by Ben Bova
ISBN 0 450 57717 1
( New English Library / Hodder and Stoughton )

Book cover

Ben Bova, who lectures on writing science fiction, has now written a bevy of novels about the most significant bodies in the solar system. This grand tour is based upon scientific knowledge about the planets, their satellites and the asteroids, but weaves in human stories with characters appearing across the series.

All of the books in this series are well worth reading, but Arthur Clarke proclaimed the one about Mars as the most important. It is interesting to note that Bova includes an issue with regard to space medicine that was extremely important to navigators of the terrestrial seas for many centuries.

"To the harsh landscape of Sol's fourth planet travel thirteen astronauts, the best scientists from eleven nations, on a history-making voyage into the unknown. The international crew of the Mars mission have spent months in space, crossing 100 million kilometres, to reach the last great frontier. Their voyage was fraught with disputes, both personal and political, and their time on Mars limited to 'footprints and flags': yet while there they come face-to-face with the most incredible and shocking discovery of all."