Ben Bova — Death Wave

This book reminded me of the good old-fashioned SF space operas I used to read as a kid. This one is about a more or less one man crusade to get the people of earth to help save other intelligent species in our galaxy.

There is a “Death Wave” traveling across the stars wiping out all life on every planet it touches. Jordan Kell has returned from New Earth, a planet created by a very old machine intelligence. The planet is populated with human inhabitants created with DNA from earth. Kell and his wife from New Earth are on a mission to save intelligence on other planets. His battle is with the politicians who want to silence him. They are too busy trying to save earth from global warming. One particular politician, Anita Halleck, head of the world government, is determined to stop him. She is afraid of losing her almost dictatorial power over the earth.

There are underlying themes about greed, power, loss of freedom and privacy, and not paying attention to what today’s actions will cause in the future.

I enjoyed the story and Bova’s writing. But there were a couple of issues that bothered me in this book. One was the fact that Jordan and company were only concerned with saving “intelligent” life. How about all life?

The other was a minor irritation. The dialog between Kell and his wife is full of “dear,” “dearest,” and “darling.” People don’t talk that way. The rest of the dialog was realistic, but that little tick Bova added to the loving couple’s conversations is an annoyance.

Read the book anyway. It’s fun.