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Mars | [Ben Bova]

Mars

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 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.
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Publisher's Summary

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. 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 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.

Listen to Ben Bova's complete Mars trilogy, including the second book, Return to Mars, and the third book, Mars Life.

©1992 Ben Bova; (P)2008 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"A bulging, impressive, all-you-ever-wanted-to-know, you-are-there Martian odyssey." (Kirkus Reviews)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.8 (477 )
5 star
 (136)
4 star
 (180)
3 star
 (114)
2 star
 (28)
1 star
 (19)
Overall
3.9 (269 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
 (12)
1 star
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Story
4.1 (271 )
5 star
 (103)
4 star
 (103)
3 star
 (51)
2 star
 (9)
1 star
 (5)
Performance
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  •  
    Ben Brisbane, Australia 05-21-09
    Ben Brisbane, Australia 05-21-09 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    17
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    "Solid Near Future Sci-Fi"

    This is a solid science fiction title set in a slightly dated near future. Ben Bova has written an interesting story about the first human expedition to Mars that I found quite engaging and addictive. Some of the story elements are now dated (eg. Floppy disks, battlestar galactica approach) but nonetheless the story holds up as realistic and for me, at least, exciting.

    I had previously read the title in hardcopy prior to 'reading' it on audible and I think I appreciated it more evenly - throughout the entire book - the second time around. I attribute that to the format - you can not easily scan or skip ahead in an audiobook - but also to the narration of Stefan Rudnicki who kept it interesting. Stefan manages to deal with the many accents passably or at least better than I could.

    A very nice read!

    14 of 14 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Old Hippy PA 04-19-10
    Old Hippy PA 04-19-10 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    413
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    "Slow, but nicely written and narrated"

    This tale unfolds slowly, but it's engaging and well-told. Clearly intended as part of a series - which I don't often care for - it nonetheless manages to stand on its own. The characters are carefully unfolded and come to life under Rudnicki's outstanding narration. (I don't think they come better than Rudnicki.) Bova doesn't follow the usual formula leading to an ending where everything blows up. If fast-paced, hard-hitting action is what you're looking for - and there's certainly a place for that - you likely won't like this one. If a well-told, good story is your interest, this won't let you down. I will read this next one.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark Lexington, KY, USA 10-24-08
    Mark Lexington, KY, USA 10-24-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
    9
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    "GREAT LISTEN"

    I am pleasantly surprised as to the entertainment that Mars has given me. It does seem to be a bit heavy on politics and not enough 'Tars Tarkas.' But what I really enjoyed was the quality of the reader. Stefan Rudnicki did an excellent job in his reading. He was the right voice for this Book. I am looking forward to listening to more about this venture and other audiobooks by Stefan.

    Mark

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Luis Miami, Fl, United States 04-12-11
    Luis Miami, Fl, United States 04-12-11 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    105
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    "enjoyable read"

    The book was a good listen. The narrator did a good job. As someone said in a previous review it was dated but not for the techology only but for the attitudes.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Victor Sacramento, CA, USA 04-23-09
    Victor Sacramento, CA, USA 04-23-09 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    13
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    "Mars"

    Ben bova does a good job entertaining the reader and listener with story. I found the racial intolerance a bit exagerated and the profanity totally unnecessary. I know people use this type of language in real life but this is not about real life. Otherwise it is a very good listen. The science was good and the little insights into how the media works and the native american folklore was worthwhile.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Matthew SEATTLE, WA, United States 12-19-13
    Matthew SEATTLE, WA, United States 12-19-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
    435
    ratings
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    178
    146
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    87
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    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Try to keep that sand outside of the capsule, OK?"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    Definitely. The performance by Stefan is outstanding ( as always ) and the characters are drawn well, with enough nuance, and complexity, to be real enough that the reader cares about them, however they feel about them. In general, enough complexity in subject matter, with action and mystery, to attract, and retain, attention.


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

    Yes. I am a fan, and will wade through most of them, eventually.


    What does Stefan Rudnicki bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Nuanced, intelligent activation of the characters, as written. Stefan seems to have a unique relationship with Bova's stye and pacing, and the 2 of them are a powerful team.


