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Jupiter by Ben Bova
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Jupiter

by Ben Bova

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Grand Tour (8)

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545918,389 (3.58)7
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  1. 20
    2010: Odyssey Two by Arthur C. Clarke (jseger9000)
    jseger9000: Both books imagine a journey through the atmospheres of Jupiter
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Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
Knowledge more powerful than ignorance...a novel of exploration and discovery. Author writes about human expansion in the 21st century -- to the solar system. Pivotal character pulled between science and religion, which makes a thought-provoking read. Is this Sci-fi or prophesy? Where is the next book? ( )
  buffalogr | Jul 17, 2014 |
As a rule, I am not an avid reader of science fiction, but every now and again I' run across a writer or work that tweaks my interest and I' start reading or listening to it. Jupiter is a great read. Astrophysicist Grant Archer has just married but has been assigned to the Jupiter space station for his obligatory two years of community service. The New Morality, a rigid religious coalition, runs earth, and they want Grant, son of a minister and a believer, to spend four years spying on the scientists at the station.

The New Morality believes they are up to something. Their greatest fear is that something might be discovered that might cast doubt upon the religious beliefs by creating questions in the minds of the believers, so there is a struggle between science and religion. Grant represents a meld of the two, having little difficulty with their reconciliation. He' not happy with the assignment, because it means being away from his new wife for a long period of time, and the New Morality has ruled that the trip to Jupiter on a slow freighter, which takes a year is leisure time, and thus does not count toward his total service, meaning he' be gone six years instead of the already burdensome four years. He' even more perplexed because he won' be able to work on his doctorate at the station, since most of the research being done there relates to biology, nothing having to do with astrophysics. The director of the station, Dr. Wo, is suspicious of him, and Grant finds himself doing menial lab assistant work in the aquarium. He is puzzled by the presence of dolphins and an enormous gorilla that are being used, he later learns, to study communication between humans and other species. He' therefore shocked to learn that a crew is being prepared for another mission deep into the Jovian oceans, several thousands of miles deep, preparation that requires the implantation of biochips into the crew, and working in the spaceship/submarine, which requires the crew to breathe a liquid material that contains enough oxygen to sustain life at the tremendous pressures of the Jovian sea. There is also life deep in the seas, and that' why Dr. Wo has been studying communication between species. If you have a weak gag reflex, you must skip over the description of Grant' first experience being prepared for the trip into the Jovian oceans. He is plunged headfirst into this cold liquid. Every nerve in his body tells him not to breath, even though he knows he' survive the experience, but the description is guaranteed to get your bile moving.

I won' reveal anything about the life forms of the deep. It' enough to say that Bova has quite an imagination. I have no idea how much of the science about Jupiter is accurate, but the little I checked seems accurate (related to size, content of the oceans, the moons and their periodicity, etc.). The machinations of the political and religious groups is believable. It' got mystery, drama and great adventure. Bova has written other planet-based books (Mars, Venus) that, according to reviews, pit the New Morality against science. ( )
  ecw0647 | Sep 30, 2013 |
This is the first book of Ben Bova's that I've read. Before that I've only read "The Nonmetallic Isaac or It's a Wonderful Life" in Foundation's Friends. I bought this book randomly because I had run out of things to read on a business trip, and I don't regret it. The book is well paced, interesting and fun to read. It also explores alien life in a way which is particularly believable (unlike many other SF books I encounter). This book reminds me of Dragon's Egg without being so hard-SFy. A very good book.

http://www.stillhq.com/book/Ben_Bova/Jupiter.html ( )
  mikal | Apr 22, 2012 |
Bova heads in to fresh territory with Jupiter and mankind's desperation to find to new intelligent life. There is a perfect balance between science fiction and engaging characterisations and relationships, each mutually beneficial to the story. The end result delivers a well built novel, although somewhat formulaic in it's approach, where the reader can be totally immersed in believable sci-fi.

