Ben Bova

Ben Bova was born November 8, 1932 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He worked as a technical writer for Project Vanguard in the 1950s. Bova became the editor of Analog Science Fiction after the death of John W. Campbell in 1971. During his years at Analog, he won 6 Hugo awards for Best Professional Editor. He remained in this position before moving onto Omni in 1978. Bova holds the position of President Emeritus of the National Space Society and served as President of Science-fiction and Fantasy Writers of America from 1990 to 1992. He has written over 120 books and served as technical consultant on many films and television shows. He lives in Florida with his third wife.

The Dueling Machine

"When the star watch meets the Kerak dictator, only science can stop the war! The dueling machine, the perfect pacifier for all man's tensions. You could enter a world of your own creation, destroy your enemy or be destroyed by him, and emerge from your mental fantasy world completely unharmed. Dr. Leoh, creator of this ultimate placebo, could not believe that someone had not found a way to use his machine as a tool for destruction. But apparently someone had. And now this someone, Dictator Kanus of Kerak, was using the dueling machine to conquer the Acquataine Cluster. Leoh realized it was up to him to stop Kanus before the man began a war of conquest against the Terran Commonwealth and Star Watch. But how, equipped only with an eccentric and bumbling Star Watch Lieutenant and the dueling machine itself, was he to accomplish this? And even if Leoh could discover how the dueling machine was being turned into a death machine, could he stop Kanus and his cohorts before civilization ended in an intergalactic war?"

Original Publication: Holt, Rinehard and Winston, 1969
This Edition: Signet, January 1973
Cover Art: Unknown
Format: Paperback

Notes:

Review:

I have very mixed feelings about this book. It is an interesting premise and I was really excited by the title and the cover. Once I started reading, I thought "well this is a cool machine," and I thought of about a million other ways this technology would be used across the civilizations with access to it. Bova doesn't explore the technology any further than basically demonstrating this is a machine in which adversaries can battle to the death and settle disagreements without causing physical harm to each other. Well, ok, that's a little mundane, but let's run with it.

Bova sets a story where the machine is utilized by civilizations as a way to maintain civility in conflict. The opponents enter a shared "dream" state where anything goes. One of them chooses the environment and the weapon and they battle over a specified period of time. It's a "best of three" situation. At this point in time, humanity has spread over vast distances and is divided politically and culturally to some extent. Again, Bova only touches on these differences. The crux of the novel is this: A dictator of an aggressive, backwater planet has found an exploit for the machine. He utilizes this exploit to affect physical harm on a neighboring political opponent, turning the device into an assassination machine. His plan is to disrupt the political and military structure, leaving the opposing planet ripe for takeover, eventually allowing him, and his people, to rule the galaxy.

Of course, the instant that someone dies in the machine, the inventor is called in to trouble shoot. The inventor and his quirky military sidekick figure out that the dictator is using a telepath to disrupt the safety protocols and they counter with their own telepathic intervention, defeating the dictator's champion. Since this cannot stand, the dictator develops a plot to take out the inventor and his associate, which ultimately backfires and fails. The dictator's fighter is converted to the side of "good," seemingly without logic, by the fair appearance of the sidekick's girlfriend, and of course, the aggressive leader falls from power and his planet is cowed into submission.

I felt this novel had potential and that Bova fell very short of what could have been produced. It was published as a novel in 1969, so he wasn't held to magazine publication limitations or anything. It is an early virtual reality piece, but wasn't really groundbreaking in that concept as many authors had messed around with the idea long before The Dueling Machine. Its hard to pin down a "wrongness" with this particular work. I'll just say that I feel in 1969, Bova could have more fully explored the machine and its implications and could have developed characters that were less shallow.


Forward in Time

"Here are ten stories of the future by the editor of Analog Science Fiction-Science Fact magazine; ten glimpses of tomorrows that are different, disturbing, and very real. The stories in this collection represent several different futures, reports from the tomorrowland that lie ahead of the human race. The first story could happen next week - of perhaps it has already happened. Each subsequent story takes place further ahead in the future than the previous one. The time scale is logarithmic: the jumps in time grow larger between each story as they spin further and further outward in time and space - out to the very end of the universe itself - and to the ultimate truth of human experience. *Here is a computer that runs the Pentagon, and destroys every military officer who uses it. *a mathematician who can make pinpoint predictions of earthquakes and who argues against his own predictions - while living on the San Andreas Fault. *The tough leader of a youth gang who is rehabilitated by modern behaviorist techniques - into a world conqueror. *A trio of stories about an Air Force astronaut who finds love and death in space. *The story of men and women who pit their skills against the mightiest storms that nature can hurl at them. *A wacky colony on the moon that gets shot up by "Men of Good WIll." *A strange machine that allows people to share their dreams and fight duels t the death in their joint imaginations. *A tale of a man fleeing across the universe to escape the final fate of all mankind. So welcome to many different tomorrows. As you go forward in time in this brief but accelerated journey,you will visit the moon, the heart of a hurricane, the ultimate end of the universe. Fasten your seat belt and have a pleasant trip!"

