Mercury , etc.), the solidly hypothesized science enthralls, especially down on the surface of Saturn's la"/>

Titan

Ben Bova, Author . Tor $24.95 (464p) ISBN 978-0-7653-0413-1

In the latest planetary saga from Hugo-winner Bova (Mercury , etc.), the solidly hypothesized science enthralls, especially down on the surface of Saturn's largest moon, Titan. On Christmas Eve 2095, the exploring vehicle Titan Alpha lumbers around that mysterious minus-183-degree Celsius world of black snow, seeking traces of life. Meanwhile, the human story—chiefly centered on the space habitat Goddard , in orbit above Saturn—lurches along as laboriously as Alpha , the tensions among the various stereotypical characters simmering fitfully but rarely coming to a savory boil. Chief scientist Edouard Urbain makes predictable compromises to save his brainchild, Alpha . Retired CEO and gee-whiz astronaut Pancho Lane takes off on a hairy deep-space jaunt to save Saturn's rings from exploitation from "slimy SOB" Malcolm Eberly, Goddard 's power-hungry leader, once lover to Pancho's reborn sister, Holly. The novel resolves the many personal conflicts in a flurry of silly political maneuvers as old as Aristophanes'Lysistrata —bring 'em to heel by denying 'em sex—but the result is not half as entertaining or so thought provoking. (Mar.)

Reviewed on: 12/05/2005
Release date: 03/01/2006
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