HelenEdith's Blog

The minutiae of my life, plus website updates and book reviews

Book Review: Ben Bova – Titan

Posted by HelenEdith on February 16, 2008

It’s a while since I’ve picked up a Ben Bova book. The next one in his “Grand Tour of the Solar System” series which I wanted to read was “Return to Mars” but the library went and disposed of their only copy before I got to it! So I picked up “Titan”, which is about a habitat orbiting around Saturn. The Titan connection is that the scientists about habitat Goddard have sent a probe down to the surface of Saturn’s moon Titan, but the probe has gone silent on them.

As with the Tami Hoag book, the reader knows more than the scientists, as some parts of the book are written about the probe’s activities, although the reader doesn’t know what the primary restriction is which is causing Titan Alpha to abort the uplink of data.

We meet some familiar faces on Habitat Goddard: Kris Cardenas has a nanotechnology lab on board; and Pancho Lane, now retired (but still youthful) pops up as a visitor to the habitat. Her younger sister, brought back from cryogenic suspension and cured of the disease which was killing her, and now known as Holly, lives in the habitat, and is the reason for Pancho’s visit.

On board the habitat, we have politics, as the Chief Administrator must be elected each year. Holly throws her hat in the ring and opposes the current incumbent, who also happens to be her boss. We also have a second scientific thread, namely that one of the scientists believes that there are living creatures in Saturn’s rings. The current Chief Administrator wants to start mining the rings, something vehemently opposed by the scientists, but supported by many other habitat occupants.

There’s certainly a lot going on in this book, and Ben Bova pulls it all together with his usual flair.

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