Ben Bova, American science fiction author legend, passes (RIP).

Word has come in from legendary science fiction author Ben Bova’s niece that the great American sci-fi writer has passed away aged 88 following a stroke and what she described as Covid-19 related issues.

As well as being a prolific writer of genre books, Ben served as an editor and high mucky-muck for both Analog magazine and Omni. If you remember that old 1970s TV series called The Star Lost, and another one called The Land of the Lost, then you have got Ben to thank for that as well

He also served as a sci-fi consultant to such movies as Repo Men, and the Altered Carbon adaption.

When it comes to Ben’s lovely books there are over 124 to list, but some of the more memorable ones include his Grand Tour series which you can think of as an early precursor to works like The Expanse novels, featuring near-future colonization of the solar system and the various adventures that ensue as politics, greed, and the fight for space & territory collide.

Ben Bova, American science fiction author legend, passes (RIP).
Ben Bova, he was Amazing!

There were lots of great stand-alone works, too, including The PeacekeepersThe Multiple ManThe Winds of AltairCity of Darkness, and a very early film novelization based on George Lucas’s movie THX1138 (almost up there with his chum Alan Dean Foster – currently being chiseled out of said royalties for Star Wars/Aliens).

Other notable series included To Save the SunStar Quest, and the Orion sequence of works.

He was married three times and grew up in Philadelphia, going on to work for the Avco Everett Research Laboratory where he did early research into lasers and built components for the Apollo 11 mission, rather appropriately. He took over Analog science fiction magazine after John W Campbell’s death, filling some legendary shoes before proving himself well able to cope with the role and make it his. Just that, alone, would probably have been enough to cement his place in the firmament of science fiction stars. As it was, he went on to be a supernova all of his own.

Goodbye, Benjamin William Bova, we will certainly miss you and your great novels over here at SFcrowsnest.


Colonel Frog is a long time science fiction and fantasy fan. He loves reading novels in the field, and he also enjoys watching movies (as well as reading lots of other genre books).

One thought on “Ben Bova, American science fiction author legend, passes (RIP).

  • I saw him once or twice a year here in Florida when he came to scifi cons that I regularly attended in Tampa and Orlando. I’ve read many of his books and just finished Venus a couple of months ago but enjoyed his Mars books the most. We were on a panel or two at the cons and I always enjoyed sitting in on the panels he was on. At LoneStarCon about 7 years back I got to spend about 15 minutes alone with him and we discussed the space program which I had retired from about two years previously. He will be missed.


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