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New Earth Hardcover – July 16, 2013

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

The discovery of an Earthlike planet—oxygen atmosphere and oceans of liquid water—inevitably generates an expedition to that planet. But it will take the explorers 80 years each way. Cryonic suspension will let them survive the round-trip with only 20-odd years of aging, but they will return to Earth some 200 years after they left. Their expedition is really an exile, but some of Earth’s best and brightest volunteer. They even survive the trip to the newly discovered planet, Sirius C. But they find some unexpected anomalies on the otherwise highly congenial new Earth. It has a small native population of remarkably humanoid intelligent beings. And they are not only humanoid, but they are also extremely friendly and informative. Between the natives and their own discoveries, the explorers begin to suspect that Sirius C is an artifact. But if so, who made it? And when will we find out? A more than readable combination of scientific puzzle and alien-contact story, New Earth is Bova at the top of his form. --Roland Green

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Bova proves himself equal to the task of showing how adversity can temper character in unforeseen ways. (The New York Times)

Bova gets better and better, combining plausible science with increasingly complex fiction. (Daily News (Los Angeles))

[Bova's] excellence at combining hard science with believable characters and an attention-grabbing plot makes him one of the genre's most accessible and entertaining storytellers. (Library Journal)

Bova's fans and hard SF lovers should flock to his latest novel. (Library Journal on Leviathans of Jupiter)

A quick-paced space adventure. (Publishers Weekly on Leviathans of Jupiter)

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books; First Edition edition (July 16, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765330180
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765330185
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.3 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (111 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #406,962 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

43 of 48 people found the following review helpful By Paul Alex Prince III on July 20, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
As a long time reader of Bova, I expected better. While the premise of the story is intriguing, I found Bova's characters to be shallow contrivances, designed to create easy conflicts and even easier resolutions. They were lazily written and entirely unbelievable as Earth's first explorers to another star system. And as I didn't believe in the characters, and found their motivations and intentions to be paper-thin contrivances, I certainly didn't care about what they did or what happened to them. None of it rang true on any level.

While I forced myself to finish the book, I spent most of the time shaking my head at the implausible behaviors and clunky dialogue of these cardboard characters.

Had someone handed me this book without the author's name, I would have guessed it was a debut novel from a young writer with some talent but little training or experience, and I certainly wouldn't have passed it along to anyone else.
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26 of 30 people found the following review helpful By D. Allen on July 31, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I've been a Ben Bova fan for a long, long time. While he's had a few clunkers in his time none come close to being as bad as this novel.

The three main characters are completely one-dimensional. We get the cookie cutter leader of the aliens who knows more than he is saying, the "leader" of the expedition with the painful past who doesn't actually do much leading in the novel because he's too busy knocking boots with, wait for it, the perfect native girl. The rest of the supporting cast (the scientists on this "scientific expedition") are so completely forgettable that the author feels it necessary to not-so-subtly remind us of their specialty every time that they're in a scene, "hey, why don't you go into the city and meet with this planet's astrophysicists to learn from them?", "hey, go meet with this planet's geologists and see if you can get some information from them", "you know, if you were to spend some time with this planet's biologists you could really learn a thing or two".

As for plot, ooooh, the bureaucrat in a team of scientists falls in love with the perfect native girl and immediately goes native. How very "dances with wolves". It takes 2/3rds of the novel for these "experts" to figure out that the planet has been terraformed although its been beating them in the face since they entered orbit. Also, the novel is full of redundant dialog. "She's as human as any of us", "this is the greatest scientific discovery in the history of mankind and you want to tuck your tails between your legs and run?", "he'll tell us what we need to know. we just need to ask the right questions", "her smile lit up the room [city, forest, planet, universe, whatever]", "isn't it great that we can eat food that's almost but not quite like food on Earth?
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26 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on July 24, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I've been a Bova fan for years, and eagerly consumed just about every Grand Tour book. I had high hopes that "New Earth" would be a much better effort than the preceding novel, "Farside"(easily the worst Bova book, if not the most boring and tripe filled sci-fi novel I've ever read). He manages to succeed in laying out an intriguing mystery in "New Earth"...for about 100 pages. Unfortunately, it's book-ended by a slow start and baffling conclusion.

Bova has always been really lazy with character development. The personalities of his characters are either completely one-dimensional or inconsequential. Still, he manages to pull off good stories with enough of the hard stuff to keep fans like me happy. But, it seems now he is content to slack off on nearly every aspect of story and character development. There is almost no conflict or resolution beyond the very shallow dramas created by his paper cutout characters...no meat to any of it. I mean, the climax of this book occurs when a character is forced to change his mind about a belief. Really? And, what's the deal with the regular human technology? Apparently, two hundred years from now we can upload our memories to a computer but all communications are handled by Nokia. WTF. Lastly, what is Bova's fascination with eating? Literally, every five pages sets a scenario of "let's talk about what just happened over breakfast/dinner/brunch." And, stop repeating things we already know ad-nauseum like the distance between Sirius C or Meek's distrust of aliens. We get it.

I don't know what to make of these latest efforts by Mr. Bova. Either he needs a new editor or maybe some real soul searching on his current methods of writing. I love his other books, and I've re-read some of them a number of times. I can't see reading any more of his new work at this point.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Patrick on July 28, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was very excited at the thought of a new Ben Bova book. After reading it, not so much. The characters are shallow. VERY shallow. They do not come across as scientists and researchers much less emotionally developed adults. It read more like a sci-fi trash novel from the 60s written for 13 year olds than a modern sci-fi.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Stan Barton on September 3, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Been a while since I read any of Bova's books and this one sounded interesting. Unfortunately, it was almost unbearable to read. The dialogue is so stilted and the character's motivations and behavior so unrealistic as to be laughable. For example, there's one stick-in-the-mud member of the crew who just can't believe that the "intelligent creatures" occupying the new planet mean the crew and, by extension, all humans, well. Finally, as he realizes the truth, he runs away. Yes, he runs away like a 5 year old child might. We find out that he's just scared that, as an astrobiologist, people will laugh at him because when he returns to Earth he won't have a lot of new discoveries. Yes, that's what he really does. Never mind that he's a hand-picked member of the first human starship crew who travel eight light-years to explore a planet with "intelligent creatures". He runs away because he's afraid people will laugh at him. Then there's Mr. Bova's obsession with making sure we know that the foxy alien girlfriend always wears color-coordinated clothes. Weird! On the positive side, there's not a lot of swearing and only mild sexual innuendo so you can let your kids read it without worry. So, thinking adults: skip this book and let your young teenage kids read it.
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