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Mars, Inc.: The Billionaire's Club

3.22  ·  Rating Details  ·  227 Ratings  ·  37 Reviews
How do you get to the Red Planet? Not via a benighted government program trapped in red tape and bound by budget constrictions, that’s for sure. No, what it will take is a helping of adventure, science, corporate powerplays, a generous dollop of seduction—both in and out of the boardroom—and money, money, money!

Art Thrasher knows this. He is a man with a driving vision: se
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published December 3rd 2013 by Baen (first published November 15th 2013)
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Bob Milne
Dec 03, 2013 Bob Milne rated it did not like it
With a title like Mars, Inc. and the name Ben Bova attached to it, you would think you'd know what to expect. Personally, I was excited to get my hands on an ARC,and went into this with high hopes. As much as I tried to hold onto those hopes, though, the 'real' story I expected to find beginning in the next chapter never materialized.

This was so very much not what I was expecting from a master like Ben Bova. It felt like a throwback to 60s and 70s pulp sci-fi, but not in a good way. It was cheap
Oct 15, 2013 Koeur rated it liked it

Publishers Description: How do you get to the Red Planet? Not via a benighted government program trapped in red tape and bound by budget constrictions, that’s for sure. No, what it will take is a helping of adventure, science, corporate powerplays, a generous dollop of seduction—both in and out of the boardroom—and money, money, money!

Review: First off, the cover art is really sad. Poor showing for the Scifi genre with Bova’s name attached. A behemoth ship
So should you read Mars, Inc.? Sure. While this might not be SciFi enough for some readers, the ideas that Bova plays with and presents to readers are pretty priceless. Mars, Inc. left me thinking about our space industry and wondering what the future holds for it. I think that is probably the point of the novel. Bova wasn’t writing some huge manifesto regarding space exploration, nor was he trying to write the next SciFi masterwork. I think he was taking our space industry and looking at it fro ...more
Stephen Deane
Feb 05, 2014 Stephen Deane rated it it was ok
Wasn't really what I was hoping for. It was a much longer version of The Man Who Sold the Moon by Heinlein, without the payoff of the return voyage. It really didn't make me wishing for the return of the Golden Age, and wasn't something that kept me gripped. All in all, an ok read, but I expected much more from Ben Bova.
Jul 17, 2015 Specialk rated it did not like it
Shelves: couldn-t-finish
Wow. Never thought the day would come that I DNF'd a Ben Bova book halfway through (pg. 167).

I think I understand what Bova was trying to do - emulate the sci-fi style of the 60s and 70s, but with a present day setting, cast, and plot. And it could have worked...if I cared.

The catch is that this book isn't sci-fi. It's Business Fiction. We don't get to talk much about even the science of getting to Mars, we get to talk about the business of the science of getting to Mars. Which I suppose in toda
Dec 01, 2013 Daniel rated it liked it
I received an electronic advanced reading copy of this from the publisher through NetGalley.

The genre denoted SF is most commonly called science fiction, but some prefer speculative fiction instead. Either way, a precise definition of what constitutes science fiction can be as elusive as defining what constitutes life. As a scientist, I've always wanted more fiction that simply took place in the world of science, with scientist characters and problems - nothing far-reaching in speculation, nothi
Apr 20, 2014 Jennifer rated it did not like it
The best science fiction is actually just a few steps away from reality. Communication with aliens, warp drive, inter-species wars...all that is fine for movies, but when it comes to reading science fiction, I want to read the stories that could happen. Given Ben Bova's reputation as a science fiction writer, I expected this to actually BE science fiction. I've never read his work before, so I don't know if this is indicative of his other books, but I don't think I'm going to jump in to find out ...more
Timothy Pecoraro
Mar 01, 2014 Timothy Pecoraro rated it it was ok
First and foremost I would like to admit that I don’t think I was the intended audience for this book. That being said however, most of what there is not to like about Mars, Inc. Has nothing to do with Hard Scifi at all. In fact, this book could have easily been a mystery novel with the Mars Mission as it’s backdrop. In fact, it is… There is very little to nothing about actually going to Mars in this book. Except perhaps what you would find in a 20 minute blurb on the Discovery Channel. The maj ...more
May 13, 2014 Scott rated it did not like it
This was my second, and my last, Ben Bova book. I could finish neither, and I had to ask myself why. Any book where the main character can't say the word "government" without adding "goddamned" in front of it every time has got to be good, right? Sadly, no.

