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Saturn -- Ben Bova
Written by Mike Noel   
Sunday, 27 September 2009
Saturn is an interesting novel about mankind's first exploration of Saturn. It is more focused on the trip to Saturn than any actual exploration of the planet (or it's moons or rings). The leaders on Earth put 10,000 people from various philosophical, vocational, and geographical regions on a large habitat and launched it towards Saturn. Most of the story takes place during the journey (25 months) while the different groups vie for dominance on the habitat. The interesting part of the story is the social experiment as we see how the different groups, with a fresh start, end up creating many of the same problems on the habitat that they were avoiding on Earth.
There is a bit of a surprise ending to the story. Not so much a surprise as a different twist on the entire story. It is subtle though. The reader has to be paying attention to the last page or two or they may miss out on the main point of the whole story.
Interesting characters and an interesting setting make the book a fun read but the more philosophical side of the book is a little weak. As is typical for science fiction, the handling of religion is a caricature. For those with a predilection to demonize religion this probably works just fine but for those who take a more reasoned approach to religion, it undermines the rest of the book.
Science fiction fans will likely find it interesting enough to read but it's not above average for the field.
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 04 November 2009 )