We've found another Earthlike planet, but what secrets doe sit hold?
The entire world is thrilled by the discovery of a new, Earthlike planet. Advance imaging shows that the planet has oceans of water and a breathable, oxygen-rich atmosphere. Eager to learn more, an exploration team is soon dispatched to explore the planet, now nicknamed New Earth.
All the explorers understand that they are essentially on a one-way mission. The trip takes eighty years each way, so even if they are able to get back to Earth, nearly two hundred years will have elapsed. They will have aged only a dozen years thanks to cryonic suspension, but their friends and family will be gone, and the very society they once knew will have changed beyond recognition. The explorers are going into exile, and they know it. They are on this mission not because they were the best available but because they were expendable.
Upon landing, the team discovers something unexpected: New Earth is inhabited by a small group of intelligent creatures who look very much like human beings. Who are these people? Are they native to this world or invaders from elsewhere? While they may seem inordinately friendly to the human explorers, what are their real motivations? What do they want?
Moreover, the scientists begin to realize that this planet cannot possibly be natural. They face a startling and nearly unthinkable question: Could New Earth be an artifact?
©2013 Ben Bova (P)2013 Blackstone Audio
Story trajectory was good, entertaining enough. But overall this book just did not agree with me.
There were a few points that I'm afraid I have to criticise.
- The dialogue was repetitious. Without apparent purpose, the same statments or exchanges were made by the same characters sometimes more than twice - I hadn't forgotten the previous time it was said on any occasion (and my memory can be pretty crap). A very odd decision by the author.
- Some dialogue was unbelievable, and some characters very shallow and/or stereotypical (I've never known an irishman to really go around talking about leprechauns and potatoes without a heavy dose of irony).
- Some mistakes with the science... I come to sci-fi to have my imagination supplied by 'what-if's - I can't do this if mistakes are made.
- Some things left unexplained both in terms of questions unanswered and not introducing us to the world he has created - characters far too nonchalant about discoveries for reasons undisclosed.
- And finally on that score, I didn't find the author's imagination sufficiently adventurous. To be honest I think these days with so many ideas having been written, you need a very good one, an unusual idea or a particularly complete and well-expressed idea for it to be worth adding your book to the masses of Sci-Fi. For me, this didn't have that great idea. It was an entertaining book, but I would class it as Science Fantasy rather than Science Fiction.
I think Ben and I disagree about what Sci Fi should be like.
You don't want to hear him do an irish accent, apart from that he's good.
No, it already reads like a bad sci-fi film - no idea to strenuous or character too deep.
Sorry Ben, I hope others enjoy it more than I.
A man with a child in his ears - @ShutterSpin.
This is a decent enough production with some interesting ideas. It never really grabbed me but as others have also mentioned I found it hard to empathise with the characters and I did find the pace fairly slow. It is well narrated and certainly wasn't a waste of money but it won't go down as one of my favourites.
I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in the way people could re-act to an unprecedented situation where trust in key, fear is a hindrance and only the correct can save us all.
The best thing about this story is looking into peoples pasts and the thought processes which shape the things they say and do. Plus how a situation can make you act irrationally and with fear
A sci fi fan, but I am prepared to broaden my horizons when I can't find a title that tickles my fancy.
A little bit of a deviation in my normal sci fi picks, but a pleasant none the less. Some very interesting connotations are visited in the book and I found it thought provoking and enlightening, which for a Sci Fi book is quite something. Recommend this for a day when you're feeling contemplative and need some mind food.
Self employed Architect. Listen whilst working and every night. Love sci fi, post Apocalypse, comedy, fantasy, historical & horror.
Hmm.... My first Ben Bova, would have to say I am really surprised how bad this story was having seen this writer being recommended so often. Didn't finish it, sounded like a good idea but the characters and plot were really like something from a very bad role playing game. Cookie Cutter story, I can only assume this must have been to fill a contractual obligation to produce something, its just poor :/ My 10 year old son may have enjoyed it, but not for me
"Interesting plot, dated and simplistic writing."
