Books by Ben Bova

For more than fifty years, Dr. Ben Bova has been writing award-winning science fiction and nonfiction about science, technology, and the future. The author of more than 100 futuristic novels and nonfiction books, Dr. Bova has been involved in science and


TRANSHUMAN by Ben Bova
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: April 15, 2014

"Bova is usually good company, but this unabashed potboiler barely reaches tepid."
Scientific thriller from the author of New Earth (2013). Read full book review >
NEW EARTH by Ben Bova
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: July 16, 2013

"An unspectacular but absorbing entry in Bova's Grand Tour series."
Sequel to Farside (2013), wherein, amid a battle over nanotechnology, a new Earth-like planet was discovered orbiting Sirius. Read full book review >
A PALE BLUE DOT by Ben Bova
IPAD BOOK APPS
Released: April 26, 2013

"A bit of science in a very minor key. (Science fiction/iPad app. 8-12)"
A rather lifeless search for life in the great beyond. Read full book review >
FARSIDE by Ben Bova
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: Feb. 12, 2013

"The sort of gritty, hands-on, you-are-there yarn at which Bova has long excelled."
Near-future science-fiction thriller, one of Bova's Grand Tour series (Mars Life, 2008, etc.), detailing human exploration of the solar system. Read full book review >
ORION AND KING ARTHUR by Ben Bova
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: July 3, 2012

Prolific sci-fi author Bova (Leviathans of Jupiter, 2011, etc.) returns with the sixth installment of his Orion series, his first since 1995's Orion Among the Stars.

This latest story of time-jumping warrior Orion opens with him helping Beowulf defeat the monster Grendel (and Grendel's mother) in ancient England. Read full book review >

POWER PLAY by Ben Bova
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: Jan. 3, 2012

"Solid if unspectacular—Bova makes his point without belaboring it—and a huge improvement over his flabby previous outing."
Present-day, science-based political thriller from the veteran author and editor (Leviathans of Jupiter, 2011, etc.). Read full book review >
LEVIATHANS OF JUPITER by Ben Bova
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: Feb. 1, 2011

"A book that has "contractual obligation" stamped all over it."
Book 13 in Bova's Grand Tour series, and a direct sequel to Jupiter (2001), wherein physicist Grant Archer led an expedition into Jupiter's planetary ocean in an attempt to study the enormous creatures that inhabit it. Read full book review >
THE GREEN TRAP by Ben Bova
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Nov. 14, 2006

"And therein lies Bova's main problem: His plot and prose are serviceable, but his characters' motivations and psychology (or, what passes for it) are so frequently ridiculous as to call the whole enterprise into question."
A retiring academic finds himself on the run and in control of information that might well bring down the global oil industry. Read full book review >
TITAN by Ben Bova
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: March 1, 2006

"Clicks along like a well-oiled machine: smooth, precise and reliable, inching Bova's grand design forward another notch or two."
This addition to Bova's impressive multi-volume saga of humanity's expansion through the solar system chronologically follows Saturn (2003). Read full book review >
MERCURY by Ben Bova
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: May 1, 2005

"A humdrum addition to this wide-ranging but, lately, flagging series."
Another entry in Bova's series melodramatizing the near/medium-future exploration of the solar system (Powersat, 2004, etc.). Read full book review >
POWERSAT by Ben Bova
Released: Dec. 23, 2004

Plenty of agreeable complications, but the assembly-line cast and situations tag this as just a footnote to an otherwise distinguished series. Read full book review >
THE SILENT WAR by Ben Bova
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: May 1, 2004

"Another adventurous escapade, even if (since, chronologically, this entry falls somewhere in the middle of the series) we know who doesn't get killed. Still, veteran pro Bova knows his space-rivets from his astro-bolts, and nobody will be disappointed."
Last of Bova's trilogy (The Rock Rats, 2002, etc.) about the struggle for control of the asteroid belt, embedded within a series (Venus, 2000, etc.) that dramatizes humanity's expansion through the solar system. Read full book review >
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Released: March 1, 2004

