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Farside | [Ben Bova]

Farside

Telescopes on Earth have detected an Earth-sized planet circling a star some 30 light-years away. Now the race is on to get pictures of that distant world that show whether or not the planet is truly like Earth - and if it bears life. Farside observatory will have the largest optical telescope in the solar system and the most sensitive radio telescope, insulated from the interference of Earth’s radio chatter by a thousand kilometers of the moon’s solid body. But building Farside is a complex, dangerous task. And what they ultimately find stuns everyone, and humanity will never be the same.
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Publisher's Summary

Farside, the side of the moon that never faces Earth, is the ideal location for an astronomical observatory. It is also the setting for a tangled web of politics, personal ambition, love, jealousy, and murder.

Telescopes on Earth have detected an Earth-sized planet circling a star some 30 light-years away. Now the race is on to get pictures of that distant world, photographs and spectra that show whether or not the planet is truly like Earth - and if it bears life. Farside observatory will have the largest optical telescope in the solar system as well as a vast array of radio antennas, the most sensitive radio telescope possible, insulated from the interference of Earth’s radio chatter by a thousand kilometers of the moon’s solid body.

Building Farside is a complex, often dangerous task. On the airless surface of the moon, under constant bombardment by hard radiation and in-falling micrometeoroids, builders must work in cumbersome spacesuits and use robotic machines as much as possible. Breakdowns - mechanical and emotional - are commonplace. Accidents happen, some of them fatal. But what they ultimately find will stun everyone, and the human race will never be the same.

©2013 Ben Bova (P)2013 Blackstone Audio, Inc

What the Critics Say

"I believe that by far the science fiction author who will have the greatest effect on the science fiction world, and the world as a whole, is Ben Bova." (Ray Bradbury)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.6 (245 )
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4.0 (221 )
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3 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Dejan Eight Mile Plains, Australia 03-01-13
    Dejan Eight Mile Plains, Australia 03-01-13

    Interested in futurism and hard science fiction.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Caught up in character affairs instead of science."

    I prefer hard SF and speculative fiction. This book provides an enjoyable amount of technical detail but I felt that the main discovery seems to have been delivered flatly and in a rush with too much attention paid to character driven action and affairs.

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Martin NEWBERG, OR, United States 02-14-13
    Martin NEWBERG, OR, United States 02-14-13 Member Since 2012

    Hi my name is Marty, Im book worm from Portland Oregon. I work graveyard shifts and listen to books while I work and read comics in the day

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I want more"

    Pro's: An amazing venture into the SyFi universe that Ben bova has been building for years, and finaly takes us back to the moon, and to the characters from moon wars-perhaps some of my favorite characters that he has written. Filled with the kind of realistic intrigue that his books are famous for. Stefan Rudnicki Did an Awesome job at narrating ( like he normally does ) I honestly don't think that they could have gotten a better narrator for this kind of book.

    Con's: It felt to short, although not much shorter then most of his other books, I wanted more, and the ending felt rushed.

    Other thoughts: if you are new to Ben Bova's books, this is not the best place to start, Moon Base i think is honestly the best book of his to start off with. Also, This is not Star wars, or a Military Scfi book its not about space wizards and lazers pew pewing people. this is very much SCIENCE fiction. So its not for every one

    9 of 14 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jason Goemaat Des Moines, IA 04-11-14
    Jason Goemaat Des Moines, IA 04-11-14 Member Since 2000
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    "Frustrating"

    Bland characters and methodical writing aren't helped by the narrator. You can tell who the bad guys are right away, but it's really hard to sympathize with the characters.

    I would say it was the science that was frustrating, but it's not really science but more basic logical contradictions that puzzle me. (minor spoilers) - It doesn't matter what caused a leak in a spacesuit, airlock or fuel line, the effects would be the same. When someone can't breath suddenly that means he must have lost air pressure, right? But the suit had half its air left, so why couldn't he breath? It just doesn't make any sense. That's like saying "nanobots pulled the trigger to fire the gun, but the bullet never left the barrel, but the guy died of a gunshot wound anyway". In fact they mention several times how slow the leaks were, which means the pressure loss should be detected before there was a real problem. The same could be said for all instances, it just doesn't make any sense.

