Newly retired, I am a reading fiend! I like many types of books, both fiction and non-fiction, with the exception of romance and fantasy
I tortured myself through 2/3 of this book before I decided life is just to short to read such a boring, dull story. Half way through, I had to read the Wiki on the book, so I could know what was going on. Reading that, I realized it was even more ho-hum than I could have imagined. The characters were not well-developed and seemed very stereotypical. No one was any more likeable than anyone else. I didn't care what happened to them. The aliens were no better. No one had any sort of personality that shone through.
Yes, the narrator added to my dislike of the story. His pacing was awful and his accents not so good, either. Still, much of this could have been overlooked with an engrossing story.
I have believed, from childhood, that nothing could be more monumental and fascinating to the human race than our first contact with an alien species. Who could have known it could be so boring! Maybe I need to rearrange my thinking.
So, why are there so many fabulous reviews? I just can't figure that out. Perhaps because the book has a very catchy, memorable name? Perhaps Niven and Pournelle have a loyal following? Perhaps this IS truly a great story and I just missed the boat?
THE MOTE IN GOD’S EYE is a science fiction novel written by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle. The main premise of the story is the first contact of humans with a nonhuman alien civilization and all the problems, conflicts, and potential benefits that may come with that encounter. This first encounter comes in the future with technology that is far advanced to that which we have today and in a society that is centuries in the future in comparison to ours, where an Imperial Monarchy exists for humans in an interplanetary civilization.
While some science fiction creeps heavily on the fiction side when it comes to science, this novel does a good job of incorporating factual scientific theories into the story. Things such as how the 'Motes', the alien civilization, would have or could have evolved are presented in a scientifically plausible way. Also, though the drive and the shield technology talked about quite often in the novel are not explained, other things such as Trojan points, societal technology advancement, and how gravity can be simulated on space ships are quite accurate in theory.
Overall, the story, while slow at timesand bogged down with periods of explanation, is quite riveting when it arrives at the Imperial politics, rebellion, interaction with the alien civilization, and sequences where naval officers are in a fight for their lives in space or trapped behind enemy lines. I would recommend this novel to any science fiction fan that wants a 'hard' sci-fi read.
Definitely a first-contact story with considerable depth. But at the same time the human perspective was a little hard to latch onto, and the overall story was a little dry. But it had moments.
The narration was okay, but this book needed someone more expressive to bring the material life. Or maybe it was the material itself, I don't think I've heard this narrator elsewhere, so it's hard to judge.
Overall: worth the listen just for the alien culture.
This was written some time in the 70's so technology that we have today wasn't even dreamed of yet, but the story is worth listening to. A bit on the long side, but so was Lucifer's Hammer.
"The Mote in God's Eye" was written to be the classic "first contact" novel, and it truly succeeded. The technology and society are interesting, the "Motie" aliens are well-imagined and the thoughts and actions of the characters (both human and alien) are consistent and believable. Although this is a long book, it moves along and there aren't any slow bits or parts to easily omit without changing the story.
"Mote" is one of my favorite books in dead-tree version and the story is amazingly good. It might not be in the rarified air of sci-fi's top-5 classics like "Dune" or "Brave New World," but it's definitely one of the greats.
OK. If this is such a great book, why only 4 stars in this rating? The narrator. Ganser's narration is passable (you can understand all of the words and that), but his reading is somewhat flat and jarring in a few places.
I rate the book at 5 stars but the narration at 2 or 3. Overall rating probably 3.5 stars, but I decided to be generous and round up to 4.
This story is showing it's age in attitudes toward women, and in it's science. The characters, even the scientists, expect aliens to have have the same motivations and concerns as humans. It is distracting.
The alien race is very original and the story is epic in scale. If you have an interest in older sci-fi, it is worth listening to.
I read this book and loved it as a kid 30 years ago. This time, the second time around for me, the story just was garbage. It had no redeeming qualities.
Sci Fi has the risk of becoming dated quickly. Mote has definitely become so. Perhaps Nivin and Pournelle were harking back to the 1950s with the military slant. If you see old movies or pick up the right book, from that age, you can see the WWII power structure these two authors hark back to in this book. I found it bothersome rather than fun (which some of Heinlein's old books convey when using similar structures (see Star-ship Troopers)).
The aliens were goofy. The many points of view made it so that you could not easily find an affinity with any character. The writing style is sub par.
As a former huge admirer of Niven, I am sad to pan this story.
These "old/classic" sci-fi writers seem to get bored with their works and leave me swinging in the breeze. I find this in the writings of Heinlein, and Asimov and now Niven. The stories start out great, and then it's like... THE END.
What just happened?
After colonizing 200 planets the human civilization discovers the first planet populated by a non human species. This civilization has existed for more than 700,000 years and differentiated itself into various subspecies. They have colonized their entire solar system and even collected and mined all the asteroids. They appear to have solved the problems of war and disease. However although they possess superior intelligence, they have not yet developed any way to leave their one solar system.
Here is a fascinating study of intragalactic power, politics and intrigue.
An interesting read. A good change from modern sci-fi movies where man overcomes the odds through acts of selfless bravery; or where the monsters are clearly the villains.
The Mote demonstrates that thought, specifically the paradigm of a society, creates conflict - removing the need for the traditional (or maybe arch-typical?) villainous motives.
Eager to read the sequel.