Uranus

Ben Bova. Tor, $27.99 (384p) ISBN 978-1-250-29654-2
Bova continues his ambitious project of exploring a near-future human-colonized solar system (which began with 1992’s Mars) with this all-too-conventional space adventure, the first of the Outer Planets trilogy. Raven Marchesi flees a life of prostitution in Naples, Italy, for Haven, an artificial habitat circling Uranus, where idealistic Reverend Kyle Umber has set up a nondenominational refuge for Earth’s “poor, disenfranchised, [and] forgotten” with the backing of sinister financier Evan Waxman. Raven soon becomes involved with both Waxman, who’s running a secret drug trade, and astronomer Tómas Gomez, who’s come to Haven to investigate secrets lurking under Uranus’s ocean. Not much science animates this stale story, which is more concerned with Waxman’s drug deals, romantic encounters, and corruption, and the hints of alien forces bent on destroying humanity amount to too little too late. The characters’ relationships and biases are grounded in contemporary attitudes, making it clear that shockingly little social change has occurred in Bova’s vision of the future. Readers will be disappointed by this rote, unimaginative work of hard science fiction. (May)
Reviewed on : 02/26/2020
Release date: 05/19/2020
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Horror
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