Original Publication: Walker & Co, October 1973
This Edition: Science Fiction Book Club, January 1974
Cover Art: Thuy Le Ha
Format: Hardback

Notes:

Contents: The Next Logical Step, A Slight Miscalculation, Blood of Tyrants, Zero Gee, Test in Orbit, Fifteen Miles and The Weathermakers all by Ben Bova, Men of Good Will by Ben Bova and Myron R. Lewis, The Perfect Warrior by Ben Bova and Myron R. Lewis and Stars, Won't You Hide Me? by Ben Bova

Review:


The Weathermakers

"Weather or not - Ted Marrett would be able to harness the weather for the good of man depended upon some stiff opposition - in an age of cross-country rockets and undersea mining, weather is the last frontier of man, the one resource which remains untamed. An elemental power which can roar through the land with hurricane force, leaving death and destruction in its wake. But Dr. Rossman didn't believe in weather control unless he could get the credit for it; and the President and his Science Advisor didn't want to fight hurricanes in an election year; and the Pentagon felt that weather control should be a military weapon. Ted's only allies were: beautiful Barney, who preferred romance to thunderstorms; Tuli, a Mongol chemist who couldn't get FBI clearance; Jerry, the playboy son of a wealthy businessman; and Hurricane Omega, the most potent holocaust to menace Washington D.C., in many a year..."

Original Publication: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1967
This Edition: Signet, January 1973
Cover Art: Jerome Podwill
Format: Paperback

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Review:


As on a Darkling Plain

"The Maddening Machines. The alien machines stood on Titan, Saturn's largest moon. Housed in huge buildings that made the space explorers from earth look like insects, the machines continued to function as they had since beyond recorded time. Yet what their purpose was, and who built them, was a maddening, terrifying mystery. Dr. Sydney Lee was convinced that these machines had been designed to destroy man, and unless the power that drove them and the beings who controlled them were discovered, they would succeed. But there was just one way to prove his theory. Dr. Lee and his chosen crew were frozen, and placed in a space ship to a distant star. When they returned to life, fifty years had passed. They were no older, but the time they had to find and destroy their enemy was perilously short..."

Original Publication: Walker & Co., 1972
This Edition: Dell, August 1974
Cover Art: Unknown
Format: Paperback

Notes:

Review:

As on a Darkling Plain is one of Ben Bova's early works. Seeing its cover and its title, I was excited to give it a read. The story revolves around three central characters, all scientists. Sidney Lee, Marlene Ettinger, and Bob O'Banion are caught in a stereotypical love triangle. Lee loves Marlene but suffers from mental instability and obsession with the Titan Machines. Marlene rebounds with Bob, who falls madly and permanently in love with her. Lee alternately clings to and rejects Marlene. It is a trite scenario which influences the plot entirely too often.

Once you remove the romantic infatuations of the central characters, the plot becomes somewhat more interesting. Humanity has achieved the ability to explore the stars. In doing so, mysteries here in our own solar system have been discovered. There are ruins of cities on Mars that were clearly built by humans and massive, eternally running machines on Titan that clearly were not. While conducting research into the machines on Titan, Lee had attempted suicide. He was saved and placed in a facility to recover. During his year of incarceration, Marlene began a relationship with Bob. Bob and Marlene planned on being selected to go on a star mission together until Marlene spotted Lee at a training facility. In an attempt to be forthright with Bob, Marlene explains she loves Lee and must pursue him to find out if they still have a chance at a future together. Feeling spurned, instead of attempting to be part of the star mission, Bob ends up being assigned as a pilot on a mission to explore Jupiter's oceans.

Lee is obsessed with the machines on Titan. He believes that there was an ancient civilization on Earth a human civilization that had once explored the stars and had built the cities on Mars. It is his contention that this hypothetical Earth civilization was wiped out by the aliens which built the machines on Titan. Clearly drawing on Arthur C. Clarke's The Sentinel and 2001, the predominant theory regarding the machines in Bova's story is that they are probably sending a signal to the alien race which built them. If the signal is interrupted by humans attempting to understand or manipulate the machines, the aliens will be alerted that humanity has again attained the ability to leave the planet and will respond with force. Thus, those scientists studying the machines and their functionality must do so in an nonintrusive fashion.

While research continues within the solar system, Lee and Marlene are sent on a star mission to Sirius. An Earth generation passes while they travel in cold sleep to Sirius for their five year exploration of its system. Once on site, they awake to find the Sirius system populated by 2 stars, a blue star at its center and a white dwarf at its edge, and 2 planets, one small rock similar to Mercury and a larger Earth-like planet. The scientists on the ship choose to orbit the Earth-like planet, Sirius A-2, to search it for indigenous life. No one believes they will find anything interesting but to everyone's surprise one of the cartographic photos shows a bipedal being standing on an ocean shore. After much debate and painstaking precautions, the ship lands and the scientists explore the planet slowly as they move in on the location of the mysterious being.