"Inspirational treatise faithful to Carl Sagan's maxim that "absence of proof is not proof of absence.""
Best known for a steady stream of space-based science fiction (Saturn, 2003, etc.), the veteran author demonstrates a firm factual grasp in framing the big questions about extraterrestrial life. Read full book review >
TALES OF THE GRAND TOUR by Ben Bova
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: Feb. 1, 2004

"Bova's saga is a long, varied, and successful one, and this is a good place for newbies to start. Readers already familiar with the series, however, will find maybe half a book's worth of fresh material."
Bova's impressive ten-book (so far) cycle of novels about the exploration of the solar system is known as the Grand Tour; these 12 tales are set in, and expand, that theme—well, kind of. Read full book review >
SATURN by Ben Bova
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: July 1, 2003

"Bova (Jupiter, 2001, etc.) keeps things ticking over with professional skill, but overall there aren't enough surprises to raise this adventure much above routine."
Another in Bova's series about humanity's expansion into the farthest reaches of the solar system. Read full book review >
THE PRECIPICE by Ben Bova
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: Oct. 1, 2001

Addition to Bova's near/medium-future series about the exploration and exploitation of the solar system (Venus, 2000, etc.). Read full book review >

THE ROCK RATS by Ben Bova
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: May 1, 2001

A direct sequel to The Precipice (2001) and addition to Bova's near/medium-future series about humanity's expansion through the solar system. Read full book review >

JUPITER by Ben Bova
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: Jan. 1, 2001

Another step in the exploration of the solar system, from the veteran writer-editor (Venus, 2000, etc.). Read full book review >

VENUS by Ben Bova
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: April 1, 2000

"The coming-of-age theme, though, should find its natural YA audience."
Guess where the action of editor/writer Bova's latest science fiction yarn (Return to Mars, 1999, etc.) takes place? Read full book review >
RETURN TO MARS by Ben Bova
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: June 8, 1999

Sequel to Bova's fact-based epic Mars (1992). Read full book review >

HEALTH & MEDICINE
Released: Aug. 5, 1998

"Even though the immortality thesis may not be persuasive, the review of microbiology, especially genetic research, is engrossing."
While ostensibly about the coming conquest by science of aging and death, this is actually a lively overview of the exciting work being done in biomedical research today. Read full book review >
MOONWAR by Ben Bova
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: March 1, 1998

"Rousing, inventive, persuasively knotty, with loads of tension and excitement: overall, far more involving and gripping than the previous volume."
Having done all the stage-setting for his near/medium-future lunar saga in Moonrise (1996), Bova slams right into the action in this declaration-of-independence sequel. Read full book review >
MOONRISE by Ben Bova
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: Dec. 1, 1996

Writer-editor Bova, having tackled Mars (1992), moves closer to home with this near-future family melodrama about nanotechnology and the exploitation of the Moon. Read full book review >

BROTHERS by Ben Bova
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: April 1, 1996

"An effective mix of science, politics, and family struggle in a novel that should reach a wide audience."
A biotechnical breakthrough throws two brothers into conflict in this high-tech thriller set in a "science court" in the nation's capital. Read full book review >
ORION AMONG THE STARS by Ben Bova
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: Aug. 1, 1995

"The best entry so far in an evolving and increasingly worthwhile series."
What started out as a series of fantasy/superscience potboilers (Orion and the Conqueror, 1993, etc.) has shown notable improvement of late. Read full book review >
TO FEAR THE LIGHT by Ben Bova
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: Nov. 1, 1994

"Well-paced, if sometimes melodramatic; overall an improvement over its predecessor."
The sequel to To Save the Sun (1992) shares the previous book's large-canvas premise as the Empire of the Hundred Worlds pursues a generation-spanning project to save Earth's dying sun. Read full book review >
DEATH DREAM by Ben Bova
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: Aug. 15, 1994

