The Grand Tour series by author Ben Bova deals with the exploration and colonization of the solar system. Each book tends to focus on a different planet with some common themes and characters appearing across the series. Exploration, colonization, amazing discoveries, corporate espionage, murder, space battles… this series has got something for everyone.
Strangely, Dr. Bova has not had much luck in the awards department despite a large and faithful following. The only Grand Tour book to garner a nomination was 2006′s Titan which won the 2007 Campbell Award. There are 18 total books in the series including the short story collection Tales of the Grand Tour and the 4 volumes that make up the Asteroid Wars: The Precipice, The Rock Rats, The Silent War and The Aftermath. We’ve got them listed in the author’s preferred chronological order though many of the stories overlap in time.
One of the nice things about this series is that despite the character and time overlaps most of the books can be read independantly or out of order. The exceptions would be the Asteroid Wars and the Mars trilogy: Mars, Return to Mars, and Mars Life which should be read in sequence as each novel builds on what went before. I cherry picked my way through most of the planets reading Mars, Saturn, Jupiter and Venus and enjoyed them all. I really like the nice cover art as well. They’ve got a classic SF look.