Sep 29, 2015 at 13:41

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