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4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining sci-fi
This outing for Dan Rudolph is perfectly readable as a stand-alone novel and has more of the gung-ho chauvinism and courageousness that is typical of early Bova. Set in an alternate timeline, Empire Builders still roughly adheres to the Grand Tour series, however it is less about science fiction than political power struggles and character building. Although that may...
Published on 12 Jan 2011 by Mr. G. Battle

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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Earth faces catastrophe. One man is determined to reveal it.
'Empire Builders' is Ben Bova's sequel to his 'Privateers'. The hero of both books is Dan Randolph, a gung-ho American space industrialist.
'Privateers' succeeded because the premise on which it was based felt as if it may be possible. Dan ran around the Earth-Moon system antagonising the Soviet administrators who had almost complete control of space operations,...
Published on 8 Aug 1999


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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Earth faces catastrophe. One man is determined to reveal it., 8 Aug 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Empire Builders (Mass Market Paperback)
'Empire Builders' is Ben Bova's sequel to his 'Privateers'. The hero of both books is Dan Randolph, a gung-ho American space industrialist.
'Privateers' succeeded because the premise on which it was based felt as if it may be possible. Dan ran around the Earth-Moon system antagonising the Soviet administrators who had almost complete control of space operations, in an attempt to prove that things would be better if they weren't under such tight bureaucratic control.
'Empire Builders' is essentially the same premise. Except that now the old Soviet Union is gone, Bova has had to invent an enemy in the form of the Global Economic Council (GEC). Somehow this makes the whole thing feel less like a story that could happen in the real world.
Scientists at Randolph's company discover that the Greenhouse Effect will reach a 'cliff' around ten years after the events of the book. The gradual warming of the Earth will suddenly accelerate and the sea level will rise catastrophically. Attempts to warn the GEC seem to ignored. Then the Council tries to silence the rumour by taking control of Dan's company. Then we learn that the GEC actually know of the problem, and plan to solve it by forcefully controlling all world industry and compelling everyone to stop using fossil fuels. Dan disagrees, feeling that co-operation rather than control is a better way forward.
As always Bova's science appears well-researched and accurate, yet remaining easy to read. His characters in this book are not as well defined as in some of his earlier work (eg The excellent 'Orion'), but this is not a major problem as he keeps the story moving at a frantic pace. The pages just keep turning.
Although it is a sequel, this book has been skilfully written to allow anyone to read it. If you have read 'Privateers' then you may get a little more out of it, but if not, you are never left wondering about some obscure reference to the previous volume.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining sci-fi, 12 Jan 2011
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Mr. G. Battle (Essex, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Empire Builders (Mass Market Paperback)
This outing for Dan Rudolph is perfectly readable as a stand-alone novel and has more of the gung-ho chauvinism and courageousness that is typical of early Bova. Set in an alternate timeline, Empire Builders still roughly adheres to the Grand Tour series, however it is less about science fiction than political power struggles and character building. Although that may sound off genre, there are plenty of entwined strands of deception, revenge and good old plans of murder. This is played out both upon the Earth and Moon with a sweeping story about (the then hot topic) of the Greenhouse Effect. Although at times stereotypical enough to make you wince and let down by a weak by-the-numbers finale, it is engaging and most importantly entertaining.
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Empire Builders
Empire Builders by Ben Bova (Mass Market Paperback - 1 Feb 1999)
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