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
"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)
I am an avid listener. I listen between 75-100 hours per month on my iPhone: 60% fiction to 40% non-fiction.
Leave it to Ben Bova to create a race out of astronomy accolades. Farside takes us to the dark-side of the moon where a deep space telescope is being constructed to look at a planet called New Earth. This effort, of course is in competition with an rival Earth based effort. Two scientists, racing to be the first, racing the Nobel prize. What mischief is hatched? Hmmm. Well that’s for the plot to lay out and for you to listen to conclusion to.
I absolutely admire and love Stephan Rudnicki’s narration; he is an old hand at it. He has narrated numerous Sci-Fi, namely Orson Scott Card for one. My favorite is Card’s Hidden Empire series. Rudnicki gives the characters weight as Bova weaves their depth.
As a sci-fi genre goes, you don’t have to take a great many leaps of faith to believe the story. And the magic ‘unobtainium’ card, that most writers use, is kept at bay. I think this story will appeal to both the general Sci-Fi listener and well and the purist.
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.
I don't make a habit of listening to BOT twice.
Shockingly, this is my first time with Ben Bova, but certainly won't be the last!
His accents and innonation are outstanding. Truly on of the better narrators on audible IMHO.
Farside: Lunar Deception
This is an excellent introduction to Ben Bova, from what I can tell. The ending is a bit clunky, but overall recommend this to true sci fi fans.
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
This was a good book but is hovering in the middle ground as far as what I expect from Bova
I will always give Bova a shot. This book felt a lot like a fill in the gap rushed book.
This was a big problem in this book is that nothing really stood out.
No it was ok to split up the listening time.
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.
This was ok. Kept my ears busy, put pretty pictures of moon bases and telescopes and stuff in my mind's eye. Characters were human. Not much thought went into the idea of living on the moon though, there were all kinds of opportunities for awesome details about the hardships and difficulties of a permanent moon colony, that were conveniently ignored. Having read Red Mars (Kim Stanley Robbinson) this was frustratingly shallow. But it entertained me, and I'll probably read more of Mr Bova's works.
Not one of Mr Bova's best works but well worth reading.
Wish I had not downloaded the new Iphone App, then this book would have been more enjoyable!
I went back and looked for any other of Ben Bova'a works that I may have missed, so I must have liked it.
It is hard to believe that this novel was written in the present era. At one point, the lead character, in a space suit out on the Moon's surface, asks one of his assistants to go inside and get him a camera. Right. Like in a century from now (or whenever the near-ish future date is) that there's not going to be a camera in his suit - or retina, or...There are several similar instances which reveal a poorly conceived future setting (a pad of paper, conveniently found in a desk drawer, on a limited-supply Moon outpost? Riiiight. Even today, the average N American only picks up a pen every few weeks) etc etc. Then there is the dialogue. It's not just cliché-ridden and cringeworthy, it's also frighteningly dated with regard to the sayings people use and rife with cultural references that are already decades past. MAYBE the author intended to use phrases so old that many of today's 20-somethings wouldn't even know what they meant - just so the book would come off as authentic classic sci-fi from another era. Sort of like what SM Stirling did with his Mars & Venus 'Sky People' alternative reality books a few years back. I sure hope so. The alternative - that Bova meant this to be a modern, credible science fiction novel - is scary to contemplate.
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