Ben Bova's COLONY
Mon, 28 Dec 1998 20:09:42 -0800

Back in 1978, Ben Bova became one of the first mainstream SF writers to use
the O'Neill "High Frontier" concept in a novel. His book, COLONY, features
only two of the giant cylinders, built at L4 in this scenario, and in fact
uses them mostly as a backdrop for a 70s-style "international intrigue"
story, but it was among the first and, due to Bova's name, gets reprinted
every ten years.

I picked up the first reprint (1988, Tor, ISBN 0-812-53245-7), which had a
very nice "realistic" cover painting, with the O'Neill cylinder in the
background and portraits of the main characters in the foreground,
reminiscent of a romance novel in some regards.

The new reprint just went on sale (1998, Avon Eos, ISBN 0-380-79315-6) and
the cover illustration is much less detailed. It's based on some of the
earliest sketches of the cylinder and doesn't show anything of the interior
-- the three skylight windows are hardly even recognizable as windows.
Worst of all, there are *four* mirrors, not three!

This is progress?


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