This book was recommended to me by several friends who's opinions I respect so i gave it a shot. It turned out to be one of the most compelling scifi books I've read.
I prefer stories driven by deep, intriguing characters. Stories where you get inside their heads and understand their motivations, plots, dreams, and flaws. That isn't this book.
So why was it so good? Simply put, the grand scale, epic setting of a far flung future and thought provoking first contact between humans and aliens make this book impossible to ignore. I found myself thinking of the fundamental dilemas at the heart of the story well after I was finished reading it. The alien race is very convincing in it's detailed non-humanness. This is really the star of the book. L J Ganser does a good job in verbalizing this alienness and narrating in general.
I feel like the end was frustrating but on reflection I found it believable- we tend do solve our problems today in ways that don't really solve them... I can't say much more without spoiling things. :)
Keeping in mind that "Mote" was written in the 1970's may help those who can't accept the technological and cultural oddities that date it but I treated those elements as part of a human civilizations set so far in the future that it would have very little in common with ours that it kind of worked.
Science Geeks Only!
I loved how all the physics in this book added up. Perhaps this wouldn't appeal or mater to most, or even confuse others. I loved the science and thought put into the story, but I know that same science will push others away.
To me, he read the book in to much of a 'super hero' way. He tried to make even the simple things sound epic in his narration and it often took away from what really mattered in the story. The accents he gave the characters were wonderful, though the voices themselves could have been more distinguished.
No, nor would it have been possible to do so. As much as I enjoyed this book some times I needed a break from it.
the story is just dated - narrator is a ham
it doesnt hold up - had high hopes, but feels like a story from the 70s
he's a ham - artificial delivery
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.
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.