Cover image for The rock rats
Title:
The rock rats
Author:
Bova, Ben, 1932-
Personal Author:
Edition:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Tor, 2002.
Physical Description:
384 pages ; 22 cm.
General Note:
"A Tom Doherty Associates book."
Language:
English
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR UG 5.9 15.0 71223.
ISBN:
9780765302274
Format :
Book

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Summary

Summary

Visionary space industrialist Dan Randolph is dead-but his protégé, pilot Pancho Barnes, now sits on the board of his conglomerate. She has her work cut out for her. For Randolph's rival, Martin Humphries, still wants to control Astro and still wants to drive independent asteroid miners like Lars Fuchs out of business. Humphries wants revenge against Pancho-and, most of all, he wants his old flame, Amanda, who has become Lars Fuchs's wife.Brimming with memorable characters and human conflict, rugged high-tech prospectors and boardroom betrayals, The Rock Rats continues the tale of our near-future struggle over the incalculable wealth of the Asteroid Belt, the richest source of raw mineral wealth known to humankind. Before it ends, many will die-and many will achieve more than they ever dreamed was possible.


Author Notes

Ben Bova, Ben Bova was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He began writing fiction in the late 1940's and continued to pursue his careers in journalism, aerospace, education and publishing. Bova received a bachelor's degree in journalism from Temple University, 1954, a master of arts degree in communications from the State University of New York, 1987, and a doctorate in education from California Coast University, 1996.

Dr. Bova worked as a newspaper reporter for several years and then joined Project Vanguard, the first American satellite program, as a technical editor. He was manager of marketing for Avco Everett Research Laboratory and worked with scientists in the fields of high-power lasers, artificial hearts and advanced electrical power generators. Dr. Bova has taught science fiction at Harvard University and at the Hayden Planetarium in New York City, where he also directed film courses. He has written scripts for teaching films with the Physical Sciences Study Committee in association with Nobel Laureates from many universities.

Dr. Bova has served on the advisory board of Post College and the Editorial Boards of the World Future Society. He is President Emeritus of the National Space Society and a Fellow of the British Interplanetary Society. He is also a charter member of the Planetary Society and a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Nature Conservancy, the New York Academy of Sciences and the National Space Club. He is a former President and a charter member of Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. He was honored by Temple University as a Distinguished Alumnus in 1981 and in 1982 was made an Alumni Fellow.

In 1994, his short story "Inspiration" was nominated for the Nebula Award. "The Beauty of Light" was voted one of the best science books of the year in 1988 by the American Librarians' Association and they hailed "Moonrise" as best science fiction novel in 1996. Other titles include "Moonwar," "Mars," and "Brothers," which all combine romance and adventure with the scientific aspect of exploring the future of technology and its effect on individuals and society. "Immortality" and "Assured Survival" deal with technology being used to solve economic, social and political problems. "Immortality" goes further in examining biomedical breakthroughs that could extend a persons life by hundreds of years while being able to always remain physically young.

His works include The Aftermath, Mars Life, and Leviathans of Jupiter.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 4

Booklist Review

The second installment in Bova's Asteroid Wars series takes up the story after the space entrepreneur Dan Randolph's death in The Precipice [BKL O 1 01]. Control of the Astro Corporation now hinges on the takeover bid of Martin Humphries, which former Randolph protege Pancho Lane is resisting. Humphries wants to suppress independent asteroid miners, such as Lars Fuchs, whose wife, Amanda, he also wants. Although he subordinates characterization to hardware, Bova is entirely equal to making the novel's personal and corporate rivalries interesting and even compelling. He is also, as usual, a whiz at inserting the latest (as of 100 years from now!) technological and astronomical developments into compelling scenes and settings. Well above average as hard sf and space advocacy, so that even many non-space buffs and most fans of Bova's other recent work will enjoy it. Roland Green.


Publisher's Weekly Review

Noted space expert Bova returns to his planetary future history (Moonrise, etc.) in a hard-charging continuation of the battle for the Asteroid Belt begun in The Precipice (2001). Positing an Earth on the brink of eco-catastrophe, a recently independent moon and a frontier filled with prospectors and claim-jumpers out among the asteroids, it is a story that at first appears to be very familiar. But mixed in with the high-tech optimism and libertarian good faith are the darker elements of an older dramatic tradition. Keeping his themes classical love, jealousy, greed Bova gives his tale energy and focus through a love triangle that evolves into a vendetta. Lars Fuchs finds that he and new wife Amanda can't escape from the attentions of Martin Humphries, his rival for both Amanda and the Belt's mineral wealth. Trying to establish a home on Ceres, Lars and Amanda, with their fellow prospectors and miners, are threatened by increasing attacks on their property and lives. Ultimately, Lars must duel Dorik Harbin, the gunslinger sent to kill all who refuse to sign contracts with Humphries Space Systems. As in Greek tragedy, from which the author openly draws, there's no happy ending, only deception, gory murder, exile and planned revenge. Archetypal rather than well-rounded, characters suffer more from their own fatal flaws, hubris chief among them, than from each other's actions. Ambitiously juggling elements of space opera, western and Sophoclean drama, Bova keeps the pages turning. (Apr. 11) FYI: A past SFWA president, Bova has won six Hugo Awards. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Library Journal Review

