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5.0 out of 5 stars Ben Bova does it again
As always, Ben Bova combines his Scifi with the intrigues of human relationships. An excellent read. I highly recomment it.
Published on 13 Dec. 2012 by Crabbie

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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Patchy and disappointing
Mercury is the latest in Ben Bova's 'Grand Tour of the Solar System' series. Set in the near future it describes a world divided into an authoritarian mix of new religious fundamentalist governments, massive multinationals and heroic scientists and pioneers picking their way through the solar system planet by planet (including the Asteroid belt, setting for the last three...
Published on 18 Mar. 2005 by melmoth2


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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Patchy and disappointing, 18 Mar. 2005
This review is from: Mercury (Ben Bova's Grand Tour of the Solar System) (Hardcover)
Mercury is the latest in Ben Bova's 'Grand Tour of the Solar System' series. Set in the near future it describes a world divided into an authoritarian mix of new religious fundamentalist governments, massive multinationals and heroic scientists and pioneers picking their way through the solar system planet by planet (including the Asteroid belt, setting for the last three books). Mercury is a tale of revenge and Bova is at his best when describing the interplay of human relations and betrayals that forge his characters. Unfortunately the rest of the book is poorly realised and feels unfinished. Admittedly Mercury is perhaps the least interesting of the planets, being a big baked rock, and Bova tries to expand the story with an extended flashback describing the first space elevator and, later, one of the characters' exile to the Asteroid belt. There's nothing here that hasn't been done before and I got the feeling that Bova was retreading old ground, or plagiarising others (I won't spoil the plot but the catastrophe half-way through the book is lifted wholesale from Kim Stanley Robinson's Mars series). His peripheral characters are weak. The arrogant Japanese corporate boss has stepped straight from the pages of Michael Crichton's Rising Sun and trots out the old cliched mistakes about Japanese businessmen being closet samurai. Grammatical errors and poor proof-reading ('despondent' repeated twice in the same paragraph) suggests this book was trotted on out autopilot for the sake of completeness. If you're into the series it's worth reading, if not, I'd either turn to the brilliant Moon series, Jupiter or wait and hope Bova gets back on form with the next planet.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Hmmm...., 31 Dec. 2005
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This review is from: Mercury (Paperback)
I want to love Sci-fi, really do, and the genre has spawned some excellent books. But this was a struggle. It reads like an excellent author going through the motions, the result is not bad, but it's not excellent. There's some good science in it and an interesting interplay of characters, but they all move about like chess pieces, its very two dimensional. The book also suffers (as does so much sci-fi unfortunaltely) from a very lame depiction of religious characters. What is it with sci-fi and religion? Why do all the religious types veer between Grand Inqusitor and crisis mode? Religious people in sci-fi are either out to win the world or falling from grace with an extended bout of 'sin'.
That said, all of the characters are limited in this way, it reads like a hard sci-fi novel that's lite on true character. I might take my fellow reviewers advice and try the Moon series or 'Jupiter', but the main thing is this, I know Bova's reputation and he is good, really good; so come on Mr Bova, try better next time, because you are capable of so much more!
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2.0 out of 5 stars A miserable attempt by Ben Bova, 10 Jun. 2006
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Adrian (Derbyshire, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Mercury (Paperback)
Ben Bova has written some excellent books, but sadly this one disappoints. The plot is weak, with characters and ideas from earlier books now over-used. Mercury itself plays a very small part in the story - much of the story is set on Earth - and the "big event" in the book is a poor shadow of a plot line in Kim Stanley Robinson's Mars series.

Fortunately, Ben is running out of planets.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Ben Bova does it again, 13 Dec. 2012
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This review is from: Mercury (Kindle Edition)
As always, Ben Bova combines his Scifi with the intrigues of human relationships. An excellent read. I highly recomment it.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable Read, 6 Sept. 2008
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G. Thomson (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Mercury (Paperback)
This book is easy to read, its story line is straightforward and once started you will want to finish it. The image of mercury is hot, hot, hot, so no surprises there then, but it's well done. Yes we have seen space elevator's before done by Kim Stanley Robinson and Arthur C. Clarke but I had no problem with that and rather enjoyed the technical realisation of the structure. Overall I enjoyed the book and will continue to pick up more of this author's work.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Mercury, 24 April 2006
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J. Otto (New Zealand) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Mercury (Paperback)
A tough planet to write about. How is he going to do it? I wondered. But gifted storyteller that he is, Bova tackled it bravely. Wherever humans go, be it frosty Pluto in lonely orbit around its distant sun, or scorched Mercury huddled close to Sol, they take their frailties and darkness right along with them. And so it is with Bova's characters in "Mercury." I enjoyed it.
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Mercury (Ben Bova's Grand Tour of the Solar System)
Mercury (Ben Bova's Grand Tour of the Solar System) by Ben Bova (Hardcover - 14 Feb. 2005)
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