Another book about getting to mars, from Ben Bova. So.. This time around I was ‘expecting’ the rampant sexism. And guess what? It was indeed there. However, it was more slyly written into the characters traits. It’s still very off-putting, and distasteful. Not enjoyable to read, even if it IS ‘just the way the character is’… It’d hard to give a ‘pass’ to. In fact, no – no pass from me, just hard to stomach while reading. Same issue continued in this book – the female characters are more props to the men. [Insert hard eye rolls here.]
Aside that, it is an interest thought experiment. Because exactly HOW ARE WE going to get to Mars? It feels like a pipe dream in the time (2021) and it should not be a fantasy! With our current knowledge and brains, it ought to easily be achievable, and happening, But somehow, it is not. Yet? Ever..?
So, In this book – an enterprising businessman of the millionaire level, manages to coral several billionaires and get them to committing 1 billion dollars a year, for 5 years; towards the design, construction, and peopled mission to Mars for exploration. Because apparently the government can’t get their act together to do it themselves…. Essentially… Mars, Inc. Not for Profit, but for going.. And well, all the side hustles that it brings to the various owners, existing businesses. Like VR real time to be on Mars with the explorers – ramps up sales for VR units. And the technology to make it all possible, etc etc.
So that’s the plan. Of course, the bulk of the story is a variety of issues along the way. Sabotage, exploding rockets, denial of being able to launch the nuclear power source, people, and on.
It’s a decent read, though it feels like it’s skimming past so many events, and moments, along with other that have so little details. All this could have been so much more detailed, making it so much more enjoyable. Very ‘high level’ in that respect.
Overall, an interesting story, interesting premise, so entertaining high stakes plot twists as it nearly falls apart many times. But in the end [spoiler] they successfully lift the rocket off, and start the journey to Mars.