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(The Grand Tour #15)

3.73  ·  Rating details ·  1,486 ratings  ·  71 reviews
Hugo Award-winning editor, author, scientist, and journalist, Ben Bova is a modern master of near-future science fiction and a passionate advocate of manned space exploration.  For more than a decade, Bova has been chronicling humanity's struggles to colonize our solar system in a series of interconnected novels known as "The Grand Tour."
Now, with Titan, Ben Bova takes re
Mass Market Paperback, 418 pages
Published March 6th 2007 by Tor (first published 2006)
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Jan 11, 2014 rated it it was ok
Classic Bova. First, you got your space stuff, an asteroid hollowed to form a space habitat, and flown out to Saturn. Next, there's an angry antagonist, two in this book, who terrorize their subordinates and all the people around them. I think the main character is Titan Alpha, a rover with the mission of exploring the surface and sending back data. Only, it has a glitch and doesn't send any data back.

(view spoiler)
Clark Hallman
Jan 20, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
Titan is another excellent science fiction novel in Ben Bova’s Grand Tour series. Goddard, a permanent space habitat containing 10,000 people from Earth, is in orbit around Saturn in the years 2095-2096. The unethical Chief Administrator of Goddard is planning to extract the water from the rings of Saturn to sell it to other earth space colonies, which would make the population of the habitat very wealthy. However, the scientists in the habitat are concerned that the mining operations will harm ...more
Jul 21, 2016 rated it did not like it
Shelves: science-fiction
I understand that this book won an award.

What I don't understand is why.

It is bad. The dialog is frequently jarringly awful, the plot drops through the floor of credibility repeatedly, the cardboard characters behave in obvious plot-manipulative ways, and it's repetitive repetitive repetitive...

Any novel this deeply flawed will naturally seem too long. Here, it succeeds.

I don't want to say Ben's a bad writer. He absolutely is with this effort, but maybe he got better down the line. I'm not going
Brian Carless
Jun 25, 2008 rated it liked it
Titan is a nice addition to Ben Bova's Grand Tour of the Solar System series. It stands well on its own and its plot grows out of what came before it. Bova's prose is good but not great and his plot and characters are a bit flat. But as near-future sci-fi it is compelling, barely 90 years into the future. Our own solar system is envisioned as a very rich and fertile place and the science isn't too far our of reach making it beleivable and compelling. Also making it even more belivable and compel ...more
Doctor Moss
Apr 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
Ben Bova's "Grand Tour" of the solar system is full of life. Two things especially distinguish the life his characters discover on other worlds from life on our own world.

One is that, unlike traditional science fiction, the inhabitants of Bova's planets and moons are rarely at all like us. That is the case with Titan. I enjoyed that the discoveries on Titan and Saturn's rings in this book challenge our understandings of the complexities of life and our understanding of what life actually is. Sin
Mar 11, 2018 rated it liked it
Ben Bova really needs to work on the characterization of his female characters. To be fair, at least they exist in this book and are more or less real characters, whereas the two female characters in Bova's Mercury were tokens to be sought by the male characters. Beyond that, I enjoyed this novel but did not find it nearly as compelling as Mercury, which was the first Grand Tour book I've ever read and the first Bova book I read since "End of Exile." I think I'm sort of walking into a series hal ...more
Jeff Smith
May 31, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Grand Tour sexism is strong here.

