A tale of revenge and technological endeavor set on our solar system’s most desolate stage. The closest planet to the sun, Mercury is a rocky, barren, heat-scorched world. The planet’s surface faces the sun for nearly sixty earth days at a time, and the only places that stay cool are the ice caches at Mercury’s poles.
In Ben Bova’s novel JUPITER, physicist Grant Archer led an expedition into Jupiter’s hostile planet-wide ocean, attempting to study the unusual and massive creatures that call the planet their home. Unprepared for the hostile environment and crushing pressures, Grant’s team faced certain death as their ship malfunctioned and slowly sank to the planet’s depths. However one of Jupiter’s native creatures—a city-sized leviathan—saved the doomed ship. This creature’s act convinced Grant that the huge creatures were intelligent, but he lacked scientific proof.
Now, several years later, Grant prepares a new expedition to prove once and for all that the huge creatures are intelligent. The new team faces dangers from both the hostile environment and from humans who will do anything to make sure the mission is a failure, even if it means murdering the entire crew.
Cities became ovens. Grasslands became seas of flame. As the touch of dawn swept westward across the spinning planet Earth, its fiery finger killed everything in its path. Glaciers in Switzerland began to melt, floodwaters poured down on the burning, smoking villages dotting the Alpine meadows. Paris became a torch, then London. North of the Arctic Circle, Lapplanders in their summer furs burst into flame as their reindeer collapsed and roasted on the smoking tundra.
The line of dawn raced westward across the Atlantic Ocean, but as it did the brightness diminished. The sun dimmed as quickly as it had brightened.
Part of this novel was published separately, in substantially different form, as ‘When The Sky Burned’, copyright © 1973 by Ben Bova.
Jamie Waterman discovered the cliff dwelling on Mars, and the fact that an intelligent race lived on the red planet sixty-five million years ago, only to be driven into extinction by the crash of a giant meteor. Now the exploration of Mars is itself under threat of extinction, as the ultraconservative New Morality movement gains control of the U.S. government and cuts off all funding for the Mars program.Meanwhile, Carter Carleton, an anthropologist who was driven from his university post by unproven charges of rape, has started to dig up the remains of a Martian village. Science and politics clash on two worlds as Jamie desperately tries to save the Mars program and uncover who the vanished Martians were.
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