I am a long-time science fiction fan.
I've had fads and fancies for just about every sub genre that has been published as SF, some of which I'm no longer fond of, but my favourite form of SF is probably the detective/exploration story set in an alien/future framework of some kind. The epitome of the kind of story that can always float my Martian Sandship is Larry Niven's Ringworld.
It was a couple of years ago that I first came across Jack McDevitt's novel-length works, when he was a guest author at I-Con, and boy am I glad I did. He writes bang-up "get to the bottom of this up 'til now inexplicable mystery" stories in a hard SF setting.
Caviar. Better, A bacon doorstep with HP sauce1.
If you only ever read one book of this type, make it McDevitt's Polaris, a wonderful Marie Celeste mystery in deep space with many twists and turns.
Then read his Seeker, set in the same universe with many of the same protagonists.
- Take unsliced "tin" loaf and cut off two inch-thick slices. Butter generously. Pick one piece and layer on back bacon (cooked until done but not turned into jerky) and slather with HP "brown" sauce. Place other slice of bread butter side down on top of the other slice. Cut across width to give two sandwiches. Eat. ↑