By Ben Bova

farsideProlific SF giant Ben Bova is back and shows he’s still in good form with this tale of love, ambition, and revenge set on the far side of the moon. Cub astronomer Trudy Yost arrives at the Farside Observatory just as a giant space telescope (or, more properly, optical interferometer) is being constructed to take a closer look at a newly-discovered Earth-like planet. Unfortunately a bunch of accidents start occurring at Farside and it soon looks as though there’s a plot afoot to sabotage the telescope using specially engineered nanomachines.

Bova’s characters can be two-dimensional, but his rendering of the moon base is nicely detailed right down to the low ceilings and scary cafeteria chow, and he has an interesting take on some of the potential uses and ramifications of nanotechnology. Finally, he’s such a sure plotter and fluid storyteller that you’re almost compelled to finish the book in a couple of thoroughly enjoyable sittings.

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