Challenges

Ben Bova, Author Tor Books $21.95 (348p) ISBN 978-0-312-85550-5
This bland collection gathers recent short stories and nonfiction essays by the Hugo Award-winning author of Mars , with each piece prefaced by the author's comments about his inspirations and writing methods. The stories display the typical elements of Bova's hard-SF orientation: robotic prosthetic limbs in the light-hearted tale, ``The Man Who Hated Gravity''; sentient computers in the cyberpunkish ``World War 4.5''; a mysterious alien artifact in ``Sepulcher''; the problems of interstellar travel in ``To Touch a Star.'' The author handles his subjects with clear prose and well-practiced skill, but none of these works breaks new ground. At best, he offers mildly intriguing perspectives on topics better handled elsewhere; at worst, he is prosaic and predictable. The nonfiction, dealing with the nature and technique of SF-writing, is adequate but forgettable. Bova repeats himself from essay to essay; his arguments about the merits of SF as literature have been made before. The one truly engaging essay is ``Science, Fiction and Faith,'' which contends that SF may be the mythology of the modern age. As a whole, this volume does not represent Bova's strongest work. (May)
Reviewed on: 05/03/1993
Release date: 05/01/1993
Genre: Fiction
Mass Market Paperbound - 348 pages - 978-0-8125-1408-7
Ebook - 352 pages - 978-1-4299-3154-0
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