January 23rd, 2013


Book Review: Lucifer's Hammer, by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle

A comet hits the earth decades before Armageddon and Deep Impact

Lucifer's Hammer

Ballantine, 1977, 640 pages

The gigantic comet had slammed into Earth, forging earthquakes a thousand times too powerful to measure on the Richter scale, tidal waves thousands of feet high. Cities were turned into oceans; oceans turned into steam. It was the beginning of a new Ice Age and the end of civilization.

But for the terrified men and women chance had saved, it was also the dawn of a new struggle for survival - a struggle more dangerous and challenging than any they had ever known....

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Verdict: As a story, Lucifer's Hammer is entertaining end-of-the-world adventure with a large cast of characters and a gripping, believable apocalypse. The science-y bits are interesting without being infodumpy, the drama stays high once you get past the first third. It is fine classic sci-fi. However, it's also full of authorial blindness and resentment: hence, much dumping on anyone who isn't a white male science geek. Read with sense of irony fully engaged.

Also by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle: My reviews of Fallen Angels and The Mote in God's Eye.

My complete list of book reviews.