A plan to mine the Asteroid Belt for its wealth of mineral resources finds support from two rival corporations: Astro, headed by visionary Dan Randolph, and Humphries Space Systems, led by ambitious industrialist Martin Humphries. Upon the death of Randolph, his protg Pancho Barnes assumes the burden of trying to keep Humphries from taking control of the asteroid-mining business and exploiting it for his own purposes. Combining old-fashioned action-adventure with a dose of murder, sabotage, and hard sf, the sequel to The Precipice illustrates the common human struggle between altruism and greed. For most sf collections. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


School Library Journal Review

Adult/High School-Book two in a series that chronicles the struggle for control over the rich resources of the Asteroid Belt. In this not-too-distant future, the quality of life on Earth has taken a serious turn for the worse, but new frontiers are opening up on the Moon and beyond. Unfortunately, only the richest and most powerful individuals have been reaping the benefits so far, but perhaps those who take the most risks will win the upper hand in the Asteroid Belt-if these fierce individualists can ever agree on anything. Hard-bitten prospectors brave the dangers of space to find that lucky strike, the mineral-rich "rock" that can make them wealthy, returning for supplies and to hang out at the saloon on Ceres, the largest asteroid in the Belt. Meanwhile, a ruthless industrialist schemes from his base on the Moon, stopping at nothing, including the murder of several sympathetic characters, to own it all. Prospector Lars Fuchs and his wife Amanda fight to survive, encouraging the denizens of Ceres to form some sort of society to protect their common interests. Readers who enjoy plenty of action, do not require much in the way of characterization, and have a high tolerance for a rather vicious sort of violence should enjoy this book. It's not Bova's best, but his many fans should be entertained and intrigued.-Christine C. Menefee, Fairfax County Public Library, VA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Excerpts

Excerpts

DATA BANK: THE ASTEROID BELT Millions of chunks of rock and metal float silently, endlessly, through the deep emptiness of interplanetary space. The largest of them, Ceres, is barely a thousand kilometers wide. Most of them are much smaller, ranging from irregular chunks a few kilometers long down to the size of pebbles. They contain more metals and minerals, more natural resources, than the entire Earth can provide. They are the bonanza, the El Dorado, the Comstock Lode, the gold and silver and iron and everything-else mines of the twenty-first century. There are hundreds of millions of billions of tons of high grade ores in the asteroids. They hold enough real wealth to make each man, woman, and child of the entire human race into a millionaire. And then some. The first asteroid was discovered shortly after midnight on January 1, 1801, by a Sicilian monk who happened to be an astronomer. While others were celebrating the new century, Giuseppi Piazzi was naming the tiny point of light he saw in his telescope Ceres after the pagan goddess of Sicily. Perhaps an unusual attitude for a pious monk, but Piazzi was a Sicilian, after all. By the advent of the twenty-first century, more than fifteen thousand asteroids had been discovered by earthbound astronomers. As the human race began to expand its habitat to the Moon and to explore Mars, millions more were found. Technically, they are planetoids , little planets, chunks of rock and metal floating in the dark void of space, leftovers from the creation of the Sun and planets some four and a half billion years ago. Piazzi correctly referred to them as planetoids, but in 1802 William Herschel (who had earlier discovered the giant planet Uranus) called them asteroids , because in the telescope their pinpoints of light looked like stars rather than the disks of planets. Piazzi was correct, but Herschel was far more famous and influential. We call them asteroids to this day. Several hundred of the asteroids are in orbits that near the Earth, but most of them by far circle around the Sun in a broad swath in deep space between the orbits of Mars and giant Jupiter. This Asteroid Belt is centered more than six hundred million kilometers from Earth, four times farther from the Sun than our homeworld. Although this region is called the Asteroid Belt , the asteroids are not strewn so thickly that they represent a hazard to space navigation. Far from it. The so-called Belt is a region of vast emptiness, dark and lonely and very far from human civilization. Until the invention of the Duncan fusion drive the Asteroid Belt was too far from the Earth/Moon system to be of economic value. Once fusion propulsion became practical, however, the Belt became the region where prospectors and miners could make fortunes for themselves, or die in the effort. Many of them died. More than a few were killed. Copyright © 2002 by Ben Bova Excerpted from The Rock Rats by Ben Bova All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

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