Interesting plot, dated and simplistic writing. This book reads like it was written in the 1950s not 2013. Think Ring World. I like cute women as much as the next guy, but despite a token effort to include women with actual roles, all female characters remained undeveloped sex object accessories to the end. Every description it women was about their attractiveness. Also unmalicious use of national stereotypes occurred at multiple points. I thought this was supposed to be an adult book, but I think it would be suitable for 12 year olds. It wasn't without merit, I got to the end and was happy to read, but no masterpiece at all I'm afraid.
"Not my thing"
This book has a message that I agree with but it felt really heavy handed in its delivery. I felt like I was being brow beaten for quite a bit of the listen. The characters seemed somewhat flat and occasionally annoying and the story felt rushed. For example, The main character who arrives on a new planet, finds the perfect woman and they area happily a couple by day #2 !? I mean.. come on, even Kirk didn't work this fast!. :) There should have been more of a buildup and some more time given to the characters to make you feel anything for them.There are a couple scientists that are so hardheaded when the "truth" starts to be revealed that I find them unbelievable and their conversion happens in the speed of turning on a lightbulb. Theres a secondary distracting storyline that takes place on or near earth thats dont really contribute to the plot, and felt should have been left out for the most part. The performance was done very well I just wish he had better material to read.
"I wanted more to happen"
Yes. I've been needing a new author to dive into, and I'm not completely turned away from Bova.
I liked the fork of the species. I would have liked more characterization (or even a sequel) about the new earth inhabitants. I'd like more about their culture. It's like there was a great framework for a story...and then...no story.
Yes, I did like the characters. The main squeeze wasn't believable though.
It is a great premise for a TV series. But every episode would have to invent a new plot.
Neat idea, elaborate on it. The story ended before it began.
"Disappointed in Ben Bova!"
We travel eight light year to encounter more humans...really?!?
This is the author who brought us "Jupiter" and "Leviathan" so the aliens presented in this story are a big disappoinment for me.
His narration is fine as always.
I am a big Ben Bova Fan, but this is not an example of his best work.
"A new start or an ambush"
Two things, first the flow of the story and the true to life characters. Second was the excellent reader.
The Irish scientist, he portrayed the true Irish attitude to life and problems, for example, he was willing to allow himself to be connected to the machine. He was prepared to "have a go".
When Jordon spoke to the predecessor.
No, but I just had to listen to every minute.
Ben Bova has scored another goal and won the match with this excellent book, Stefan Radnicki combined are just the right combination. This is an excellent book and I highly recommend it to all.
"Excellent Sci-Fi Story of the Grand Tour series"
Unforgettable sci-fi novel that kept me reading! Like the space explorers, I had to find out more and more about the alien species. I am glad I was able to switch between reading and listening to the outstanding professional narration,w or else everything in my daily life would have been on hold, while I was totally engrossed in this wonderful book. By all means, this is a five star read! I highly recommend it. Ben Nova's novels are getting bigger and better with each new release.
"Was hopeing for something better"
This is the only Bova book I did not like, I did finish it though
"One word: Boring."
I have five hours left in this book, and I'm giving up. The writing is so dry and the narrator is so monotone that I can't do it anymore.
I *think* it might be an interesting story, if it were written by someone who understood pacing a bit more. This only touches the most basic science, so it feels more like it was written in the 1950's instead of 2013. And the bare exposition is more reminiscent of Larry Niven, but not in a good way. If this book were made into a movie, literally every character would be played by Ben Stein.
Loved every line and sad that it's over. This sci-fi adventure gives a deep look into the meaning of Humanity.
"Shallow Uninteresting Chacters"
There is not an ounce of character development in this book. The underlying story is interesting, but does not justify the amount of pages used to tell it. The characters you have to suffer through make the experience unbearable. The only saving grace is the narrator. He actually gives the characters some depth through his performance. I highly discourage anyone from ever listening or reading this, the worst sci-fi book I've ever read.
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