Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Precipice (Asteroid Wars, #1)” as Want to Read:
The Precipice (Asteroid Wars, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Precipice (The Asteroid Wars #1)

3.7 of 5 stars 3.70  ·  rating details  ·  944 ratings  ·  51 reviews
Once, Dan Randolph was one of the richest men on Earth. Now the planet is spiraling into environmental disaster, with floods and earthquakes destroying the lives of millions. Randolph knows the energy and natural resources of space can save Earth's economy, but the price may be the loss of the only thing he has left--the company he founded, Astro Manufacturing.
Martin Humph
Paperback, 432 pages
Published December 15th 2002 by Tor Science Fiction (first published February 1st 2001)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Precipice, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Precipice

Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by Jules VerneTreasure Island by Robert Louis StevensonLife of Pi by Yann MartelThe Old Man and the Sea by Ernest HemingwaySmilla's Sense of Snow by Peter Høeg
Oceans, Water, Ice
173rd out of 306 books — 84 voters
Divergent by Veronica RothThe Hunger Games by Suzanne CollinsMatched by Ally CondiePartials by Dan WellsLegend by Marie Lu
Fantastic Post-Apocalyptic Novels with Sequels
25th out of 26 books — 9 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,631)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Interesting storyline but I was turned off by some sexist aspects. Every chapter Amanda appears in mentions at least once how nicely she fills out her spacesuit, and then she decides to marry a guy she doesn't know partly to avoid the creepy guy who also wants to marry her. Had the book been published 40 yrs earlier it would have been understandable. I'm undecided about whether to continue with the series...I will probably give it another try at some point.
Gary Foss
This book is "hard science fiction" meaning that it consistently abides by real world physics, though it does present those ideas in a speculative way. Bova does a good job presenting those concepts, though he does occasionally go into "info dump" mode in a way that reads as a little obvious.

As hard science fiction, one can quibble about the nature of the content. For instance, Bova's story centers on the opening up of the asteroid belt by corporate interests in order turn a profit, make history
Part one of the Asteroid Wars series (and overall part of Bova’s Grand Tour of the Solar System), in which Mr. Bova takes us on yet another journey through corporate near future space. A decent read if you like Bova, but nothing special.
This is old-school space opera, with heroes and villains and some science thrown in for validity. Fluffy, but a reasonably good read. It's the first of a trilogy and I do plan to keep going.
This is a perfect example of what is known as hard science fiction. In other words, strictly factual in it's scientific premise, no fantasy elements.
Daniel Lynch
This is the first book I have finished on my new ebook reader and I am glad I read this fantastic piece of literature from one of my favorite Science fiction authors - Ben Bova.

I started reading Ben's work when I was in University. To tell the truth I had never heard of his name before when I saw the fantastic artwork on his novel - Titan. It was sitting on the top of the bargain bin at the local news agency and I thought I would give it a shot since the blurb on the back seemed interesting. Boy
And we're back! Set a few decades after Moonwar, Selene, formerly Moonbase, is a thriving city built around nanotechnology. But things aren't looking so great for Earth, as the greenhouse cliff disasters have begun. Dan Randolph, former low-earth-orbit privateer now CEO of Astro Corp, wants to mine the asteroids and move industry and production into orbit. And he'll do it at cost, making no profit. But Mitt Rom-, er, Martin Humphries, billionaire CEO and Atlas Shrugged fan, wants to take over Ra ...more
Francis Gahren
Once, Dan Randolph was one of the richest men on Earth. Now the planet is spiraling into environmental disaster, with floods and earthquakes destroying the lives of millions. Randolph knows the energy and natural resources of space can save Earth's economy, but the price may be the loss of the only thing he has left--the company he founded, Astro Manufacturing.
Martin Humphries, fabulously wealthy heir of the Humphries Trust, also knows that space-based industry is the way of the future. But unli
This is the first book by this author I have read and I really enjoyed it. In the novel, Earth is in crisis. Global Warming has crashed down on us, and with heavy flooding, little food and little energy, the future doesn't look good. Dan Randolph, owner of a huge space-faring corporation, is also losing money, but he is offered the chance to mine the Asteroid belt for the precious minerals, metals and water that they contain. Only Humpheries, the guy doing the offering, has other ideas in mind. ...more
I really enjoyed this book. For the most part this is very plausible science fiction. The characters are well developed and mostly enjoyable. Though occasionally I find some of logic of their actions and motivations a bit flawed, but that's people I suppose. I'm also not completely sold on the protagonist's view that mining the asteroid belt would be such an all encompassing answer the world's escalating environmental and ecological problems, but it made for a good excuse for a great story. I am ...more
Such good ideas, such bad writing. Generic cliched villians. The whole reason the antagonist in the book does things is because "he's evil." That's pretty much his whole justifcation, he's evil and wants to rule the moon.
*sigh* The characters are so flat and one dimensional, and so little in the book happens. The whole first two thirds of the book that involved designing the fusion rocket and getting it ready for space could have easily been tossed in favor of something showing real adventure or
This was a pretty good book but once again Ben Kills off one of the best Characters in the Book. I enjoyed most of the characters except the Villain got away with stuff way to easy which made that annoying but may be he will get his in the next book .
Doc Kinne
This turned out to be a better, and indeed a bit different book, than Moonwar. Here we begin to get farther out from our current tech level, but not by much. The science is as hard, but somehow the story was less repetitive.

