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New Earth

(The Grand Tour #21)

3.37  ·  Rating details ·  1,682 ratings  ·  276 reviews
Award-winning author Ben Bova brings us New Earth, his latest tale of science fiction in his Grand Tour series.
The entire world is thrilled by the discovery of a new Earthlike planet. Advance imaging shows that the planet has oceans of liquid water and a breathable oxygen-rich atmosphere. Eager to gain more information, a human exploration team is soon dispatched to explor
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published July 16th 2013 by Tor Books
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Scott Boss I'm 200 pages in and I haven't read anything by him before. It makes sense so far. I'd say read it. …moreI'm 200 pages in and I haven't read anything by him before. It makes sense so far. I'd say read it. (less)

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Average rating 3.37  · 
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 ·  1,682 ratings  ·  276 reviews

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Jul 30, 2013 rated it liked it
A weak 3. More of a 2.75 for me. While the first several chapters drew me in & I was entertained, I ended up being fairly disappointed and by the last few chapters had to force myself to finish. The behavior & dialogue of the scientists/space explorers was too juvenile to be believable. We are introduced to only 2 native inhabitants of New Earth and these are the only 2 with which the Scientists/Explorers interact. The inhabitants of New Earth come across as phony/automated. The love story betwe ...more
Aug 01, 2014 rated it liked it
If you are looking for hard SF that takes an interest in its characters beyond plot devices, you will need to look elsewhere than this novel. It is hard to imagine scientists who travel thousands of light years to explore new planets with genuine scientific interest acting with such persistent immaturity; but when your characters barely extend beyond the second dimension, you get high school drama enacted by full grown adults.

This is a persistent problem with much mainstream SF of this sort. Th
Oct 25, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: slacks-wearers
Shelves: fiction

As vast swathes of Earth succumb to climate change's rising oceans, with the moon and Mars colonized and other planets found to have unintelligent life, a spaceship with twelve inhabitants arrives at the unexplored planet in another solar system called New Earth. They awake from their 80-year cryosleep to find that a laser beam is being pointed at them from the planet, which turns out to be inhabited by extremely humanlike aliens. Do the humanesque beings mean them good, or ill? How quickly will
Aug 16, 2013 rated it liked it
Wow. I must say that the ending of this book ruined the whole thing for me. I loved the concept, but the execution was very poor. Mr. Bova's other novels are far superior. Read Jupiter and the Leviathans of Jupiter. But it seems with New Earth, the author has reached preachy status. Earth is being destroyed by climate change and humans send a ship out to the first possible earth-like planet in the Sirius system. It's as if the author didn't have a full-fledged story in mind, just a little politi ...more
Aug 07, 2013 rated it it was ok
Reads like a Star Trek episode.
Not worth the time invested, which luckily, as a consequence of the facile quality of the writing, was only a few hours.
Jan 25, 2014 rated it it was ok
This is my first Ben Bova book. Can't say I'm aching for another. Bova tries to do a "first contact" story mixed with cautionary environmentalism, astrobiology, and something resembling a love story. Maybe if he'd taken any of the distinct elements seriously, it would have worked out, but each aspect is superficial in this hodgepodge. I finished it, so I can't put just 1 star. ...more
Noah Goats
It drives me nuts when the drama of a story is driven by an artificial lack of communication between two characters (or between groups of characters). Jack knows something, and everything would be resolved if Jill knew it too. But even though it would be natural for Jack to share the information and for Jill to ask for it, neither of them does anything. So we have a bunch of drama that feels fake and unnecessary. New Earth is built almost entirely on this kind of bogus set-up.

There are other det
Luke Burrage
Not as good as most earlier novels I read by Ben Bova.

Full review on my podcast, SFBRP episode #442.
Jim O'donnell
Aug 20, 2013 rated it it was ok
The New Earth by Ben Bova will only interest science fiction fans alone.

It begins well with a crew of 12 arriving at a planet nicknamed New Earth, to investigate the possibility of living there, as our Earth as we know it is being destroyed by global warming.

