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Titan (The Grand Tour) Mass Market Paperback – March 6, 2007


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Product Details

  • Series: The Grand Tour
  • Mass Market Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Science Fiction (March 6, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765343150
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765343154
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 6.7 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,488,169 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Praise for the novels in Ben Bova's epic science fiction saga, "The Grand Tour":
 
"Ben Bova continues his epic of solar system exploration by taking refugees from Earth's formidable fundamentalist theocracies on the long voyage to Saturn. The pacing is brisk, and--now that Arthur C. Clarke has retired and Charles Sheffield has departed--Bova is definitely the man to do justice to the astronomical marvels of the Saturnian system with its enormous potential as a second home for humanity, especially in the complex environments of its moons. Loud, prolonged applause, then, for the strengths of this book." --Booklist on Saturn
 
"Bova proves himself equal to the task of showing how adversity can temper character in unforeseen ways." --The New York Times on Venus
 
"Ben Bova's latest near-future SF thriller supplies a suspenseful ride and plenty of high-tech hardware as it builds to a climactic confrontation over Washington, D.C." --Publishers Weekly on Powersat

About the Author

Ben Bova is the author of more than a hundred works of science fact and fiction, including Able One, Leviathans of Jupiter and the Grand Tour novels, including Titan, winner of John W. Campbell Memorial Award for best novel of the year. He received the Lifetime Achievement Award of the Arthur C. Clarke Foundation in 2005, and in 2008 he won the Robert A. Heinlein Award "for his outstanding body of work in the field of literature." He is President Emeritus of the National Space Society and a past president of Science Fiction Writers of America, and a former editor of Analog and former fiction editor of Omni. As an editor, he won science fiction’s Hugo Award six times. Dr. Bova’s writings have predicted the Space Race of the 1960s, virtual reality, human cloning, the Strategic Defense Initiative (Star Wars), electronic book publishing, and much more. He lives in Florida.

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Customer Reviews

He is definitely one of best Science Fiction authors.
Robert B. Marsh
The rest of the book was just extremely boring padding, spinning out the story with dull characters, dull development, dull conflict, and a very dull style.
Ian H. James
I just finished reading "Titan" the other night, and was thoroughly captivated.
P.M. Van Hook

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Tim F. Martin on June 30, 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback
_Titan_ by Ben Bova is the sequel to his earlier novel _Saturn_, part of his Grand Tour series of novels set in the solar system of the late 21st century. It picks up about a year or so after the events of _Saturn_ and it would be helpful if not essential for a reader to have read the earlier novel first.

Much like with _Saturn_, much time is spent on the politics, intrigue, and personal lives of people on the station _Goddard_ though unlike with the novel _Saturn_ the intrigue this time is more closely tied in with the science of the mission. Some might be frustrated by the book's concentration on story elements not directly related to science but they do tie in well with the science and the pace of the book is very brisk.

Essentially, there are four main story elements though other characters do have arcs of their own. Malcolm Eberly, the power-hungry, suave, and manipulative chief administrator, is trying to sow up the next election and is working hard to buy off or counter any potential rivals. Holly Lane, the station's chief of human resources (in addition to contending with romantic issues and a visit by her sister from the colony of Selene, Pancho Lane) is trying to come to grip with issues of the station's future - specifically, whether or not people on the station can start having children. Dr. Edouoard Urbain is obsessed with trying to get his malfunctioning robotic rover on the surface of Titan, named _Titan Alpha_, up and running again after some mysterious complete and total break in communications with the probe occurred after it landed.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Marc Weinstein on March 25, 2013
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Having read Bova's Mars and Return to Mars, I was excited when I came accross the audiobook for Titan. Now I have a better idea of what to expect from Bova. He seems to think that any finite group of humans in an enclosed space will end up sleeping with everyone and spending their days in political manuevering. Despite this tired plot, and a couple of unrealistic characters (does Holly have a motive for anything?), I rather enjoyed Titan.

Another thing Bova does in Titan is to anthropomorphize the computer programs. Over and over again. We get it, a computer "thinks" fast. Nanoseconds. The computer has conflicting commands, so it can't decide what to do. There's no need to remind me that a computer can't feel. Over and over again.

Despite the small complaints, I generally enjoyed the book and was eager to see how it turned out (although not surprised by most of the plot points). Bova has many kinds of characters here, but some that have the most pages are simply flat (Holly, Eberly, Urbain, Wonderly, Tavelera), while others (Manny Guyata, Chris Cardenas, Wanamaker) are quite likeable and believeable.

Overall, a pleasant offering that has been interested in Bova's other novels, about the possible near future of space exploration.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Michael Mager on February 2, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Ben Bova, like Arthur C. Clarke and Jules Verne is a visionary. As a writer, though, he, like Clarke and others, is a good visionary. Writing? Not so much. There is no grand tour of Titan (surprise), the characters are as fake as the sets in BLAZING SADDLES, and you could get whole planets through the holes in his plotting. Fortunately, it was cheap.
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Michael G. Kurilla on September 16, 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Overall, I found the story itself rather boring and unintersting. The underlying politics and personal interactions that should drive the story are woefully unimpressive. Bova displays a very simplistic and naive approach that results in characters adopting almost comical imitations of what an outsider would expect to happen. Oubain's psychotic and neurotic reactions to his "beast's" behavior was laughable. The fact that none of the so-called scientists on Goddard was able to figure out what happened is not realistic. The administrative politics was on the level of high school antics. Finally, the whole notion that an academic body on Earth would "ban" mining the rings of Saturn for water is not only proposterous (who would actually listen to them), but flies in the face of logic. Let's see, Earth's oceans have life, maybe humans should stay out of and off of them as well. All in all a quite disappointing read. It's also sad when you've covered 2/3 of a book and little has happened.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Darren on June 15, 2013
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I was really excited to read this book, being interested in the near future and what humans will be getting up to in space. However, I feel I have been duped by some of these amazon reviews. The book was so bad, so dull, so banal, I couldn't force myself to finish it. I really couldn't.

If the book had been written by a child, which I would have assumed, had I not known better, I would say it was a great attempt, to encourage the child not to give up. But it's not. It's been written by a "prize winning" SF writer.

The plot is threadbare, the characters are like cheap 'n' nasty plastic toys and the whole back story is too unrealistic to be believable.

As this has been my first experience of a Ben Bova book, it will most certainly be my last.
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