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  • Garrett Pomichter-Murray

COVID 19 Claims the Life of Sci-Fi Great Ben Bova at 88

By: G.W. Pomichter

December 1, 2020 -- With cases climbing at a disturbing rate across the United States, COVID 19, or Corona Virus as it's referred, has been attributed by Johns Hopkins University with the deaths of as many as 268 thousand Americans, and more than 1.4 million human beings world wide, and among these is 88-year-old Hugo Award winning science fiction author Ben Bova.

Bova died Sunday, November 29, 2020, after a stroke following complications, including Pneumonia, due to COVID-19.

Bova authored more than one hundred books, and he also edited some of the genre’s best-known publications and served as the president of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.

Kathryn Brusco, Bova's niece by marriage, was first to announce Bova’s passing on Twitter, and it was Brusco who revealed that Bova had passed due to complications from COVID-19 and a stroke.

Born in 1932, Bova brought experience to the science fiction genre that few authors could match: he worked as a technical editor for the U.S.’s Project Vanguard, the first effort on the part of the country to launch a satellite into space in 1958. Bova went on to work as a science writer for Avco Everett Research Laboratory, which built the heat shields for the Apollo 11 module, putting man on the Moon and ensuring that science fiction would continue to increasingly define the future.

It was around that time that Bova began writing and publishing science fiction. He published his first novel, The Star Conquerors, in 1959, and followed up with dozens of others in the following years, as well as numerous short stories that appeared in publications such as Amazing Stories, Analog Science Fact and Fiction, Galaxy Magazine, The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, and others.

"The science fiction genre has lost another master. "Ben Bova was an amazing writer, and a good friend," wrote Bram Stoker Award winning author and friend Owl Goingback on social media.

Bova is perhaps best-known for his literary works involving plausible science speculations about humanity’s expansion into the universe, particularly looking toward how the species might adapt to live in space with novels such as 1992’s Mars. He followed up with additional installments, forming his popular Grand Tour series, which explored all of the solar system’s major bodies. The latest installment, Uranus, was published in July, 2020 and was scheduled to be the first of a trilogy. His second installment, Neptune, is scheduled for release in 2021.

P Nielsen Hayden, Bova's editor for the better part of ten years, tweeted, "We didn’t agree on everything, but JUPITER was a hell of a good hard SF novel in the classic mode, and I’m proud to have been its editor."

In a recent report of Bova’s death by TOR, the ESF is quoted of saying of Bova’s work, “the straightforwardness of Bova’s agenda for humanity may mark him as a figure from an earlier era; but the arguments he laces into sometimes overloaded storylines are arguments it is important, perhaps absolutely vital, to make.”

Brusco tweeted of her uncle and the Sci-Fi legend, "he will be missed terribly by us and (by) the the world."

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