James Nicoll Reviews

Home > Reviews > By Contributor

Reviews by Contributor: Bova, Ben (5)

Hail to the Chief

The Multiple Man

By Ben Bova  

6 Dec, 2020

Because My Tears Are Delicious To You

1 comment

Ben Bova’s 1976 The Multiple Man is a standalone near-future thriller.

Americo Meric” Albano is a true believer in President James J. Halliday. Meric is proud to be press secretary to the first president in memory who will be able to do the job properly. After decades of inept and crooked administrations, he believes that the US desperately needs Halliday. 

Meric is understandably upset when Halliday is found dead in an alley behind the building where the president gave a speech. 

Except… the dead man is not Halliday. It’s simply some stranger who is identical to Halliday … right down to his finger prints.

Read more ➤

Nothing Without a Woman or a Girl

Analog Science Fiction/Science Fact, June 1977

By Ben Bova  

2 Jun, 2018

Because My Tears Are Delicious To You


I have excoriated Ben Bova’s fiction in the past, but I have nothing but admiration for his work as editor for Analog. While Disco-Era Analog might seem a bit stodgy to modern eyes, at the time Bova was a breath of fresh air. Rather than settle for being a second-rate Campbell, he did his best to be a first-rate Bova. He recruited new authors, many of whom differed (excitingly) from Analogs Old Guard. He also bought more stories by women than did his predecessor1. While some old guard objected to Bova’s direction, enough readers enjoyed it to give him a remarkable six Best Editor Hugo Awards, as well as one nomination for the same category.

It seems unlikely Campbell would have had a Special Women’s Issue. Bova did: Analog, June 1977.

Read more ➤

When You Hear the Wild Geese Calling

The Exiles Trilogy

By Ben Bova  

22 Oct, 2017

Because My Tears Are Delicious To You


1971’s Exiled From Earth, 1972’s Flight of Exiles, and 1975’s End of Exile form Ben Bova’s Exile Trilogy.

Cast out from overcrowded Earth, will our heroes be able to maintain a stable culture for the decades or centuries it will take to find a new Earth … or will they, like pretty much every other generation ship in the genre — last week’s excepted — end up recapitulating Robert Heinlein’s Orphans of the Sky?

Read more ➤

Soaked in 1970s-style sexism like a hopeful swinger reeking of Hai Karate


By Ben Bova  

29 Mar, 2015

Because My Tears Are Delicious To You


1978’s Colony is a sequel of sorts to Bova’s earlier Millennium.

Chet Kinsman’s sacrifice in Millennium was not entirely in vain; the Cold War is over and in 2008, the Earth is governed by a World Government directed by the well-meaning socialist De Paolo. Unfortunately the essential issues — overpopulation, and the pollution and resource depletion that accompany it — that drove the United States and the Soviet Union to contemplate nuclear war didn’t vanish with the Cold War. The weak World Government can manage little beyond palliative measures. Doomsday has been delayed, not prevented.

And there are those who are doing their best to push the world towards its final crisis as quickly as they can.

Read more ➤