Another intersting and forward thinking book. It Further develops a cast of characters from the grand tour series which is nice. I believe the book stands on it's own as well, but it does help to know Doug Stavenger and Pancho Lane etc
As forward thinking as Mr Bova is in science and putting women in power positions, I do wish he was a little more forward thinking in terms of relationships (marriage is the only acceptable end goal), mores (only the women want the
Daniel Kukwa
Aug 30, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: other-sf-fantasy
All of its plots are so inter-connected that a few of them end up coming to rather abrupt conclusions, even as it tries to avoid crumbling under the weight of so much story. That it survives and prospers in exciting fashion is a testament to Ben Bova's skill. It's certainly quite the ride, reading this monster-sized web of plots and character shenanigans.
Kevin Black
The characters make the book. A good read.
Mike Reinking
Jul 04, 2018 rated it liked it
Some good characters and science but too much melodrama at times
Brian Bohmueller
Jul 19, 2018 rated it it was ok
Bova mixes intriguing space exploration moments with a flood of dated, often chauvanistic, political drama. Titan deserves better. Andy Weir, got anything?
Joey Rogers
Jun 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This was the first Ben Bove book I read. I was hooked.
Brent Werness
May 15, 2013 rated it it was ok
This is the first book in Ben Bova's Grand Tour series that I've read. While this book did not particularly impress me, I will say that I enjoyed it enough to read more of his work.

First I'll start out with the good. The pacing of the story worked fairly well for me. In particular, it quite deftly avoided one of the biggest issues plaguing hard scifi books: the massive info dump. This isn't to say that it doesn't try to give you some scientific background on what's going on, but that it is in g
Amy Day
Feb 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Titan chronicles mans adventures as he explores Saturn, it's rings, and its moons. Part of the Grand Tour series.
Fred Hughes
Dec 14, 2011 rated it really liked it
This book carries on where Saturn ends. The 11 mile long by 4 mile wide space habitat Goddard has reached Saturn and is in orbit around it’s moon Titan.

Science, politics, technology and human foibles all get put in a bender, shaken; not stirred, and what comes out is highly entertaining.

The main story revolves around Titan Alpha which is a semi autonomous rover type vehicle sent to the surface of Titan to explore the surface. The problem is once it lands it decides that collecting data about Tit
Santosh Bhat
Oct 04, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: ebook
Titan is a direct sequel to the novel "Saturn" in the author's Grand Tour saga. Like all his books, Titan belongs to the genre of hard sci-fi, where scientific accuracy is paramount, which means that lightsaber wielding space aliens are out, but a remote controlled AI probe is the main protagonist. Titan Alpha, lands on the surface of Saturn's moon Titan, starts mapping its alien geology and biology, but remains eerily silent, and does not send back any of the data to the anxious scientists at S ...more
Feb 24, 2013 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 12, 2010 rated it liked it
I had high hopes for this novel. I enjoyed Ben Bova’s Mars a lot. Given the real life Cassini Space Probe is currently wowing NASA and the public with its scientific exploration of Saturn and its moons, I was primed to relish this book. Unfortunately, I found most of it dry, plodding, and almost wholly unconcerned with the moon Titan. Much of the novel takes place in Goddard, a space vehicle reminiscent of Arthur C. Clarke’s Rama, though this one is manmade. Mr. Bova stirs up a great deal of ...more
Nov 22, 2012 rated it really liked it
Ben Bova has written a vast number of books in the Grand Tour series this being the most recent to be released in paperback. Several of the books have planet or moon names as the titles, the Rock Rats series also is in the saga. I read the first three Rock Rats books and they were all pure Bova – fast paced, great characters, interesting locations and solid science.

