Second in size only to Jupiter, bigger than a thousand Earths but light enough to float in water, home of crushing gravity and delicate, seemingly impossible rings, it dazzles and attracts us: SATURNEarth groans under the thumb of fundamentalist political regimes. Crisis after crisis has given authoritarians the upper hand. Freedom and opportunity exist in space, for those with the nerve and skill to run the risks. Now the governments of Earth are encouraging many of their most incorrigible dissidents to join a great ark on a one-way expedition, twice Jupiter's distance from the Sun, to Saturn, the ringed planet that baffled Galileo and has fascinated astronomers ever since.
But humans will be human, on Earth or in the heavens - so amidst the idealism permeating Space Habitat Goddard are many individuals with long-term schemes, each awaiting the tight moment. And hidden from them is the greatest secret of all, the real purpose of this expedition, known to only a few.
Benjamin William Bova (1932–2020) was an American writer. He was the author of more than 120 works of science fact and fiction, six-time winner of the Hugo Award, an editor of Analog Science Fiction and Fact, an editorial director of Omni; he was also president of both the National Space Society and the Science Fiction Writers of America.
As of February 2016, Bova had written over 124 books in various genres. He edited several works, including The Science Fiction Hall of Fame, Volume Two (1973) and Nebula Awards Showcase 2008. He wrote the Grand Tour novel series about exploration and colonization of the Solar System by humans. Reviewing a collection of 12 of the series published in 2004, The New York Times described Bova as "the last of the great pulp writers".