Lee is certain that these creatures must be the surviving descendants of the aliens who built the machines on Titan. He convinces his captain to allow him to modify his appearance and live among them. Lee spends the next year earning the trust and learning the language of these human-like creatures. Other scientists have been researching the ecology of Sirius A-2 and have determined that the beings could not have originated on this planet. Lee is eventually taken into long abandoned area of the cave dwelling where the creatures live and discovers an ancient star map. When he reports this discovery to his fellow scientists, they decide to drug the small community and photograph the map. After much research it is discovered that this map reveals the home planet of the Sirius beings, and it is of course Earth. These creatures aren't alien at all rather they are decendants of the ancient human race which was destroyed by the Titan Machine builders, or as they are being called The Others.

The obvious origin of the title of the book, As on a Darkling Plain, probably reveals the most about what Bova was attempting to impart in creating this story. It is taken from a Victorian poem by Matthew Arnold called "Dover Beach." In the poem, Arnold tells a tale of lovers clinging to each other through enigmatic human misery and war. The last stanza of the poem reads: Ah, love, let us be true - To one another! for the world, which seems - To lie before us like a land of dreams, - So various, so beautiful, so new, - Hath really neither joy, nor love, nor light, - Nor certitude, nor peace, nor help for pain; - And we are here as on a darkling plain - Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight, - Where ignorant armies clash by night.

There are several subplots to this novel, some are intriguing like The Jupiter Mission and some are tedious like Return to Earth. In the end though, what Bova has accomplished is to create a disjointed, derivative work. Parts of it are highly thoughtful and well written and Bova's literary abilities really shine through occasionally in his word and phrase choice. He has set the stage (actually several stages) for mysteries to be solved, worlds to be discovered and explored, love to be had, aliens and humans clashing in glorious space battles, but in the end, in this work, Bova has failed to deliver on all counts.


The Science Fiction Hall of Fame Volume IIB

"Eleven more classic novellas by the most honored authors of science fiction Companion to Volume IIB."

Original Publication: Doubleday, January 1973
This Edition: Avon, June 1974
Cover Art: Unknown
Format: Paperback

Notes:

Contents: The Martian Way by Isaac Asimov, Earthman, Come Home by James Blish, Rogue Moon by Algis Budrys, The Spectre General by Theodore R. Cogswell, The Machine Stops by E.M. Foster, The Midas Plague by Frederik Pohl, The Witches of Karred by James H. Schmitz, E for Effort by T.L. Sherred, In Hiding by Wilmar H. Shiras, The Big Front Yard by Clifford D. Simak and The Moon Moth by Jack Vance

Review:


The Starcrossed

"Its the twenty-first century. The aluminum skyscraper that houses Titanic Productions is build to earthquake specifications. Should the earth tremble beyond desired tolerances, the whole tower will take off like a rocket, hurtling itself and its occupants to a splashdown in the Pacific! What else is new? Aside from the VItaform Process, which grants nubile new bodies to the middle-aged, there is 3-D T.V., offering the illusion of almost-live entertainment in the home. All it needs is a smashing new series to bring it to the heart of the American people and get Titanic Productions off the brink of financial disaster. That's where The Starcrossed comes in, with its own surprises."

Original Publication: Chilton, October 1975
This Edition: Pyramid Books, December 1976
Cover Art: Vincent Di Fate
Format: Paperback

Notes:

Review:


The Best of Analog

"The best of everything! The best editor - Ben Bova has won the Hugo Award for Best Editor five years in a row. The best magazine - During those years Analog, previously acclaimed as the best sf magazine in the world, reached heights of prestige that may never again be equalled by any magazine. The best stories - Mr. Bova has chosen the very best stories from the last five years of Analog, including four Hugo and two Nebula winners. The best - Alfred Bester, Gordon R. Dickson, Joe Haldeman, George R. R. Martin, Vonda McIntyre, Larry Niven, Norman Spinrad, Roger Zelazny - and many more. The Best of Analog."

