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Sunborn (Adventures of Viktor & Julia #2)

3.5  ·  Rating Details ·  208 Ratings  ·  15 Reviews
The award-winning author of "Timescape" and "Eater" returns with a gripping new novel set in the same dynamic future as his wildly popular "The Martian Race."
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Published October 1st 2007 by Grand Central Publishing (first published May 5th 2005)
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Tim Martin
Sep 24, 2015 Tim Martin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
_The Sunborn_ by Gregory Benford is an excellent "hard" science fiction novel, set in the year 2044, a future in which humans live in stations orbiting the Earth, on the Moon, and have had for around two decades a scientific research station on Mars. Though the only ones who live on Mars are scientists, engineers, support personnel, and administrators, the time is coming soon when settlers will begin arriving in earnest, aided by improved surface habitats on Mars, bioengineered life forms that c ...more
James Tittle
Dec 08, 2016 James Tittle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Loved it. Great second novel. Will there be a third?
Angela
Julia and Viktor, the first astronauts to land on Mars, are sent off to Pluto to investigate a number of strange phenomena. The solar system's coldest, most distant planet appears to be heating up and developing an atmosphere. Stranger still, another expedition has discovered life on Pluto, in an environment where it shouldn't exist. Benford has always been fascinated by the possibilities inherent in extraterrestrial life, and he takes advantage of his own scientific specialty, plasma physics, t ...more
Erica Anderson
I absolutely loved the first several chapters of this book, which describe the continuing adventures of Viktor and Julia on Mars. Their exploration of the possibly sentient "Mars mat" was grounded in speculative biology that I found both believable and fascinating.

This section ends with Viktor and Julia being informed that they're to leave Mars to join a mission to Pluto. Switch to Pluto, and the discovery of a sentient species existing in a methane-based world. The captain of the Pluto mission
...more
ConnieM
I love sci-fi and this one gratified my fancy for space operas. Corny? Totally. Interesting concepts abound based on real, up-to-date discoveries from the world of astrophysics, Mars probe data, the Voyagers new and wild data (yes, folks, those little sweethearts we sent out of the solar system over 35 years ago are still ticking away, sending unbelievably valuable and unexpected information). I recommend this book if - and only if - you are interested in these kinds of things. If you want a boo ...more
John
Jul 27, 2011 John rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked the "hard science" in this book. Everything about this book is completely believable (and it get's pretty far out toward the end). I must say, though, that I think Benford is better when he is a collaborator (and he has collaborated with some of the best, such as A.C.Clarke). His plot seems a little plodding at times, and hence it took a bit of effort to get to the end of this one. Still, the concepts explored in this novel are pretty amazing and thought provoking, and the characters tur ...more
Jamie Collins
Jul 08, 2012 Jamie Collins rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
Although it was nice at first to catch up with Julia and Viktor, still on Mars 20 years later, I lost interest in this at the halfway point. I liked the first book, which was a small, realistic near-future story about a mission to Mars. This book makes a huge leap to vast interstellar plasmatic alien beings doing experiments on Pluto. The new new protagonist, Axelrod’s daughter, is a dreadful, unconvincing character and Gregory’s rather shallow writing isn’t up to this task.
Al
Apr 08, 2013 Al rated it liked it

In this unexceptional and somewhat slow-moving follow-up to The Martian Race (1999), Benford sends Julia and Viktor, the first astronauts to land on Mars, off to Pluto to investigate a number of strange phenomena. The solar system's coldest, most distant planet appears to be heating up and developing an atmosphere. Stranger still, another expedition has discovered life on Pluto, in an environment where it shouldn't exist.

...more
Lucas
Jul 31, 2010 Lucas rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf
I didn't realize this was a sequel to 'The Martian Race' (which I haven't read) until a quarter of the way through.

The magnetic creatures are similar to what's near the black hole in one of the later Galactic Center novels. There isn't much explanation for how they could actually live and persist.
Vincenzo Bacci
a good story about first contact and entirely new ways life could develop. It's a sequel to Martian Race, which I did not read, but I think it did not influence my understanding. Plenty of hard science and technology. Characters tend to be unidimensional. Good pacing, satisfactory conclusion with open-ended possibilities.
Bruce
Aug 26, 2015 Bruce rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Liked the ideas about alternate forms of life. The plot occasionally lost focus, and I found the interpersonal dynamics between characters a bit weak.

Overall, the ideas and underlying science won out.

4 stars
Gordon
Aug 09, 2011 Gordon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
Thoroughly enjoyed this. Although parts of the plot move so quickly as to be disorienting and the characters are mostly rather flat, this book more than makes up for it with its sizzling ideas. Totally captivating!
Janina
Mar 26, 2012 Janina rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this when I was still in high school so, I can't really remember the details. However, the idea that there are foreign creatures living outside Earth and they are like plasma really struck me. As far as I can remember, this is the only detail that really stuck.
Patty Jansen
Mar 19, 2011 Patty Jansen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
I really enjoyed this book, full of interesting and thought-provoking ideas. Does alien intelligence have to be a physical being, or can it be something else?
Peter
Feb 07, 2009 Peter rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Quite enjoyed it, had some nice challenging thought provoking concepts and was reasonably fast paced.
Tom Cash
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Leefa Roe
Leefa Roe rated it it was ok
Jan 29, 2012
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Gregory Benford is an American science fiction author and astrophysicist who is on the faculty of the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of California, Irvine.

As a science fiction author, Benford is best known for the Galactic Center Saga novels, beginning with In the Ocean of Night (1977). This series postulates a galaxy in which sentient organic life is in constant warfare wit
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More about Gregory Benford...

Other Books in the Series

Adventures of Viktor & Julia (2 books)
  • The Martian Race (Adventures of Viktor & Julia, #1)

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