The problem is Ben Bova is a naturalist. That's a loaded term. I'm using it to mean that Bova strives to represent human beings in an essentially journalistic fashion, picking from the basic palette of flat characters you would see in the cult
Mar 04, 2014 George rated it it was amazing
WHAT A RIDE! It’s dangerous to judge a book by its cover. Sometime it doesn’t get any better, but then again, sometimes a true treasure waits. Mars, Inc. is the latter. This fast-paced, action-packed tale centers on man’s reach for the stars, with an inspired effort to return humans to space beyond the International Space Station. Technological inspiration, high finance, intrigue, romance, and an underlying “who done it” will keep you turning pages or hoping your electronic reader doesn’t run ou ...more
Ronald Tobin
Jan 14, 2014 Ronald Tobin rated it it was amazing
In this book, Ben Bova presents a very compelling case for having private enterprise take over crewed space exploration. Actually, space exploration always should have been in private hands. It would have been done far better and with less loss of life. But I digress...

The story opens with Art Thrasher, billionaire visionary, going out there and getting twenty billionaires to pledge a billion a year for five years. This hundred billion dollars would likely be enough to outfit a crewed mission to
Danny Seipel
Mar 15, 2015 Danny Seipel rated it liked it
This was an okay read, nothing special and not up to Bova's usual standard. Which explains why the blurb on the back (which, as I was in a hurry, seemed a good reason to borrow this book) was all about the author and not about this book. I didn't pick up on that until about chapter three, when I decided what I was reading didn't match the blurb on the back and checked it again.

Anyway, really easy to put down but also easy enough to read, without ever getting you really invovled. Not really SF, m
Apr 22, 2015 Justin rated it really liked it
This book is about a millionaire who wants to send humans to Mars because why not. He enlists the help of billionaires to put in a billion dollars per year for 5 years to fund the space mission. This book was very interesting. Between testing times at school and reading before I go to sleep, I finished this book quickly. I thought the story was very interesting, and a new take on sci-fi, since it wasn't focusing as much on the actual spaceship as I was expecting. Parts of it were a little unreal ...more
Fred Hughes
Dec 28, 2013 Fred Hughes rated it really liked it
Ben Bova has developed a writing style that incorporates great characters and a plot that keeps on giving. The pace is even and brisk, there are no slumps in it. Nor is it wound up and would down.
What this means are that his books are a joy to read.

In this book we find Art Thrasher trying to move the USA to the next stage and that stage is exploring the planets. In fact Mars will do just fine.

The only problem is that to government such a venture is pretty low on their priority list. Thrasher thi
Tsana Dolichva
Dec 23, 2013 Tsana Dolichva rated it did not like it
Mars, Inc (subtitle: The Billionaire's Club) by Ben Bova is a new standalone novel not set in the same universe as his Grand Tour solar system books. There were a few confusing moments where I wasn't sure about the universe, particularly as someone called Yamagata showed up and didn't do anything that went against the Yamagata in the Grand Tour books. But maybe it was an homage. Or something.

I had previously only read Grand Tour books by Bova and I was hoping that Mars, Inc would be as sciencey
Jan 16, 2014 AudioBookReviewer rated it liked it
My full Mars, Inc., The Billionaire’s Club review can be found at Audiobook Reviewer.

