Empire Builders Audiobook | Ben Bova | Audible.com
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Empire Builders | [Ben Bova]

Empire Builders

Dan Randolph never plays by the rules. A hell-raising maverick with no patience for fools, he is admired by his friends, feared by his enemies, and desired by the world's loveliest women. Acting as a 21st privateer, Randolph broke the political strangle-hold on space exploration, and became one of the world's richest men in the bargain.
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Publisher's Summary

Dan Randolph never plays by the rules. A hell-raising maverick with no patience for fools, he is admired by his friends, feared by his enemies, and desired by the world's loveliest women. Acting as a 21st privateer, Randolph broke the political strangle-hold on space exploration, and became one of the world's richest men in the bargain.

Now an ecological crisis threatens Earth—and the same politicians that Randolph outwitted the first time want to impose a world dictatorship to deal with it.

Dan Randolph knows that the answer lies in more human freedom, not less—and in the boundless resources of space. But can he stay free long enough to give the world that chance?

©1993 Ben Bova (P)2010 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"I believe that by far the science fiction author who will have the greatest effect on the science fiction world, and the world as a whole, is Ben Bova." (Ray Bradbury)

“Solid action-adventure/politicking/consciousness-raising from a veteran pro.” (Kirkus Reviews)

"A rollicking good read!" (Starlog)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (103 )
5 star
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4.4 (72 )
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3 star
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2 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Jan Saell 04-05-12
    Jan Saell 04-05-12 Member Since 2002
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "And excellent book and hard to stop listen to"

    This is the second book about Dan Randolph even if it was writte well before Powersat.

    The earth is heading towards a greenhouse cliff, a sudden climate change that will destroy much of the planet in ten years if something isn't done soon. The ice caps will melt. Cities will be flooded. Millions will die. When Randolph tries to let people know what's going on and try to help orchestrate a plan to avoid this catastrophe, government officials from the Global Economic Council (the GEC) confiscate his company, imprison him, and silence his scientific team.

    The story continues and as usual it quite good and i find the book hard to put down, or stop listen to if you, like me listen to the audio book.

    Stefan Rudnicki does an very excellent job adjusting his voice to each of the characters so you get a god idea of who speach. Speech tags become redundant. He captures a variety of accents well, and the voices match the personalities. He tries hard to get the Japanese right, but it doesn't roll off his tongue well.

    Its even a bit scary to think that this book was written back in 1993 and quite well talks about some of the problems we have been facing today. The tsunamis in Indonesia and the flooding of New Orleans.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Terry Calgary, AB, Canada 12-24-11
    Terry Calgary, AB, Canada 12-24-11 Member Since 2006

    Tell us about yourself!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Ben Bova (Chicken Little)"

    THis "enviromentality" really shows in this one. A little naïve and over steps the climate change logic here. But it does set the stage for his grand tour. Listen only for background information after listening to Powersat and continue on with the Grand Tour books. Stefan Rudnicki preforms this and does it very well.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    George SANTA FE, NM, United States 01-08-14
    George SANTA FE, NM, United States 01-08-14 Member Since 2004
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    "Sci-Fi?"

    A good listen that, were it not for a lunar thing, would be just good fiction. A hegemonic, Russian Communist style dominatation and is bested by the corporate good guys in white hats. Enter love interests, sister hating and other human foibles and this could just as easily been the 11th century. Good, fun read, but don't expect much sci-fi.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    breckoz SANTA CRUZ, CA, United States 06-04-13
    breckoz SANTA CRUZ, CA, United States 06-04-13 Member Since 2011

    Audiobook Junkie... Love all types of Science Fiction

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Global Climate Change"

    For a one time read this is a good book, but I was a little bored in the beginning. There isn't a ton of action, and some of the topics surrounding economy and management were not very interesting to me. However, I did like the main character and I really like how conclusion wrapped everything up. This book should be praised for its attempt to explore climate change, and the effects of organized crime and a global government in a futuristic Earth where civilization has expanded to the moon. The story also takes a look at government cover ups and the effectiveness of private run corporations verses government. If you are strongly politically motivated you may love or hate this story.

