It's been a rough week. Two emblematic giant influences in my love of science and science fiction have passed. Tuesday, the large radio telescope at the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico collapsed. I felt such an emotional response to that tragic event that I felt the need to shift plans for this week's episode of my podcast and talk a little about that, how such an event is a perfect illustration for why I feel there's plenty of justification for why so much of science fiction seems to take a pessimistic view of humanity's future, but I then also suggest several more optimistic books and movies you could check out. You can see the latest episode below.
Given how much is going on these days, it's hard to keep up with news. I happen to have recommended a novel by Ben Bova in this episode, which was recorded before I saw the news of his passing this past weekend. It was a gut punch to hear of his passing at 88 from COVID-related pneumonia.
For me, long before Andy Weir's The Martian, there was Mars by Ben Bova, which I read as a teenager, and it ignited my imagination for the possibilities of what colonization of the red planet might look like. Bova was an incredibly prolific writer, so while I have read many of his novels, I have not, by any stretch of the imagination, read all or even most of his writing. His Grand Tour series is expansive and incredibly engaging. I have jumped around in that series and have always found it to be imaginative and engaging.
If you want o learn more about Bova's work and his legacy, I recommend check out this article.
I will continue to read through Bova's works, but now with a subtle sadness in the background.
And if I can add one more title to the suggestions in my above podcast for hopeful sci-fi title you should check out, read New Earth by Ben Bova.