"High-technology in the characters' everyday routines provides a diverting twist to this steadily paced thriller, which should broaden Bova's audience."
Sci-fi author Bova (Orion and the Conqueror, 1994) branches out with an exciting thriller about entertainment technology in the hands of unstable men. Read full book review >
ORION AND THE CONQUEROR by Ben Bova
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: Feb. 1, 1994

"An odd but effective combination of far- out fantasy trappings with solid historical foundations—much more persuasive and appealing than Orion's previous airing."
Another in Bova's fantasy potboilers (Orion in the Dying Time, etc.) about the immortal android warrior Orion, the Creators who made him, and the evil opposition intent on destroying both Creators and humanity. Read full book review >
EMPIRE BUILDERS by Ben Bova
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: Sept. 1, 1993

Sequel to Privateers (1985), Bova's near-future saga of swashbuckling capitalist Dan Randolph's efforts to save the world from communism. Read full book review >
CHALLENGES by Ben Bova
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 1, 1993

"Worthwhile, especially for the essays and the various indications of Bova's own editorial thought processes—he has been no small influence himself."
Twelve tales and six essays, 1962-92, including three previously unpublished stories, each piece illuminated by an extensive, and often broadly autobiographical, introduction. Read full book review >
TRIUMPH by Ben Bova
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: Jan. 1, 1993

"Though sometimes blurred in the fine detail (Bova has problems with British speech and idioms, for instance): a low-key, convincing what-if, stuffed with famous figures and likely to tempt WW II buffs, as well as Bova fans and sf regulars."
Intriguing speculation on a major historical turning point, from the veteran editor-writer (Mars, p. 503, etc.)—namely, what if Franklin Delano Roosevelt had lived and Josef Stalin had died? Read full book review >
TO SAVE THE SUN by Ben Bova
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: Sept. 23, 1992

"Despite an audacious premise, a strong cast of characters, and Bova's knack for political intrigue, this is finally a disappointment."
One of the leading luminaries of hard science fiction (Mars, 1992, etc.) teams up with newcomer Austin for this "fix-up" novel, some parts of which appeared as long ago as 1978. Read full book review >
MARS by Ben Bova
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: June 15, 1992

"Technically accurate and absorbing if somewhat ponderous at times, with questions and answers reliably in balance: a dependable, satisfying foray into science realism."
A bulging, impressive, all-you-ever-wanted-to-know, you-are-there Martian odyssey, from the veteran writer-editor (Cyberbooks, Voyagers, etc.). Read full book review >
THE TRIKON DECEPTION by Ben Bova
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: Feb. 1, 1992

"Lurid melodrama, glacially slow to develop but stuffed with authentic detail: a rather glutinously absorbing chunk of near-future hyper-reality."
Veteran editor/writer Bova teams up with ex-astronaut Pogue for nonstop dirty doings aboard an orbiting space station while, below, the Earth of 1998 expires in a welter of pollution, drugs, and environmental collapse. Read full book review >
ORION IN THE DYING TIME by Ben Bova
Released: Oct. 1, 1990

"A disappointment after recent, more thoughtful outings like Cyberbooks and Voyagers III."
Third in the series following Orion and Vengeance of Orion (neither seen), Bova's ongoing cosmic battle between good and evil. Read full book review >
Released: May 28, 1990

"A comprehensive overview that inspires as well as informs."
Science/sf writers Bova and Preiss present a wide-ranging discussion of mankind's search for alien life, along with an intriguing section on how amateurs can help scan for signals from distant planets. Read full book review >
VOYAGERS III by Ben Bova
Released: April 23, 1990

"Much the best of the three."
Wrapping up the trilogy of the talky Voyagers (1981) and the mediocre Voyagers II(1985), about messiah Keith Stoner and his alien-inspired mission to save humanity from itself. Read full book review >
CYBERBOOKS by Ben Bova
Released: May 9, 1989

Mild but accurate near-future satire on publishing from the veteran writer/editor (most recently The Peacekeepers, 1988). Read full book review >

