cover image Moonwar


Ben Bova. Avon Books, $23 (388pp) ISBN 978-0-380-97303-3

Though riddled with SF cliches and stock characters, Bova's sequel to Moonrise is nonetheless an exciting high-tech adventure that puts the fledgling lunar colony known as Moonbase in dire jeopardy as political forces seek either to wrest control of it or to destroy it. Nanotechnology has been outlawed on Earth, but it is essential to Moonbase's functioning. The colony's leader, Douglas Stavenger, whose body is full of benevolent nanotech, must find a nonviolent way to foil the United Nations' Peacekeeper forces long enough for the base to be declared an independent nation and thus one that can legally continue to work with the outlawed technology. Georges Faure, Secretary-General of the U.N., has his own greedy plans for Moonbase, but he succumbs to the sexual charms of Edith Elgin, a gorgeous reporter who wheedles her way onto the U.N.'s troopship and then into the base itself. Her dispatches blow open the truth about what is occurring on the besieged colony, even as her presence creates a romantic dilemma for Doug. Spies, fanatics, sexy women and broad expanses abound as technology and good planning overcome brute force and canny capitalists. Readers who don't mind female reporters who ""give some head to get ahead"" and U.N. directors who proclaim that ""resistance is futile"" should find Bova's latest romp on the moon exciting and fun. (Feb.)