Original Publication: Baronet Publishing Co., October 1978
This Edition: Ace, March 1979
Cover Art: Alex Schomburg
Format: Paperback

Notes:

Contents: Persephone and Hades by Scott W. Schumack, Common Denominator by David Lewis, The Four-Hour Fugue by Alfred Bester, How I Lost the Second World War and Helped Turn Back the German Invasion by Gene Wolfe, A Song for Lya by Geroge R.R. Martin, Unlimited Warfare by Hayford Pierce, Tricentennial by Joe Haldeman, The Present State of Igneos Research by Gordon R. Dickson, Child of All Ages by P.J. Plauger, The Hole Man by Larry Niven, Of Mist, and Grass, and Sand by Vonda N. McIntyre, A Thing of Beauty by Normad Spinrad, When I Was in Your Mind by Joe Allred, Unified Field Theory by Tim Joseph and Home is the Hangman by Roger Zelazny

Review:


The Exiles Trilogy

"They were Earth's best and brightest: the brilliant young generation of scientists who were the last hope of an overburdened planet. But their breakthrough in genetic engineering threatened the despotic World Government, and they were rewarded for their success by the cruelest punishment ever devised. Banned from Earth forever, they turned their exile into humankind's greatest adventure. They left behind a million years of evolution and embarked on a one-way voyage across the Universe!"

Original Publication: Berkley, June 1980
This Edition: Berkley, January 1981
Cover Art: Unknown
Format: Paperback

Notes:

Contents: Exiled from Earth, Flight of Exiles and End of Exile by Ben Bova

Review:


Kinsman

"ALL KINSMAN WANTED WAS THE MOON - It was the threshold to space and the stars, to new industries, new worlds, and a new destiny for mankind. It was vital that the United Staes establish a Moon colony - and Chet Kinsman was determined to lead it. But the opposition was fierce, well-financed, and politically powerful. To fight and win, Kinsman would have to use - to betray and perhaps destroy - the woman he loved, his oldest friend, and - if it came to that - himself. A stirring novel of character and human conflict as well as adventurous technology, Kinsman brings to vivid life the near-future epic of the newest and widest frontier of all. "

Original Publication: The Dial Press/James Wade, August 1979
This Edition: Dell, June 1981
Cover Art: Unknown
Format: Paperback

Notes:

Review:


The Astral Mirror

"Bestselling novelist, renowned expert on the development of space, columnist and commentator, award-winning editor of Omni and Analog, Ben Bova is one of the world's best-known authors of science fact and science fiction. Here together for the first time are Bova's latest visionary reflections on man and his future. In addition to powerful, prophetic fiction, including a complete novella, The Perfect Warrior, and the witty, never-before-published "Amorality Tale," about a starting scheme to end war, there are also insightful, often controversial essays on such topics as business, politics, and the promise of the stars. The Astral Mirror is a rich and intriguing feast of ideas by one of the most formidable thinkers of our time."

Original Publication: Tor, October 1985
This Edition: Tor, October 1985
Cover Art: Angus McKie
Format: Paperback

Notes:

Contents: The Astral Mirror, Starflight, Free Enterprise, Robot Welfare, The Angel's Gift, The Secret Life of Henry K., Science Fiction, Love Calls, Amorality Tale, Out of Time, Science Fiction and Reality, To Be or Not, The Man Who Saw "Gunga Din" Thirty Times, The System, Cement, Building the Real World, It's RIGHT Over Your Nose!, The Perfect Warrior and The Future of Science: Prometheus, Apollo, Athena

Review:


Privateers

"One of America's premier science writers returns to fiction in this all-too-possible tale of oppression and terrorism. It is the early 21st century. America has withdrawn from the space race, leaving the Soviet Union in uncontested control of the heavens. This monopoly has given Russia an economic stranglehold on Earth - for the natural resources of the Moon are vast. But there is one American who sees the Russian occupation of space for what it really is: Dan Randolph, expatriate, multimillionaire. Working through a loophole in the International Space Treaty, Randolph's private space force captures an asteroid and fires it into Earth's orbit, intending to mine its deposits of iron, nickel, and platinum. The Soviets see this for the threat it is, and confiscate Randolph's ships, imprison his crews, and declare the asteroid their own. Blocked in the U.N., abandoned by his own nation, Dan Randolph sets out to make his case in the court of public opinion. Taking a cue from the brave men who opened up the sea-ways when Europeans first squabbled over North America some five centuries earlier, Dan Randolph becomes a privateer - chartered now to prey not upon the high seas, but in the cold vastness of space."

Original Publication: Tor, October 1985
This Edition: Tor, June 1986
Cover Art: Boris Vallejo
Format: Paperback

Notes:

Review:


Battle Station

"But those who have gone on to explore our newest boundary have almost all been military personnel. Space is truly the final frontier, and with the explorers and settlers will come the forces that will preserve peace and guard against the dangers of the unknown. It is hoped that these forces will always have all of mankind's welfare uppermost in their minds. But will they? Ben Bova, a founding member of the National Space Institute, the President of the National Space Society and one of the most respected science writers in this country, has no doubts. In Battle Station, Bova has set forth visions of a future where conflicting military forces are able to work together, to help shape a world freed from economic need and global annihilation, ready to colonize the stars. It is a bold future, envisioned by a man known for his astute scientific predictions and his unswerving faith in the hope and destiny of mankind. Battle Station will inspire those who dream of exploring the vastness of this last great unknown whether as a settler or a soldier, united in the wonder of man's greatest adventure."