CYBERBOOKS by Ben Bova
Released: May 9, 1989

"            Since Bova abandoned ideology in favor of entertainment in his fiction, he's improved no end:  sprightly, often amusing - and sometimes very recognizable."
            Mild but accurate near-future satire on publishing from the veteran writer/editor (most recently The Peacekeepers, 1988). Read full book review >
THE BEST OF THE NEBULAS by Ben Bova
Released: April 17, 1989

The Science Fiction Writers of America has been voting to award "nebulas" since 1965; this, then, is a 21-story best-of-the-best collection (novels excluded), 1965-85, again as voted by the SFWA. Read full book review >

THE BEAUTY OF LIGHT by Ben Bova
Released: Oct. 3, 1988

"Enjoyable, informative, easy-to-read: accomplished, old-fashioned science writing in the successful Bova mode."
Veteran science writer Bova (Welcome to Moonbase, 1987; etc.) sheds light on light in this entertaining, informal, profusely illustrated study. Read full book review >
THE PEACEKEEPERS by Ben Bova
Released: Aug. 23, 1988

"Episodic, improbable, well-paced entertainment, with a credo that's much more constructive and pleasing than Bova's usual Red Menace hysteria: his best outing for some time."
Unusually restrained, starry-eyed near-future disarmament yarn from the normally hawkish veteran editor-writer. Read full book review >
WELCOME TO MOONBASE by Ben Bova
Released: Nov. 1, 1987

"Great fun for kiddy astronauts, armchair explorers, and collectors of pseudo-documents."
"Welcome to Moonbase!" Read full book review >
THE KINSMAN SAGA by Ben Bova
Released: Oct. 20, 1987

"Kinsman fans and tree believers only."
A massive put unoriginal tome; in fact, a rewrite combining two previously published works, Millennium (1976) and its later "prequel" Kinsman (1979), itself a rewrite of various short stories that appeared during the 1970's. Read full book review >
PRIVATEERS by Ben Bova
Released: Oct. 30, 1985

"One of Bova's best, then, and the fans by now will be familiar with his Cold War posture and anti-Russian rhetoric."
Veteran writer-editor Bova (Voyagers, 1981) weighs in with a large, modesdy successful, near-future Message yam, told mostly in flashback. Read full book review >
Released: Feb. 3, 1985

"All in all, standard ideas, plotting, and melodrama, along with an un-convincing and poorly developed alien presence: only for Voyagers fans."
At the end of the talky, mechanical Voyagers (1981), readers will recall, astronaut Keith Stoner heroically arranged to freeze himself solid inside an approaching alien spacecraft—alongside a dead alien—in order to force the world powers to mount a rescue operation. Read full book review >
STAR PEACE by Ben Bova
Released: Oct. 26, 1984

"From the trappings of technical arguments, Bova shifts to superficial morality plays in the hope that agreement over such control can be established; and on neither score is he particularly convincing."
As a former Omni editorial director and author of science fiction and nonfiction space-science books, Bova can be expected to have an interest in so-called Star Wars defense technology. Read full book review >
THE HIGH ROAD by Ben Bova
Released: Sept. 16, 1981

"That, at least, is an argument that will not be lost on environmentalists—who might otherwise be tempted to leave the book to enthusiasts altogether."
Off we go into the wild blue yonder—not for space colonies, at least not yet—but to solve the energy crisis, create new jobs above and below, mine the moon, shuttle to low orbit way-stations between here and the asteroids, tend to solarpower satellites, and fulfill other dreams of power and glory. Read full book review >
VOYAGERS by Ben Bova
Released: Aug. 28, 1981

"Hardworking but bland, with lots of conventional-thriller vices and few sf virtues."
A grim, sprawling, mechanical rehash of the "alien object approaches Earth" notion (cf. Read full book review >
KINSMAN by Ben Bova
Released: Aug. 2, 1979

"Competent but disappointing."
A prelude to the better-realized Millennium (1976). Read full book review >
CLOSE UP by Ben Bova
Released: March 8, 1977

"As imaginative clutch-the-reader-by-the-lapels stimulation it falls short."
It seems like a good idea—let scientists who are also science fiction writers tell the way the solar system really is, but it doesn't quite come off. Read full book review >
THE MULTIPLE MAN by Ben Bova
Released: May 1, 1976

