Mars (Grand Tour Series #1)

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Overview

Mars, "the bloody planet," is a world shrouded in mystery. As the source of endless fascination, Mars offers us the most promise for finding evidence of life.

Half Navajo American Jamie Waterman is a geologist whose dream comes true when he is selected for the first landing team on Mars. He endures the rigors of training, the personality conflicts and political intrigues, as well as the dangers of travelling over 100 million kilometers in ...

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Overview

Mars, "the bloody planet," is a world shrouded in mystery. As the source of endless fascination, Mars offers us the most promise for finding evidence of life.

Half Navajo American Jamie Waterman is a geologist whose dream comes true when he is selected for the first landing team on Mars. He endures the rigors of training, the personality conflicts and political intrigues, as well as the dangers of travelling over 100 million kilometers in space.

Once the international crew lands on Mars, they discover they must battle not only the alien land they have invaded but earthbound bureaucrats as well. As they head toward a chasm that is ten times larger than the Grand Canyon, the twenty-five astronauts come face-to-face with the most shocking discovery of all.

Bova's newest novel, Mars, was a commercial and critical sensation in hardcover, reaching both science fiction and mainstream audiences across the country. Told in a grand, sweeping style, it recounts the epic story of the first manned mission to Mars -- man's great unconquered frontier.

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
YA-- Jamie Waterman, a Native American geologist, is chosen at the last minute for the first manned exploration of the planet Mars. On touchdown, he is so overwhelmed with the emotion of the moment that he utters a Navajo phrase instead of the political statement he is supposed to read. This sets off a chain reaction among the leaders and politicians on Earth. Thus starts Bova's sprawling space opera. The expedition, seen from Jamie's point of view, is really the protagonist here. The story is filled with lots of characters of different nationalities and there's plenty of political intrigue. Of course, there are obstacles to overcome: a meteor almost destroys the lab, the doctor neglects his duty and nearly kills them all, crew members come down with mysterious ``Martian flu,'' and through it all is the never-ending search for evidence of life on this planet. Bova has done extensive research and his descriptions of Mars and the conditions under which the study is conducted are very plausible. All in all, a satisfying story.-- Susan McFaden, Fairfax County Public Library, VA
Library Journal
Deadly challenges await the first astronauts of the International Mars Mission in Ben Bova’s space opera adventure. Bova’s realistic account of space exploration details the mission’s inception, political hurdles, and eventual launch. On the red planet, the politics continues and threatens to overtake the mission after geologist Jamie Waterman forgets the first public message back to Earth and utters a Navaho expression instead. As this near-future adventure unfolds, environmental challenges and disease are as devastating to the crew as the discoveries they make.

(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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An unforgettable portrait of space, politics, & humanity, this novel from six-time Hugo Award-winning author Bova combines fact & fiction to tell the story of the first manned expedition to our mysterious neighbor, the red planet. Signed and numbered.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781561004751
  • Publisher: Brilliance Audio
  • Publication date: 11/28/1992
  • Series: Grand Tour Series, #1
  • Format: Cassette
  • Edition description: Unabridged, 6 cassettes, 16 hrs.
  • Product dimensions: 4.32 (w) x 7.13 (h) x 1.75 (d)

Meet the Author

Ben Bova has been a presence in science fiction for more than four decades. He is past president of the Science Fiction Writers of America, and a recipient of the Hugo and other awards. His novels include Brothers, Moonrise, Mars, and Return to Mars, all available from Brilliance Audio. He lives in Naples, Florida with his wife and literary agent, Barbara.
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Table of Contents

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Interviews & Essays

Exclusive Author Essay
I grew up in the narrow streets and row houses of South Philadelphia, in a blue-collar neighborhood where the richest guy we kids knew was a petty Mafioso who ran the local numbers racket. One day in 1941 we were taken out of our junior high school classroom and packed into a bus. Our teachers told us we were going to visit the city's science museum. We all groaned and griped, but in those days of iron discipline we had no choice but to go to the museum. It was called the Franklin Institute (in Philadelphia nearly everything is named after either Ben Franklin or William Penn) Science Museum. Dullsville, we thought.

They took us into a round auditorium with a domed roof and made us sit -- quietly, or else. In the middle of this planetarium was some kind of machine that looked like a giant black ant. (This was long before sci-fi movies that featured giant insects, by the way.) I noticed that the lights were getting dimmer and dimmer. In a few minutes it was completely dark. I literally could not see my hand in front of my face. Scary. A man's soft tenor voice started telling us that it's difficult to see the stars from the streets of the city. To really the stars, you have to be way out in the country, or maybe on a ship in the middle of the ocean. "Then," he said calmly, "you can see the stars in all their true splendor." With that, he turned on the planetarium projector (the giant ant). Thousands of stars suddenly appeared above us. We all gasped.