Original Publication: Tor, October 1987
This Edition: Tor, October 1987
Cover Art: Alan Gutierrez
Format: Paperback

Notes:

Contents: Selene City, The Sea of Clouds, The Supervisor's Tale, The Hospital and the Bar, The Long Fall, The Pelican Bar, The Audition, Diamond Sam, Decisions, Decisions, Statement of Clark Griffith IV, Tourist Sam, The Shoe Must Go On!, Space Station Alpha, Isolation Area, Lagrange Habitat Jefferson, Vacuum Cleaner, Selene City 2, Armstrong Spaceport, Nursery Sam, Selene City 3, Statement of Juanita Carlotta Maria Rivera y Queveda, Sam's War, Grandfather Sam, Habitat New Chicago, Solar News Offices, Selene City, Bridge Ship Golden Gate, Two Years Before the Mast, Bridge Ship Golden Gate 2, Asteroid Ceres, Space University, A Can of Worms, Titan, Einstein, Surprise, Surprise, Reviews, Torch Ship Hermes, Acts of God, Torch Ship Hermes 2, Steven Achernar Wright, The Prudent Jurist, Pierre D'Argent, Piker's Peek, Zoilo Hashimoto, The Mark of Zorro, The Maitre d', The Flying Dutchman, Disappearing Act, Takes Two to Tangle, Solar News Headquarters, Selene and Orchestrated Sam

Review:


Voyagers

"Keith Stoner, ex-astronaut turned physicist, knows the signal from space that his research station is receiving is not random. Whatever it is, it's real. And its headed straight for Earth. He'll do anything to be the first man to go out and confront this enigma. Even lost the only woman he's ever really loved. And maybe start a world war."

Original Publication: Doubleday, August 1981
This Edition: Tor, August 1989
Cover Art: S. Blaser
Format: Paperback

Notes:

Review:


To Save the Sun

"The time is centuries hence; the human race has grown to fill an Empire of a hundred star systems. Earth is a backwater, save for one vital face: The handful of "primitives" left on Earth are the baseline for human genetic stock. Every other human world sends regular delegations to check their own genetic pool against "Earth normal." Then the Empire's scientists learn ancient Earth is doomed. Its Sun will explode, not millions of years hence but in mere lifetimes - violently enough to scour Earth clean and leave humanity's genetic future adrift. Their official position, all too typical of the Empire's stagnation, is that nothing can be done. Then, over massive opposition, a single young woman makes her way to the Emperor with that rarity, a new scientific insight - and, flowing from its implications, a plan to mobilize the Empire's slumbering energies toward a stupendous, millennium-long feat of applies astrophysics, of engineering carried out on the hearts of stars. A plan to save the Sun. To Save the Sun is the tale of that plan, of the undertaking that will forever change the Empire and humankind. Of the dying Emperor whose final act is to defy his advisors and restart the march of human progress, too long stalled. Of crown Prince Javis and his transformation from the feeble aristocrat to visionary in the service of his father's cause. Of scientists terrified of the new order, and scientists enthralled. Of politicians determined to reverse the project, and politicians determined to reverse the project, and politicials who aim to make it serve their ends. Of rough-hewn Earthmen long ignored by the Imperial court, and - beyond the Empire's frontiers - aliens who fear humanity's new vigor and watch with a cold and envious eye. And finally, of Adela de Montgarde, the woman willing to give up everything she loves to see her vision accomplished. To save the Earth. To save the Sun."

Original Publication: Tor, September 1992
This Edition: Tor, September 1992
Cover Art: John Berkey
Format: Paperback

Notes:

Collaboration with A.J. Austin

Review:


Mars

"It is a world shrouded in mystery - a planet pocked by meteors, baked by ultraviolet light, and covered by endless deserts the color of dried blood. To this harsh and unforgiving planet travel the twenty-five astronauts of the international Mars mission. Now, as the landers touch down and the base dome is inflated and the robotic explorers are sent aloft, they must somehow come together in a struggle of discovery and survival. Battling deadly meteor showers, subzero temperatures, and a mysterious "Mars virus," these intrepid explorers are on their way to the most incredible and shocking discovery of all. Epic in scope, unparalleled in execution, Mars is an unforgettable portrait of space, politics, science and humanity that captures for all time the mystery and wonder of the alien frontier."

