New Frontiers, fourteen startling visions of yesterday, today, and tomorrow from Ben Bova, six-time winner of the Hugo Award
Frontiers can be found in all directions. Frontiers of time and space, as well as frontiers of courage, devotion, love, hate, and the outer limits of the human spirit. This outstanding collection of stories by one of science fiction's premier talents spans the length and breadth of history and the universe, while exploring thought-provoking new ideas and dilemmas.
From the Baghdad of the Arabian Nights to a vast interstellar empire thousands of years in the future, from the Vatican to a one-man vessel drifting in the vast emptiness of the Asteroid Belt, from virtual reality duels to the subtle intricacies of time travel and a golf tournament on the Moon, here are tales of scoundrels and heroes, scientists and explorers, aliens and artificial intelligences, and even a young Albert Einstein. Each of them stands at the border of a new frontier and must venture out into unexplored territory—thanks to the limitless imagination of Ben Bova.
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This strong collection by SFWA Grand Master Bova (Transhuman) achieves an unusually satisfying fusion of varied settings with a consistent humane vision. The frontiers presented include the challenges of human/robot relationships in "Waterbot," the interconnections of virtual technology and the romantic triangle in "Duel in the Somme," and a nearly 140-year-old man's rediscovery of love through sacrifice in "A Country for Old Men." "The Question" resolves an opportunity to achieve wisdom from well-meaning aliens with a sardonic comment on human obtuseness. Though the overall atmosphere is optimistic, darker elements are found in a few stories: in "In Trust," for example, a moral clash between traditional values and technological innovation is resolved through a sinister plot twist. Through engaging characterization and a smattering of science, Bova melds typical otherworldly locales with the resonance of traditional human themes.