The planetarium director had turned on the stars. He turned me on, too. In that instant of wonder and beauty I got hooked on astronomy. It was the turning point in my life. I returned to the museum on my own. The director, Dr. I. M. Levitt, became a friend, a mentor. Through him I learned that there were people who wanted to build rockets that could take us to the Moon and worlds beyond. I found that there were futuristic stories of what it would be like to go into space. I became interested in astronautics at a time when "flying to the Moon" was regarded as the ultimate impossibility, and science fiction was disdained as cheap pulp trash.

I began to write my own stories about the future, trying always to base them solidly on the known scientific facts of the day. In 1959, when I sold my first science fiction novel, the editors were so impressed with the astronomical background of the story that they asked me to write a nonfiction book about astronomy. While I wrote fiction and nonfiction books, I also worked on the first American program to launch an artificial satellite into orbit, Vanguard, two years before the creation of NASA. Later, I edited Analog Science Fiction magazine, and then Omni -- all because of that mandatory class trip to the Franklin Institute and I. M. Levitt. In 1972 I had the great joy of dedicating one of my nonfiction books to him, The Amazing Laser.

Today, more than 100 books later, I am still writing about the marvelous future that awaits us in space, still basing my fiction on the latest scientific discoveries. In novels such as Mars, Moonwar, and The Precipice, I am taking readers on a Grand Tour of the solar system, showing how the human race will expand through the solar system in the coming years. In my nonfiction books, such as The Story of Light, I try to show how our growing understanding of science helps us to live longer, healthier, more productive lives.

It's a never-ending quest. The first novel I ever wrote, in 1949, was never published because publishers thought its plot too odd: It was based on the idea that the Russians go into space before the U.S. does, so the Americans launch a crash program to get American astronauts to the Moon before the Russians get there -- too crazy for publishers in 1949. Twenty years later, Armstrong and Aldrin won the space race for the U.S. It took the real world 20 years to catch up with my science fiction. Now, when I start a new project, I wonder if I can finish the book before the scientists beat me to the punch.

Writing about science and the future is exciting, and great fun. I hope reading about it is, too. (Ben Bova)

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 21 )
Rating Distribution

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(12)

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(7)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 21 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 10, 2014

    eBook has some errors

    This book was what got me into sci-fi in the 6th grade many years ago. I bought the eBook this Christmas ('13) when I received some B&N gift cards. It's still a great book but this eBook version has a lot of spelling and punctuation errors which can detract from your experience. I gave it four stars instead of five because of these errors, which could've easily been spotted by an editor before releasing the eBook.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 21, 2012

    Justt Just read the 1st chapter "IN HARDCOPY"

    Can't wait to rip into it now that it's NOOK'D

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  • Posted March 28, 2010

    so disappointed!

    this was the slowest book, the characters were overstated. too much character development and not enough sci-fi. haven't even finished the book, but am on last two chapters and still no major story surprise or excitement.

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  • Posted June 22, 2009

    An Engrossing trek to Mars

    Ben Bova has created a realistic rendition of the first exploratory expedition to Mars. His attention to detail and reality makes the story feel real. He describes the trip to Mars, the landing on and the surface of Mars, and traveling on the planet's surface so realistically that the reader is pulled into believing that he/she is participating in the trip and the events Mr. Bova recounts.
    The first plot revolves around academic/political in-fighting which sounds like Mr. Bova may have participated or been the victim of something similar. The second plot surrounds the discovery of something in the wall of the great canyon and provides the hero with the compulsion to return (as he does in the next book: Return to Mars).
    Ben Bova's style is reminiscent of the sci-fi writers of the fifties and sixties and is so smooth as to permit a complete read through in one day.
    Recommended to all hard-science sci-fi fans.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 30, 2001

    One of the best!!!

    I don't think that I have ever read better! Bova packs Mars with excitement and thrill! A roller-coaster ride of action! There is a political touch, but not so much as to lead off the storyline. Definetly read Return to Mars, too!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 21, 2001

    A Fantastic Journey

    This was the first Bova book I read, and he didn't disappoint at all. In a word, it was awesome. It encompasses the wonder of an alien vista mixed with suspense, drama, a bit of romance and plenty of danger. Bova's work is believable and so vivid that you find yourself there on the red planet along with the characters. I also appreciated the multi-cultural team of scientists. The discoveries they make affect the whole world, not just a single country. If you've ever wanted to go to Mars, this is the way to do it!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 12, 2000

    A great read for anyone intrerested in Mars...

    Ben Bova's Mars is an excellent read for anyone who likes Sci-Fi, or is simply intrested in the Red Planet. It is about an Native American geologist, Jamie Waterman, who is chosen last minute on a mission to Mars. When they arrive on Mars, the group of astronauts face many dangers such as meteor showers, and a virus that almost kills them all. But Jamie discovers what he thinks is the ruins of an ancient civilization in the Valles Marineris, which would prove that intellegent life once existed. You MUST read this book!

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