cover image Mars Life

Mars Life

Ben Bova, . . Tor, $24.95 (432pp) ISBN 978-0-7653-1787-2

Multiple Hugo–winner Bova pens a gripping and convincing conclusion to the story begun in Mars (1992) and Return to Mars (1999). Jamie Waterman, who discovered cliff dwellings during his first trip to Mars, is struggling to acquire funding for continued research on the long-dead Martians, but his efforts are severely compromised by the increasing influence of religious fundamentalists. Their rise coincides with a global environmental crisis, giving the U.S. government another rationale for shifting resources away from Waterman's work. Even the discovery of a Martian fossil can't ensure the project's viability, and Waterman and his wife return to the red planet in a last-ditch effort to keep the exploration going. Bova deftly captures the excitement of scientific discovery and planetary exploration. This compelling story, balancing action and plausible political intrigue, will easily be enjoyed by both fans and newcomers. (Aug.)