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Titan: A Tale of Cataclysmic Discovery | [Ben Bova]

Titan: A Tale of Cataclysmic Discovery

Master storyteller Ben Bova continues his multi-volume "Grand Tour" saga chronicling humanity's exploration of near space with Titan, a fast-paced thriller focused on the first manned mission to the Solar System's most intriguing world. Skillfully blending high drama, passionate characters, and daring speculation with the latest discoveries from the current Cassini/Huygens probe of Saturn's moon, Bova has crafted a heart-stopping tale of epic adventure on mankind's next frontier.
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Publisher's Summary

Master storyteller Ben Bova continues his multi-volume "Grand Tour" saga chronicling humanity's exploration of near space with Titan, a fast-paced thriller focused on the first manned mission to the Solar System's most intriguing world. Skillfully blending high drama, passionate characters, and daring speculation with the latest discoveries from the current Cassini/Huygens probe of Saturn's moon, Bova has crafted a heart-stopping tale of epic adventure on mankind's next frontier.

The gigantic colony ship Goddard has at last made orbit around the ringed planet Saturn, carrying a volatile population of more than 10,000 dissidents, rebels, extremists, and visionaries seeking a new life among the stars. Chief scientist Edouard Urbain's avowed mission is to study the enigmatic moon called Titan, which offers the tantalizing possibility that life may exist amid its windswept islands and chill black seas.

But when the exploration vessel Titan Alpha mysteriously fails after reaching the moon's surface, long buried tensions surface among the colonists. Torn by political intrigue, suspicious accidents, and an awesome discovery that could threaten human space exploration, a handful of courageous men and women must fight for the survival of their colony, and the destiny of the human race.

©2006 Ben Bova; (P)2006 Audio Renaissance, a division of Holtzbrinck Publishers, LLC

What the Critics Say

  • Titan: Winner, John W. Campbell Memorial Award, 2006

"The solidly hypothesized science enthralls." (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.7 (253 )
5 star
 (79)
4 star
 (81)
3 star
 (54)
2 star
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1 star
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Overall
3.8 (64 )
5 star
 (21)
4 star
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3 star
 (12)
2 star
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1 star
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Story
4.1 (65 )
5 star
 (31)
4 star
 (18)
3 star
 (8)
2 star
 (5)
1 star
 (3)
Performance
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  •  
    J. Carpenter Fremont, CA USA 09-25-07
    J. Carpenter Fremont, CA USA 09-25-07

    roulette

    HELPFUL VOTES
    60
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    436
    18
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
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    Overall
    "Great voice tallent wasted on a lame book"

    The voice talents were exceptional. I've heard them before reading other books and was impressed. However, this book was so awful, even they couldn't save it. It was painful just getting through to the end.

    Bova tries to intersperse some political intrigue, so of course the women are pitted against the men in a women's rights issue. Did the "women's issue" have to be "having babies?" Talk about cliche! Bova also expresses his complete lack of understanding about astronauts & mission planning. A pilot who forgets to put on her space suit for a flight? Please!

    The characters in this book were all so alike that I couldn't tell who was with whom, or which character was speaking because they all thought the same way. I'd like to say the characters were 2 dimensional, but juvenile is more like it. The robot is the only interesting or stable character in the entire book.

    10 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Swad 03-03-09
    Swad 03-03-09

    swadmeister

    HELPFUL VOTES
    154
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    129
    58
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    4
    0
    Overall
    "Not My Cuppa"

    I like sci-fi, but this was more like Dallas in Space than anything else. I've never read Bova before, but I was expecting more from the futuristic space genre than this. The narration is almost unbearable. Four different readers switching off, mostly depending on who's point-of-view is being expressed. They all "performed" replete with accents that were inconsistent depending on who was reading. The story lost me about 1/4 in but I stayed with it almost until the end when I realized it was time to move on.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Melissa Seattle, WA, United States 08-02-06
    Melissa Seattle, WA, United States 08-02-06 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    98
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    24
    15
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    2
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    "Couldn't even finish it."

