The detail and believabllility of this hard science fiction story. The story kept me on the edge and I could hardly turn it off.
It reminds me of books by Stephen Baxter. Everything dealing with space travel is based on fact or theory.
I liked the parts about the watchmakers takeover of MacArthur and the Midshipmen's plight on Mote Prime. I
It made me think.
A must ready for Space Opera and Hard Science Fiction fans.
A lover of contemporary, character driven sci-fi.
I read another review that said the narrator made the story impossible to listen to, but I didn't believe it. I bought the book anyway because I love Niven and Pournelle-- but that reviewer was right!
I know it sounds ridiculous, but the narrator's voice sounds like a drill seargent reading a shopping list and after about 10 minutes of listening to his droning I simply couldn't follow what was going on-- from changes of location to which character was talking. Apparently a few other people had problems with it that weren't as bad as mine, but I feel like I've wasted my money on a book that I can never listen to.
I like happy endings and realism that is realistic rather than gritty.
I got this during the $4.95 sale, mostly because Howard Tayler recommended it during a Writing Excuses podcast (thank you, Audible, for sponsoring Writing Excuses!) I don't remember why Tayler recommended it--I liked it because it's semi-hard sci-fi that's a little out of my normal reading zone, with intriguing aliens and enough fi in the sci to make it fun as well as plausible.
First published in 1974, The Mote sometimes sounds a bit dated to the modern (female) reader, not because of it's science, but because of the cultural mores of this projected human society. (Very 1974). Pournelle and Niven help with the willing suspension of disbelief by offering acceptable reasons for their predominantly white male cast of characters, however.
And yes, I was totally yelling at the characters! Sure, I was yelling at them for making what I saw as bad (though contextually sound and character motivated) decisions, but I was yelling at them as real people, which I think says a lot for Niven and Pournelle's ability to create characters realistic enough to elicit said yelling (in the privacy of my own car, of course). I wasn't yelling for all 20+ hours of the narration, though--the tension waxes and wanes, making this a long listen that you can enjoy indulging in slowly.
When I read reviews like: Robert A. Heinlein called it "possibly the finest science fiction novel I have ever read,' my expectation are high to say the least. Well I must be missing something because this book was not much of anything.
We spend the first half of the book getting everything set up. Then BOOM! Everything starts happening, action, excitement, mystery, and all. And then, 20 minutes later, it all stops. I mean really stops! The second half of the book absolutely nothing more happens. I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop. But nothing.
I live and breath sci-fi so it's not the genre that wasn't working. THe narrator was below average, but I don't blame him. He definitely did not add anything.
Most of the positive reviews appear to be from people who read the book 20 years ago and this was a wonderful blast from the past. Good for them. As for me. I recommending passing on this book.
I read this book based entirely on Heinline's recommendation. I found it to be one cut above a comic book. The characters were stereotypical as in Dr. Horvath and cardboard thin. The book could have been at least a third shorter. The pacing seemed very uneven. The narrator made almost everyone speak in the same halted and stiff speech. I didn't want to finish it but I had to find out what happened even though the solution of the blockade seemed unimaginable and anticlimactic. AND it took way to long to get to. Comic books move right along.
An unashamed Audiophile who has his own studio and business called iZENEARS which brings Australian travel and history to life for locals and visitor's alike.
Lord how I have tried to like this book but failed totally. The characters are confusing, the environment has no context whatsoever and it just rambles. I am not sure why I bought it, length porbably, so there is a lesson...a long book may give you more bang for your buck but quality over quantity is now my maxim.
Middle-aged, married dad of two, living in Northern Burbs of Chicago. Hard Sci Fi addict, and lover of great storytelling. Almost all of my reading is now in audio format.
Probably very forward thinking in its day, but really only suited to a youth audience today. Completely dated scientifically, socially, and stylistically. Waaaaaayyy too long for the story told.
I have been trying to listen to this book, but have found the narrator to be an obstacle.His diction is clear, but he seems to have no understanding of what he's reading. Everything is read with the same militaristic inflection, like a drill sergeant reading boot-camp rules.
I think the narrator was perfect for this book. His narrative voice fit the tone and style of the story and his character voices were quite well done. He did a good job with accents and interpreting moods and vocal inflections from the text.
The story was interesting but took quite a long time to get to rolling. At times it seemed as though the authors had been writing separately or would edit the other writer's previously written paragraphs. There were occasions where it felt as though something was thrown in to remind the reader that "hey this is SCIENCE fiction". For example in describing an aspect of a naval ship's defense systems: "...an efficiency proportional to the cube of the incoming velocities..." was like stubbing your aural toe on a long walk.
The human race in this story felt as though they lived in an interstellar British Empire from a century or so past. As you go through the book you learn that there had been rises and falls in the human race and it made the social attitudes (and technological anachronisms) a bit more easy to understand. However, the humans all seemed to be conveniently ignorant, irrational, or simply foolish. Scientists making assumptions and drawing conclusions that made me grit my teeth. Military commanders making choices that no sane person would make. All of which allowed the story to progress of course. It took nearly the entire story for the humans to smarten up and within a very short period of time they figured everything out. The alien race felt overly intelligent. My greatest complaint is that they were able to pick up the human language and communicate without a flaw in a matter of months from a handful of people. The aliens lost their "alien-ness" early on.
In general I liked this story but everything about it seemed very contrived. Almost as if the authors were working on a puzzle; the picture was there they just had to make it all fit together.
I really enjoyed listening to The Mote in God's Eye; the story line still has relevance, and the first encounter scenario was well done. Worth a second listen!