Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Venus” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Venus (The Grand Tour #19)

3.71 of 5 stars 3.71  ·  rating details  ·  1,682 ratings  ·  66 reviews
The surface of Venus is the most hellish place in the solar system. The ground is hot enough to melt aluminum. The air pressure is so high it has crushed spacecraft landers as though they were tin cans. The sky is perpetually covered with clouds of sulfuric acid. The atmosphere is a choking mixture of carbon dioxide and poisonous gases.

This is where Van Humphries must go.
Paperback, 416 pages
Published May 15th 2001 by Tor Science Fiction (first published 2000)
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 Venus, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Venus

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,567)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
I've always seen Bova's books on the shelves in the bookstore, but I've never really had a desire to pick them up. The titles never really drew me in; the synopsis on the back of the books never really caught my interest--in fact, they hinted at plots which were very familiar within the genre written by other authors. Furthermore, I had a tendency to stay away from the veteran hard sci-fi writers (Asimov, Heinlein, Clarke, etc.) because their works seemed, to me, dated & out of touch with th ...more
Christopher Hivner
Martin Humphries, a hedonistic and cruel billionaire lost his favorite son to the planet Venus. Alex's remains still lie somewhere on the surface of the planet. Martin offers a $10 billion prize to the person who goes to Venus and returns with his son's body. At the same time he cuts off his other son, Van, whom he detests. With no source of income, Van decides to go after the prize, having a ship built and gathering a crew. Since it's still his father's money paying for the ship, Van has to tak ...more
Clark Hallman
Venus by Ben Bova is part of the author’s Grand Tour series, which deals with the exploration of the planets in our solar system. Venus is the nearest planet to Earth and about the same size as Earth. However, it is closer to the Sun than Earth and Bova describes Venus as “the most hellish place in the solar system.” Its atmosphere is dominated by sulfuric acid and carbon dioxide, with only negligible traces of oxygen and nitrogen. The surface temperatures are well above 450 degrees Celsius (nea ...more
Though I often consider myself more keen on good characterization and dialogue than a fast-moving plot, when it comes to science fiction, I tend to reverse my usual preferences. The unlikely hero in this book is granted with a sort of late bloomer-coming-of-age story, but many of the other characters never really become more than vaguely enigmatic. The plot however, doesn't really stop moving as the characters are catapaulted into one danger after another. Van Humphries must risk his life to emb ...more
Leticia Harris
Venus, by Ben Bova.
Where to start with this book? Maybe I should start by saying that it’s book 19 in the Grand Tour series, however, don’t be discouraged to read it since most of the books in that series aren’t consecutive unless it’s a direct sequel. Venus is a science fiction book which is usually directed towards young adult or adult readers due to the complicated language or complicated subjects that younger readers wouldn’t necessarily understand. Just by looking at the book and reading th
Cindi Blyberg
(june 2004) i can't believe i actually finished this. it was horribly written, and i barely cared about the hysterical characters--particularly the snivelling protagonist--to bother to turn the pages. still, the science (fiction) kept me reading til the lurid and quite predictable, comic book ending.
Most of characters are fueled by rage. Anger and cruelty take up most of the books, leaving little room for scientific curiosities.

(view spoiler)
Rich Meyer
An excellent hard science fiction novel by Mr. Bova, who is always good for a great ride. This was a very well-written book with an intriguing storyline that both evinced classic 50's man-into-space books and very modern problems (climate change), along with a bit of Commodore Grimes. I've read quite a few of Bova's Grand Tour books over the years, and this compares to any of them; there's a lot of back story but you don't need to know every bit of it to enjoy what's going on - like most of them ...more
Van Humpries, son of Martin Humpries who is a cruel and self-centered billionaire, agrees to go to Venus to retrieve his brother’s remains lost on the planet. He agrees because his father cuts off his allowance leaving him penniless and he needs the ten billion dollar reward offered by his father to the person who brings back the remains (or some trace of it).

