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Extended Audio Sample Mars Audiobook, by Ben Bova Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.55 out of 53.55 out of 53.55 out of 53.55 out of 53.55 out of 5 3.55 (31 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Ben Bova Narrator: Stefan Rudnicki Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Related: The Grand Tour Series Release Date: August 2008 ISBN: 9781455192496
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This grand epic adventure from six-time Hugo Award–winning author Ben Bova tells the irresistible story of man’s first mission to that great unconquered frontier, Mars—a planet pocked by meteors, baked by ultraviolet light, and covered by endless deserts the color of dried blood. Technically plausible and compellingly human, Bova’s story explores the political, scientific, and social repercussions of our greatest quest yet: the search for evidence of life beyond Earth’s boundaries.

Half-Navajo geologist Jamie Waterman has been selected for the ground team of the first manned expedition to our mysterious neighbor planet. Joining an international team of twenty-five astronauts and scientists, he endures the rigors of training, the dangers of traveling an incredible distance in space, the challenges of an alien landscape, and the personal and political conflicts that arise when the team must face the most shocking discovery of all.

Mars is an unforgettable portrait of space, politics, science, and humanity that captures for all time the mystery and wonder of an alien frontier.

Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Bova re-creates for us much of that first excitement we felt in reading about the possibilities of space flight or, later, witnessing the earliest manned exploration.”

    Los Angeles Times Book Review

  • “An intelligent, entertaining story that may also serve as a rallying cry.”

    Omni

  • “A sweeping, Michener-style saga of the first expedition to our neighboring planet…[T]he ultimate summer escape.”

    People

  • “An exemplary summer read…adventurous, brilliant, over-the-edge characters…a carefully imagined, striking, and spooky portrait of the planet.”

    Voice Literary Supplement

  • “Bova’s 1992 novel follows Jamie Waterman—a Navaho geologist—on the first manned mission to Mars. The multinational expedition is wrought with political and personal strife, as well as a mysterious illness that strikes the entire land crew and nearly brings the project to a halt. The earnestness and longing of the lead character comes through in Stefan Rudnicki’s voice as he narrates the story of Waterman’s dogged search for signs of life on the Red Planet. Whether or not there’s life beneath the frozen surface of Mars, Rudnicki’s spellbinding baritone brings all the members of the international crew to life, providing believable accents for Russian, Brazilian, English, Japanese, and Israeli members of the landing team.”

    AudioFile

  • “A bulging, impressive, all-you-ever-wanted-to-know, you-are-there Martian odyssey.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “Bova has done extensive research and his descriptions of Mars and the conditions under which the study is conducted are very plausible. All in all, a satisfying story.”

    School Library Journal

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 DK | 2/18/2014

    " 3.5 stars. I enjoyed this book, although not quite as much I hoped I would. I'm unsure if I will read the next book in the series or not now. It honestly got a bit boring at times with the lengthy character studies seeming to be more the focus than the overall story line. I found it hard to believe that a few of the characters would ever have been allowed to go on a mission such as this, too. I did like the main character, though, and his story alone might entice me to go ahead and read the next book to see what happens next. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ronschae4 | 1/30/2014

    " Mars is a great story with some good scientific/technical insights to what a human expedition to the Red Planet might entail - as well as a plausible political scenario as well! This is a well-written story with good characterization and plot continuity and depth. Not a five-star favorite, but something I would recommend to a SF reader who is looking for a well-written story based in hard science. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 George | 1/11/2014

    " Well written science fiction about a trip to Planet Mars....could it happen? "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Hamish Buchan | 1/11/2014

    " Solid Sci-Fi. Very nice realistic account of what a mission to Mars might be like today. Decent plot and solid characters. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Christy | 1/4/2014

    " I listened to this book. The narrator didn't help the story at all. He made it sound like a 5th graders book. I could not finish it. Maybe it is a better 'read' than 'listen'. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Ho'oki | 1/2/2014

    " Rather anticlimactic, more about interpersonal politics than mars itself. But, I think it sets up the next in the series....so.... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Salvatore Leone | 1/2/2014

    " This is an entertaining novel, with a completely believable trip to Mars. The characters are interesting, and the descriptions of both Earth and Mars are vivid. Good story, too. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Drew | 12/23/2013

    " Man's first landing on Mars "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Aaron | 12/10/2013

    " Very long and drawn out I suppose if you are into political science fiction it could be good but was a struggle for me to get through. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Philip Benge | 12/5/2013

