Book Review: Leviathans of Jupiter by Ben Bova

I really enjoyed this one.  Some good hard sci-fi that doesn’t require technical knowledge to understand.  The story centers on a scientific outpost orbiting Jupiter that is trying to establish contact with giant creatures that swim in Jupiter’s hypothetical ocean.  It’s mainly an adventure story and a well written, quick read.  I tend to judge how readable a book is by how quickly I finish it- this took only a few long sittings.

It should give you an idea of how poorly read I am in science fiction that I read the author bio at the end- author of more than 100 works of science fact and fiction- and I said to myself- wow, I wonder why I haven’t heard of this guy.  This book is the most recent in his Grand Tour series, so I’m going to start going back and reading those.  If they’re all this good I’ll have a new author to follow.





    1. Like what? Don’t hold out on me man! I like James Corey and I enjoyed Stephen Baxter’s Ark and Flood, but I thought his writing is a little stilted. I just finished a book by Stross and I found that too technical, so something a little easier. I like near future stuff.

      1. I dislike hard sci-fi (haven’t read it in a few years) so I’m not exactly an authority — Peter Watts’ Starfish, Blindsight…. Kim Stanley Robinson’s Mars Trilogy — Red Mars, Green Mars, Blue Mars (the later two won Hugos for best novel)…. And any of Alastair Reynolds’ novels come to mind.

      2. Cool, Kim Stanley’s Mars trilogy was next on my list and I’ll check out the other ones you mentioned. I’m on a near future space travel kick right now so I’m just kinda going with it

      3. I found the first installment a lot of fun to read — they got progressively more speculative/boring as the series went on… Unfortunately, he’s rather obsessed with introducing new character after new character…. And then forgetting about them for 100 pages. Alas.

      4. (Stross was actually who turned me away from new science fiction altogether after I read the dreck/technobabble fetish object that was Singularity Sky — I prefer work from the 40s-late 70s.)

      5. I actually just reviewed that one. The technobabble got to me too. I don’t know if he was just trying show off or what but I ended up having to skim a lot of that book. He needs an editor to cut all that out.

      6. Whatever you do do NOT look at the images of the disease that Peter Watts received after being bitten by a spider — I just recovered from a spell of nausea… Wow. necrotizing fasciitis. Sorry, that was tangential — but was actually just reading about him. He’s quite the character.

      7. Uggh, I’ll pass on that. Enjoying your blog, especially the cover art posts. My dad used to have a ton of books from that era. I don’t know if he still does. I have his copy of Something Wicked This Way Comes, love the cover of that one.

      8. Unfortunately, so much cover art is uncredited… I recommend investigating the work of Paul Lehr, Richard Powers, Vincent di Fate, and the like 🙂

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