The story is about a star that becomes a supernova. A colony on a planet is about to be wiped out from it , but the government keeps it under wraps because they won't be able to evacuate everyone. The main hero and with the help of an alien race that reads minds build a wall around the planet. I feel like this was a book in the middle of the series since they allude to being at war with these aliens but now at peace.

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    Why would they want to build a wall around a planet?? Was that to make sure none of the inhabitants escaped the supernova explosion?
    – user14111
    Jan 20, 2020 at 8:07
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    Can you provide some more information, like how long ago did you read the book? Was it new then? What language did you read it in? What were the aliens like? What was the wall built of? Jan 20, 2020 at 8:18
  • Did you mean a mental force-field, to protect the planet?
    – sueelleker
    Jan 20, 2020 at 8:23
  • @user14111 Perhaps the aliens only pretended to be nice, but their real agenda was to make sure the inhabitants, instead of dying fast in the explosion, would suffer a slow, cold death when there was no star to provide light and warmth to the planet... Jan 20, 2020 at 14:02

1 Answer 1


This is Jack McDevitt's The Devil's Eye

It's one of his Alex Benedict books, so it is indeed part of a series.

From the link:

Alex Benedict, interstellar antiquities dealer, and his assistant, Chase Kolpath, are on vacation when they receive a cryptic message from Celebrated writer Vicki Greene, whom neither has ever met, asking for help. But when they return home, Alex discovers that Greene has asked for and been given a mind wipe. She has no memory of her past life or of her plea for assistance. Yet she has transferred an enormous sum of money to Alex. But for what purpose?

To answer that question, Alex and Chase venture to the place where Greene had been vacationing prior to sending her message. It is the most remote of human worlds, literally outside the galaxy. There, they will uncover a secret connected to a decades-old political upheaval, a secret somebody is desperate to keep hidden -- though the price of that silence is unimaginable...

For your specific points: the back story (and this is spoilerific)

a supernova has happened relatively near to an inhabited human star; the shock wave is expanding at slightly less than light speed, and when it gets to the human planet, it's going to be game over. The previous human government covered it up - I think on the grounds of not being able to do anything to prevent it, so why let the people worry - and the secret is uncovered by Alex. In the end, an alien mind-reading species - with whom there's been off and on war in the past - send most of their navy to build a wall in space, just large enough to prevent the shockwave from hitting the planet; their efforts shame the humans into joining in and helping out.

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