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Ben Bova

Ben Bova in 1974
Born November 8, 1932 (1932-11-08) (age 77)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Occupation Novelist, short story author, essayist, journalist
Genres Science fiction
Official website

Benjamin William Bova (born November 8, 1932) is an American science fiction author and editor.


Personal life

Ben Bova was born on November 8, 1932 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In 1953, while attending Temple University, he married Rosa Cucinotta, they had a son and a daughter. He would later divorce Rosa in 1974. In that same year he married Barbara Berson Rose.[1] Barbara Bova died on September 23, 2009.[2]

Bova was an avid fencer in younger days, and organized Avco Everett's fencing club. He is a cautious environmentalist, but rejects Luddism.

Professional career

Bova was a technical writer for Project Vanguard and later for Avco Everett in the 1960s when they did research in lasers and fluid dynamics. It was there that he met Arthur R. Kantrowitz later of the Foresight Institute.

In 1971 he became editor of Analog Science Fiction after John W. Campbell's death. After leaving Analog, he went on to edit Omni during 1978-1982.

In 1974 he wrote the screenplay for an episode of the children's science fiction television series Land of the Lost entitled "The Search".

Bova was the science advisor for the failed television series The Starlost, leaving in disgust after the airing of the first episode. His novel The Starcrossed was loosely based on his experiences and featured a thinly veiled characterization of his friend and colleague Harlan Ellison. He dedicated the novel to "Cordwainer Bird", the pen name Harlan Ellison uses when he does not want to be associated with a television or film project.

Bova is the President Emeritus of the National Space Society and a past President of Science-fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA).

Bova went back to school in the 1980s, earning an M.A. in communications in 1987 and a Ed.D. in 1996.

Bova has drawn on these meetings and experiences to create fact and fiction writings rich with references to spaceflight, lasers, artificial hearts, nanotechnology, environmentalism, fencing and martial arts, photography and artists.

Bova is the author of over one hundred fifteen books, non-fiction as well as science fiction. In 2000, he was the Author Guest of Honor at the 58th World Science Fiction Convention (Chicon 2000).

Recently, Hollywood has taken an interest in Bova's works for his wealth of knowledge about science and what the future may look like. In 2007, he was hired as a consultant by both Stuber/Parent Productions to provide insight into what the world is to look like in the near future for their upcoming film "Repo Men" starring Jude Law and Forest Whitaker and by Silver Pictures in which he provided consulting services on the feature adaptation of Richard Morgan's "Altered Carbon".




  • Forward in Time (1973)
  • Maxwell's Demons (1979)
  • E (1984)
  • The Astral Mirror (1985)
  • Prometheans (1986)
  • Battle Station (1987)
  • Future Crime (1990)
  • Challenges (1994)
  • The Future Quartet - Earth in the Year 2042 (1995)
  • Twice Seven (1998)


  • Exiled from Earth (1971)
  • Flight of Exiles (1972)
  • End of Exile (1975)

Grand Tour

Bova's Grand Tour series of novels is a fictional treatment of human colonization of the Solar System in the late 21st century. Bova addresses the issue of chronology in this series on his website:

Such a chronology is difficult to compose, because many of the novels overlap one another in time. Mars and Moonrise, for example, overlap considerably. Given that caveat, here is an approximate time sequence for the Grand Tour novels. Remember, however, that any of these novels can be read completely independently of the others. There is no need to read the novels in any particular order.[3]

The internal chronology of the series isn't entirely consistent. The recommended chronological reading order would be something like this:

  • Powersat (2005)
  • Privateers (1985) (immediately precedes Empire Builders, with most of the same cast of characters, but with an alternate history including a still-extant Soviet Union, because it was written before the Soviet Union fell)
  • Empire Builders (1993)
  • Mars (1992)
  • Moonrise (1996) (The Moonbase Saga, v. I)
  • Moonwar (1998) (The Moonbase Saga, v. II)
  • Return to Mars (1999)
  • The Precipice (2001) (The Asteroid Wars, v. 1)
  • Jupiter (2001)
  • The Rock Rats (2002) (The Asteroid Wars, v. 2)
  • The Silent War (2004) (The Asteroid Wars, v. 3)
  • Saturn (2002)
  • Titan (2006), John W. Campbell Memorial Award
  • The Aftermath (2007) (The Asteroid Wars, v. 4)
  • Mars Life (2008)
  • Venus (2000)
  • Mercury (2005)
  • Tales of the Grand Tour (2004) (short-story collection including stories that span much of the timeline)[3]

