Dr. Ben Bova
Dr. Ben Bova, FBIS,
is the author of more than 120 futuristic novels and nonfiction books
been involved in science and high technology since the
very beginnings of the space age. President Emeritus of the
Space Society and a past president of
Science Fiction Writers of
America, he received the Lifetime Achievement Award of the
Clarke Foundation in 2005, “for fueling mankind’s imagination
regarding the wonders of outer space.”
Ben’s 2006 novel Titan received the John W. Campbell Memorial Award for best novel of the year. In 2008 he won the Robert A. Heinlein Award “for his outstanding body of work in the field of literature”. Earlier, he was an award-winning editor and an executive in the aerospace industry. He is a frequent commentator on radio and television and a widely-popular lecturer.
His Grand Tour novels, such as The Silent War, Moonrise, Mars, and Titan, combine romance, adventure, and the highest degree of scientific accuracy to show how the human race will expand through the solar system, and the impact this will have on individual human lives and society as a whole. His nonfiction books, such as Faint Echoes, Distant Stars: The Science and Politics of Finding Life Beyond Earth, and Immortality: How Science Is Extending Your Life Span and Changing the World, show how modern technology can be used to solve economic, social and political problems.
In his various writings, Ben has predicted the Space Race of the 1960s, solar power satellites, the existence of methane lakes on Saturn’s moon Titan, the discovery of organic chemicals in interstellar space, virtual reality, human cloning, the Strategic Defense Initiative (Star Wars), the discovery of life on Mars, the advent of international peacekeeping forces, the discovery of ice on the Moon, electronic book publishing, and zero-gravity sex.
He has taught science fiction at Harvard University and at the Hayden Planetarium in New York City, where he has also directed film courses. He received his doctorate in education in 1996 from California Coast University, a master of arts degree in communications from the State University of New York at Albany (1987) and a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Temple University (1954).
He lectures regularly on topics dealing with the prospects for human immortality, the impact of science on politics (and vice versa), space exploration and development, the craft of writing, and the search for extraterrestrial life. He has worked with film makers and television producers such as Woody Allen, George Lucas, and Gene Roddenberry.
Ben was a regular commentator on WGCU-FM, the southwest Florida NPR station. He was the science analyst on CBS Morning News, and has appeared frequently on Good Morning America and the Today show.
He was editorial director of Omni magazine and, earlier, editor of Analog magazine. He received the Science Fiction Achievement Award (the “Hugo”) for Best Professional Editor six times. His 1994 short story, “Inspiration”, was nominated for the SFWA’s Nebula Award. In 2001 he was elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). He received the 1996 Isaac Asimov Memorial Award; was the 1974 recipient of the E.E. Smith Memorial Award for Imaginative Fiction; the 1983 Balrog Award winner for Professional Achievement; the 1985 Inkpot Award recipient for his outstanding achievements in science fiction. In 2000, he was Guest of Honor at the 58th World Science Fiction Convention, Chicon 2000.
Ben was manager of marketing for Avco Everett Research Laboratory, in Massachusetts, and worked with leading scientists in fields such as high-power lasers, artificial hearts, and plasma dynamics. Prior to that he wrote scripts for teaching films with the Physical Sciences Study Committee in association with Nobel Laureates from many universities. Earlier, he was technical editor on Project Vanguard, the first American artificial satellite program.
He was born in Philadelphia and worked as a newspaper reporter for several years before joining Project Vanguard. His articles, opinion pieces and reviews have appeared in Scientific American, Nature, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and many other newspapers and magazines.
A member of the Arizona Astronomy Board, Ben was earlier on the Steering Committee for the NASA/Space Transportation Association study on space tourism. He has served on panels of the Office of Technology Assessment. He is a member of the Board of Governors of the National Space Society, and a Fellow of the AAAS, a charter member of the Planetary Society, and a Fellow of the British Interplanetary Society. He is former president and a charter member of Science Fiction Writers of America. In 2005 he received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Lee County (FL) Reading Festival. Temple University honored him as a Distinguished Alumnus in 1981, and in 1982 made him an Alumni Fellow.
Listen to his interview on Hour 25. Read a free PDF copy of his first novel, Star Conquerors which predicted the space race of the 1960s. Read his interview in Astrobiology Magazine.