In Ben Bova's award-winning Privateers, America has ceded the heavens to the Tyrants--and the Renegades.
The U.S. has abandoned its quest for the stars, and an old enemy has moved in to fill the void. The potential wealth of the universe is now in malevolent hands. Rebel billionaire Dan Randolph -- possessor of the largest privately owned company in space -- intends to weaken the stranglehold the new despotic masters of the solar system have on the lucrative ore industry. But when the mineral-rich asteroid he sets in orbit around the Earth is commandeered by the enemy, and his unarmed workers are slaughtered in cold blood, the course of Randolph's life is changed forever.
Now cataclysm is aimed at the exposed heart of America -- a potential catastrophe that Randolph himself inadvertently set in motion. And the maverick entrepreneur must use his skills, cunning, and vast resources to strike out at his foes hard, fast and with ruthless precision -- and wear proudly the mantle that fate thrust upon him: space pirate!
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The explosion was utterly silent.
Vargas hung in emptiness and saw the red finger of the rocket's flame lance out and find Carstairs. The shell hit the astronaut's jet backpack and exploded into...