A strong entry in the Grand Tour series, which can easily be read standalone, never blinds the reader with science nor recreates the gung-ho heroism seen in the early Bova novels. This book can be hard to find yet is easy to recommend. ( )
1 vote SonicQuack | Dec 18, 2011 |
Jupiter, by Ben Bova, was first published in 2001, and is part of Bova’s Grand Tour series, which deals with the exploration and colonization of the solar system by humans in the late 21st century. Grant Archer, a young astrophysicist grad student, is forced to accept his mandatory public service assignment at the scientific research station that orbits the planet Jupiter, where there is really no option to pursue his graduate study in astrophysics. He is even more unhappy that he was also chosen by the powerful New Morality to serve as a spy while at the Jupiter station because the scientists there are believed to be attempting to verify the existence of, and make contact with, a possibly intelligent life form on Jupiter. The New Morality sees any non-Earth life form (especially intelligent life form) as being a threat to their fundamentalist religious beliefs. In addition, Archer is married and his assignment to Jupiter will make it impossible for him to be with his wife for several years due to Jupiter’s great distance from Earth. Archer cannot refuse this assignment and he makes the year-long journey to the Jupiter station on a very slow cargo transport. Unexpectedly, he becomes a friend and colleague to the scientists on the Jupiter station, which makes him very uncomfortable with his orders to spy on them. Indeed, the scientists at the Jupiter station do believe they have encountered life forms in the extremely high-pressure environment of Jupiter’s planet-wide ocean. Furthermore, they are planning another mission into that dangerous environment to attempt to prove the existence of life on Jupiter and to learn more about that life. Archer ends up playing a very important role in this extremely dangerous mission. This book includes much plausible scientific information about Jupiter and its orbiting station, including fascinating descriptions of the planet, the station, and the craft used to carry the scientists into the Jupiter environment. It weaves a complex social and political climate on Earth and on the Jupiter station, while providing plenty of action and drama. It also includes very interesting, realistic, and likable (at least some are likable) characters in Archer and his colleagues. I really liked this book and I highly recommend it! ( )
  clark.hallman | May 1, 2011 |
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» Add other authors (3 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Ben Bovaprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Harris, JohnCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Harrison, MarkCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
The rash assertion that "God made man in His own image" is ticking like a time bomb at the foundation of many faiths.
-Arthur C. Clarke
Dedication
To Danny and T.J., my favorite "Jovians."
To Thomas Gold, who would rather be wrong than dull.
And to Barbara, always and forever.
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It took six of them to drown him.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0812579410, Mass Market Paperback)

He made planetfall on Venus and all but colonized Mars, so it's not surprising that SF don Ben Bova finally set his sights on our solar system's swirling, red-eyed sovereign.

As with his previous planetary exploration books, Jupiter plants you right in the heart of the action, witness to the speculative science and political intrigue--and in this case, religious machination--that surround a fast-paced, dangerous, and technically fleshed-out mission. Our unlikely hero on this touchdown is an earnest, likeable, hard-working grad student named Grant Archer, a frustrated astrophysicist who's been shanghaied aboard Jupiter's Gold space station to fulfill a ROTC-style public-service commitment. What's worse, this devout young man has been ordered by the New Morality--the American flavor of the conservative religious order that runs Earth nowadays--to spy on some suspicious research involving alleged Jovian life forms.

Bova begins his book with an A.C. Clarke quote: "The rash assertion that 'God made man in His own image' is ticking like a time bomb at the foundation of many faiths." This tells you pretty much everything you need to know about where this book's going, and who, respectively, will be wearing the white and the black hats (unfortunately, some of the characterizations don't get much deeper). That the central protagonist is both a Christian and a scientist makes for some fertile character development, but Bova's not exactly gunning for God here--he's happy just to blast away at narrow-minded ideologues and other assorted religious fanatics. (But that, of course, is about as easy as making teenagers depressed.) --Paul Hughes

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:34:38 -0400)

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Follows the attempts of a small group of scientists who explore that giant planet in the hope of finding not merely living creatures but intelligent living beings.

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