“New Earth” by Ben Bova (Tor, 2013)

New Earth
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Bestselling science fiction award winning author, Ben Bova, returns after setting the stage with Farside. The new Earth-like planet has been discovered and studied, and now some years later the first exploratory expedition is on its way to the distant planet, which is already being called “New Earth.”

The trip takes eighty years each way, as the crew sleeps in cryonic suspension, never aging. By the time they return to Earth, 200 years will have passed. But for now the crew has no thoughts of returning home, but finding out just what is happening on this planet. As everyone is brought out of their long sleep, everything seems to be functioning normally. Before they know it a weird light is seen on the planet and the following day most of the crew go down to explore and discover.

It is soon discovered that “New Earth” is inhabited by a considerable population of very human-like beings. In fact, the similarities are bizarre and at times astounding. Apart from the fact that they are able to speak English, they have names from Earth’s mythology and history, and appear to know a lot about the planet the crew calls home. Clearly there is a big mystery here that needs to be solved; the question is whether these alien beings are friends or enemies?

Originally written on August 26, 2013 ©Alex C. Telander.

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