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THE RETURN
Book IV of the 'Voyagers'
by Ben Bova

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE VOYAGERS TRILOGY
Ben Bova

*Book I:  Voyagers*
An alien spacecraft has entered the solar system, heading for Earth.
Where did it come from? Why is it coming to us? What do they want? Every
major nation wants to contact the aliens, enlist them as allies, and
learn their superior technology so that they can dominate the Earth.
American scientist/astronaut, *Keith Stoner*, flies to the approaching
alien spacecraft and learns its secret. But he can’t return to Earth.

 

Q.  When you were writing the VOYAGERS series, what was happening in your life?

 

BB. I was editing Omni magazine, living in Manhattan during the week and repairing to West Hartford CT most weekends. Two of the most powerful editors in New York, heads of Doubleday and Bantam, asked me to write a completely contemporary novel based on the idea that we receive unequivocal evidence that there is intelligent life beyond Earth,  and they wanted the novel finished in less than a year.
Being a morning writer, I worked on the novel every morning for about nine months, then went to the Omni office for the rest of the day.
Weekends I worked in Connecticut. I delivered the manuscript on time, although both the editors who had commissioned the project had lost their jobs in the interim.
That’s the book publishing business for you
!


*Book II:  The Alien Within*
Keith Stoner awakens after being frozen for eighteen years aboard an
alien spaceship. He comes to in a high-tech medical facility on Hawaii’s
Big Island, a virtual prisoner. Stoner is the first person to be revived
after being cryogenically frozen. Stoner escapes. Inside his mind there
is an alien presence. He returns, though, after his brief outing. Almost
as if he’s amused, he remains in his high-tech prison.
He does not sleep.
He reads whole volumes of books in minutes.
He seems to be studying the world as if it was all new to him.

Jo Camerata, his student eighteen years ago, has doggedly climbed the
corporate ladder and engineered the rescue mission that brought Stoner
back to Earth. Jo is still in love with him.
Jo realizes that Stoner is more than human now.
It’s either work together, Stoner insists, or the human race will
destroy itself – as so many other intelligent races have destroyed
themselves.
“It’s a good world, Jo. Well worth saving.”
“But it looks so hopeless, all the wars and killing and hatred.”
“We can do it,” he says. “It won’t be easy, but we can do it. And once
we do, we can go out and visit the aliens – as equals.”


Q. 
What year did you start the series, and did you know it would be a series when you started?

BB. If memory serves, I started the series in late 1979. I didn’t think of it as a series at first, but it was clear by the time I finished the original novel that there was a lot more to tell about Keith Stoner and the impact of alien intelligence on the human race.



*Book III:  Star Brothers*
Keith Stoner is more than human, his body absorbed alien nanomachines
that give Stoner strange mental powers. The Star Brother inhabits his
body – and his mind.
Plague, riots, war, climate disaster and government unrest, the Earth is
dying. Greenhouse warming is flooding coastal cities. Farmlands are
parched with drought.
A horrific plague known as the Horror is striking down women in
agonizing pain. Cities are in tumult. Refugees are streaming into inland
cities, seeking food and safety. A riot is turning the streets of Tokyo
into a bloody battleground.
Then a single saintly Buddhist lama walks among the rioters.
Hardly saying a word, he calms them by his very presence. Walking beside
this “Great Soul” is a tall, bearded, American: Keith Stoner.
One man might be able to end the plagues and save humanity if they don’t
destroy him first!

 

More Q & A from Ben about the VOYAGERS!