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The Winds of Altair Mass Market Paperback – January 15, 1988


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books (January 15, 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0812532279
  • ISBN-13: 978-0812532272
  • Product Dimensions: 4 x 0.9 x 6.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.9 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,755,762 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

''Avatar, like most sci-fi films, lets us see with our eyes what the great writers of science fiction long since imagined and wrote down in words. Nowhere is this clearer than with Ben Bova's The Winds of Altair -- this is the book to read in order to understand the heart and bones of the story Avatar tried to tell.'' --Orson Scott Card (author of the Hugo and Nebula award-winning novel Ender's Game) --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

About the Author

Born in Philadelphia, Ben Bova worked as a newspaper reporter, a technical editor for Project Vanguard (the first American satellite program), and a science writer and marketing manager for Avco Everett Research Laboratory, before being appointed editor of Analog, one of the leading science fiction magazines, in 1971. After leaving Analog in 1978, he continued his editorial work in science fiction, serving as fiction editor of Omni for several years and editing a number of anthologies and lines of books, including the "Ben Bova Presents" series for Tor. He has won science fiction's Hugo Award for Best Editor six times.

A published SF author from the late 1950s onward, Bova is one of the field's leading writers of "hard SF," science fiction based on plausible science and engineering. Among his dozens of novels are Millennium, The Kinsman Saga, Colony, Orion, Peacekeepers, Privateers, and the Voyagers series. Much of his recent work, including Mars, Venus, Jupiter, Saturn, The Precipice, and The Rock Rats, falls into the continuity he calls "The Grand Tour," a large-scale saga of the near-future exploration and development of our solar system.

A President Emeritus of the National Space Society and a past president of Science-fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, in 2001 Dr. Bova was elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). He lives in Naples, Florida.

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 17, 1998
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I read this book as I was entering high school, about ten years ago...it is an awesome book. It is a book that questions ethics in a futiristic sense. In this book, earth is crowded, so people go to the new frontier, space. Humans find planets that are similar to earth and then change the planet's atmosphere. The humans mentally link with the life living on the planet (using machines) and then use the animals to set up the equipment that changes the planet. This book discusses a young man that is transforming Altair IV, and his ethical problems with the transformation. I could not put this book down. At times the book makes you wish that you could be a part of this new future and this fantastic technology.
It is a must read, even if you are not a science fiction fan.
Thank you Ben Bova.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Thalia on July 3, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
...and the wolfcats of Altair VI - aka Windsong. I first read this novel while in college in the 70s and I am glad I re-read it again recently because there were a lot of subtle nuances to this book I hadn't noticed before. It just proves that sometimes an old "friendship", like fine wine, only gets better with age. And while "The Winds of Altair" isn't exactly like the plot of James Cameron's "Avatar" there are enough similarities between the two to make me appreciate both of them a lot more.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Legal Reader on September 25, 2011
Format: Paperback
It's not giving away the ending, but you should know the ending is WAY too pat. I ended the book with, "you gotta be kidding me."
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By Tyler Volz on February 22, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I was expecting something slighty different when I started reading this book. Maybe just a little bit more complex. I had read a handful of Ben Bova novels before this one, and I had always been impressed by them. I think I read this in one day if I remember correctly. None of the other characters besides the main one were memorable, but the plot quickly moved itself forward and never bogged down. It's definetely worth a look.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful By themarsman on February 10, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Light years from Earth a conglomeration of modules bunched together forms what its inhabitants have dubbed the "Village". The Church of Nirvan runs the Village...it is the Church's mission...a mission to terraform the savage planet of Altair VI. But the pre-sentient inhabitants of Altair VI -- large "wolfcats" and giant "apes" thoroughly...dislike...the human incursion. But the humans have an advantage...electronic probes surgically implanted in the brains of the animals of Altair VI enable humans to control them from the comforts of the Village...if they can get things to work correctly. Several scientists have already gone mad trying to operate the devices. This is where Jeff Holman comes in. He's a student aboard the Village...one of hundreds of devout followers of the Church...and the only person able to operate the electronic probes and literally link minds with a wolfcat on the planet below. But as the weeks and then months pass, Jeff finds himself facing a dilemma. For it is the task of every person living aboard the Village to help eliminate the harsh methane atmosphere of Altair VI and create a human friendly oxygen/nitrogen environment. But doing this will mean they must destroy the current ecosystem...including every animal now existing on the planet. It falls to Jeff Holman to manipulate the animals of Altair VI to help destroy their very home. A task that Jeff finds he can no longer perform. When this happens, he will not only clash with his fellow students living aboard the Village, but also the leader of the Village, the man who not only heads the terraforming effort, but also heads the Church Jeff Holman is sworn to.

As a big fan of Bova, I was eagerly looking forward to picking up this book. In all honesty, I was pretty disappointed.
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