Original Publication: Bantam, July 1992
This Edition: Bantam, July 1993
Cover Art: Pamela Lee
Format: Paperback

Notes:

Review:


Moonrise

"In his critically acclaimed bestseller Mars, Hugo award-winner Ben Bova brilliantly remained space exploration. Now he carries his readers along on an exhilarating mission to investigate the enigma and the possibility of our nearest neighbor. Moonbase is a little more than a dream. A privatized former government lunar project, it consists of a dozen cramped, interconnected "temporary" shelters buried below piles of regolith rubble. But ex-astronaut Paul Stavenger envisions the majestic domed city Moonbase must inevitably become: a bustling center for manufacturing and scientific development vital to the interests of the Earth and all humankind. Yet only his wife, Joanna Masterson Stavenger, has the power to derail the corporate opposition that could dismantle the financially troubled installation to which her husband has dedicated his life and future. The moon and its mysteries have captivated the Stavengers - and it will continue to exert its mysterious power on the family through subsequent generations. For in the gray lunar dust, battlelines are to be drawn between innovative creators who would mine the heavens for its riches...and craven destroyers ruthlessly dedicated to enacting a nightmarish nanotechnological revenge somewhere on the merciless scorched expanse of the Mare Nubium. Epic in scope and conception, with the Moonbase Saga, Ben Bova returns at last to the cosmos, displaying the skill and imaginative daring that have already established him as one of the premiere authors in the field, Riveting, eye-opening, and enthrallingly probable, Moonrise promises to become a modern SF classic conceived and realized by an acknowledged master of near-future extrapolation."

Original Publication: Avon, December 1996
This Edition: Avon, December 1996
Cover Art: Chris Moore
Format: Hardback

Notes:

Review:


Twice Seven

"From his acclaimed bestseller Mars to his phenomenal Moonbase Saga, ben Bova deftly uses the mysterious possibilities of science and technology to create SF that astonishes and captivates us. Here are fourteen exhilarating stories - each a shining testament to this Hugo Award-winning author's extraordinary talent as a master storyteller. Accompanied by specially written introductions that illuminate his thoughts on the creative process, these stories pull us into Bova's uniquely crafted worlds - realms that challenge, enthrall and entertain. Consider the possibilities: a time traveler on a desperate mission from the future brings together H.G. Wells and Albert Einstein at an Austrian cafe. The strange but true fate of President John F. Kennedy and Marilyn Monroe is revealed by none other than Howard Hughes. A lonely young woman aboard an asteroid-mining ship is all that stands between earth and cosmic annihilation. Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Ty Cobb and other baseball legends compete in a game sure to be every fan's field of dreams come true. Twice Seven is a triumph for the esteemed champion of hard science fiction - and a treat for SF readers everywhere."

Original Publication: Avon Eos, August 1998
This Edition: Avon Eos, August 1998
Cover Art: Unknown
Format: Paperback

Notes:

Contents: Inspiration, Appointment in Sinai, Conspiracy Theory, The Great Moon Hoac or A Princess of Mars, Life as We Know It, Legendary Heroes, The Cafe Coup, Re-Entry Shock, In Trust, Risk Assessment, Delta Vee, Lower the River, Remember, Caesar and The Babe, the Iron Horse, and Mr. McGillicuddy by Ben Bova

Review:


Colony

"In the future, everything is different. But nothing has changed. The Earth has been poisoned by pollution, choked by overpopulation, and ravaged by the mindless greed of power-hungry corporations. A fragile peace is threatened by landless revolutionaries and global anarchy seems imminent. Yet a single ray of hope remains...Island One is a celestial utopia, and David Adams is its most perfect creation - a man with a brain as advanced as any computer and a body free of human frailties. But David is a prisoner - a captive of the colony that created him - destined to spend the days of his life in an island-sized cylinder that circles a doomed and desperate home planet. Thousands of miles below him, a world trembles; its people cringe in terror and despair in anticipation of an impending apocalypse. And as the flames of war and revolt reach out far beyond the Earth's boundaries, Fate has cast one extraordinary human in the role of savior. For David Adams has a plan - one that will ultimately ensure the salvation of his species...or its annihilation."

Original Publication: Pocket Books, July 1978
This Edition: Avon Eos, 1999
Cover Art: Unknown
Format: Paperback

Notes:

Review:


Return to Mars

"In his acclaimed national bestseller, Mars, Ben Bova rocketed the first manned mission to the surface of the Red Planet. What Half-Navajo, half-Anglo geologist Jamie Waterman and his fellow crewmembers discovered there was astonishing; what they survived there was remarkable. But it was only the beginning....Return to Mars...Six years have passed since Jamie Waterman took charge of a foundering expedition and courageously led its surviving members on a dangerous trek to Mars's Valles Marineris - and to, perhaps, the greatest scientific discovery in the history of humankind: fragile, lichenlike organisms, growing just beneath the planet's rocky surface; extraterrestrial life in its most basic form. But things have soured for Waterman back in Earth's rich atmosphere since the monumental breakthrough that brought him fame and - for a time - happiness. And the two halves of Jamie's heart - native mystic and rational scientist - have slipped further and further out of balance. Now a second Martian expedition has been announced - one motivated purely by its profitable potential - and Jamie Waterman's wounded soul is beckoning him back to the eerie, unforgiving landscape whose towering cliffs and sere natural beauty remind him so strongly of Navajo lands. As commander of the new team, he will have to contend with a bitter and destructuve rivalry, a disturbing new emotional attraction - and with the deadly, incomprehensible "accidents" that appear to be sabotage - all of which could doom the mission to failure. But Waterman knows he must not fail - for much more is at stake than his personal redemption and the safety of his crew. For there are still great secrets to be uncovered on this creul and enigmatic world - not the least being something he glimpsed in the far distance during his first Martian excursion, an improbable structure perched high in the planet's carmine cliffs; a dwelling that only an intelligent being could have built. The breathtaking continuation of a momumental SF epic, Ben Bova's masterful sequel combines high-frontier adventure, cutting-edge science, evocative otherworldly atmosphere, and the vividly drawn characterizations that have become his trademark. It is a thrilling - and grittily realistic - tale of human and technological triumph in the early decades of our next century."

