Ben Bova 1932-2020

Science Fiction giant Ben Bova passed away on Sunday, November 29, from COVID-19 related pneumonia and stroke. The news came through from his niece on Twitter.

Born November 8, 1932, Bova came to the science fiction writing field via Science in the 1950’s. He worked for Project Vanguard, a program managed by the United States Naval Research Laboratory (NRL), which intended to launch the first artificial satellite into Earth orbit using a Vanguard rocket as the launch vehicle from Cape Canaveral Missile Annex, Florida. Later he moved on to Everett Research Laboratory, which made parts of the Apollo capsule.

His first novel, The Star Conquerors, appeared in 1959, and kicked off a career that saw over 120 stories and books written and anthologies edited, presidency of both the Science Fiction Writers of America and the National Space Society, and multiple Hugo Awards as Best Editor for his work on Analog Magazine.

He also served as a science consultant for television shows, which would certainly have benefitted from actually listening to his advice, from The Starlost to Altered Carbon. His most recent book was Uranus, the first of a proposed Outer Planets Trilogy in his over-arching Grand Tour series, in July 2020. Neptune is slated for release from TOR Books in 2021 (there is as yet no word about progress on trans-Neptunian books). salutes this towering figure who brought so much to our lives, through his own writing and by bringing other stars to the SF firmament.


Susan L. Fox
Susan L. Fox