"It's a slickly plotted jaunt through the upper governmental strata of tomorrow, with enough going on to entertain both the SF hard-core and those who like their thrillers political."
This takes off at a fast clip with President James J. Halliday's arrival in Boston to deliver a speech, and never slows down. Read full book review >
MILLENNIUM by Ben Bova
Released: March 9, 1976

"Slick, snappy narrative, worthy convictions, all-too-plausible forecasts."
December, 1999: on the Moon, the cheerfully coexisting American and Russian communities desperately watch their two energy-starved mother countries lurching toward nuclear war. Read full book review >
THE STARCROSSED by Ben Bova
Released: Nov. 1, 1975

"So-so to pretty funny."
The scene is Hollywood some 30 years hence, with such amenities as jasmine-scented smog (the civic authorities rotate flavors). Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 15, 1975

Bova distinguishes between artistry and craftsmanship; but can his strict rules for characterization, background and conflict be followed without inhibiting the former? Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 1, 1975

Like Notes to a Science Fiction loiter (925, J-307) this is a spinoff from Bova's duties as editor of Analog magazine, and here even the endpapers are reproductions of Analog covers. Read full book review >
END OF EXILE by Ben Bova
Released: Aug. 29, 1975

"Programmed escape."
You might not recognize any of this crew from Flight of Exiles (1972) as it's some years and a whole test tube generation later, but their situation will be instantly recognizable to space travel initiates. Read full book review >
SCIENCE-WHO NEEDS IT? by Ben Bova
Released: April 1, 1975

"And as for those others who are taking up the occult: If it is simultaneously likely that they (a) pose a threat to the rule of reason and (b) are open to persuasion by reason, then a serious, point-by-point investigation such as Gallant's Astrology (KR, 1974) should be more convincing."
A ridiculously simplistic apology for science and technology. Read full book review >
THE WEATHER CHANGES MAN by Ben Bova
Released: Sept. 1, 1974

"In sum, like the author's Man Changes the Weather (KR, 1973), this touches on some potentially interesting issues but does little to clear the air."
In exploring the impact of weather on human development and the course of civilization, Bova ranges from the effect of air pressure on school and work performance to the role of agriculture in establishing class distinctions and the relationship of human fear of snakes and falling to our tree dwelling past. Read full book review >
ANALOG SCIENCE FACT READER by Ben Bova
Released: May 29, 1974

A collection of twelve articles originally published by the sci-fi mag whose name is on the title of this stimulating and whimsical book. Read full book review >
FORWARD IN TIME by Ben Bova
Released: Oct. 29, 1973

"Three stories about astronaut Kinsman create some complexity out of potentially cliched situations, but other efforts are less successful, like a strident paean to the virtues of egocentric humanity."
Ten reports from the future by a competent though noncoruscating practitioner. Read full book review >
MAN CHANGES THE WEATHER by Ben Bova
Released: Sept. 1, 1973

Bova's survey of man's effect on weather ranges from a favorable report on modern American cloud seeding projects to a cautionary reminder of how man has unwittingly changed his atmosphere by pollution. Read full book review >
WHEN THE SKY BURNED by Ben Bova
Released: Aug. 11, 1973

"Slick but routine."
A solar flare has sent earth back to the Stone Age and an underground moon colony which weathered the holocaust with its technology intact sends periodic raiding parties to earth to pilfer the fissionables that keep its machines running. Read full book review >
Released: April 1, 1973

"The only serious deficiencies are the discussion of Einstein's relativity, which is quantitatively inexact, and the absence of a bibliography."
Picture a spaceship hundreds of times larger than the Apollo moonships, with propulsion provided by controlled hydrogen bombs. Read full book review >
THE WINDS OF ALTAIR by Ben Bova
Released: March 1, 1973

