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Comment: This book has already been loved by someone else. It MIGHT have some wear and tear on the edges, have some markings in it, or be an ex-library book. Over-all it is still a good book at a great price! (if it is supposed to contain a CD or access code, that may be missing)
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Mercury (Grand Tour) Mass Market Paperback – March 7, 2006

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Product Details

  • Series: Grand Tour
  • Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Science Fiction (March 7, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765343142
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765343147
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.9 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #968,964 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

After secretly infiltrating a scientific mission on Mercury, a disgraced yet brilliant scientist exacts his revenge on those who framed him in this flawed, yet accessible and fun, hard SF novel, the latest in Bova's Grand Tour series (and the best since 2001's Jupiter). 2005 Audie Award winner Rudnicki is in top form again, handling primary narrative duties with panache-his deep, resonant voice and deliberate cadence grip listeners' attention like a vise. Rudnicki's remarkable ability to subtly modulate his voice allows him to enact male and female characters with equal proficiency, and to shift seamlessly between the various accented dialects of the multinational cast of characters. In supporting roles, Johnson is outstanding, with his skill at dramatizing dialogue being particularly noteworthy; Quirk offers competent, if at times overly-emotive, narration. The characters are the weak point of the audiobook-at times they are megalomaniacal and over-the-top-but the science fictional concepts presented here-skyhooks, solar power satellites, and the near-future exploration and colonizing of our solar system-along with Rudnicki and cast's top-notch performance, are enough to make an otherwise minor novel by the six-time Hugo Award winner into an audiobook well-worth listening to.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

From Booklist

Bova's impressive series on human exploration of the Solar System (Venus, 2000; Jupiter, 2001; Saturn, 2003) turns to the planet nearest the Sun. Saito Yamagata wants to build power satellites around Mercury, engineer Dante Alexios has designs for them in hand, and biologist Victor Molina wants to explore Mercury's polar caps, where there may be water, for possible signs of life. Theocrat Bishop Danvers is looking over their shoulders, and visionary Mance Bracknell wants to avenge the sabotage of his power satellites years ago by in turn sabotaging the Mercury project. Their motivations bring the characters to life, and readers may also savor the complex and plausible hardware, and the lethal environment in which humans need it to have any chance of survival. Briskly paced into the bargain, this superior entry in one of the classic hard-sf sagas going is pretty much a guaranteed crowd-pleaser. Roland Green
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

The book ends with no real resolution with a lot of loose ends flying around.
Code Red
They certainly aren't great works of literature but Bova is one of the few authors left that are writing hard science fiction.
S. Crouch
Interesting characters, complex motivation, fascinating science, and real social themes add up to a compelling story.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Arthur W. Jordin on August 5, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Mercury (2005) is the fourth SF novel in the Planet Novel series, following Saturn. In this novel, Mance Bracknell was exiled from Earth when the Sky Tower that he constructed split at the geostationary level and the lower portion fell on the planet. Coming down to the west of its base at Quito, the tower wrapped around the Earth, with the far end coming down into the mid-Atlantic. Over four million people were killed as it fell.

During the trial, Mance was desolate, blaming himself for the disaster. He became agitated when Elliot Danvers, the New Morality minister at the site, stated that he had reported something like nanomachines being used to construct the tower. Then he became angry when his associate Victor Molina implied that Mance had ignored warnings about this new construction method.

Years after exile to the Belt, Mance learns from Danvers that his fiancee, Lara Tierney, had married Molina. Later he discovers that the Yamagata Corporation had sabotaged the tower. He becomes obsessed with plans of vengeance on Danvers, Molina and Yamagata. After his ship is destroyed by Yamagata assassins, Mance alters his name and face, opens a construction consulting company on Selene, and looks for an opportunity for revenge.

This novel is a study of ambition, vengeance and jealousy as well as loyalty and atonement. The three targets are brought together on Mercury with Mance, in his new identity, setting the stage. First Victor is led to believe that there is life on Mercury and then the plot unfolds.

Recommended for Bova fans and for anyone else who enjoys tales of space ventures, ambition and betrayal.

-Arthur W. Jordin
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Paul Weiss on October 2, 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Mance Bracknell is the chief engineer on the Sky Tower in Quito, Ecuador - a construction mega-project which will lift payloads to the altitude of geosynchronous orbit via elevator at a cost of pennies per pound instead of the current cost of hundreds of dollars if the load is lifted by standard rocket launch into orbit. But when the tower collapses killing over four million people and causing untold billions of dollars of property damage in a globe-girdling disaster, Mance Bracknell is found guilty of negligent homicide and exiled for life to a criminal penal colony in the asteroid belt. After a serendipitous encounter with an injured scientist fleeing for his life in which he learns the Sky Tower's collapse was the result of terrorist sabotage, Bracknell escapes and wends his way to a scientific outpost on the planet Mercury where he plots his revenge.

The good news is that "Mercury" is a soundly entertaining story that reads like a blockbuster five-star motion picture screenplay. The elements are all there - disaster, a love triangle, explosions, terrorism and sabotage, murder, the inscrutable Oriental tycoon, jealousy, hatred, suicide, right wing fundamentalist religious groups, mobs, courtroom trials and prisoner riots! The bad news is that the science and the setting of the book in the asteroid belt and on the surface of the hostile planet of Mercury is all but incidental to the plot. I can't help but feel that Bova had a plot in mind. All he actually needed to force fit that plot into the "Grand Tour of the Universe" theme was a planet which had virtually no chance of harboring life forms at any stage of development. Mercury fit the bill so Mercury got selected!
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A. Gammill VINE VOICE on August 29, 2007
Format: Paperback
After reading numerous blurbs about how Ben Bova's novels were a return to the "hard" science fiction popularized by Heinlein, Asimov and Clarke (my personal favorite), I have to say I was really let down by this book. While the science may be more or less sound, the fiction leaves much to be desired.

The main problem is that Mercury is essentially a story about betrayal and vengeance that, almost as an afterthought, happens to take place on or around the planet Mercury. The main revenge plot is spelled out for the reader early on, so there's no real mystery and only a minor bit of suspense to keep the story moving.

Other reviewers have stated that the book is not Bova's best, and I might be willing to give him another try. Hard sci-fi has been on life support (or maybe suspended animation?) for years. I'm just grateful that, as of this writing, we still have Arthur C. Clarke alive and still writing.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By S. Crouch on September 18, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I don't know what attracts me to Ben Bova's grand tour novels. They certainly aren't great works of literature but Bova is one of the few authors left that are writing hard science fiction. There is generally a soap opera aspect to the novels which can be quite excruciating (I'm not into Romance novels) but there is usually enough going on to keep you interested. An exception to this is "Saturn" which I would rate as Bova's worst novel in this series.

Mercury is definitely one of the better books of the series although much of it isn't set on Mercury. The character development isn't too bad and it's a pretty good story. Some of the science connected with the space elevator isn't quite accurate but that doesn't matter too much. What I tend to miss from these novels is the sense of excitement in future technology and exploration of a futuristic environment that other authors (eg Peter F Hamilton) do so much better. I still think that Bova's earlier work (eg Kinsman, Colony) was better in this regard.

In any case, this is an acceptable work with which most lovers of hard science fiction should be happy.
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