Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Privateers (The Grand Tour, #2; Privateers, #1)” as Want to Read:
Privateers (The Grand Tour, #2; Privateers, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Privateers (Privateers #1)

3.57  ·  Rating Details ·  502 Ratings  ·  26 Reviews
America has ceded the heavens to the tyrants -- and the renegades. The U.S. has abandoned its quest for the stars, and old enemy, Soviets, moved in to fill the void. The potential wealth of the universe is now in malevolent army hands.

Rebel billionaire Dan Randolph, possessor of the largest privately owned company in space, intends to weaken the stranglehold the new despo
Paperback, 400 pages
Published November 7th 2000 by Harper Voyager (first published 1985)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Privateers, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Privateers

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Mar 07, 2014 Robert rated it did not like it
Privateers reads like a bad 1950's science fiction book, complete with the embarrassingly backwards "rouge" hero, plastic and shallow love triangle, and jingoism. The writing I found dry. The plot is like a little boy's fantasy, but with none of the imagination a young boy could have brought to the story. Not recommended unless you are looking for annoying, unlikeable protagonists and pages of pointless dialogue.
Jason Braida
Mar 31, 2015 Jason Braida rated it really liked it
I'll give this four stars.

An interesting book, and a bit of an orphan when it comes to Bova's Grand Tour. Written in the 1980's and published in 1985 during the height of the cold war the book depicts a world in which the Soviet Union won the Cold War forcing the nations of earth to abandon their space faring aspirations. Only a few third world nations, Japan, and China continue to seek the economic exploitation of space in the face of the Soviet Union's determination to expunge capitalism from
Jul 12, 2015 Phil rated it really liked it
Okay a little dated in terms of man-woman relations but otherwise a great tale. Can't wait for the next one!
I would give the book 2.5 out of 5 stars, It wasn't horrible (I did finish it without too much trouble but also without too much enjoyment) but it wasn't good either. So far I would say it is the worst Ben Bova's novel I have read so far (only read 5 books to date from him).

The plot of the novel was terrible. What it felt like was a power play of whose was biggest and good versus evil. The Russians were evil and greedy. They raised the cost of moon ore to try and drive Astro Corporations out of
Mar 16, 2007 Tim rated it liked it
The lifespan of a Science Fiction novel is often cut short by the backdrop their author chooses. Such is the case with Ben Bova’s Privateers, where we’re shown a near future where a Communist Soviet Union dominates space and America lies in decay. If Bova had waited a year before he started writing, he might have altered his vision entirely.

As a reader, especially a reader of Science Fiction, it’s not difficult to suspend your belief enough to enjoy Privateers, but the Cold War mentality that th
Mike Sorenson
Jun 22, 2012 Mike Sorenson rated it liked it
A good book, but not a great one. The plot was compelling, but jumbled. Sometimes I had to stop and catch up with myself as to whether I'm reading present, past or future. Not the way I would write.

I didn't find the characters too likeable. Dan Randolph, was to me, immoral, corrupt and selfish; the very things that are destroying America (and the world as a whole). Nearly every decision he made was for his own benefit, even if it impacted negatively on those he claimed as his friends. The only
Apr 19, 2011 Rob rated it it was ok
A decent example of what the possible future looked like during the Cold War (this was published in 1986).

The year is 20XX, the Soviet Union has cowed the United States and China into abandoning their space programs. They now have a lock on all materials harvested from the moon; only a few third-world nations are allowed small space ventures. Swashbuckling industrialist Dan Randolph, operating from Venezuela, comes up with a plan to break this monopoly by going out and catching himself an astero
Everything incorrect about the Soviet domination of space is completely forgiven since this is a Cold War book. Certainly this is the best Bova book I've read so far, (Powersat and Mars Life the others) but considering I picked the wrong titles before that's not saying much. By the end of this book (and having read Powersat before) I'm really pretty sick of Dan Randolph. I've got a lot of Paul McAuley and Alastair Reynolds stuff to read through, when I come back to visit Bova's books again I'll ...more
Edward Creter
I coulda gave this a four-star report except for the fact that it stigmatizes Russians. (This being a bok from the 80s I'm not surprised.) Dan Randolph is a billionaire with interests in outer space and a huge chipon his shoulder. (Not talkin computer chip either!) He's racing the (then) USSR to claim asteroids for profit and to improve relations with Venezuela. But Vasily Malik is usually one step ahead in business and the bedroom as he's destined to win the love of Teresita Hernandez away from ...more
Jul 03, 2011 Derek rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this book. I have read many of the author books from this loose series and enjoyed most of them. The book is dated but is still good. The author does get a little too tangled up in politics but steers clear of the technical aspect of the science that has plagued him in the past. The book starts out odd because it drops you into the middle of an event without having the back story. The author uses this technique often in his novels but this one seemed more annoying that in other books. ...more
Durval Menezes
Dec 20, 2015 Durval Menezes rated it liked it
For a 1985 book, it has not aged well: its entire premise (that the US would be supplanted by the URSS as a world power) has turned just the inverse in less than 10 years after its publication date. But, I suppose it could still be read as "alternate history" of a kind.

