April 25th, 2012


Book Review: The Mote in God's Eye, by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle

An old-school space opera novel of first contact.

The Mote in God's Eye

Simon and Schuster, 1974, 537 pages

Writing separately, Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle are responsible for a number of science fiction classics, such as the Hugo and Nebula Award-winning Ringworld, Debt of Honor, and The Integral Trees. Together they have written the critically acclaimed bestsellers Inferno, Footfall, and The Legacy of Heorot, among others.

The Mote In God's Eye is their acknowledged masterpiece, an epic novel of mankind's first encounter with alien life that transcends the genre.

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Verdict: An entertaining but dated classic, The Mote in God's Eye is a grand novel of first contact with an advanced alien race, stuffed full of grand old SF tropes, also stuffed full of hoary old two-dimensional character archetypes. I would say Footfall or Niven's Ringworld are much better novels, but if you liked those, you'll probably like this one too, though maybe not as much.

Also by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle: My review of Fallen Angels.

My complete list of book reviews.