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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.

Critic Reviews

"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 listeners say about Empire Builders

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  • Jan Saell
  • 05-04-2012

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.

9 people found this helpful

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  • john
  • 08-01-2013

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

4 people found this helpful

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  • Sassy1980
  • 05-12-2012

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.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Ed H.
  • 05-09-2021

Ridiculous and totally unrealistic premise

I only made it an hour into the book and gave up. Perhaps that's not a fair representation, but the premise and setup of the plot was totally unrealistic, with larger than life characters plotting against other larger than life characters.

Although most of this "Grand Tour" series is free in my audible plus library, I’ve lost interest, at least for now. The books in this "series" are all stand-alone, although some of the key characters from Powersat are also key characters in this book. I may give another book from this series a chance somewhere down the road, but this one really put me off.

As always, Stefan Rudnicki is excellent in his narration.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Mike
  • 16-09-2010

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!

2 people found this helpful

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  • Terrance Hanna
  • 24-12-2011

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.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Randall
  • 28-04-2021

This is garbage

Too much PC crap to even continue with this series. Some of the dumbest climate change scenario's ever postulated. The first book in the series was better so I thought i would try another, but I can't take any more of this.

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  • Rew
  • 03-12-2020

Fun listen, But the story is too much Ayn Rand

Ayn Rand in spaaaaaace. Better written than any book by Rand but basically business good capitalism fantastic people lazy government bad.

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  • Darth Bane
  • 13-07-2018

A good jumping-off point for the wider Grand Tour

This is (I think) the last of the Grand Tour books to feature Dan Randolph as a main character, and it's good one to end his run on. Empire Builders does a good job setting the stage the the scientific and geopolitical situations of the later books. Like PowerSat it suffers from heavy-handed political messaging. Ironically, it isn't the climate science, but the anti-government, pro-business rhetoric that beats you over the head while you read (or listen), sometimes to an absurd degree. I don't know if this is representative of Dr. Bova's actual political beliefs, or was just put in to better flesh-out the Dan Randolph character, but it could have been handled with a splash more subtlety. Other than that, it is a well crafted story based in sound science, with characters that are believeable enough to care about, but with enough action and intrigue to keep the reader entertained.

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  • breckoz
  • 04-06-2013

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.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Just
  • 05-05-2020

Empire Building

Strong, solid Ben Bova, though not ground breaking. A great performance by Stefan Rudnicki, yet the story takes a while to really get underway. Once it does, Empire Builders is very good, however the first half is a little tedious.
Overall, very good.

1 person found this helpful

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