Ben Bova

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In the final analysis, everything we do in space, if it does not help the people of Earth, all the people, it's not going to happen.

Ben Bova (born November 8, 1932 – November 29, 2020) is an American science fiction author and editor, President Emeritus of the National Space Society, and a past President of Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.


  • My first published novel was written for teenagers, and there were rules laid down by the publisher: no sex, no smoking, no swearing. I blew up entire solar systems, I consigned billions of people to horrible death; they didn't seem to mind that at all. But no hanky-panky.
  • I think it's perfectly OK to exploit the moon. Largely for two reasons: there's no life there, and it is close enough and rich enough in resources to be economically useful to Earth. In the final analysis, everything we do in space, if it does not help the people of Earth, all the people, it's not going to happen.
    • As quoted in "Men on Mars, Women on Venus" by Jay McDonald at Bookpage (June 1999)

Orion Among The Stars (1995)

  • Your job is not to die for your country. Your job is to get the other poor sonofabitch to die for his country.

Saturn (2003)

The chapters are not numbered. Page numbers are from the mass market paperback edition published by Tor Books, ISBN 0-812-57942-9, second printing (September 2004)
  • “The real problem,” Eberly burst out, “is that these regulations were written by people who live in a world that must be tightly controlled. They all share the same basic, underlying view that society must be hierarchical and controlled from the top.”
    Wilmot felt pleased that the discussion was moving into his field of interest. “Aren’t all societies controlled from the top? Even so-called democracies are ruled by a small elite group; the only difference is that a democracy can shift its elite without bloodshed and give the general populace the illusion that they have made a telling change.”
    • “Departure Plus 284 Days” (p. 115)
  • “A teacher?” Vyborg gasped. “They got rid of him in Mexico because he was teaching unauthorized garbage. Do you want him teaching his blasphemies here?”
    Berkowitz’s smile diminished by less than a millimeter. “Freedom of thought is not blasphemous, Sammi. He’s a great teacher.”
    • “Departure Plus 317 Days” (p. 134)
  • He’s so doggone narrow-minded he could look through a keyhole with both eyes.
    • “Vision of Saturn” (p. 222)
  • “Wake up in there!” Fritz hollered.
    “I’m awake,” said Gaeta.
    “These days you spend too much time in bed and not enough time sleeping.”
    • “Snowball Fight” (p. 340)
  • Even snaky little Vyborg chatted happily with a few of the glowing-eyed young women that clustered about him, Eberly noted. Power goes to some people’s heads; in other people, power goes straight to the groin.
    • “Saturn Arrival Minus 1 Day, 7 Hours” (p. 397)
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