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Ben Bova

Fiction and Excerpts [3]
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Fiction and Excerpts [3]

Transhuman (Excerpt)

, || Luke Abramson, a brilliant cellular biologist who is battling lung cancer, has one joy in life, his granddaughter, Angela. When he learns that Angela has an inoperable brain tumor and is given less than six months to live, Abramson wants to try a new enzyme, Mortality Factor 4 (MORF4), that he believes will kill Angela's tumor.

Apes and Angels

Humankind headed out to the stars not for conquest, nor exploration, nor even for curiosity. Humans went to the stars in a desperate crusade to save intelligent life wherever they found it.

A wave of death is spreading through the Milky Way galaxy, an expanding sphere of lethal gamma radiation that erupted from the galaxy’s core twenty-eight thousand years ago and now is approaching Earth’s vicinity at the speed of light. Every world it touched was wiped clean of all life. But it’s possible to protect a planet from gamma radiation. Earth is safe.

Now, guided by the ancient intelligent machines called the Predecessors, men and women from Earth seek out those precious, rare worlds that harbor intelligent species, determined to save them from the doom that is hurtling toward them.

The crew of the Odysseus has arrived at Mithra Gamma, the third planet of the star Mithra, to protect the stone-age inhabitants from the Death Wave. But they’ll also have to protect themselves.

Ben Bova’s Apes and Angels, the next volume of the Star Quest series, is available November 22 from Tor Books. Start with the very first chapter over at Macmillan.com.

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Transhuman (Excerpt)

Check out Ben Bova’s Transhuman, available April 15th from Tor Books!

Luke Abramson, a brilliant cellular biologist who is battling lung cancer, has one joy in life, his granddaughter, Angela. When he learns that Angela has an inoperable brain tumor and is given less than six months to live, Abramson wants to try a new enzyme, Mortality Factor 4 (MORF4), that he believes will kill Angela’s tumor.

However, the hospital bureaucracy won’t let him do it because MORF4 has not yet been approved by the FDA. Knowing that Angela will die before he can get approval of the treatment, Abramson abducts Angela from the hospital with plans to take her to a private research laboratory in Oregon.

Luke realizes he’s too old and decrepit to flee across the country with his sick granddaughter, chased by the FBI. So he injects himself with a genetic factor that will stimulate his body’s production of telomerase, an enzyme that has successfully reversed aging in animal tests…

[Read an Excerpt]

New Earth (Excerpt)

Check out New Earth by Ben Bova, out on July 16:

The entire world is thrilled by the discovery of a new Earthlike planet. Advance imaging shows that the planet has oceans of liquid water and a breathable oxygen-rich atmosphere. Eager to gain more information, a human exploration team is soon dispatched to explore the planet, now nicknamed New Earth.

Upon landing on the planet they discover 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?

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On July 20th, 1969…by Ben Bova

I was living in Massachusetts in 1969, working for the corporation that built the heat shields on the Apollo return modules. While I didn’t play a direct role in it, I nonetheless felt proud that our outfit helped to bring all the Apollo astronauts safely back to Earth.

Not very many people realized the very real life-and-death drama that took place during the final few minutes of Apollo 11’s touchdown on the Moon. As I watched the black-and-white television images, I thought something off was going on. It was. The landing site where the Eagle module was supposed to put down was strewn with dangerously large rocks. Neil Armstrong, piloting the Eagle, jinked the craft over at the very last instant and found a smoother place to land.

Once on the ground, Armstrong spoke the first words from the Moon: “Houston, Tranquility base here. The Eagle has landed.”

Memorable. But I recall Houston’s reply. “We copy you down, Eagle. You got a bunch of guys turning blue down here.”


Ben Bova is an American science fiction author and editor. He is extraordinarily prolific, penning over 120 novels since 1959, and is perhaps best known for his Grand Tour novels.

Series: Moon Landing Day