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Extended Audio Sample Able One Audiobook, 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: February 2010 ISBN: 9781455196661
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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.”

    AudioFile

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

    Booklist

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 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 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 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 Wayne | 1/15/2014

    " Good read. Predictable, but still entertaining. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jim | 1/6/2014

    " A very good and fast-paced read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Topher | 1/4/2014

    " A nice quick read - traditional scifi set 20 min in the future. What would happen is we developed functional anti-missile system? "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jennifer | 1/1/2014

    " Definitely a solid "beach read", you won't strain yourself reading this. The characters were a bit thin, I'd give it a 2 1/2 for that. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lee Herman | 12/12/2013

    " Contemporary thriller with science content. Fast paced, well-written with food for thought about current military balance of power and potential rogue weapons use. Not for those looking for deep character development. More of an high science content political thriller than science fiction. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Adam | 12/7/2013

    " Good Ben bova book. Listened to the audio book. Didn't like the presentation that much. Not what I'm used to from bova. I love the grand tour series. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Keith smith | 6/10/2013

    " I paid two dollars I got robbed "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Vivian | 2/18/2013

    " A standard thriller, good fun, good writing. No big suprises, and a few of the side threads in for atmosphere were just unneeded, it broke the flow of the main story and felt like filler. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Tabs | 12/27/2012

    " Pedantic. Reads like seven people did research, came up with technical mumbo jumbo and threw it all in a blender and spat out a novel. Another story by this author that is going nowhere only this time we are in a jumbo jet. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Joe | 11/16/2012

    " Not bad. I would not recommend this as an introduction to Ben Bova. I read this because I liked Moonrise and Moonwar. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Fredrick Danysh | 11/12/2012

    " A Korean nuclear missle has taken out almost all of the world's communication satellites and they haave two more nuclear missles ready to launch. All that stands between the missles is an American airborne laser anti- missle system. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ron | 10/20/2012

    " Not a bad thriller. Reminded me of Dale Brown's Flight of the Old Dog updated with characters similar to today's political leaders. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Ray Charbonneau | 6/12/2012

    " Your basic techno-thriller, but not too thrilling. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Danny Sullivan | 4/1/2012

    " Bova always writes well enough to keep you turning pages, but still, this was just OK. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Karen | 8/28/2011

    " A fast read. A competent low key "techno-thriller." It's nice to know that after 115 books and at 80 years of age, Ben Bova, one of the last of the earlier sci-fi greats, can still crank out a decent read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Fredrick | 6/23/2011

    " A Korean nuclear missle has taken out almost all of the world's communication satellites and they haave two more nuclear missles ready to launch. All that stands between the missles is an American airborne laser anti- missle system. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lee | 1/12/2011

    " Contemporary thriller with science content. Fast paced, well-written with food for thought about current military balance of power and potential rogue weapons use. Not for those looking for deep character development. More of an high science content political thriller than science fiction. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jim | 10/10/2010

    " A very good and fast-paced read. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Rcharbon | 9/19/2010

    " Your basic techno-thriller, but not too thrilling. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Karen | 6/11/2010

    " A fast read. A competent low key "techno-thriller." It's nice to know that after 115 books and at 80 years of age, Ben Bova, one of the last of the earlier sci-fi greats, can still crank out a decent read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ron | 3/22/2010

    " Not a bad thriller. Reminded me of Dale Brown's Flight of the Old Dog updated with characters similar to today's political leaders. "

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About the Author
Author Ben Bova

Ben Bova was born in Philadelphia and received his doctorate in education from California Coast University in 1996. The author of over 120 futuristic novels and nonfiction books, he has also been a radio commentator, editor, lecturer, and aerospace industry executive. His articles, opinion pieces, and reviews have appeared in Scientific American, Nature, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and many other publications. His work has earned six Hugo Awards. He received the Lifetime Achievement Award of the Arthur C. Clarke Foundation in 2005, and his novel Titan won the John W. Campbell Memorial Award for the best science fiction novel of 2006.

About the Narrator

Stefan Rudnicki first became involved with audiobooks in 1994. Now a Grammy-winning audiobook producer, he has worked on more than three thousand audiobooks as a narrator, writer, producer, or director. He has narrated more than three hundred audiobooks. A recipient of multiple AudioFile Earphones Awards, he was presented the coveted Audie Award for solo narration in 2005, 2007, and 2014 and was named one of AudioFile’s Golden Voices in 2012.