    And what normal functioning person would take their eyes off someone that was part of the plot against the whole station, someone that kidnapped a person and stole a shuttle, someone that you backed into a corner where he would have to face punishment for his actions, and someone that you had just punched in the face and knocked unconscious for a minute.

    This book was interesting in that it seemed like a documentary what life might be like on a moon base in the future, but failed as an interesting work of fiction.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael Oberhardt Home with my wife and cats 12-24-13
    Michael Oberhardt Home with my wife and cats 12-24-13 Member Since 2009
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    "Not Bad, But..."
    Would you try another book from Ben Bova and/or Stefan Rudnicki?

    I have fond memories of reading Ben Bova novels when I was younger, but I sort of found the story disappointing. Possibly as I feel the story blurb was more than a bit misleading. Instead of really being a book about a discover of a new planet and "what they ultimately find will stun everyone, and the human race will never be the same". Well, the description and fuss about the planet comprised the last 3 minutes of the book. The book was actually more about nanobots and a scumbag rich terrorist. Nothing wrong with that, but the description doesn't even vaguely sound like this. I still have no idea "what they ultimately" found that would "stun everyone, and the human race will never be the same". No idea at all. I felt like I had accidentally downloaded the wrong book. I was looking forward to a moon base / discovery book.


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    Described it more accurately


    What about Stefan Rudnicki’s performance did you like?

    OK voice, but his "Australian" female accent was really bad, like worse than Robert Downey Jr in Natural Born Killers... Sounded more South African than anything. I also wasn't aware Betelgeuse was pronounced Beetlejiuce, like the movie. I could be wrong though.


    Did Farside inspire you to do anything?

    No


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    D. A. Gordon MOAB, UT, United States 07-04-13
    D. A. Gordon MOAB, UT, United States 07-04-13 Member Since 2005

    Ann

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    "Another good Ben Bova book."

    I have read most of Ben Bova's books, some I liked more than others, but I have enjoyed them all. This is a worthy addition to my Ben Bova library. As usual, Stefan Rudnicki did a most excellent job with the narration. I will recommend this book to my friends who like sci-fi adventures.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    George SANTA FE, NM, United States 06-16-13
    George SANTA FE, NM, United States 06-16-13 Member Since 2004
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    "Yep...another good one"

    Another Bova intrigue book. It had many characters, developed to a "T" and all supporting the whounit plot It's a book in series and it helps to know the past works, but not ctitical. And, it all happens on the moon's far side.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paul Keeseville, NY, United States 04-17-13
    Paul Keeseville, NY, United States 04-17-13 Member Since 2011
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    "Good but not up to Grand Tour par."
    Where does Farside rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This was a good book but is hovering in the middle ground as far as what I expect from Bova


    Would you be willing to try another book from Ben Bova? Why or why not?

    I will always give Bova a shot. This book felt a lot like a fill in the gap rushed book.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    This was a big problem in this book is that nothing really stood out.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No it was ok to split up the listening time.


    Any additional comments?

    This book was full of mindless sexual content and a lot of re-hashing old plots... OH NO ITS NANO BUGS AGAIN!!!! The plot of leading to finding another world was a great one but little was on that. It seemed like a last minute fill in for the real novel that will be to travel to this new world.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lars Laar, Belgium 07-02-13
    Lars Laar, Belgium 07-02-13 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Ok but not great"
    What did you like best about Farside? What did you like least?

    The idea of having a second earth and a base on the moon


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    If new earth is able to hold life


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Close the end, not going to spoil


    Do you think Farside needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    No, the story was enough.


    Any additional comments?

    I had a hard time finishing this book, I liked it in the end but there was a time that I almost deleted it because I thought it was not word finishing but I did. But I will not read it again.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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