Sam Gunn

  • Sam Gunn, Unlimited (1993) (short- story collection)
  • Sam Gunn Forever (1998) (short-story collection)
  • Sam Gunn Omnibus (2007)

Chet Kinsman

  • The Weathermakers (1967) Back story of a major character from Millennium
  • Millennium (1976)
  • Colony (1978)
  • Kinsman (1979)
  • The Kinsman Saga (1987) (combines Millennium (1976) and Kinsman (1979); includes introduction and narrative by Bova explaining the reworking of these two novels)

Non-series novels

  • Out of the Sun (1968)
  • Escape! (1969)
  • THX 1138 (with George Lucas) (1971), based on the film THX 1138
  • As on a Darkling Plain (1972)
  • The Winds of Altair (1983)
  • When the Sky Burned (1972)
  • Gremlins, Go Home! (with Gordon Dickson) (1974)
  • The Starcrossed (1975)
  • City of Darkness (1976)
  • The Multiple Man (1976)
  • Test of Fire (1982) (A revised version of When the Sky Burned)
  • Peacekeepers (1988)
  • Cyberbooks (1989), foresaw the current e-book readers (Sony Reader and Kindle)
  • The Trikon Deception (with Bill Pogue) (1992)
  • Triumph (1993), ISBN 0-312-85359-9 (alternate history work set at the end of World War II in which Winston Churchill plots the assassination of Joseph Stalin, and in which Franklin D. Roosevelt lives past 1945)
  • Death Dream (1994)
  • Brothers (1996)
  • The Green Trap (2006)


  • Orion (1984)
  • Vengeance of Orion (1988)
  • Orion in the Dying Time (1990)
  • Orion and the Conqueror (1994)
  • Orion Among the Stars (1995)

To Save the Sun

  • To Save the Sun (with AJ Austin) (1992)
  • To Fear the Light (with AJ Austin) (1994)


  • Voyagers (1981)
  • The Alien Within (1986)
  • Star Brothers (1990)
  • The Return (2009)


  • The Star Conquerors (1959)
  • Star Watchman (1964)
  • The Dueling Machine (1963)


  • Man Changes the Weather (1973)
  • Starflight and Other Improbabilities, Westminster Press, 1973, ISBN 0-664-32520-3
  • Notes to a Science Fiction Writer, Houghton Mifflin paperback, 1981
  • Assured Survival: Putting The Star Wars Defense In Perspective, UG743.B68 (1984)
  • The Craft of Writing Science Fiction That Sells, Writers Digest Books, 1994, ISBN 0-89879-600-8 (a guide to writing fiction of any genre)
  • Immortality (1998)
  • Are We Alone in the Cosmos? (1999)
  • The Story of Light (2001)
  • Faint Echoes, Distant Stars: The Science and Politics of Finding Life Beyond Earth (2004)

Anthologies edited

  • The Science Fiction Hall of Fame, Volume Two, (1973), OCLC 12264834 and OCLC 12264899
  • The Best of the Nebulas (1989), ISBN 0-312-93175-1
  • The Many Worlds of Science Fiction (1971), SBN: 0-525-34550-7

See also


  1. ^ Jay P. Pederson, ed (1 December 1995). St. James Guide to Science Fiction Writers (4th edition ed.). St. James Press. ISBN 978-1558621794.  
  2. ^ Locus sf&f news: Barbara Bova Dies
  3. ^ a b Bova, Ben. "Grand Tour Chronology". Retrieved 2008-06-23.  

External links


Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Ben Bova (born November 8, 1932) is an American science fiction author and editor, President Emeritus of the National Space Society, and a past President of Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.


Orion Among The Stars (1995)

  • Your job is not to die for your country. Your job is to get the other poor sonofabitch to die for his country.


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