Venus by Ben Bova

VenusVenus by Ben Bova
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Venus is my type of science fiction – more science and less fiction. Of course it is an adventure thriller, and the story line includes some impossibilities, but there is also a lot of hard science in there. It is set in future, a hundred years or so, when men have industrialized the asteroid belt and set up colonies on the moon and Mars. Venus, however, has never been explored by “boots on the ground.” Van Humphries, the unlikely hero of the story, sets out to be the first, in order to recover the body of his brother who preceded him in an ill-fated attempt to explore our nearest planetary neighbor. Of course there is a beautiful young female scientist on board …

If you’re not careful you’ll end up learning a lot of actual facts about Venus while you are caught up in the drama of the tale. Van has a competitor, a mortal enemy of his father, the zillionaire who set the reward. The human story is riveting but I think you will enjoy the drama of the science, the excitement that NASA and the world enjoys when a real space mission goes well and we learn all kinds of new things. The prose is clear and easily understood, although the author overuses the word clamber and has a couple of other annoying idiosyncrasies. The narrator is very good for the audiobook.

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