For those of you that are into science fiction stories where 95% of it is the workings of the corporate world and all the bureaucracy that is involved to get anything done, then this is the audiobook for you. If your not into that, like I am not, you may not enjoy Mars, Inc the way I would think Bova indented. While this is an epic story of one man who has a dream and figures out how to make it happen, there was
Robb Coulter
Feb 28, 2016 Robb Coulter rated it liked it
Recommends it for: science fiction lovers
I always enjoy reading Ben Bova's books. No author can write about space exploration in a more convincing way. This story revolves around the business efforts of a few billionaires trying to take over for NASA and putting people on Mars. The book uses the back drop of the current political stance of the american government and shows how private enterprise would be needed if people are ever to travel past the ISS.
John Adkins
Nov 01, 2013 John Adkins rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kindle, baen, 2013, net-galley
The key to great science fiction is to tell a great story. In Mars, Inc., Ben Bova does just that. While the book is in one sense about the quest to launch a spaceship to Mars and the engineering, bureaucratic, financial, marketing, industrial espionage, hostile takeovers etc. work needed to make this happen; it is also a story of a man trying to do something that really matters.

Art Thrasher is rich, he does not lack for female companionship, by all modern measures he is a success. He is also a
A.R. Davis
Mar 25, 2015 A.R. Davis rated it liked it
Mr. Bova has been poorly served by his publisher this time. The e-book is overpriced and the editing is much worse than any self-respecting self-published author would permit. It is full of typos and missing words that interrupt the flow. The story, however, is “ripped from the headlines” and just what any sci-fi fan wants to hear; humanity is going to Mars whether our incompetent government cares or not.
Jan 19, 2015 Richard rated it it was amazing
My first novel by Nova and its a good one. A multi millionaire is trying to finance a space trip to Mars without NASA or the U.S. governments help. He is doing it by trying to persuade billionaire's that he knows to help him finance it. Very enjoyable read and the hurdles and obstacles that he has to encounter in order to do so.
Fabrizio Poli
May 12, 2014 Fabrizio Poli rated it really liked it
This is actually a very realistic scenario where some of the world's top billionaires club together to fund the first mission to Mars.
As usual Ben Bova crafts some really good characters with a entertaining & engaging plot that keeps you coming back to read.
Hope to see the sequel hit the book stories soon.
Feb 21, 2016 Mike rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is not woven into one of one of Ben Bova's big storylines. I enjoyed reading this but would recommend reading from one of the series books over this if you only have time for one.
Jul 07, 2014 Rose rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
"And Thrasher remembered a line written about Bernard Baruch, from long ago: 'Bernard Baruch sat on his favorite park bench, struggling with his conscience. He won.'"

-- from the novel

Robert Marshall
Jan 26, 2014 Robert Marshall rated it it was amazing
Shelves: recent-reads
Author Bova has created an amazing book that is as much mystery as science fiction. His characters are well defined and believable. The story is fast paced and leaves the reader wanting to hear more. As was expected, the copy was produced without apparent error.
Clay Davis
Mar 29, 2014 Clay Davis rated it it was amazing
The business angle to the story was more interesting than I thought it would be.
Jan 30, 2014 Bryna rated it liked it
The writing was simplistic, and it wasn't one of the great sci-fi novels, but it kept me entertained throughout. I will be reading the next book to see what happens next.
May 28, 2015 Mike rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Most of Bova's novels I have read have been set in space, but this is different, its about trying to get into space. I rather liked the different approach.

There is one negative that some might not like and that is the main character is a bit of a womanizer. Mind you one of the women uses him to get where she wants to be.

The plot puts a number of things in the main characters way for him to overcome, some he does, others he has to either work around or accept.

Overall I liked this and hope there i
Oct 29, 2015 Chris rated it liked it
Hokey and a bit contrived.
Blake Anneberg
Jan 30, 2014 Blake Anneberg rated it really liked it
Love the business/space/tech theories, but yes the limp dialogue and characters is typical of some of the more recent Ben Bova series. But hell its a sci-fi book, not a Shakespearean classic!
Chris Hamilton
Aug 27, 2014 Chris Hamilton rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked this almost current take on how to get to Mars. The build up to the journey is the entire story, so that was pretty original and there are so many truth nuggets throughout this book, that makes the whole concept plausible.
The characters need some work, having a thing for ginger beer doesn't fill out a character. But the story was well researched, well paced and inspiring. Now only to have a Billion dollars to make it happen.
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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
More about Ben Bova...

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