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Jupiter by Ben Bova
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Jupiter

by Ben Bova

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6561223,181 (3.55)7
Young American scientist, Grant Archer, joins a clandestine expedition to Jupiter. His mission is to reassure the new religious leaders of Earth that Jupiter hold no intelligent life.
  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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» See also 7 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 12 (next | show all)
So Underwhelming

Where to begin? I was bored. The characters were unengaging, the science mediocre, the psychology unrealistic, and the plot didn't move forward. I kept waiting for something to happen- and I had to wait for most of the book. This is the first Bova I've read, and I am now unlikely to read anything else of his.

The sad thing is that it could have been so much better. Alien intelligent life on Jupiter is a great premise. But when you write well, you build up to it, creating mystery. The answer of intelligent life is given in the first section of the book- so I give nothing away other than what Bova gave away when I say that, yes, there is intelligent life on Jupiter. That is what the characters are searching the entire book for, hoping against hope to find, sacrificing life and limb to discover.

But perhaps the book is about character development after all, and not the plot? Not so. For the second great premise of the book is a future world controlled by fundamentalists of all stripes, and, in the US, by the Religious Right. Great idea. I'm intrigued. But it quickly becomes apparent that Bova just hates religious types. There is not a round character in the bunch. He appears to only be aware of conservative Christians as caricatures, and even Grant, the main character with religious doubts and a commitment to science, does not come across as believable. I am a science teacher, and also a Christian. And I have *never* heard in real life the kind of things coming out of the mouths of Bova's religious characters. They speak exactly like what Hollywood thinks Christians talk like, without actually an awareness of the Bible that they supposedly follow.

I am personally very much against fundamentalist agendas, of any sort. I would love a novel that actually dealt with a future world where they had taken over, with them as real people, and not robotic automatons. I would love a book that dealt with their ruling, rather than leaving it only as a plot device to get us to Jupiter. And I would love a book that explored intelligent life on Jupiter. Sadly, that is not this book. But for the latter desire, see the excellent Wheelers, published only a year before Bova's Jupiter, which displays some excellent imagination as it considers alien civilizations. ( )
  Carosaari | Jul 8, 2019 |
Grant Archer has graduated as an astrophysicist and hopes to be assigned a post on the Farside of the Moon. However, the New Morality government of the USA has decided to send him to Jupiter as a spy in n the scientists there. But Grant becomes deeply involved with a team to the chagrin of those that placed him there. This team is on the verge of making a discovery that could change science, religion, and politics forever.

It’s interesting that the New Morality has analogues in today’s politics in Tony Abbott and his fellow far-right conservatives in Australia and in Trump’s Republicans in America. Let’s hope that the events of this story don’t eventuate in real life.

I found this book to be an engrossing read - good hard science, good characters, and a good story. Although it is part of Bova’s Grand Tour series, it stands alone as a story. I gave it 4.5 stars out of 5. ( )
  Bruce_McNair | Dec 23, 2017 |
Short stories about Jupiter by such science fiction masters as Poul Anderson, Lester del Rey, Isaac Asimov, James Blish, Arthur C. Clarke and Clifford D. Simak. It doesn't get much better than this. ( )
  gypsysmom | Aug 20, 2017 |
A story of scientific discovery in a future undermined by religiously motivated obstructionism. It's oddly both hopeful and depressing. Well worth reading. ( )
  DLMorrese | Oct 14, 2016 |
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 |
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» Add other authors (3 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Bova, BenAuthorprimary 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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