"However, unlike Jeff, the adults just don't seem to have their hearts in their work."
Another demonstration of that currently popular sci-fi moral — man should clean up his own world before attempting to colonize others. Read full book review >
AS ON A DARKLING PLAIN by Ben Bova
Released: Nov. 16, 1972

"The love interest lacks interest but Bova's first-rate at establishing and unravelling elaborate scientific puzzles and there are some fine minor mysteries here in addition to the central one."
Various permutations and combinations of the points of a romantic triangle travel from Titan to Earth to Jupiter to Sirius and back to Titan again to learn the purpose of the inimical alien machines on that planet — and to find the builders. Read full book review >
FLIGHT OF EXILES by Ben Bova
Released: Sept. 1, 1972

"An armchair voyage, comfortably craftsmanlike."
Two erstwhile friends engage in a bitter double rivalry for the hand of Valerie, and for the Chairmanship of the spaceship cum cryogenics laboratory now nearing a possible landfall after a fifty year journey from Earth. Read full book review >
THE MANY WORLDS OF SCIENCE FICTION by Ben Bova
Released: Oct. 1, 1971

"One saving grace is the inclusion of the amusing "Law-Twister Shorty" by Gordon R. Dickson, but on the whole Bova has unwittingly provided good ammunition for the enemies of SF."
Many worlds indeed, but on closer examination they are distressingly similar. Read full book review >
Released: July 30, 1971

At Scientific American level, a sound, selective, non-mathematical treatment of theory and research in the difficult area of plasmas or ionized gases. Read full book review >
THE AMAZING LASER by Ben Bova
Released: Jan. 1, 1971

A non-technical, non-mathematical primer on the laser, with an extensive (almost one-third of the book) introductory survey of optics research from Galileo and Newton to Planck, Einstein and Bohr. Read full book review >
ESCAPE! by Ben Bova
Released: April 6, 1970

"A sci-finesse of a social problem that puts a premium on effort and expertise."
Trust Ben Bova to come up with something tricky: a juvenile rehabilitation center regulated by a computer that gives the boys every chance—except to escape. Read full book review >
THE DUELING MACHINE by Ben Bova
Released: Sept. 29, 1969

Professor Leoh's dueling machine allows combatants to take out their aggressions in fantasy. Read full book review >
OUT OF THE SUN by Ben Bova
Released: Aug. 12, 1968

"Some interest in the quasi-scientific sleuthing, none in the plaster cast."
With three Mach 3 fighters mysteriously down (metal failure? a new enemy weapon? sabotage?) and the Air Force pressing for an explanation, metals engineer Paul Sarko, who clad the Cobra, swallows his distaste for further war work and starts investigating. . . dimly, until light appears in the form of a laser which could, under flight conditions, weaken the metal sufficiently to cause it to shatter. Read full book review >
THE WEATHERMAKERS by Ben Bova
Released: Oct. 12, 1967

"Excellent."
No storm centers over this one as we can calmly predict that it will be one of the science fiction smasheroos of the year. Read full book review >
THE USES OF SPACE by Ben Bova
Released: May 17, 1965

"For readers too young for Ordway's Conquering the Sun's Empire, the book has large, easy print."
Previous books on space have discussed extensively how man will get to the moon and the planets and what it will probably be like on those terrains. Read full book review >
STAR WATCHMAN by Ben Bova
Released: Oct. 12, 1964

"It also supplies adventure."
...is novice Emile Vorgens, junior officer in the Terran Empire's interstellar military arm. Read full book review >
THE MILKY WAY GALAXY by Ben Bova
Released: Jan. 23, 1961

"Stories by Starlight" do not exude the aura of a campfire, but are primarily concerned with spectra and stellar sizes and temperatures and electromagnetic waves."
Starry-eyed future astronomers with a strong leaning toward mathematics will profit from this thorough delineation of man's knowledge of the stars with special stress on that galaxy known as "The Milky Way". Read full book review >
THE STAR CONQUERORS by Ben Bova
Released: Nov. 2, 1959

"Another case where the conception is in no way equalled by the characters or events."
Dominated by the "Masters", the universe stands at a crucial point. Read full book review >