Original Publication: Avon Eos, June 1999
This Edition: Avon Eos, June 1999
Cover Art: Gregory Bridges
Format: Hardback

Notes:

Review:


The Precipice

"The Asteroid Wars have begun Dan Randolph is one of the richest men on Earth a planet spiraling into environmental disaster. His bitter rival, Martin Humphries is the fabulously wealthy heir to the Humphries Trust. Both men know that space-based industry is the way of the future but Humpheries does not care if Earth perishes in the process. As Randolph flies out to the Asteroid best pursuing a desperate plan that may save Earth's economy, Humpheries makes his move and the future of mankind lies in Randolph's hands."

Original Publication: Hodder & Stoughton, 2001
This Edition: Tor, December 2002
Cover Art: Mark Harrison
Format: Paperback

Notes:

Review:


The Rock Rats

"Visionary space industrialist Dan Randolf is dead - but his protégé, pilot Pancho Barnes, now sits on the board of his conglomerate. She has her work cut out for her. For Randolf's rival Martin Humphries still wants to control Astro and still wants to drive independent asteroid miners like Lars Fuchs out of business. Humphries wants revenge against Pancho - and most of all, he wants his old flame, Amanda, who has become Lars Fuch's wife. In the struggle over the incalculable wealth of the Asteroid Belt, many will die - and many will achieve more than they ever dreamed was possible."

Original Publication: Hodder & Stoughton, February 2002
This Edition: Tor, June 2003
Cover Art: Peter Bollinger
Format: Paperback

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Saturn

"Earth groans under the thumb of fundamentalist political regimes. Crisis after crisis has given authoritarians the upper hand. Freedom and opportunity exist in space, for those with the nerve and skill to take it. Now the governments of Earth are encouraging many of their most incorrigible dissidents to join a great ark, a one-way expedition twice Jupiter's distance from the Sun, to Staurn, the ringed planet that baffled Galileo and has fascinated astronomers ever since. But humans will be human, on Earth or in the heavens - so amidst the idealism permeating Space Habitat Goddard are many individuals with long-term schemes, each awaiting their moment. And hidden from them is the greatest secret of all, the real purpose of this expedition, known to only a few..."

Original Publication: Hodder & Stoughton, February 2003
This Edition: Tor, September 2004
Cover Art: John Harris
Format: Paperback

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The Aftermath

"In the wake of the Asteroid Wars that tore across the solar system, Victor Zacharias makes his living running the ore-carrier Syracuse. With his wife and two children, he plies the Asteroid Belt, hauling whatever carge can be found. When the Syracuse stumbles into the middle of a military attack on the habitat Chrusalis, Victor flees in a control pod to draw the attacker's attention away from his family. Now, as his wife and children plunge into the far deeps of space, Victor has been rescued by the seductive CHeena Madagascar. He must do her bidding if he's to have a prayer of ever seeing his family again. Elverda Apacheta is the solar system's greatest sculptor. The cyborg Dorn was formerly Dorik Harbin, the ruthless military commander responsible for the attack on Chrysalis. Their lives and destinies have been linked by their joint discovery of the alien artifact that earlier had profoundly affected industrialist Martin Humphries. Similarly transformed by the artifact's mysterious powers, Apacheta and DOrn now prowl the Belt, determined to find the bodies of the many victims of Harbin's atrocities in order to give them proper burials. Kao Yuan is the captain of Viking, owned by Martin Humphries. Yuan is determined t kill Dorn and Apacheta because they known too much about the artifact and its power over him. But Viking's second-in-command, Tamara Vishinsky, appears to have the real power onboard ship. When Viking catches up to Apacheta and Dorn, their confrontation begins a series of events involving them, the Zacharias family, and Martin Humphries and his son in the transformation of the human solar system..."

