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Extended Audio Sample Able One, by Ben Bova Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (190 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Ben Bova Narrator: Stefan Rudnicki Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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When a nuclear missile launched by a rogue North Korean faction explodes in space, the resulting shock wave destroys most of the world’s satellites and all global communication. US military satellites, designed to withstand such an assault, reveal two more missiles on launch pads in North Korea, ready to be deployed. Faced with the threat of a thermonuclear attack, the United States has only one possible defense: Able One.

Able One, or ABL-1, is a modified 747 fitted with a high powered laser able to knock out missiles in flight. But both the laser’s technology and the jet’s crew are untested. What was originally a training flight with a skeleton crew turns into a desperate race to destroy the two remaining nukes. Will Able One’s experimental technology be enough to prevent World War III—especially when it becomes clear that a saboteur is on board?

Able One is a timely thrill-ride by one of science fiction’s most respected novelists.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Bova proves himself equal to the task of showing how adversity can temper character in unforeseen ways.”

    New York Times

  • “Fast-paced…tense atmosphere, swiftly unfolding plot, and scientific details.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Stefan Rudnicki keeps the pace fast as he narrates with a grim determination that fits the high tension of the story. His narration raises this techno-thriller to higher levels.”


  • “A near-future techno-thriller…A well-above-average page-turner.”


Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Christine Biggs | 2/14/2014

    " I haven't read Ben Bova (or any science fiction) since high school I think... This is more techn-politico-thriller, but rather thin on characters and plot. The science is good at least: Korean "terrorists" launch missile into orbit where it explodes and the resulting EMP wave knocks out all unhardened communication satellites. Life on earth is totally disrupted, communication-wise. Airborne laser system still being tested must race to knock out two remaining missles set to launch. Reminds me why I don't like any form of wireless communication... "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 by Jason | 2/13/2014

    " A fun book in some ways, but it's written like a made-for-tv thriller. Lots of short short chapters cutting away to 3 different plot lines that tie together in different ways. But the characters are kind of flat and there is one set of characters that have NOTHING to do with the story other than to show the reader how the average person might be affected by the events unfolding in the world, and a couple of minor plot lines that aren't tied up or answered - Bova spends a lot of time having the main character's estranged wife and kids get to a certain city...then he deals with the threat against that city and never returns to those characters to see how they feel when things are announced. Or why someone sabotaged the laser in the first place - they show how the main character figures out who it was but never answer why that character did what he did or he was working for. All together it really feels like a made-for-tv movie that was then reverse engineered into a book. I usually love Bova's hard science but this one is lacking. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Elden | 1/29/2014

    " After reading some other reviews for this book I have to agree with them about the characters. It seems that the characters were just pasted on so he could tell a story about lasers. All the characters were very one dimensional and all I can really say about the main character is that he worked alot and has back pains. The science behind the laser was interesting though and how he used it was interesting. Overall I wouldn't really recommend this book to others unless they liked the science aspect of the book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Wayne | 1/15/2014

    " Good read. Predictable, but still entertaining. "

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