The plot was okay but not great. I liked the drama but I really felt like it became too much by the end. There were some enjoyable dramat
Bought it from the used bookstore. Didn't realize it was semi-part of a series until I was about halfway through. The author has said though that one need not read these books in chronological order, and they can be read independently of each other, so it's no big deal. I finished it in three days :D

It was a smooth read, almost like a YA novel, but with a bit more meat than the average one. The quick read it provided didn't feel like a tease because I know Mr. Bova has written many other novels
Another in Ben Bova's 'Grand Tour' series, but this one is pretty much a stand alone and has little relation to other books except the general solar system exploration theme. Some characters are apparently from the Asteroid Wars books, but as I have not read any of them it didn't matter to me.

I'm a sucker for a decent scientific exploration story, so all of this series are pretty fascinating from my point of view. This one is about a mission to Venus (obviously) and a subsequent trip down throug
Mark Harding
A strange book in some ways. At first, it struck me as very ‘golden age of SF’, by which I mean that from a psychological point of view, the behaviour of the characters is completely unbelievable. A few examples are:

* Would Martin Humphries, a leading businessman, really throw a vast orgy, complete with prostitutes, all the camera lenses of the world’s (or worlds’!) press?
* The whole idea of a private individual planning a manned mission to the surface of Venus is a little hard to swallow - but
Shaun Duke
If there is one thing that I have come to expect of Ben Bova it is that he can take any fantastically unbelievable idea and make it so real that you actually think that it could happen. This is the case with Venus.
Van Humphries is the last living son of Martin Humphries, having outlived his brother who died a few years before on a trek to the venusian surface to try to discover how a runaway greenhouse could explain the sudden warming on Earth. But his father hates him beyond reason. He's the ru
Steven Brandt (Audiobook-Heaven)
“Dad will kill you if he finds out.”

Alexander Humphries led the first manned expedition to Venus, and became among the first to die there. It was an unexplained equipment malfunction that doomed Alex’s ship and crew to rest on the toxic surface of Earth’s twin forever. In the two years since, there have been rumors that the malfunction may not have been an accident at all.

“Dad will kill you if he finds out.”

Van remembers the conversation like it was yesterday. His brother Alex was telling him ab
Peter Greenwell
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I didn't realize it when I started, but Venus is actually one of an extended series by Ben Bova. This particular installation follows the weak, ineffective, and largely unlikable Van Humphries, son of a powerful billionaire who can't stand his younger son. His older son Alex, Van's beloved brother, was killed on an expedition to Venus, and he places a very large reward for anyone who can bring back his son's body. Van, who will be left penniless without the reward, decides to undertake the missi ...more
Cynthianna /Celine Chatillon
I somehow missed reading Venus in Bova's planet series a few years ago, and when I had to take a long trip on the road, I thought I'd give it a try. What was I expecting? Well, some good science, some interesting characters,and plenty of action. Venus delivers all this, but it could have used a bit more science about Venus itself and less of the "space opera" characterizations, in my opinion. Our hero, Van Humphries, has a lot of self doubts and fears, but he overcomes them and makes a good show ...more
With all the things he is not, Van, training to deal with it. You who are in opposition against him fight him. That is what he muses in his high adventure. Or a round trip to Venus, at the top of its clouds and certainly its secrets, and a kind of story that tell what is not left to wonder about all the times nor offered. All human beings on the earth and the moon, the future of life in cities without many of the concerns of being sick or immortal, witness indescribable adventures from space, th ...more
This was so laughably bad that I refrained from giving it just one star since it had me cracking up so often. Picked this out from the shelf while doing some light weeding (those fiction shelves are getting too crowded!)... The blurb inside the flap caught my attention. It contained what is quite possibly my favorite sentence of the past couple years: "Late in the twenty-first century, Van is the sickly, fearful second son of a tyrannical corporate tycoon." How could I not read this based on tha ...more
Thoroughly disappointed in this book. I thought the characters were shallow and contradictory. The story was ok but centered far too much around the characters floating in the super hot atmosphere of Venus, doing very little. What gets me the most is the whole book ends up being another bid for the climate change fanatics, most unimpressed, I'm certainly not suckered in by the money and power plays that have supplanted the minds of most modern day scientists. Brand me a denier if you will, but e ...more
I almost didn't finish this one. In fact, I only stuck with it because I'd paid for a used copy. It just isn't a very good book. The main character is a typical protagonist, except the fact that he has a debilitating illness; there's your typical skeptical, asshole character, a villain, a love interest, etc... I found myself being able to predict the plot too easily and just not really caring what happened to ANYONE in the book. I got it because I'd heard a bunch of stuff about Bova being one of ...more
This was really more of a 4.5, but I felt it deserved a round up instead of round down. I found myself enthralled by this book and honestly couldn't put it down. I carried it with me everywhere just in case I had time to read. It had me from the first line. I won't bother summarizing it, but it really was a great read. Easy, not a whole lot of thought involved, but it was still very enjoyable, which is why I rounded up. The narrator kind of annoyed me at times, but looking back, that was just hi ...more
Nathan Burgoine
I quite liked this: if you can get past the very long time it takes the protagonist to develop a backbone and any sort of character strength, the story really takes off. The supporting cast is excellent, and I like the premise of the book: No one is really interested in going to Venus, but the billionaire father of an astronaut who died on Venus in the first attempt puts up prize money - all of his money - to the first person who can bring the body back.

