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The Alex Benedict series consists of a number of science-fiction novels written by Jack McDevitt.
The main characters are Alex Benedict, an antiquities dealer, and Chase Kolpath, an interstellar pilot. They run a company called Rainbow Enterprises which specializes in the finding and selling of ancient historical artifacts. The novels follow their adventures as they solve historical mysteries and find long-lost artifacts, usually while facing opposition from some form of conspiracy.
The series consists of A Talent For War, Polaris, Seeker, The Devil's Eye, Echo, and Firebird.
- Adventurer Archaeologist: Alex is the sci-fi version of this trope.
- The Ageless: The crew of the Polaris.
- AI Is a Crapshoot: When the colony of Villanueva died, the artificial intelligences continued running for the next seven thousand years. Being abandoned for so long caused some of them to go insane.
- Distant Finale: The end of Firebird takes place 67 years in the future.
- Embarrassing First Name: Polaris reveals that Chase's first name, as printed on her pilot license, is Agnes.
- The Eternal Churchill: The Administrator uses a famous Churchill quote in one of his speeches in The Devil's Eye; only Alex recognizes that he is cribbing, and from who.
- Faking the Dead: The crew of the Polaris.
- Ghost Ship: The Polaris. The entire crew vanished, but the lander and spacesuits were still there.
- Government Conspiracy: The villains of The Devil's Eye.
- Humans Are Flawed: The general feeling of the Mutes regarding humanity (though Chase is quick to point out that the Mutes themselves don't exactly have a spotless record).
- Immortality Immorality: One of the concerns about life-extension that occurs to Chase in Polaris is that people who live forever might cease to care about other humans.
- Immortality Seeker: Dunnager of Polaris, who made it his life's mission to find a way to stop ageing.
- Killer Robot: The autonomous machines on Villanueva.
- Laser-Guided Amnesia: Mind wipes are widely used in place of the death penalty, though there are some who argue that there is essentially no difference between the two.
- Lost Colony: Margolia in Seeker.
- The Mole: Windy
- Nothing Personal: Said to Alex by the villain in Polaris.
- Only in It For the Money: Chase's opinion of Alex at the beginning of Polaris, though she's revised her opinion of him by The Devil's Eye.
- Only Known by Their Nickname: Mutes have to make up nicknames for humans to refer to them by, since their own language doesn't have a phonetic component.
- Psychic Static: After his first encounter with the psychic Mutes leads to them stealing some important information from his mind, Alex learns to do this.
- Ramming Always Works: Used by the villain in Polaris. Backfires big-time.
- Redemption Equals Death: Quinda Arin in A Talent For War.
- Revealing Coverup: Polaris kicks off with a bombing intended to destroy evidence of something -- evidence which, it turns out, was never actually there to begin with. No one would've even suspected there was anything to hide if someone wasn't clearly trying to hide something.
- Ship Tease: Alex and Chase. They are implied to have hooked up a couple of times, but always deny that they are dating and are usually seeing other people during the stories in the novels.
- Telepathic Spacemen: The Mutes
- Thanatos Gambit: Vicki Greene at the beginning of The Devil's Eye.
- Virtual Ghost: Many people maintain avatars, artificial intelligences programmed with their memories, that people can talk to after their deaths. Though, as Chase notes, one cannot be guaranteed of perfect accuracy, since the people creaing the avatars tend to emphasize their good points and leave out the negative traits.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: A number of them show up throughout the series as villains.
- What Measure Is a Non-Human?: The artificial intelligences in the series are not considered sentient, and no one cares much when they are destroyed -- though Chase does have a pang of conscience when she sends the AI Gabe on a suicide mission in Polaris. This eventually becomes a central issue in Firebird.
- What Year Is This?: Asked by Dot Garber in Firebird.