And the best quote:

"[Dan] was glad that he ahd decided to keep his public relations team intact, despite layoffs in other corporate departments. Fire the accountants and the lawyers, he reminded himself. Get rid of the paper shufflers and bean counters. But keep the people
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?
Will Hudson
This was a great intro book into what I hope continues to be a really good story. Pancho Lane is one of the coolest female anti-heroines I have read. She doesn't see herself as a hero, but she definitely is. Mr. Bova has a way of writing realistic science fiction that you can see as a possible near future for humankind. I think this is the second or maybe third book of his that I have read, and I am really glad I found this new author.
An outstanding example of speculative fiction that feels as if it's really happening, in The Precipice Bova manages to conjure up a futuristic setting that feels totally real and solid. While the characters aren't all everyday people and he takes a bit of artistic license in presenting them to advance the story, I felt that it was perfectly appropriate for this type of story. If half-stars were allowed I might have given it 4.5.
If you're wondering where else the human race can live, so is Ben Bova as he narrates "The Precipe" taking place in a not so distant satellite compare to other heavenly bodies--the moon.

Nanotechnology first came to my knowledge through this book and I was amazed of it's possibilities in the novel and in reality--though some would make it to realization, you'll be just content of how it makes the story close to reality.
First installment of the Asteroid Wars series. It's competent sci-fi. No fantasy elements and the scientific ideas don't stretch too much beyond what is current. It's fine, but not great. I wasn't intrigued by any aspect of it but also not too disappointed by anything - may read the rest of the series if I'm looking for something to fill out a week's reading since the books are at my library.
Ken Parker
Double damn? Really, like 25 times in the book?
Elaine Nelson
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.
Nikolas Rex
May 14, 2013 Nikolas Rex rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Those who like corporate sci-fi books
Did not feel like this was much of a science fiction book as it was so focused on corporate interactions, which was the most boring part. Characters were boring, did not connect with any of them. I guess mostly this was all just boring. I did get any sort of thrill out of this at all. Skipped to the end, thought that was boring too.
Precipice seemed much lighter than his other writing, more like a novella but I greatly enjoyed it anyway. His message resonated with my libertarian sensibilities, trust no one with power, private or public. The story was predictable, especially having read Moon Wars previously but it was nice to see familiar characters.
Chris Bailey
Oct 01, 2008 Chris Bailey rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes true space science fiction.
I was looking for some classic style science fiction and this was it. I enjoyed both the characters and the setting. The fact that politicians, moral groups, and corporations fight each other while the Earth becomes more uninhabitable, made it seem less like fiction and more like a true vision of our future.
Fredrick Danysh
Climate change is destroying the Earth and the New Moralality is against technology. Dan Randolph and Martin Humphries struggle for possession of fusion rockets and the mineral wealth of the astroids. Pancho Lane is a space pilot who tries to do the right thing while protecting her incarcerated sister.
Austin Unseld
i thought this was a fantastic book. it is set in the future, with global warming and changing weather patterns threatening the population. The main character wants to collect elements from the asteroid belt to help move all industry into space. Many people dont think he should do this and fight against him.
Paul Cherubino
Competent Sci-Fi. An interesting story of what may be: capitalism purified by environmental collapse and the desperate development of deep space. It's a good quick read that will hook you. It hooked me anyway, now I wonder if I will ever get the chance to borrow that third book in the series from Dan...
This is very thought provoking science fiction. The science is spot-on and the concepts depicted are things that are just beyond our reach at the moment, but could very well be reality within the foreseeable future.

It's well written and aside from a few niggles, a very good read.
Dan Trivates
I remember reading this masterpiece, but I can't remember when. I'm, going to go with 2004 because that is the last time I went on a reading binge. I was waiting so hard to get my hands on the next installments in the series. It was sooo good!
Took some time to get into since it's about global warming, business politics and experimental science. Eventually the "double damns" and quirky named Poncho won me over. More of a slow burn rather than a thrilling space drama.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 54 55 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Strange Attractors (Chaos Chronicles, #2)
  • The Martian Race
  • Voyage (NASA Trilogy, #1)
  • The Candle of Distant Earth
  • Coyote (Coyote Trilogy, #1)
  • The Ghost From The Grand Banks
  • Moonfall
  • Command Performance
  • Marsbound
  • The Praxis (Dread Empire's Fall, #1)
  • Psychlone
  • Blue Beetle, Vol. 5: Boundaries
  • Dark Light (Engines Of Light, #2)
Ben Bova was born on November 8, 1932 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In 1953, while attending Temple University, he married Rosa Cucinotta, they had a son and a daughter. He would later divorce Rosa in 1974. In that same year he married Barbara Berson Rose.

Bova is an avid fencer and organized Avco Everett's fencing club. He is an environmentalist, but rejects Luddism.

Bova was a technical writer fo
More about Ben Bova...

Other Books in the Series

The Asteroid Wars (4 books)
  • The Rock Rats (Asteroid Wars, #2)
  • The Silent War (Asteroid Wars, #3)
  • The Aftermath (Asteroid Wars, #4)
Mars The Science Fiction Hall of Fame: Volume 2A Jupiter Venus Return to Mars

Share This Book