Ben Bova

Ben Bova

Ben Bova in 1974
Born Benjamin William Bova
(1932-11-08) November 8, 1932
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Occupation Novelist, short story author, essayist, journalist
Genre Science fiction
Bova's novella "The Towers of Titan" was the cover story in the January 1962 issue of Amazing Stories, illustrated by Ed Emshwiller

Benjamin William "Ben" Bova (born November 8, 1932) is an American writer. He was the author of more than 120[1] works of science fact and fiction, he was six-time winner of the Hugo Award, a former editor of Analog Magazine, a former editorial director of Omni; he was also president of both the National Space Society and the Science Fiction Writers of America. He currently lives in Florida.[2]

Personal life and education

Ben Bova was born on November 8, 1932 in Philadelphia. He graduated from South Philadelphia High School in 1949 and has been inducted into the SPHS Cultural Hall of Fame in recognition of his achievements. In 1953, while attending Temple University in Philadelphia, he married Rosa Cucinotta; they had a son and a daughter. The couple divorced in 1974. In that same year he married Barbara Berson Rose.[3] Barbara Bova died on September 23, 2009.[4] Bova dedicated his 2011 novel, Power Play to Barbara. In March 2013, he announced on his website that he had remarried.[1]

Bova was an avid fencer in his younger days and organized Avco Everett's fencing club.

Bova is an atheist and is critical of what he sees as the unquestioning nature of religion.[5] He wrote an op-ed piece in 2012, in which he argued that atheists can be just as moral as religious believers.[6]

Bova went back to school in the 1980s, earning a Master of Arts degree in communications in 1987 and a Doctor of Education degree from California Coast University in 1996.


Bova worked as a technical writer for Project Vanguard in the 1950s and later for the Avco Everett Research Laboratory[7] in the 1960s. when they conducted research in lasers and fluid dynamics. At Avco Everett he met Arthur R. Kantrowitz (later of the Foresight Institute).

In 1972, Bova became editor of Analog Science Fact & Fiction, after John W. Campbell's death in 1971. At Analog, Bova won six Hugo Awards for Best Professional Editor.[8]

Bova served as the science advisor for the failed television series The Starlost[8] and left in disgust after the airing of the first episode (1973). His novel The Starcrossed, loosely based on his experiences, featured a thinly veiled characterization of his friend and colleague Harlan Ellison. Bova dedicated the novel to "Cordwainer Bird", the pen name Ellison uses when he does not want to be associated with a television or film project.

In 1974, he wrote the screenplay for an episode of the children's science-fiction television series Land of the Lost, titled "The Search".

After leaving Analog in 1978, Bova went on to edit Omni, from 1978 to 1982.[8]

Bova holds the position of President Emeritus of the National Space Society and served as President of Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) from 1990 to 1992.

He appeared as the Guest of Honor at the Florida convention Necronomicon in 1995 and 2011. In 2000, he attended the 58th World Science Fiction Convention (Chicon 2000) as the Author Guest of Honor.

In 2007, Stuber/Parent Productions hired him as a consultant to provide insight into what the world may look like in the near future, for their film Repo Men (2010) starring Jude Law and Forest Whitaker. Also in 2007 he provided consulting services to Silver Pictures on the film adaptation of Richard K. Morgan's hardboiled cyberpunk science-fiction novel Altered Carbon (2002). He was awarded the Robert A. Heinlein Award in 2008 for his work in science fiction.[9]

As of February 2016, Bova has written over 124 books,[10] non-fiction as well as science fiction, drawing on his experiences to create fact and fiction writings rich with references to artificial hearts, artists, environmentalism, fencing and martial arts, lasers, nanotechnology, photography, and spaceflight.


Main article: Ben Bova bibliography


  1. 1 2 "Official Website". Archived from the original on January 3, 2013. Retrieved December 24, 2012.
  2. Orion and King Arthur. Tor Tom Doherty. 2012. pp. inside back flap. ISBN 9780765330178.
  3. Jay P. Pederson, ed. (December 1, 1995). St. James Guide to Science Fiction Writers (4th ed.). St. James Press. ISBN 978-1-55862-179-4.
  4. Locus sf&f news: Barbara Bova Dies
  5. Gutsch, Bonnie. "Ben Bova". FFRF Website. Freedom From Religion Foundation. Retrieved 3 April 2014.
  6. Bova, Ben (22 July 2012). "Ben Bova: History says atheists just as moral as believers". Scripps Newspaper Group. Retrieved 3 April 2014.
  7. Ben Bova: We need more of Kantrowitz’s ‘impure research’, By BEN BOVA, Posted February 14, 2009 at 7:01 p.m, Naples Daily News at the Wayback Machine (archived March 20, 2012)
  8. 1 2 3 "Sci-fi writer blasts gimmicks". The Windsor Star. Canadian Press. October 20, 1979. Retrieved March 5, 2011.
  9. "The Locus Index to SF Awards: 2008 Robert A. Heinlein Award". Locus Publications. 2008. Retrieved 2016-11-21.
  10. "Ben Bova". Archived from the original on 2016-02-15. Retrieved 2016-02-10.

External links

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