By Ben Bova
Ben Bova is over 80 years old and Death Wave is his fourth novel to be published in the last couple of years. Even more remarkable, unlike the centuries-old president of the World Council in Death Wave, he’s doing it without the help of nanomachines.
Death Wave is a sequel to New Earth, and picks up with Jordan Kell coming home bearing the bad news that an intense wave of gamma radiation is heading our way, destroying all organic life in its path.
Since the wave is still 2,000 years from Earth, the World Council responds with a lack of urgency. This is, in turn, Bova’s real theme. The death wave is basically a metaphor for global climate change and the need to rise above political squabbles in order to get things done, a test of humanity’s vision and resolve. That this is a concern we find cropping up in a lot of contemporary SF novels is surely no coincidence.