Titan takes places a few years after the Asteroid wars are over, and Pancho Lane, the heroine of the Rock Rats books has retired as
Patrick Gibson
Jan 24, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: science-fiction
I know this author has a “Grand Tour” of the solar system series. I have put off reading any of these for no reason other than some of Bova’s other books have been inconsistent in the quality of writing. I finally snatched ‘Titan’ cheap and thought I’d give it a go. Overall, I found the story itself rather boring and uninteresting. The underlying politics and personal interactions that should drive the story are woefully unimpressive. Bova displays a very simplistic and naive approach that resul ...more
Ian James
Sep 29, 2013 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: my enemies
Recommended to Ian by: when I find out, I will kill them
Shelves: science-fiction
This was so incredibly tedious.
There was a serious lack of new ideas, there was a LOT of description of clothes the characters were wearing, and the characters themselves were two dimensional, almost as if they come straight from the 1950's. 98% of the plot was very routine and very unsophisticated. The technology had big gaps in it (they have a habitat for 1000's orbiting Saturn, but know virtually nothing about Titan, it's as if the autonomous lander they send down is the first one ever). Also
Mark Schomburg
Jun 06, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction, space
There might not really be anything less enjoyable about this book than others in Bova's planets series, but... the same characters again... It just wears thin for me, with some unbelievable drama going on in space too. I also found the AI situation of the robotic craft unbelievable. The most intriguing aspect of the book is only a teaser: the dark life forms which evidently live in Titan's oceans, yet which we never really find out about in this text. Had that part of the plot been developed the ...more
Apr 02, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: science-fiction
This book is about the trials and tribulations of people living on space habitat colony orbiting the moon Titan. The people who occupy the habitat are rebels, dissidents and in general those that the fundamentalist religious government do not approve of. Their actions, however, were quite bland and not very rebellious. The habitat is very peaceful and ordered with everything basically going perfectly smoothly. The only interesting things that happens to these people, and in the book, is the prob ...more
Jun 15, 2017 rated it it was ok
Adam Roberts wrote an excellent review of TITAN at Strange Horizons.He couldn't belive that such bland book won J.W.C. award considering the shortlist that featured such strong works like NOVA SWING,GLASHOUSE AND RAINBOW'S END among others.Somewhere at the end of the review he concluded that Bova is,simply,a bad writer.I myself wouldn't go so far. But TITAN is a bad novel.Very bad.Only reason I gave it two stars is a fond memory of his excellent novel MARS and some solid ones like PRECIPICE and ...more
John Sorensen
Mar 18, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
By far, Ben Bova's most complex book (he even says it in the afterword). Well written. There were multiple, engaging plots. At one point, 3 characters were doing something, suspenseful, and something dramatic happened, but you did not know who the dramatic event happened to for a full chapter. That was well-written, engaging and fun. If you like Ben Bova's other books, you will definitely want to read this one.
Sep 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
This book turned out to be very different than I expected. I thought it was about discovering life on Titan. Instead I get a political drama in the form of an upcoming election, a discussion of zero population growth and the ethics of mining the ice from the rings of Saturn. Then you have a stuntman who can't seem to retire and a guy contemplating killing everyone on board.
The characters were interesting enough to hold my attention but it just wasn't what I was expecting.
John (JP)
464 pages. Science fiction. Bova spins a good yarn as he explores on of the solar system's most interesting moons. Titan is one of the few moon that has its own atmosphere. Bova explores the question of wheter or not life is present. He continues his universe that contains a repressive religious goverment that exiles its malcontents to space stations. The story is used as a back drop that explores their lives.
Jul 30, 2010 rated it did not like it
Ugh. What a bad book. Ben Bova always tricks me into buying his books. I love the idea of having a story evolve around the exploration of our solar system, and incorporating the latest data from NASA's unmanned probes. Unfortunately Bova always turns it into a shallow soap opera. He seems more concerned with the private lives of his flat characters, than the technology and adventure of space exploration.
This will be the last Ben Bova book for me. Very disappointing.
Christopher McKitterick
I had difficulty liking many of the characters, and the political machinations weren't the most interesting factors. However, I appreciated how this books resolves many of the issues Bova brought up earlier, and I loved the hard science and the adventures of the robot on Titan.

I'm giving 4 stars here not just for this book, but for the whole series that took us to this point. If you enjoy hard-SF space opera and are a fan of Bova's work, you'll love these books!
Pete Guion
Jan 15, 2008 rated it it was ok
While I think this was a better novel than it's predecessor 'Saturn', Bova has some stronger stories elsewhere. It was a decent book, and I did enjoy it, but some of the sub plots irked me. Most notably the one dealing with the population growth question, and the many references to that mostly women wanted to have children and the strong majority of men didn't.

All that said, it is worth a read and I look forward to reading more of Bova's stories.
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Goodreads Librari...: Titan (The Grand Tour #15) by Ben Bova 4 12 Sep 02, 2018 07:19PM  
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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 21 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)