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I read Eternity Road by Jack McDevitt years ago, and have re-read it multiple times since. The cover of the one on my bookshelf testifies to the number of times I have read it. The story is haunting, melancholy, and yet inspiring hope. Once I had read it, whenever I used some familiar, day to day object, I always had in the back of my mind the question, "what would a future archeologist think of this?" The story takes place more than a thousand years after the catastrophic collapse of civilization (the book alludes to a plague, but does not go in to details, which are unnecessary to the story anyway). Nascent civilizations are starting to spring up from the tiny groups of survivors. From one such settlement, a group of explorers set out to find a fabled treasure - a trove of books, containing the secrets of the ancients, known as the "road makers." The story is riveting and believable. McDevitt looks at the things we use in our day to day life from the eyes of someone who has absolutely no idea what they used to do. And that is a strange viewpoint that haunts me to this day. It gave me an idea for a story, set in a similar universe - maybe I will write that story here, when I get access to the writers forum.