And then cuts off his surviving son's allo
Roger Ladd
Bova's contribution to the world of science fiction is well-known, and one can cut him some slack for a work that is not his best. Bova has a plan with this novel, to show the growth of a problematic character while examining the least-appealing planet in the solar system, and he does manage to do both. He also fits in some great quotes of Milton about burning lakes, and some good scenes. On the whole, this book was entertaining enough to finish, but not perhaps enough to recommend. There is one ...more
This was a good old-fashioned sci-fi adventure story. I really enjoyed it although throughout most of the book, I thought the main character, Van, was somewhat annoying. However, in the end the character changed and the story itself was great adventure. I believe this is the first sci-fi novel I've read about the horrors of the Venusian atmosphere and the planet itself - a real Hell! I read some of the Venus novels of ERB when I was younger and this certainly is NOT the Venus of Burroughs. Overa ...more
Fun sci-fi read with family rivalries and loyalties that change as the read progresses. The penetration of Venus was believable and I hung on every word. I have worked for leaders like the captain of the space ship Lucifer--domineering and insecure. On to the next book in the series.
Rod Hyatt
Pick a planet, Bova can write the story that keeps me entertained..
I am not entirely sure why some readers disliked this book -- It's got a great plot, well developed characters, and is overall a great read. Are there better books out there; sure, but this is a great book in it's own right. It's like a really well made B-movie, a bit cheesy at times, but overall great entertainment. Just suspend some disbelief and enjoy the ride, it is fiction after all. It's a good book to take on a ride or on a trip, it will make the time fly by.
One again, a planet book from Bova and part of his Grand Tour of the Solar System. This one is not quite as good as Jupiter but heroism and high adventure abound. Bova is seemingly attempting to tie many of his works together, just as Asimov did near the end of his career. Neither effort seems particularly well executed, as it is rather difficult to bend old novels into new meanings. Still, Venus as a standalone s not bad.
Classic sci-fi, you get a nice lot plot, so-so characters but mostly you get to learn somethings you may not have known before, in this case regarding the planet Venus.

This takes place about 50 years in the future, so the technology looks familiear to us but still allows the author room to create the items needed to make this trip of sci-fi fantasy possible.

it reads quick, I think you will like the story, so enjoy
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 85 86 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Strange Attractors (The Chaos Chronicles, #2)
  • The Martian Race
  • Starfarers
  • The Ghost From The Grand Banks
  • Coalescent (Destiny's Children, #1)
  • Moving Mars
  • The Candle of Distant Earth
  • Godspeed
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...
Mars The Science Fiction Hall of Fame: Volume 2A Jupiter Return to Mars Orion (Orion, #1)

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »