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Publishers Weekly Reviews

Bova continues his ambitious project of exploring a near-future human-colonized solar system (which began with 1992's Mars) with this all-too-conventional space adventure, the first of the Outer Planets trilogy. Raven Marchesi flees a life of prostitution in Naples, Italy, for Haven, an artificial habitat circling Uranus, where idealistic Reverend Kyle Umber has set up a nondenominational refuge for Earth's "poor, disenfranchised, forgotten" with the backing of sinister financier Evan Waxman. Raven soon becomes involved with both Waxman, who's running a secret drug trade, and astronomer Tómas Gomez, who's come to Haven to investigate secrets lurking under Uranus's ocean. Not much science animates this stale story, which is more concerned with Waxman's drug deals, romantic encounters, and corruption, and the hints of alien forces bent on destroying humanity amount to too little too late. The characters' relationships and biases are grounded in contemporary attitudes, making it clear that shockingly little social change has occurred in Bova's vision of the future. Readers will be disappointed by this rote, unimaginative work of hard science fiction. (May)

Copyright 2020 Publishers Weekly.


A first entry in a planned trilogy by the Hugo Award-winning author of Earth finds a religious idealist, a billionaire financier and a prestigious scientist battling for control over a space mission to search for life on Uranus. - (Baker & Taylor)

A religious idealist, a billionaire financier, and a prestigious scientist battle for control over a space mission to search for life on Uranus. - (Baker & Taylor)

Ben Bova, author of Earth, continues his exploration of the future of a human-settled Solar System with the science fiction action adventure Uranus, the first of his Outer Planets trilogy.

On a privately financed orbital habitat above the planet Uranus, political idealism conflicts with pragmatic, and illegal, methods of financing. Add a scientist who has funding to launch a probe deep into Uranus‘s ocean depths to search for signs of life, and you have a three-way struggle for control.

Humans can’t live on the gas giants, making instead a life in orbit. Kyle Umber, a religious idealist, has built Haven, a sanctuary above the distant planet Uranus. He invites ”the tired, the sick, the poor“ of Earth to his orbital retreat where men and women can find spiritual peace and refuge from the world.

The billionaire who financed Haven, however, has his own designs: beyond the reach of the laws of the inner planets Haven could become the center for an interplanetary web of narcotics, prostitution, even hunting human prey.

Meanwhile a scientist has gotten funding from the Inner Planets to drop remote probes into the “oceans” of Uranus, in search of life. He brings money and prestige, but he also brings journalists and government oversight to Haven. And they can’t have that.

- (McMillan Palgrave)

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