I purchased this hopping it would be close to : A word out of time.
Not quite at that level yet not a waste of my credit.
Scientifically , seems pretty good researched.
Entertaining , non the less.
Even though this was written before I was born, it's still a good SCI-FI story about the end of the world. It deals a lot with the time before the impact, the impact itself, and the following month trying to establish a steady settlement.
I personally thought the book was a little too methodical in showing everything from everyone's point of view, the plot was decent and well thought out.
However, the book was dated, and it really showed in the ideology seeping from between the pages. Most people might not noticed, but knowing libertarian political ideologies I was able to tell that the authors are libertarians, confirmed after finishing the book. Libertarianism is a small but vocal group people. Their ideology negatively affected the story in the following ways:
1. Anti-Environmentalism: The environmentalists are constantly being slapped down and shown as hypocrites (some of whom see the error of their ways and convert). Also, since the publication of the book in 1978, we now know how terrible CFCs in aerosol cans were for the ozone layer and by banning them almost immediately stopped all growth of the ozone hole and it has been repair itself every since. However, in this book 'rabid' environmentalists are derided for believing aerosol cans need regulation. Environmentalists are seen as obstacles and are assumed to be wrong.
2. Anti-Union sentiment is clearly as the authors only mention unions in a negative light when they barely need to be mentioned at all.
3. Anti-Communist and extremely pro-USA. The USA is better at everything in this book. I was only alive at the tail end of the Cold War, and I don't know about the relative capabilities of Soviet and American technology at the time, but the authors sure loved to rub it in if it was true, or perjured themselves if it's not.
4. Benevolent Sexism: This book was ahead of its time with regard to its sexist attitude. Women were strong, capable and independent. In my 20s I would have thought this was a good thing. But women are simply treated in a different sexist way. In some ways they act a lot like men. And they are always ready to conform to any male fantasy. Ready to have sex with you at the drop of hat, or death of her husband. Similar to Heinlein's treatment of women.
5. Meritocracy: Anyone who is hardworking and knowledgeable is good. Anyone good is hard working and knowledgeable. And anyone hardworking and knowledgeable is instantly recognized as such, and welcomed (and put to work). Because in the real world no one lets politics, jealousy and personal dislike get in the way of recognizing the Truly Deserving.
6. The wise leader, swift justice, and willing to make the tough calls (which are always right). Common tropes in libertarian fiction (Heinlein, Goodkind, Rand). Bad guys and bureaucrats always get killed.
I also read that some people were put off by the pro-science slant of this book. But unless your anti-science, I don't think that's a big thing. (Then again, I'm hugely pro-science.)
The ideology really detracted from my enjoyment of the book.
The book is vivid, very realistic and seems very well documented.
The whole time you are unable to anticipate what will happen.
He knows how to make you "feel" the action in a very special way.
Yes, for sure.
Lucifer's Hammer describes the end of civilization as we know it, by the strike of an enormous meteorite. What I found brilliant was how completely believeable the story is: the reaction of scientist and the public to the ever-increading chance of a hit, the belief, the unbelief, the religious craze, and then the very restrained description of the strike itself, followed by the enormous, devastating consequences and aftermath.
Of course it doesn't end there, the description of the reactions of the different characters, the (mostly) loss of civilized behaviour, the choices people have to face, this all set me thinking about how my own reactions an behaviour would be in a similar situation.
Marc Vietor reads it well, albeit sometimes a bit flat, as far as I'm concerned.
Comet damages earth.
The narration--the reader can do many different voices with emotion. The story--what would happen to a group of people in southern California if the earth were directly hit by a comet.
The ability to do multiple voices with emotive nuance.
Mankind did know how fragile the earth was.
I love this genre and having recently listened to Alas, Babylon Swan Song and One Second After I had high hopes based on the good reviews. WRONG! The writing is terrible, one-dimensional and cliched characters that I cared nothing about. It was written in 1977 (not 1957) so I was shocked that women are only there to serve the purpose of the male characters. Ick, I made myself listen until the second section and just couldn't any longer. Waste of a credit
I would and have recommended this book to friends. It was fantastic. Fiction for end of the world buffs and prepping fans. An end of the world saga for the survivalist. Truly amazing in every detail.
The postman - neither rain, nor sleet, nor deadly hammer! Made me think about a need to be useful.
Two words - Thermite Grenades.
I can't stay awake that long. However, I always looked forward to the next part.
The story is interesting throughout and the narrator is perfect for the part.
I like the themes in the struggle between Hamner, Randall, and Jellison on one side (Stronghold) and Armitage (New Brotherhood Army) on the other side.
The Stronghold group adheres to rationality and science and wants to preserve civilization. The New Brotherhood Army adheres to mysticism and fights civilization. Good stuff for fans of Ayn Rand.
John Christmas, author of "Democracy Society"
The portrayal of human challenges, of soul searching and of real human response in the midst of the nobility that humans can show.
How it all tied together. There were so many threads going at the same time. Just amazing.
This is my first.
I had trouble getting into this, but once I did I was just enthralled.
I have long been an avid fantasy reader and have resisted sci-fi. Mr Niven has won me over and I will be seeking out more of his work.
Can't say for sure. I think it was the hot neighbor wife that know what she wants and how she's going to get it. