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Extended Audio Sample The Martian Race, by Gregory Benford Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Gregory Benford Narrator: Gabrielle de Cuir Publisher: Skyboat Media Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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From the Nebula Award–winning author of Timescape and Foundation’s Fear comes a hard-science thriller about the race to Mars.

When an explosion of the rocket launching the Mars Transit Vehicle kills four crewmen, the US decides to redirect its energies to near-Earth projects, killing the manned mission to Mars. But tycoon John Axelrod assembles a consortium to fund the project, and he expects to net billions. But a European-Asian airbus will make a similar expedition. Now, the race is on to get to the Red Planet first.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Benford is a rarity: a scientist who writes with verve and insight not only about black holes and cosmic strings but about human desires and fears.”

    New York Times Book Review, praise for the author

  • “Engaging and thorough.”


  • “Among the most believable in recent genre literature…Strange and beautiful.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “One of the premier crafters of the genre.”

    Library Journal

  • “Adventure, relationships, discovery, and the pursuit of fame and fortune all add up to a page-turner for teens who like their science fiction rooted solidly in science.”

    School Library Journal

  • “Benford is as expert as ever at seamlessly melding characterization, technology, and narrative drive in an effective novel that takes its place near the front of the pack of Martian-yarn contenders.”


  • “Taut, plausible, and full of ideas.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “Narrator Gabrielle de Cuir takes listeners inside an exhilarating competition to explore Mars in this lively science-fiction production…De Cuir skillfully brings to life the multifaceted Aussie biologist and her international crew mates, with a multitude of authentic accents. She also keeps the necessary flashbacks of backstory wonderfully animated. The result is one satisfying Martian journey.”


  • “Combines a realistic Mars mission plan with a dynamic plot and a sense of wonder to produce a real page-turner. One of the finest novels about human exploration of the Red Planet ever written.”

    Dr. Robert Zubrin, president of The Mars Society and author of The Case for Mars

  • “Both gritty and inspiring! Benford has a deep grasp of how the future might be seized, one bold move at a time.”

    David Brin, author of Foundation’s Triumph

  • “A fascinating drama of total plausibility…I predict that many of the ideas in this book will soon make the transition from fiction to fact.”

    Paul Davies, author of The Fifth Miracle

  • “Benford emulates the winning strategy of Prince Henry the Navigator to achieve one of our dearest dreams—to land humans on Mars. Mission planners at NASA might seriously consider taking a leaf from this book.”

    Eric Kotani, author of Legacy of Prometheus

  • “Cast in the fiercely anti-establishment tradition of Robert Heinlein, but evolving a twenty-first–century cooperative perspective…A great read…Thought-provoking.”

    Bruce Murray, professor at California Institute of Technology and president of The Planetary Society

  • “Superbly details the ambitions and frailties of both the explorers and the exploiters.”

    John Connolly, planetary scientist

  • “An exciting adventure and a remarkable novel.”

    Nathalie A. Cabrol, planetary scientist

  • “Accurate science…Highly credible…An innovative thriller.”

    Edmond A. Grin, planetary scientist

  • A 2000 Prometheus Award Nominee for Best Novel
  • A 2000 Locus Award Nominee
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About the Author
Author Gregory Benford

Gregory Benford is a professor of physics and astronomy at the University of California, Irvine. A Woodrow Wilson Fellow and a member of Phi Beta Kappa, he received the Lord Prize for contributions to science in 1995 and the Asimov Memorial Award for popularizing science in 2007. He has written numerous works of science fiction, receiving a Nebula Award and a John W. Campbell Memorial Award for his novel Timescape.