    Did Mars inspire you to do anything?

    Yes! I recently had a telescope repaired by a friend, and I dragged it out to the back deck ( in Ballard, Seattle, WA ) and checked out the Red Planet. Could see Phobos clearly!


    Any additional comments?

    A grand component, with flaws of course, to the Solar System series. Well worth the effort.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paul Peabody, MA, United States 04-20-12
    Paul Peabody, MA, United States 04-20-12 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Not bad. Ending was very anti-climatic"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    The ending was very anti-climatic


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

    A bit more action


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Not re


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    No


    Any additional comments?

    A bit slow. Ending was very poor.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Terry Calgary, AB, Canada 12-27-11
    Terry Calgary, AB, Canada 12-27-11

    Tell us about yourself!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Very good story. Reveals the mind of Bova"

    I have been reading Ben Bova books for years and have most all of his audible books here. Mars is one of his best stories and Stefan Rudnicki is very good in his delivery. However, I don’t understand why Egypt and Argentina are represented as significant space powers here in the book. The one quandary is after all these years I have come to the conclusion Ben doesn’t like a great number of things. He doesn’t like the news media, politicians, government or people with power. His representation of the news media is negative as are the people in government and politics. They are usually the protagonists. People in his books are constantly planning silly and selfish subterfuge and act very impulsively like children do sometimes. Come on Ben, Dan Brown has that style mastered. The story is good enough to out weight all of this though. Listen to it and just enjoy it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jean Courtenay, British Columbia, Canada 10-12-11
    Jean Courtenay, British Columbia, Canada 10-12-11 Member Since 2010
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    "Peaks the Interest"

    Listening to the 1st in this series got me hooked and wanting to find out more. Our Navajo hero is at times predictable and hormone centric but the premise was good and the story interesting.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Colin Detroit 01-15-10
    Colin Detroit 01-15-10 Member Since 2009

    Thanks Audible for your continued support of "This Week in Tech" over at TWiT.tv

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "great, strange Indian things - and a bit dated"

    there are some things that make this book seem dated and some are that they mention that they have to change the "film" in a camera and that it is better to use a new camera so as not to expose the film to the environment on mars - another is the "tape" in a video camera, which video cameras have tapes but like the "film" camera it would be digital on an internal storage and maybe some kinda flash or crystal storage thingie (NASA uses digital cameras all the time probably before 1992 when this was written)

    also there is strange parts about Indians, American Indians that is and there culture which makes the book seem strange at times but it only lasts a couple of scenes

    there isnt much detail describing the size of things like the habitat they are living in on Mars and how big the rovers are or even exactly what they look like (they do describe the shape of it but its not much and could be describing a rock or something)

    I plan to read the other books that follow this and I hope for the same quality with them as I got with this one

    6 of 10 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-10 of 24 results PREVIOUS123NEXT
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  • Paul
    Skelmersdale, Lancashire, United Kingdom
    10/24/09
    Overall
    "What we could miss by not going to Mars"

    I enjoyed the three books, I like the Idea that a native American is the driving force to mars, Red man Red planet etc.
    I only gave it a 4 star because I think there's another book needed for the ending. But on that point I will read his other books as I like his style.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Andy Hurley
    Cambridge, UK
    2/17/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Good story if a bit dated"
    What made the experience of listening to Mars the most enjoyable?

    The escapism and realism of the story was totally engaging.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Imagining a real world incredible journey was deeply satisfying.


    What three words best describe Stefan Rudnicki’s performance?

    Deep, rattling, painful.


    Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I was saddened by the missed opportunities that this book highlights.


    Any additional comments?

    Stefan's performance was well done but it needed some post production as his voice is so deep and rattling that I found it actually painful to listen to at any volume, maybe bring him up an octave or compress the range a little? Strangely the parts that had been re-recorded were very obvious because they were at a much more compressed and comfortable level.

    The story shows it's age in a few places with technology in particular which makes it all the more remarkable that it imagines something that is still very much in the future despite being based on technology that existed 20 years ago.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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