What really bothers me is the "space opera" style with much more "opera" than "space" in it. It reads as somewhat... well, I think immature is the best world.
Kyle Carroll (i_fucking_love_books)
Ben Bova is one of my favorite authors. Most of his books have gotten a 4 or 5 star rating from me. That being said, this book was just average. The plot wasn't very exciting, and didn't really "grab" me until the last 100 pages or so. It was very political, and outdated (It was written during the Cold War), however it is still worth a read. Just don't expect it to be fast paced and riveting.
Sohail Keegan
Jan 12, 2010 Sohail Keegan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It has been a few years since I read Privateers. This novel is everything I've come to expect from Ben Bova. If you like realistic science fiction set in the near future, this one's for you. The book was nothing like what the back-cover blurb led me to believe. It's more a story of humanity and politics, with the science-fiction part providing a backdrop for the story.
Jun 17, 2014 George rated it really liked it
Shelves: kindle
An interesting book in Bova's Grand Tour. Written in 40 years ago, during the cold war, depicts a world in which the Soviet Union won the Cold War forcing the nations of earth to abandon their space faring aspirations. On that assumption, the characters...familiar in the Grand Tour, interact like so many spies. The end, predictable, involves a fight to the death by the two main characters.
Jul 27, 2015 Juan rated it really liked it
It's a good story from the beginning to the end You should read the book, the way some countries are portrayed even Venezuela it's good to add latino countries to this book.
Casey Wheeler
May 20, 2012 Casey Wheeler rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
A classic written in the early 1980's. Keep in mind when it was written when you read it and it will make more sense in parts.
Jun 17, 2011 Josh rated it liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
Had I read this prior to the fall of the USSR, I think I would have found it scarier. Regardless, nice mind game, the plot was entertaining, though some of the dialogue/elements were thin.
Feb 10, 2016 Roy rated it liked it
Debating whether to undertake the Grand Tour... this is good, but not great. The national and sexual politics of this story have not aged well.
Mark rated it liked it
Jan 01, 2015
Gunn rated it liked it
Nov 12, 2012
Michael rated it liked it
Jul 28, 2011
Peter Schiller
Peter Schiller rated it liked it
Nov 16, 2015
Coinneach Fitzpatrick
Coinneach Fitzpatrick rated it really liked it
Feb 25, 2008
Ferroh rated it it was amazing
Dec 14, 2009
Noah Rose
Noah Rose rated it really liked it
Dec 15, 2014
Danny rated it liked it
Jan 13, 2011
Brian Conway
Brian Conway rated it liked it
May 14, 2009
Franklin rated it really liked it
Nov 23, 2008
Nate rated it liked it
Apr 10, 2009
Amanda rated it it was ok
Jun 18, 2015
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Moonfall
  • Nightmare (The Silent Empire, #2)
  • Artifact
  • Orbital Decay (Near Space, #1)
  • The Creatures of Man
  • Across a Billion Years
  • The Avatar
  • Midas World
  • The Depths of Time (The Chronicles of Solace, #1)
  • Buying Time
  • Runner (Run #1)
  • Five Gold Bands (Mayflower Science Fantasy)
  • Players at the Game of People
  • The Ghost From The Grand Banks
  • Oracle (Penelope Bailey, #2)
  • Procyon's Promise
  • Destiny's Road
  • Octagon
Ben Bova was born on November 8, 1932 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In 1953, while attending Temple University, he married Rosa Cucinotta, they had a son and a daughter. He would later divorce Rosa in 1974. In that same year he married Barbara Berson Rose.

Bova is an avid fencer and organized Avco Everett's fencing club. He is an environmentalist, but rejects Luddism.

Bova was a technical writer fo
More about Ben Bova...

Other Books in the Series

Privateers (2 books)
  • Empire Builders (The Grand Tour, #3; Privateers, #2)

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »