Mars: 3 Ljud-CD – Oavkortad, 21 Augusti 2008
This grand epic adventure from six-time Hugo Award-winning author Ben Bova tells the irresistible story of man's first mission to that great unconquered frontier, Mars--a planet pocked by meteors, baked by ultraviolet light, and covered by endless deserts the color of dried blood. Technically plausible and compellingly human, Bova's story explores the political, scientific, and social repercussions of our greatest quest yet: the search for evidence of life beyond Earth's boundaries.
Half-Navajo geologist Jamie Waterman has been selected for the ground team of the first manned expedition to our mysterious neighbor planet. Joining an international team of twenty-five astronauts and scientists, he endures the rigors of training, the dangers of traveling an incredible distance in space, the challenges of an alien landscape, and the personal and political conflicts that arise when the team must face the most shocking discovery of all.
Mars is an unforgettable portrait of space, politics, science, and humanity that captures for all time the mystery and wonder of an alien frontier.
"A bulging, impressive, all-you-ever-wanted-to-know, you-are-there Martian odyssey."-- "Kirkus Reviews"
"A sweeping, Michener-style saga of the first expedition to our neighboring planet...[T]he ultimate summer escape."-- "People"
"An exemplary summer read...adventurous, brilliant, over-the-edge characters...a carefully imagined, striking, and spooky portrait of the planet."-- "Voice Literary Supplement"
"An intelligent, entertaining story that may also serve as a rallying cry."-- "Omni"
"Bova has done extensive research and his descriptions of Mars and the conditions under which the study is conducted are very plausible. All in all, a satisfying story."-- "School Library Journal"
"Bova re-creates for us much of that first excitement we felt in reading about the possibilities of space flight or, later, witnessing the earliest manned exploration."-- "Los Angeles Times Book Review"
"Bova's 1992 novel follows Jamie Waterman--a Navaho geologist--on the first manned mission to Mars. The multinational expedition is wrought with political and personal strife, as well as a mysterious illness that strikes the entire land crew and nearly brings the project to a halt. The earnestness and longing of the lead character comes through in Stefan Rudnicki's voice as he narrates the story of Waterman's dogged search for signs of life on the Red Planet. Whether or not there's life beneath the frozen surface of Mars, Rudnicki's spellbinding baritone brings all the members of the international crew to life, providing believable accents for Russian, Brazilian, English, Japanese, and Israeli members of the landing team."-- "AudioFile"
Ben Bova was born in Philadelphia and received his doctorate in education from California Coast University in 1996. The author of over 120 futuristic novels and nonfiction books, he has also been a radio commentator, editor, lecturer, and aerospace industry executive. His articles, opinion pieces, and reviews have appeared in Scientific American, Nature, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and many other publications. His work has earned six Hugo Awards. He received the Lifetime Achievement Award of the Arthur C. Clarke Foundation in 2005, and his novel Titan won the John W. Campbell Memorial Award for the best science fiction novel of 2006.
Emily Janice Card (a.k.a. Emily Rankin) is an actor, writer, and singer from North Carolina, now residing in Los Angeles. In addition to being a narrator, she has directed numerous audiobooks, including the 2007 Audie and Earphones Award winner Hubris, Legacy of Ashes by Pulitzer Prize winner Tim Weiner, and Them by Nathan McCall. Her own audiobook narration has won her four Earphones Awards.
Stefan Rudnicki first became involved with audiobooks in 1994. Now a Grammy-winning audiobook producer, he has worked on more than three thousand audiobooks as a narrator, writer, producer, or director. He has narrated more than three hundred audiobooks. A recipient of multiple AudioFile Earphones Awards, he was presented the coveted Audie Award for solo narration in 2005, 2007, and 2014, and was named one of AudioFile's Golden Voices in 2012.
- Utgivare : Blackstone Audiobooks; Unabridged utgåvan (21 Augusti 2008)
- Språk : Engelska
- ISBN-10 : 143326370X
- ISBN-13 : 978-1433263705
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If you love mars and you love scientific fiction about space exploration then you will love this book. I feel the author made a hard choice in keeping away from fantasy and he sticks to it through and through. Its hard to explain without giving away spoilers.
Overall, I felt somewhat unsatisfied with the result. While the work is done masterfully for what it is I felt a tad bit cheated in the end. That said, I will state unequivocally that I was glued to this book throughout my reading. I found myself compelled to keep picking it up and the writing is done well so I was able to plow through it quite swiftly despite its length. So kudos to the author for keeping me quite interested from start to finish.
I did not like the politics of the book or the interpersonal relationships. Which I suppose you were not supposed to like as they serve as potential sources of conflict for the main character. They were done fine. However, I feel like the author kept threatening to derail the mission because of various political problems on the ground or petty jealousies among the chief characters. All of this would be quite good, and it served a purpose of putting this space exploration in a realistic world - yet I felt that the author shied away from really raising the stakes with these things. And because the politics and interpersonal relationships only seemed to threaten thing in a weak way I felt that the peaks and valleys of the story were less dramatic. I guess it felt a bit like the story was sacrificed for the mission. So I wonder if the book could have been shortened if we took out some of the these elements.
I would say this story is really a 3.5 star rating.
And yet, I feel duty bound to leave you with the notion that I could truly not put down the book. So if you are at all interested in Mars missions and realistic science fiction, I would definitely check it out
As chronology goes, Mars is the first book in the huge Grand Tour series to venture outside the Earth-Moon orbit. Mars takes us to, well, Mars along with a cast of about sixteen scientists and astronauts (although only about half of them play any sort of role other than being mentioned at some point). The cast of characters is, unfortunately, the weak link in the book. Like a lot of Ben Bova novels, the characters are bland and very stereotypical (with the possible exception of main Point of View character Jamie Waterman). The stodgy Russian ground team leader who insists on rigid discipline. The hip-hip cheerio British doctor who secretly hides his daddy issues and fear of rejection. The foxy reporter who sleeps with men to advance her career. Coniving politicians. Weak women, strong men. Even primary protagonist, Jamie Waterman - a half-Navaho American Indian, is portrayed to maximixe his "Indian-ness," although he is somewhat better developed than the rest of the cast. In terms of characters, I was once again left feeling let down and wondering if Mr. Bova is capable of writing a character who exists outside a stereotypical 80's American sitcom TV show.
That aside, the exploration of Mars is a well done, and our red neighbor essentially fills the role of primary antagonist. Mr. Bova developed an exploration of Mars that was both realistic and beautiful. I could easily picture myself as part of the team and felt a real sense of "being there." Mars doesn't fall back on hackney hooks like little green men or killer space bacteria to add danger, letting the naturally harsh and inhospitable environment do the lion share of the work (along with a medical emergency that did feel a little bit forced but not overly distracting). There are even touches of greatness here, like when the Russian mission leader and Waterman pause to enjoy an aurora effect. Bova is able to again place me in the scene, marveling along with the characters at the truly epic nature of the moment. Descriptions of Martian rifts that make the Grand Canyon look like a pot hole and the soaring heights of Olympus Mons are also well done and contribute to the book's atmosphere.
Some of the negative reviews claim that "nothing happens" in this book but I think the opposite is true. Things are constantly happening, they're just sometimes mundane things one would expect from exploring a mostly barren planet. In fact, I thought this was really well done. From the initial landing and first exploration days where EVERYTHING is a big deal to the crew settling in and becoming a little bored by the mundane first few weeks of exploration.
I thought the occasional break-away from the exploration to explore a character's back-story were somewhat distracting and mostly just made the cardboard characters more cardboard. For example, we learn the Englishman, Dr. Reed, had trouble with acceptance from his father and failure issues...but they never really play out in the novel as a whole. So now I know his story, but it doesn't seem to affect the way he acts, or the novel as a whole, so why tell it? These seem to be a common element in Bova books though, so I just wade through them, anxious to get back to the real story.
I felt like Mars was also the first Grand Tour novel where Mr. Bova has begun to try and tie some of Grand Tour universe together. It's not always perfectly done but if one doesn't dwell too much on the timelines and happening in other novels, they can start to feel things coming together. It's a nice effect because while it doesn't shoe horn the reader into a place and time, it does start to give a sense of feeling to the universe as a whole (and with 13 books to go in the series, I can appreciate that).
Of the four Grand Tour books I've read so far, Mars is easily the most "sci-fi" and unlike it's chronological predecessors, doesn't have as much of a thriller element. For those looking for a realistic off-world adventure, I think you'll find it in Mars. If, on the other hand you're looking for more military, grand scale sci-fi, you may want to steer clear.