    A bit about the story. Ben Bova creates a futuristic society where Earth has expanded to the moon and now mines space. The main character, Dan Randolph, is a wealthy business man who is one of top seven privately owned companies that run trade. His business is regulated by the Global Economic Council (GEC) who are not big fans of Dan Randolph. Some of the GEC leadership is looking to consolidate the world under one power and eliminate private run corporations that operate in space. This leads to some financial and legal trouble for Dan and a quick downward spiral when the GEC goes after him. As a protagonist Dan Randolph is easy to follow because he wants to do the right thing and seems to care more about others more than money despite being one of the wealthiest businessmen in the world.

    I have been critical of some Stephen Rudnicki's performances in the past, but in this book he was a good fit. So, I definitely got my money out of this one (5 dollar bin). This is my second Ben Bova read. I am currently enjoying his Orion series. Ben Bova is a well established writer so it is hard to go wrong trying this one out.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    joan YORKTOWN HEIGHTS, NY, United States 05-20-13
    joan YORKTOWN HEIGHTS, NY, United States 05-20-13 Member Since 2006

    71 year old avid reader using either my eyes or ears. I make earrings that I donate to shelters and while I work, I listen to wonderful books. I also keep in mind that you have to kiss frogs to find princes - time's too short to bother with losers.

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    "Too political-too many characters"

    I usually love Ben Bova's writing but.... This book might be better read with ones eyes rather than ones ears. There were more characters in the first 3 chapters than I could keep track of. And it was very involved with many political, environmental and financial plots. I love Rudnicki's narration and here he excelled, but not enough to make up for the embroiled story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    john carrot creek, AB, Canada 01-08-13
    john carrot creek, AB, Canada 01-08-13 Member Since 2011
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    "Another keeper from Ben Bova"
    Would you listen to Empire Builders again? Why?

    Yes, I would listens again, I enjoyed this book


    What other book might you compare Empire Builders to and why?

    I think I could compare this title to the Orion series, there is a lot of space travel and exploration in both


    What about Stefan Rudnicki’s performance did you like?

    I like Stefan Rudnicki, he is a very good narrator for truck drivers because he keeps his voice at a fairly constant volume, which is nice because I don't have to keep fooling with the volume control while I'm driving


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    No, I'm generally not an emotional person


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anne Roberts Michigan, USA 12-05-12
    Anne Roberts Michigan, USA 12-05-12 Member Since 2010

    A 50-something who loves sci-fi, cozy mysteries, thrillers, an occasional romance, and any genre if it is a good story. And especially if it makes me laugh! No vampires or zombies though - these are NOT sci-fi!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Excellent"

    Stephan Rudnicki is one of my favorite narrators, and he did his usual excellent narration here. Easy to listen to, easy to distinguish different characters, just the right amount of tension. The story itself drags a bit at times; too many meetings! I did enjoy how Dan managed to get out if situations that did not seem to be survivable so many times! An interesting story, with a definite environmental theme.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    M. Kalus British Columbia 09-04-12
    M. Kalus British Columbia 09-04-12 Member Since 2011

    Jack of all Trades, Master of None

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Technology has badly aged"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    I think what I can say is that Bova sees to lack some imagination. This was already evident in Powersat (a book he wrote more than a decade later). The idea of a watch sized wrist computer is very.... 1980s?


    If you’ve listened to books by Ben Bova before, how does this one compare?

    This was my second book (see Powersat) and I pretty much have the same complaint, that at the end of the day Bova doesn't seem to be very imaginative. A lot of the technology in the books comes across as horribly antiquated.


    What about Stefan Rudnicki’s performance did you like?

    I think he captured the personalities of the characters well, it definitely helped me create the images in my mind.


    Could you see Empire Builders being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    I could see it as a SyFy movie of the week.


    Any additional comments?

    Yeah, I had planned to read / listen to all of the "Grand Tour", the concept sounded interesting. After two books though I have decided not to continue, the lack of technological "dreaming" is just way too distracting for me.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mike Dallas, OR 09-16-10
    Mike Dallas, OR 09-16-10 Member Since 2002
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    "I loved it!"

    I just got so wound up in Dan's situations I couldn't stop listening. Stefan Rudnicki did his usual job of using different voices with each character.....outstanding!

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
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