Ben Bova was born on November 8, 1932 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In 1953, while attending Temple University in Philadelphia, he married Rosa Cucinotta; they had a son and a daughter. He would later divorce Rosa in 1974. In that same year he married Barbara Berson Rose. Barbara Bova died on September 23, 2009.
Bova was an avid fencer in his younger days, and organized Avco Everett's fencing club.
Bova worked as a technical writer for Project Vanguard in the 1950s and later for Avco Everett in the 1960s when they did 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 Fiction after John W. Campbell's death in 1971. After leaving Analog in 1978, he went on to edit Omni during 1978-1982.
In 1974 he wrote the screenplay for an episode of the children's science-fiction television series Land of the Lost entitled "The Search".
Bova served as the science advisor for the failed television series The Starlost, leaving 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 Harlan Ellison uses when he does not want to be associated with a television or film project.
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.
Bova went back to school in the 1980s, earning an M.A. in communications in 1987 and a Ed.D. (from California Coast University) in 1996.
Bova has drawn on his experiences to create fact and fiction writings rich with references to spaceflight, lasers, artificial hearts, nanotechnology, environmentalism, fencing and martial arts, photography and artists.
Bova has written over 115 books - non-fiction as well as science fiction. In 2000, he attended the [[58th World Science Fiction Convention]] (Chicon 2000) as the Author Guest of Honor.
Recently, Hollywood has taken an interest in Bova's works due to his wealth of knowledge about science and about what the future may look like. 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 feature adaptation of Richard Morgan's novel "Altered Carbon". In 2007, Velocity Management became Ben Bova's literary manager.
The Future Quartet - Earth in the Year 2042 (1995)
Twice Seven (1998)
Exiled from Earth (1971)
Flight of Exiles (1972)
End of Exile (1975)
Bova's Grand Tour series of novels presents a fictional treatment of human colonization of the Solar System in the late 21st century. Bova addresses the issue of chronology in this series on his website:
The internal chronology of the series lacks complete consistency. The recommended chronological reading order might follow something like this:
Privateers (1985) (immediately precedes Empire Builders, with most of the same cast of characters, but with an alternate history including a still-extant Soviet Union, because Bova wrote it before the U.S.S.R. collapsed.)
Empire Builders (1993)
Moonrise (1996) (The Moonbase Saga, v. 1)
Moonwar (1998) (The Moonbase Saga, v. 2)
Return to Mars (1999)
The Precipice (2001) (The Asteroid Wars, v. 1)
The Rock Rats (2002) (The Asteroid Wars, v. 2)
The Silent War (2004) (The Asteroid Wars, v. 3)
Titan (2006), John W. Campbell Memorial Award
The Aftermath (2007) (The Asteroid Wars, v. 4)
Mars Life (2008)
Tales of the Grand Tour (2004) (short-story collection including stories that span much of the timeline)
Sam Gunn, Unlimited (1993) (short- story collection)
Sam Gunn Forever (1998) (short-story collection)
Sam Gunn Omnibus (2007)
The Weathermakers (1967) Back-story of a major character from Millennium
The Kinsman Saga (1987) (combines Millennium (1976) and Kinsman (1979); includes introduction and narrative by Bova explaining the reworking of these two novels)
Out of the Sun (1968)
THX 1138 (with George Lucas) (1971), based on the film THX 1138
As on a Darkling Plain (1972)
When the Sky Burned (1972)
Gremlins, Go Home! (with Gordon Dickson) (1974)
The Starcrossed (1975)
City of Darkness (1976)
The Multiple Man (1976)
Test of Fire (1982) (A revised version of When the Sky Burned)
The Winds of Altair (1983)
Cyberbooks (1989) (foresaw e-book readers similar to Sony Reader and Kindle)
The Trikon Deception (with Bill Pogue) (1992)
Triumph (1993), ISBN 0-312-85359-9 (alternate-history work, set at the end of World War II, in which Winston Churchill plots the assassination of Joseph Stalin, and in which Franklin D. Roosevelt lives past 1945)
Death Dream (1994)
The Green Trap (2006)
Able One (2010)
Laugh Lines (A collection of short stories, 'The Starcrossed' and 'Cyberbooks')
Vengeance of Orion (1988)
Orion in the Dying Time (1990)
Orion and the Conqueror (1994)
Orion Among the Stars (1995)
To Save the Sun
To Save the Sun (with AJ Austin) (1992)
To Fear the Light (with AJ Austin) (1994)
The Alien Within (1986)
Star Brothers (1990)
The Return (2009)
The Star Conquerors (1959)
Star Watchman (1964)
The Dueling Machine (1969)
Man Changes the Weather (1973)
Starflight and Other Improbabilities, Westminster Press, 1973, ISBN 0-664-32520-3
Notes to a Science Fiction Writer, Houghton Mifflin paperback, 1981
Assured Survival: Putting The Star Wars Defense In Perspective, UG743.B68 (1984)
The Craft of Writing Science Fiction That Sells, Writers Digest Books, 1994, ISBN 0-89879-600-8 (a guide to writing fiction of any genre)
Are We Alone in the Cosmos? (1999)
The Story of Light (2001)
Faint Echoes, Distant Stars: The Science and Politics of Finding Life Beyond Earth (2004)
The Science Fiction Hall of Fame, Volume Two, (1973), and
The Best of the Nebulas (1989), ISBN 0-312-93175-1
The Many Worlds of Science Fiction (1971), SBN: 0-525-34550-7