The story then takes a turn as they meet intelligent life on the planet, an advanced race (who are friendly towards them). The story then begins to drag as characters who at the beginning rush to find answers and endanger themselves to t
Dan Post
Nov 30, 2016 rated it it was ok
[Audio Version]
Imagine a future where climate change is threatening the human population. Imagine the good fortune of finding an earth-like planet waiting to be explored and possibly colonized. Unfortunately, it will take your team 80 years to get there, 8 years before earth receives their first transmissions and another 80 before they get home. So far, so good. Except, I guess things are so bad on earth that it’s unthinkable to send their best. So somehow they manage to put together a team cons
Clark Hallman
Dec 31, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
New Earth by Ben Bova focuses on twelve astronauts on a spaceship who spent eighty years in cryonic suspension during a voyage to New Earth, i.e., an Earth-like planet in the Sirius star system. Shortly after they awaken and land on the planet, they are shocked and frightened to discover that the planet is inhabited by human-like beings. Surprisingly, the aliens initiate first contact with the twelve humans, who react with varying degrees of skepticism, fear, distrust, loathing and hostility, bu ...more
John (JP)
Jul 25, 2013 rated it liked it
The plot of New Earth is on its surface simple. Its a first contact story. After discovering an earth like planet in the Sirus system, as told in Bova's earlier novel Farside, send a group of 11 scientists, and one administrator to explore it. To everyone's surprise the planet is already populated by an advanced civilization.The twist is these people have never developed space flight and seem genetically far too close to human beings for things to seem normal.
Bova uses this scenario to explore
Mar 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: do-not-own
For some reason, I expected this to be a 'modern' scifi story, having been published 2015, but it read as if it had been written decades ago; as if it were written by a golden age pulp writer still in the business since the days of old editor Campbell Jr. at Analogue or Fred Pohl at Galaxy or If. Then I recalled that Ben Bova had to have been born in the thirties (1932 actually) and has been publishing since 1960, therefore, it's no surprise that he can easily emulate such a 'classic' approach t ...more
Aug 31, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: sci-fi-fantasy
Great idea for a story, and with typical Bova treatment, we see all of the good and the bad that might be if humans do come in contact with aliens.

Earth has been in bad shape due to ecological disasters for some time, and a small group of people who had been sent to an earth-like planet many years ago are now waking up to see what they find. They are expecting reinforcements, but Earth has decided it's not politically expedient to invest in another starship.

So they are left to figure out what to
Amy Sitterley
May 20, 2014 rated it really liked it
I've been a longtime Ben Bova fan, and New Earth is now in my top 3, along with Moonwar and Mars. This book has shades of Asimov all over it, but it was so well done that I consider it an homage instead of a clunky knock off. Bova does a great job of creating a new storyline, but providing continuity with previous story lines. Once again, Bova goes to his theme "humanity must grow beyond the earth". He does a great job of making scifi relatable, while still getting higher concepts across. If you ...more
Allan Caplan
I've found most "Grand Tour" books quite entertaining, but they are formulaic. Everyone's all happy-dappy, a saboteur emerges, the New Morality comes in and imposes its brand of civilization

New Earth goes off that script. Yes, earth is going to hell in a handbasket, (view spoiler)

Some of the characters from the Tour make "cameo" appearances, from Doug Stavenger to Pancho Lane.

If you like Bova's previous books
Dec 30, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi, bad-books
I wish I could give it 0 stars. This is probably the worst book I read this year. A bad Star Trek episode mixed with a worse soap opera.

The premise is interesting, and it’s easy to read. That’s all te praise I can give to it. The rest involves characters that are not only flat, but simply stupid and unprofessional (supposedly they are elite scientists chosen for the most adventurous space mission the human race has seen).

(view spoiler)
Oct 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the second time I have read Ben Bova's New Earth. The first time was as the 21st book in his series The Grand Tour. This time I read it as the 1st book in his series Star Quest Trilogy. That alone is interesting - using the same book at the end of one adventure and the start of another.

New Earth centers around human's first contact with an intelligent species from another part of the universe. The purpose of the mission was to investigate an Earth like world eight light years away that w
Alan Zendell
Mar 06, 2017 rated it liked it
The basic idea of this book is a great one. It harkens back to the days of pure space opera many of us grew up with. But the story seems more like a fairy tale masquerading as science fiction. In addition it suffers from inconsistent character development in many of the main players, and the crew of this critical mission seem to be doing everything by the seat of their pants as if there had been very little planning beforehand. The love story aspects are sweet and innocent, like the ones we reme ...more
Tom Walsh
Dec 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
First of his Books that I read upon hearing of his passing.

