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The Precipice: Book One of the Asteroid Wars

The Precipice: Book One of the Asteroid Wars


The Precipice: Book One of the Asteroid Wars

ratings:
4/5 (9 ratings)
Length:
12 hours
Publisher:
Released:
Feb 1, 2005
ISBN:
9781593974916
Format:
Audiobook

Description

Once, Dan Randolph was one of the richest men on Earth. Now the planet is spiralling into environmental disaster, with floods and earthquakes destroying the lives of millions. Martin Humphries, fabulously wealthy heir of the Humphries Trust, also knows that space-based industry is the way of the future. But unlike Randolph he does not care if Earth perishes in the process.

As Randolph—accompanied by two brilliant women astronauts—flies out to the Asteroid Belt aboard a fusion-propelled spacecraft, Humphries makes his move. The future of mankind lies in Randolph's hands.

A Macmillan Audio production.

Publisher:
Released:
Feb 1, 2005
ISBN:
9781593974916
Format:
Audiobook


About the author

Ben Bova (1932-2020) was the author of more than a hundred works of science fact and fiction, including Able One, Transhuman, Orion, the Star Quest Trilogy, and the Grand Tour novels, including Titan, winner of John W. Campbell Memorial Award for best novel of the year. His many honors include the Isaac Asimov Memorial Award in 1996, the Lifetime Achievement Award of the Arthur C. Clarke Foundation in 2005, and the Robert A. Heinlein Award “for his outstanding body of work in the field of literature” in 2008. Dr. Bova was President Emeritus of the National Space Society and a past president of Science Fiction Writers of America, and a former editor of Analog and former fiction editor of Omni. As an editor, he won science fiction’s Hugo Award six times. His writings predicted the Space Race of the 1960s, virtual reality, human cloning, the Strategic Defense Initiative (Star Wars), electronic book publishing, and much more. In addition to his literary achievements, Bova worked for Project Vanguard, America’s first artificial satellite program, and for Avco Everett Research Laboratory, the company that created the heat shields for Apollo 11, helping the NASA astronauts land on the moon. He also taught science fiction at Harvard University and at New York City’s Hayden Planetarium and worked with such filmmakers as George Lucas and Gene Roddenberry.

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What people think about The Precipice

3.9
9 ratings / 5 Reviews
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Reader reviews

  • (3/5)
    Dan Randolph is a space entrepreneur and owner of the Astro Corporation in this book set in the kind-of near future. A Global Warming cliff has struck and the Earth is a mess; the future of humankind seems to be elsewhere, like the Moon, where there is a thriving colony already, which has won independence before the start of the book. Dan concocts a plan to use a new fusion technology to travel more quickly than was previously possible to the Asteroid Belt, where the resources would now finally be possible to mine with this new tech.Meanwhile, one of Dan's partners, Martin Humphries, is really plotting for the mission to fail so he can take over Astro Corp and add it to his already-massive holdings. Dan recruits his astronauts and gets the mission off with himself on it, but runs into complications that threaten to kill the crew.Another important plot area is the use of nanomachines to construct the ship, and the politics of use of such things, which are outlawed on Earth due to their potential danger as a weapon (and due to bureaucratic small-mindedness and religious nuttery). Finally there are the two female pilots, Pancho, a highly competent and daring flyer, and Amanda, a stunningly beautiful and accomplished pilot who seems to cause all men in her vicinity to go weak in the knees. Amanda's character is an embarrassment. Bova is already an old man when he writes this, but the one-dimensionality of this character makes it look like it was written by a 14 year old boy. He tries to have it both ways- to make the point that she's competent and her looks get in the way of men seeing that; and yet the author never stops ogling her on the printed page.The book is gripping over the last 150 pages as the adventure ramps up. The ending is fine, but more of a setup for future books in the series. I don't think I'll keep going.
  • (4/5)
    I love the Grand Tour books by Bova, and this one fits right in with the entire saga he has created. The earth has reached greenhouse hell, and Dan Randolph knows that going out into the solar system to harvest minerals for industry is the way to save the earth's economy, and perhaps the earth itself, as well as make Randolph extremely rich. Martin Humphries agrees, but is only interested in the money potential, earth status be damned. Thus begins the race to the Asteroid Belt to claim this treasure, Randolph breaking every rule he can to get there and Humphries doing everything he can to sabotage the mission out of sheer jealousy. Bova manages to write a well-paced, tense journey for these characters, and it sets up well for future volumes in the Asteroid Wars series.
  • (4/5)
    Long range mining of the asteroid belt? What an idea. Inside fighting on a corporate board and development of an engine that cuts weeks off the flight make feasible a journey that will save Earth from massive flooding. Exciting right up to the last minute. Where's the next book in the series?
  • (3/5)

    1 person found this helpful

    Thoroughly entertaining adventure story. (He tries to tackle gender & beauty issues in the interplay between a female viewpoint character and the other main female character, and it sorta works, although jeez, can the descriptions of OMG TEH HOTNESS of the secondary character. Passes the Bechtel test too, IIRC.) Looking forward to reading #2, which I suppose says something.

    1 person found this helpful

  • (3/5)
    Falling between Moonwar and Jupiter, The Precipice details Dan Rudolph's next venture, the asteroid belt. In true Bova style hardcore science-fiction is less favoured than intrigue, political backstabbing and bouts of gung-ho heroism. The Precipice villains are underdeveloped and somewhat stereotypical and although the story has an interesting concept and finale, as a whole it is somewhat flat. It reads like a story-by-numbers rather than an insightful piece of sci-fi and although it's never dull, it is the weakest of the Grand Tour so far.