    If this is one of Ben Bova's best works, I will skip the rest. I couldn't even get halfway through this book, I got so fed-up with all the focus on who was dating whom and who was wearing what to the ball and how much weight whomever had lost and how. At least the first half of the book is severly lacking in sci-fi elements. I got to the point where I didn't even care about the probe anymore, I was so sick of wading through all the high-school drama. Reads like Cosmopolitan magazine in space.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Guillermo Rochester Hills, MI, United States 02-16-10
    Guillermo Rochester Hills, MI, United States 02-16-10 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    299
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    374
    28
    FOLLOWERS
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    14
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    "Good Hard Science Fiction"

    I guess I grew up reading Ben Bova over the years (the Dueling Machine early on through Mars and Return to Mars later on), so I've always liked his slow paced, realistic writing style that puts character development in front of action.

    Titan is as good as any of those books and very well narrated, too. I saw there seemed a lot of negative reviews, but Ben Bova doesn't write pulp fiction. He writes hard science fiction.

    This was a good book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark Encino, CA, USA 08-03-06
    Mark Encino, CA, USA 08-03-06
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    9
    5
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Lags"

    I felt like I was reading a Soap Opera disguised as a sci fi novel...there really is not much action in this novel or any real protagonist/antagonist conflict...and the characters are rather one dimensional....the hokey accents of the reader did not help, either. Seems like the author tried too hard to make a book with a strong female characters and forgot to add aspects of true intrigue. Very little time was spent discussing the most interesting character in the book, the title character -- Titan.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chester Sioux Falls, SD, USA 06-15-06
    Chester Sioux Falls, SD, USA 06-15-06
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "bad"

    Sorry, but I would rather listen to paint dry. This book should be 'bad sex in space', and the accents and characters are right out of the bronx. Some of the narrators are ok, but most are a laugh.

    4 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Matthew Los Angeles, CA, United States 10-26-10
    Matthew Los Angeles, CA, United States 10-26-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
    114
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    61
    50
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
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    Overall
    "Fun science, terrible readers."

    Bova wrote this and many other books as excuses for taking the real scientific data for the planets and giving it to us in the form of a story... it is interesting insofar as you like astronomy and planetary physics... as a story it is pretty much fluff... some angsty characters, a mysterious robot gone awol... and a dash of interstellar politics. Nothing dumb, nothing offensive, but also nothing to write home about. The readers on the other hand, are terrible... sounding like a bunch of WASPy actors trying to play ethnic types. The dialects come and go, depending on how tired the readers are, and they try so hard to inflect the voices with character and pizazz that they do a disservice to the simplicity of the tale. Read this if you like hard sci-fi stories about terraforming/space exploration, but don't expect Red Mars (Robinson). It's no where near that complex.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jan 09-25-07
    Jan 09-25-07
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    230
    26
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great voice tallent wasted on a lame book"

    The voice talents were exceptional. I've heard them before reading other books and was impressed. However, this book was so awful, even they couldn't save it. It was painful just getting through to the end.

    Bova tries to intersperse some political intrigue, so of course the women are pitted against the men in a women's rights issue. Did the "women's issue" have to be "having babies?" Talk about cliche! Bova also expresses his complete lack of understanding about astronauts & mission planning. A pilot who forgets to put on her space suit for a flight? Please!

    The characters in this book were all so alike that I couldn't tell who was with whom, or which character was speaking because they all thought the same way. I'd like to say the characters were 2 dimensional, but juvenile is more like it. The robot is the only interesting or stable character in the entire book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chris midvale, UT, United States 05-16-06
    Chris midvale, UT, United States 05-16-06 Member Since 2002

    Dr. Christopher W. Roberts Ph.d I am a Computer Geek working around the U.S. and the world. I have a lot of Air miles to listen to audible titles.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    108
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    678
    30
    FOLLOWERS
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    9
    0
    Overall
    "Technology doing what it is told in the Grand Tour"

    Welcome back Poncho Lane in this installment of the Grand Tour.
    Dare Devil do and a probe gone awry set the background of this adventure. The attempt to probe Titan's surface has gone bad and humans are outlawed to touch the surface, how do you repair the probe and not touch the ground? fast paced and well developed story and characters make this book a great listen.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lisa Santee, CA, USA 12-12-06
    Lisa Santee, CA, USA 12-12-06 Member Since 2002
    HELPFUL VOTES
    89
    ratings
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    84
    38
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    3
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    Overall
    "Excellent"

    My favorite of the Grand Tour series, and I love them all. Great narrator, thank heavens he has done most of Bova's books. This book has more stuff happening in it than you can shake a stick at. I never wanted it to end, I just wanted it to go on and on forever. I wanted to be there!

    2 of 5 people found this review helpful
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