STAR PEACE by Ben Bova


Assured Survival
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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. But as president of the National Space Institute, a private advocacy group promoting space technology, he has an interest in the partisan sense--and that interest is at the forefront here. In brief, Bova believes that the means are at hand to end war: all war, conventional and the threat of nuclear. Oddly, the means are in weapons such as lasers and drone missiles and in compact computer technology Lasers that can intercept and destroy nuclear-armed missiles are high on Bova's list: he was, he says, marketing manager of the laboratory that developed the first high-power laser, and there's a marketing flavor to this tract. Bova calls on "my skills as a novelist" to create "scenarios" and "minidramas" ("thought experiments," when he gets carried away) to adjust our thinking to the new realities of space technology; but most often his skills produce images such as "the first vehicle to penetrate the virginal domain of outer space." Detecting an anti-military or pro-nuclear establishment bias among most well-known scientists, Boys asserts that the space technology is feasible, at least theoretically, thus justifying outlays for research. But the big leap is over the prospects for multinational control over the space-based ABM system, control made necessary by the advantage such a system would give to the first possessor. 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.
Pub Date: Oct. 26th, 1984
ISBN: 0812594061
Page count: 384pp
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15th, 1984


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