...and so it begins
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Here we go again.
The tales are on the whole fairly standard, astronauts-are-brave, space-is-tough stuff. Classic, hard sf where the science is well-researched and as convincing as possible. They are told in a straight, no-nonsense style that never gets in the way of the story.
A couple of the stories have a more personal, human focus: "The Man Who Hated Gravity" being the most succesful for me, about a trapeze acrobat who loses his nerve, but gains a bionic leg. It's these stories I liked the most, the ones that dealt with ordinary people on Earth and how their lives are affected by the hardcore science going on above them. Astronauts and scientists doing brave things and being clever is just not interesting; for heroes, being heroic is their job. They're spacemen after all: you expect them to be able to wrestle a disintegrating spaceship through the sulphuric acid of Venus' atmosphere.
Has the book done its job, and whetted my appetite for a full plate of steaming Bova? I'd say so. I'll keep an eye out for any of the other Grand Tour books.
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There you go, that's enough of the plot for you. The book is set in the near-future, so people are wearing their computers, Alzheimer's is cured, and cars drive themselves. No word on the personal jetpacks yet. The characters are well-rounded, perhaps a smidgeon too nice to be real sometimes - but hey, it's the future, maybe everyone is nice there.
A decent read; well-written, engaging and interesting.
One of my friends from school has made a really funny video and put it on YouTube. Well, it's funny if you speak Welsh. I found it via a convoluted trip through Friends Reunited - isn't the tinternets brilliant!