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
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.
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.
Overall, the ideas and underlying science won out.
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 ...more