Original Publication: Tor, August 2007
This Edition: Tor, April 2008
Cover Art: Stephan Martiniere
Format: Hardback

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The Green Trap

"Microbiologist Michael Cochrane has been murdered. His brother, Paul, wants to find out who did it and why. Accompanied by a beautiful industrial spy, Elena Sandoval, Paul follows the trail from California to Cambridge, Massachusetts. Along the way, a lot of people seem to be interested in getting in their way or discovering what they know. It's clear that Michael was working with cyanobacteria, the bacteria that crack water molecules and release free oxygen. It's less clear why this would get anybody killed. Or why oil billionaire Lionel Gould wants to pay Paul and Elena big money for the details of Michael's work. Then the truth emerges: Michael had found a way to derive free fuel from water. No wonder everyone, from Middle Eastern heavies to hired domestic muscle, suddenly seems to be trying to get in Paul and Elena's way. As the world's secrets and their own teeter in the balance, Paul and Elena must decide what to do before it's too late."

Original Publication: Forge, November 2006
This Edition: Tor, November 2007
Cover Art: Jamie Stafford-Hall
Format: Paperback

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The Sam Gunn Omnibus

"A hero without peer or scruples, Sam Gunn has a nose for trouble, money, and women - though not necessarily in that order. A man with the ego (and stature) of Napoleon, the business acumen of P.T. Barnum, and the raging hormones of a teenage boy, Sam is the finest astronaut NASA ever trained....and dumped. But more than money, more than women, Sam Gunn loves justice. (And he really does love money and women.) Whether he's suing the Pope, helping twin sisters entangled in the "virtual sex" trade, or on trial for his life on charges of genocide, you can be sure of one thing: this is a space jockey who'll meet every challenge with a smile on his lips, an ace up his sleeve...and a weapon in his pocket. Now, for the first time between covers, Hugo award winner Ben Bova presents all the tales of Sam Gunn to date, including three stories never before collected in book form. Here is the entire chronicle of Sam Gunn, trailblazer and scoundrel, as he scams his way from one end of the solar system to the other, giving bold new meaning to the term "venture capitalist.""

Original Publication: Tor, February 2007
This Edition: Tor, February 2007
Cover Art: Vincent Di Fate
Format: Hardback

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The Return

"In the 1980s, an alien starship visited Earth. While investigating what appeared to be a sarcophagus bearing the preserved body of its builder, astronaut Keith Stoner was trapped and cryogenically frozen. After his body was eventually returned to Earth and revived, Stoner discovered that he had acquired alien powers. Using these new powers, he built a new starship and left Earth. Now, after more than a century of exploring the stars, Keith Stoner returns to find that the world he has come back to does not match the one he left. The planet is suffering the consequences of disastrous greenhouse flooding. Most nations have been taken over by ultraconservative religion-based governments, such as the New Morality in the United States. With population ballooning and resources running out, Earth is heading for nuclear war. Stoner, a star voyager, wants to save Earth's people. but first he must save himself from the frightened and ambitious zealots who want to destroy this stranger - and the terrifying message he brings from the stars."

Original Publication: Tor, August 2009
This Edition: Tor, August 2009
Cover Art: Thomas Tenery
Format: Hardback

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Leviathans of Jupiter

Original Publication: Tor, February 2011
This Edition: Tor, October 2011
Cover Art: John Harris
Format: Paperback

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Rescue Mode

"The first human mission to Mars meets with disaster when a meteoroid strikes the spacecraft. The ship is too far from Earth to simply turn around and return home. The eight-person crew must ride their crippled ship to Mars while they desperately struggle to survive. On Earth, powerful political forces that oppose human spaceflight try to use the accident as proof that sending humans into space is too dangerous to continue. The future of human spaceflight hangs in the balance. And if the astronauts can't nurse their ship to Mars and back, the voyagers will become either the first Martian colonists - or the first humans to perish on another planet."

Original Publication: Baen, June 2014
This Edition: Baen, June 2014
Cover Art: Bob Eggleton
Format: Hardback

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Collaboration with Les Johnson.

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Transhuman

"Luke Abramson, a brilliant cellular biologist, has one joy in life, his eight-year-old granddaughter, Angela. When he learns that Angela has an inoperable brain tumor and is given less than six months to live, Abramson wants to try an experimental new therapy that he belives will kill Angela's tumor. Her parents object and the hospital bureaucracy blocks the experimental treatment because it has not been approved by the FDA. Knowing that Angela will die before he can get approval, Abramson abducts Angela from the hospital. He plans to take her to a private research labratory in Oregon. Luke has turned his old SUV into a makeshift medical facility, treating Angela as best as he can while they are on the road, desperately trying to keep his granddaughter alive long enough to give her the treatment he believes will save her life. Abramson realizes that he's too old and decrepit to flee across the country with his sick granddaughter, so he injects himself with a genetic factor that has successfull reversed aging in animal tests. As the chase weaves across the country from one research facility to another, Luke begins to grow physically younger, stronger. He looks and feels the way he did thirty or fourty years ago. But will he be able to save Angela?"

Original Publication: Tor, April 2014
This Edition: Tor, April 2014
Cover Art: Base Art Group
Format: Hardback

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