I’ve always had a strange relationship in Sci-Fi. I want to like it but most times that I try, I’m either lost in its terminology or bored before finishing, but I enjoyed this book.

One of the Critiques called it a little heavy-handed and preachy. I can see where a reader would say that but it was probably easier for a casual reader like myself to follow. It required less background in Sci-Fi.

I found Bova’s inclusion of the human dynam
Sep 03, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good enough. The story was worthwhile, the characters kind of unbelievably unsuited for space exploration.

If you rolled your eyes at Heinlein's later work re: sex, this book will whip you back to that time. It's awkward, pointless, and male centered. The women in this book are...patronized, which is pretty much the usual for Science Fiction.
Kim Kimselius
May 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Just loved this Science fiction!
Dec 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
An interesting premise but not as good as I’d hoped. Read to commemorate his passing. A sad loss
Berry Muhl
Feb 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was my second Bova, and my first sci-fi from him. I wasn't aware there was a Grand Tour series, so I'm going to have to start on it at the beginning when I have a chance.

I liked it, but it was a bit prosaic by speculative fiction standards. Not that the setting wasn't imaginative; it was, but the story's conflict was minimal, mostly a matter of personality conflicts. There is of course the spectre of something much worse lurking in the background, but it is only very late in the story, and
Alex Telander
Jul 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
Bestselling science fiction award winning author, Ben Bova, returns after setting the stage with Farside. The new Earth-like planet has been discovered and studied, and now some years later the first exploratory expedition is on its way to the distant planet, which is already being called “New Earth.”

The trip takes eighty years each way, as the crew sleeps in cryonic suspension, never aging. By the time they return to Earth, 200 years will have passed. But for now the crew has no thoughts of ret
Nov 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
I devoured this book, finishing it relatively quickly.

- unique and engaging "first contact" story. I've read (and love) 1st contact stories and I love how this one is unique.
- and yet still has very "contemporary" feel to space travel. It's set in the not too distant future (a few hundred years) using known space travel limitations. Ie hard science.
- very little setup, dives right into the action.

- human dynamic! These PhD scientist who've spent a lifetime in sciences and went on th
Nov 25, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
I have hope for mankind, that we will live in balance with the earth, stop killing our fellow men en masse and eventually leap to the stars! Bova sees it that way too, but "New Earth"'s plot twists and turns will keep you guessing at man's eventual fate as a species. Bova paints with a broad brush, touching on many timely topics of celestrial significance. Why haven't we heard from other intelligent species? What of the potential life in our own solar system? Could there be intelligence right ar ...more
Andrea Wright
So this had a great idea but puttered out in the end. I kept hoping for a bit more. This is the first of his books that I have read and after reading other reviews it seems that I need to try one of his other books before I give him up.
Apr 10, 2015 rated it liked it
Well that book was super uneventful and not at all exciting. Pretty disappointing.
Dec 28, 2015 rated it did not like it
Shelves: sf
review of
Ben Bova's New Earth
by tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE - December 27, 2015

This is the 1st bk by Bova I've read. Despite that, his is not a new name to me. The cover of New Earth proudly proclaims him a "Six-time Winner of the Hugo Award". Since I generally have enjoyed & respected the work of Hugo & Nebula award winners that boded (s)well.

HOWEVER, I found this completely mediocre. I'll probably read something else by him eventually to give him a 2nd chance but I'm definitely nor in any h
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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

Other books in the series

The Grand Tour (1 - 10 of 24 books)
  • Powersat (The Grand Tour, #1)
  • Privateers (The Grand Tour, #2; Privateers, #1)
  • Empire Builders (The Grand Tour, #3; Privateers, #2)
  • Mars (The Grand Tour, #4)
  • Moonrise (The Grand Tour, #5; Moonbase Saga, #1)
  • Moonwar (The Grand Tour, #6; Moonbase Saga, #2)
  • Return to Mars (The Grand Tour, #7)
  • The Precipice (The Grand Tour, #8; The Asteroid Wars, #1)
  • Jupiter (The Grand Tour, #9)
  • The Rock Rats (The Grand Tour, #10; The Asteroid Wars, #2)

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