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Venus (The Grand Tour) (edition 2018)
by Ben Bova (Author)
Venus by Ben Bova
No current Talk conversations about this book.
Thin plot, poor character development, fast read. There is also a trace of sexism and racism. Despite all these faults it is a pace pace story which I read in just a few hours. THis is the first Ben Bova book that I have read and it may be the last.
I should add it was good escape from the other books that I am currently reading.
18 books in and [b:Venus|768918|Venus (The Grand Tour, #18)|Ben Bova|https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1316129566l/768918._SY75_.jpg|1922277] is the only body this side of [b:Saturn|64703|Saturn (The Grand Tour, #13)|Ben Bova|https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1316130751l/64703._SY75_.jpg|2566821] that the Grand Tour hasn't explored, so it seems a perfectly fitting place to end (I'll get back to that). There's something of a continuation of the The Asteroid Wars, with Martin Humphries and his sons as the focus of the books. One (Alex,
All that actually makes Venus somewhat interesting and unique among the Grand Tour novels. It's not really one of the corporate war books, such as the early Moonbase books or the Asteroid Wars, but it's also not a purely scientific exploration of Venus--although there's plenty of that. It's really more an an adventure novel with a sci-fi setting and backing in the hellscape that is Venus. That actually makes it a surprisingly solid book.
I'm glad that Martin Humphries wasn't in more of the book--I really can't stand him and I'm glad his plotline didn't really go much of anywhere in the foreground after the Asteroid Wars--and Van's whining feels real enough, even if he's rather whiny for an adventure protagonist. We get a good chunk more Lars Fuchs, who has fallen far--albeit for a good reason. Always good to see.
One thing that's always a star in Bova's books is the idea of finding life absolutely everywhere. He's fond of implying that whereever there's water, there will be life... And now even that doesn't seem to be a limiting factor. The life on Venus is pretty crazy, both in the clouds and on the surface and I wish we had a bit more time to explore that. But so it goes.
Overall, one of the better books of the Grand Tour. Which works out, since I think that I'm done with the Grand Tour for now. The remaining books leave the solar system and get even further away from the near future hard sci-fi of the rest of the Grand Tour. There were hints that we are not alone, particularly in [b:The Aftermath|768917|The Aftermath (The Grand Tour, #12; The Asteroid Wars, #4)|Ben Bova|https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1442426245l/768917._SY75_.jpg|754977] and to some extent the [b:Mars|267282|Mars (The Grand Tour, #4)|Ben Bova|https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1173282407l/267282._SY75_.jpg|1932635] trilogy, but nothing quite so blatent.
Not something I'm looking for just yet. Perhaps one day.
Six months and 18 books later, I think it's time to listen to something else.
Another space noir. I am impressed by Bova's willingness to make the vast majority of his characters unlikeable.
Not everyone's cup of tea...quite pulpy science fiction, but I've become a sucker for Bova's "Grand Tour" series, as I attempt to write a sermon-series on the planets and the mythology that surrounds their names.
Belongs to Series
Grand Tour (19)
Planeten Bücher (3)
Belongs to Publisher Series
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Wikipedia in English (1)
The surface of Venus is the most hellish place in the solar system. The ground is hot enough to melt aluminum. The air pressure is so high it has crushed spacecraft landers as though they were tin cans. The sky is perpetually covered with clouds of sulfuric acid. The atmosphere is a choking mixture of carbon dioxide and poisonous gases. This is where Van Humphries must go. Or die trying. His older brother perished in the first attempt to land a man on Venus, years before, and his father had always hated Van for surviving when his brother died. Now his father is offering a ten billion dollar prize to the first person to land on Venus and return his oldest son's remains. To everyone's surprise, Van takes up the offer. But what Van Humphries will find on Venus will change everything--our understanding of Venus, of global warming on Earth, and his knowledge of who he is.
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Melvil Decimal System (DDC)813.54 — Literature English (North America) American fiction 20th Century 1945-1999
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In Venus, Ben Bova brings back the Humphries family from the earlier books in his grand tour series. Lunar industrial magnate Martin Humphries offers a big prize to anyone who can retrieve the remains of his oldest son Alex who died in the first manned expedition to Venus. Lars Fuchs, an old business rival of Humphries, and Van Humphries, Alex’s younger brother, race each other into the atmosphere of Venus in balloon landers. Bova’s Venus is not the fanciful tropical jungle planet imagined by earlier writers like Robert Heinlein. It is the Venus described by millennial science—a planet with a carbon dioxide atmosphere laced with sulfuric acid and surface temperatures over 700 F. If there is life on Venus, you won’t want to meet it. This is one of the better novels in the series. 4 stars. ( )