Price set by seller.
Your Memberships & Subscriptions
Titan: A Tale of Cataclysmic Discovery (The Grand Tour Book 15) Kindle Edition
|New from||Used from|
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Customers who bought this item also bought
--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
- Publication date : February 21, 2006
- File size : 811 KB
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Publisher : Tor Books (February 21, 2006)
- Print length : 476 pages
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Page numbers source ISBN : 0765304139
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Language: : English
- ASIN : B004N635QS
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #908,744 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Ben Bova's Titan is the 2nd book in a story arc involving a 10,000 person space colony orbiting Saturn. Taking place about two years (in the Grand Tour universe) after the action in his book Saturn, Titan twists three main plot lines into a fun story involving life on Titan, the exploration of Saturn's icy rings, and political intrigue aboard the colony ship. Dr. Urbain, lead scientist aboard the station has landed his advanced probe, Titan One, on Saturn's largest moon, only to see it fail almost immediately, threatening to destroy his career. Another of the colonies scientists is determined to prove that there are living organisms in the ice rings surrounding Saturn based on events that took place in the previous book. In between the science based plot lines, Holly Lane (sister of Pancho Lane) and political slime ball Malcomb Eberly duke it out in a nasty election to become head administrator for the colony and determine whether it will be ruled by an iron fisted authoritarian or allowed more freedom than ever before.
This being the 15th Bova book I've read this year, I have to say that while I've enjoyed many of Mr. Bova's stories, I don't think I'd like the man very much. That might be a tad personal for a book review, but Bova's occasional chauvinism in past books comes to a head in Titan. One of the political arguments between Lane and Eberly is whether or not the zero population growth rule will be lifted. Holly supports lifting the ban on children while Eberly does not. In support of lifting the ban, we hear on several occasions that "all women want to have babies" while "Men just want sex without attachment." Oy, I had to check to copyright on the book to confirm that it was written in 2005 and not 1965! While we are repeatedly told that the population of the Titan habitat is made up of "free thinkers and misfits who didn't fit in with the conservative population of Earth circa 2095," apparently all these free thinkers walk in lock-step when it comes to conservative gender role thinking. Perhaps I shouldn't let my social views come out in a book review, but when I encounter gender stereotypes that are so aggressively chauvinistic, it does effect my enjoyment of the book.
Otherwise, Titan was a very enjoyable read, and the climax over the last 60ish pages may be the best out of any of the Grand Tour books. Great discoveries await on the surface of Titan and in the rings of Saturn, while the political maneuvering of both Eberly and Lane is also well done. Like in many of Bova's books, the characters, especially the villains, are somewhat cardboard and the romantic interludes sometimes eye rolling, but there is real character growth to be seen in many of the repeat characters. Holly Lane has grown from a starry-eyed youth to a savy young woman. Pancho Lane has started to mellow with her age (although the book essentially starts out with her punching Eberly in the face over his actions in Saturn). So, it's good to see some of Bova's characters developing and maturing over the course of a few (or many, in some cases) books.
In the end, I'd still recommend Titan and would have rated it four stars had not Mr. Bova's old-fashioned views come crashing to the forefront in some areas of the novel.
One is that, unlike traditional science fiction, the inhabitants of Bova's planets and moons are rarely at all like us. That is the case with Titan. I enjoyed that the discoveries on Titan and Saturn's rings in this book challenge our understandings of the complexities of life and our understanding of what life actually is. Single-celled or microbial life is almost certainly more common than life like us -- after all, it's more common on Earth as well. But I suspect we haven't yet appreciated how complex the behavior and even the social organization of such life can be. The depictions of the variety of life in Titan build on Bova's credentials as a writer of "hard" science fiction.
The other distinction between life on our world and Bova's other worlds is how much humanity manages constantly to get in its own way. Most of the action in Titan takes place aboard the Goddard colony ship (from Bova's earlier book, Saturn), populated by refugees from an Earth dominated by the "New Morality." On Goddard, though, conflicts between the scientific mission and the effort to establish a thriving colony and between personal and collective ambitions recreate themselves. This is what we do.
It may be that I've read too many of Bova's Grand Tour book too quickly, but this one struck me as a bit flat, compared to some of the others. Jupiter and Venus, in particular, gave me a greater sense of suspense and involvement. The characters in those books seemed more complex, more built of battling passions and motivations. Here, the characters seem to fit more easily into their places in the story -- sure, they make decisions, they confound one another, but they seem more to slide together like pieces in a puzzle than to produce a picture that only becomes what it is when it emerges from the mix.
Top reviews from other countries
In short, there's nothing interesting to read about in this novel: it's kinda like chewing-gum without the taste... Rather spend your money on one of his earlier works!
Science, politics, technology and human foibles all get put in a bender, shaken; not stirred, and what comes out is highly entertaining.
The main story revolves around Titan Alpha which is a semi autonomous rover type vehicle sent to the surface of Titan to explore the surface. The problem is once it lands it decides that collecting data about Titan is good but sending it back to the Scientists on Goddard is not.
The leader of the Scientists Dr Eduoard Urbain is stunned and embarrassed by this problem and harasses his staff to find a solution. In the mean time Titan Alpha decides on it's own to do a "walkabout" on the surface and see what other data can be collected.
This is all happening at Christmas time and Pancho Lane a retired CEO has come to the Goddard habitat not only to see the launch of Titan Alpha but also to visit her sister Susan, who has changed her name to Holly after being thawed from Cryogenic sleep she was put in when she was diagnosed with a terminal disease.
Malcolm Eberly is the Chief Administrator of Goddard , a position he got by defeating Dr Urbain in an election held on Goddard. Malcolm is a politician at the highest level whose main concern is maintaining power and making sure people know how powerfull he is. In particular Dr Urbain
There is money to made by mining the rings around Saturn that are made up of ice. However one scientist on board Goddard, Nadia Wunderley, believes the rings have life in them . She tries to get a stuntman on board to repeat his joutrney through the rings to get a sample however he has retired and so it ends up being Pancho Lane who volunteers to go through the rings and collect a sample.
Is their life in the rings ? How does ZPG (Zero Population Growth) enter into the election for Chief Administrator of Goddard ? What is Titan Alpha actually doing on the surface of Titan ? Who is really going to go through the rings and collect samples ? Who wins the Chief Administration election ?
You'll have to read the book to get the answers to these questions. You will enjoy every minute of finding out.