In The Rock Rats
, Ben Bova continues the melodramatic saga that began in The Precipice
, with a gold rush to exploit mineral (and other) resources of that vast new frontier the asteroid belt.
Independent "rock rat" prospectors trying to get rich out there face not only the bleak hazards of space but ruthless claim-jumping and piracy from hissable bad guy Martin Humphries. Though exposed for murderous sabotage in book 1, this wicked industrialist and his giant corporation Humphries Space Systems remain major players. Soon HSS minions bring murder and arson to the Ceres asteroid base.
Also, with the enjoyable implausibility of a TV soap, Humphries is emotionally involved. Though consoling himself with mistresses he has the hots for lovely Amanda Cunningham, currently married to leading rock rat Lars Fuchs, who's determined to track down HSS's sadistic hitman Harbin... Man the lasers! Space-pirate ahoy!
Meanwhile on an Earth ravaged by the greenhouse effect and fundamentalist government, diplomatic overtures to the now independent Moon have a positively Ruritanian flavour:
Jatar Pahang was not only the world's most popular video star, she was also the mistress of Xu Xianqing, chairman of the world government's inner council, and his secret envoy to Stavenger and the government of Selene.
It adds up to pleasantly unlikely and over-the-top adventure, with Humphries and Harbin repeatedly and literally getting away with murder, while Fuchs isn't so lucky when innocent rock rats die in a revenge strike by his own privateer ship. The resulting cliff-hanger finale is a sure-fire hook for further mayhem amid the asteroids in book three.--David Langford
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
I believe that the science fiction author who will have the greatest effect on the world is Ben Bova (Ray Bradbury
A splendid book . . of his many books, Mars must be the most important. (Arthur C. Clarke on MARS
Extraordinary . . . this kind of story is the reason science fiction exists in the first place. (Orson Scott Card on MARS
One of sci-fi's great contemporary writers...Ben Bova writes good, authentic science (Huddersfield Daily Examiner
An epic space novel by an award-winning SF scribe (Books Magazine
Return to Mars is an entertaining read, a good example of the bread and butter of the genre (Vector on RETURN TO MARS
Another attention-grabbing entry in a series that continues to grow in stature ,scope and complexity.Once again,Bova in top form. (kirkus reviews
Slick pacing,techincally competent. (dreamberry
Bova is a masterful storyteller and the narrative is compelling, almost hypnotic (Vector on THE ROCK RATS