Fairly interesting tale about the colonization of the moon. Although he might not have planned it that way originally, Moonwar kicked off Bova’s “Grand Tour of the Solar System” series. All in all, the Moon books are enjoyable, but not outstanding. The rather bleak ecodisaster future for the Earth often used as a backdrop by Bova is, I think, first portrayed here.
The Sam Gunn stories are now published in one omnibus edition. They really bring out the best in Bova. His hero Sam Gunn is a sort of space entrepreneur/adventurer, presumably inspired by explorers from human history such as Columbus and Shackleton. I also believe that Sam Gunn is Ben Bova’s alter ego, or the man he wishes he was. Lighthearted and thoroughly enjoyable, I recommend Sam Gunn to any fan of near future stories and space exploration.
In To Save the Sun, humans rule a vast empire. It is discovered that the Sun is dying. A lethargic entity, the empire arrives at the consensus that humanity will evacuate the Solar System and move to other solar systems in the empire. One woman, however, feels that saving the sun would be both a symbolic gesture worthy of humanity, and a way to get humanity moving towards a common goal, as well as developing new technology. In short, a way to drive change in a society which has become too comfortable with the status quo, and in which progress has become a distant concept. The sequel is simply a continuation of events, but the first book can be read as a standalone. Unfortunately, both books feel rather unfocused on both the central story and the central theme. The main characters are not really fleshed out the way they could be. Since I very much like the thematic concepts, I was rather disappointed. It is, however, still an adequate read.
Mysterious Big Dumb Objects have been found on Titan. It appears that they have been placed there by the “Others”, who will return to threaten mankind. Although somewhat disjointed and lacking focus, I nevertheless enjoyed this story of mankind under an unknown threat. The novel is vaguely connected with the Orion series.
Widely considered to be Bova’s masterpiece, I never really figured out these books (and yet for some reason I read three of them). Our titular hero loses his memory, fights evil as he jumps back and forth in different eras of past and future. These jumps are more or less out of his control. He constantly loses and regains his beloved. The first book is decent, but after that it’s really just rinse and repeat and they blend into each other in my memory. I gave up after book three.
Although a bit dated, and somewhat simplistic, this rough and ready tale of Martian grassroots insurrection is fun. The coming of age story contained within is, although not terribly original, well written and engaging. If you can look past the nineteen seventies vintage stuff, this will keep you entertained for an evening or two.
Some genius came up with the idea that three different writers should write a new trilogy about Asimov’s Foundation. While I admire the sentiment, I would say that it’s a very tall order. I only got as far as the first book. Correction: I only got as far as the first third of the first book, because I kept falling asleep from boredom. It is utterly dull and as far as I can see there is no story. Go read the excellent original Foundation series instead.
Unfortunately it was monumentally boring. The main characters are very well described and interesting, but you always feel as if you’re at one remove from the real action. A new chapter will suddenly assume that a lot of things have happened since the last one, but none of that stuff is filled in. This sometimes had me checking if I actually missed a page or something. The biology is very interesting, but there is too much of it, disrupting the flow of the story.
I gave up after about 150 pages. Blech.