    " I have always liked good stories about Mars and this is one. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 J. Lawrence | 11/29/2013

    " Realistic and gritty. Well thought out mission plan mixes with human drama. Good stuff. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mainrun | 11/9/2013

    " Listened to this book on tape. Great stuff. Read this book too. The moment Waterman glimpsed the 'object ' that is one of my favorite scenes from any story. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Stéphanie | 10/26/2013

    " If you're fan of astronomy and spatial technology this book is great. Unfortunatly the characters are so sketched and boring, you don't care what will happen to them next. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Bob(by) | 10/8/2013

    " Don't remember much other than some people go to Mars and are attacked by scurvy. This guy comes up with some dumb but funny plots. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Angus | 9/22/2013

    " Ben Bova doesn't disappoint with this vision of how a multi-national drive for Mars will play out. Read this for some imminent Sci-Fi. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Michael Jones | 7/29/2013

    " Excellent read by one of my favorite SciFi authors. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tim | 4/14/2013

    " One of Ben Bova's better books with lots of mars descriptions of day to day living and working on this harsh but beautiful planet. Should be read as 2 books as second book is where most of the dicoveries takes place and reader will want to know all that is hinted at. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 David Tendo | 3/10/2013

    " This was a very interesting and realistic take on how humans might someday colonize the red planet. Thought-provoking and smart, but it does get a little too long-winded and over-crowded with detail. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rick | 12/13/2011

    " Just started reading Ben Bova and really like his style. It's very clear and concise writing like Isaac Asimov. Great start to a three book series. Very interesting characters and plot. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bruce J | 9/24/2011

    " Lots of laughs! Good science fiction. The author acknowledges using photos of the planet to assist him which really got me wanting to read it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lisa Haywood | 9/17/2011

    " I really liked Bovas epic story about Mars exploration and terraforming. Although it is long and quite dry at some points this is one of those books you would like to live in. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Josh | 7/21/2011

    " Boring. Underwhelming. Outdated. Ben Bova's Mars is mundane through and through. It is so slow and directionless that, by the time the story starts, you have turned the last page. I would only recommend it to those who particularly love this setting. Otherwise, move along. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Symon | 6/18/2011

    "
    If you'd like to know what I thought of this book, please contact me directly and I'd be happy to discuss it with you.

    All the best,


    --Symon "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kate | 12/30/2010

    " Makes me forever sad that I can't go... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jason | 12/29/2010

    " this is good, but often very slow and had to put it down for a few days at a time. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sandyboy | 12/10/2010

    " solid story telling and good characterisation. a tad cheesy but i loved it and the end was breathtakingly exciting "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Anna | 10/5/2010

    " the rocks in this book have more personality than the characters. No I'm serious! there's this lovely martian boulder with a green streak in it that has all this.. this potential! this guy knows his science but can't write complex emotion for shit. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Salvatore | 8/24/2010

    " This is an entertaining novel, with a completely believable trip to Mars. The characters are interesting, and the descriptions of both Earth and Mars are vivid. Good story, too. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Colin | 6/27/2010

    " My First Ben Bova that has lead me to collect the rest of the Grand Tour of the Solar System books. I really liked the non fantastic approach to the technology and setting. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Michelle | 6/9/2010

    " A little slow to start, but it gets interesting as you go along. I'm planning on reading the next one. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mike | 6/4/2010

    " If you like hard science fiction, it's hard to ignore Ben Bova. I think I would have killed a few of the characters, but then that wouldn't be good hard science fiction. "

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About the Author
Author Ben Bova

Ben Bova was born in Philadelphia and received his doctorate in education from California Coast University in 1996. The author of over 120 futuristic novels and nonfiction books, he has also been a radio commentator, editor, lecturer, and aerospace industry executive. His articles, opinion pieces, and reviews have appeared in Scientific American, Nature, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and many other publications. His work has earned six Hugo Awards. He received the Lifetime Achievement Award of the Arthur C. Clarke Foundation in 2005, and his novel Titan won the John W. Campbell Memorial Award for the best science fiction novel of 2006.

About the Narrator

Stefan Rudnicki first became involved with audiobooks in 1994. Now a Grammy-winning audiobook producer, he has worked on more than three thousand audiobooks as a narrator, writer, producer, or director. He has narrated more than three hundred audiobooks. A recipient of multiple AudioFile Earphones Awards, he was presented the coveted Audie Award for solo narration in 2005, 2007, and 2014 and was named one of AudioFile’s Golden Voices in 2012.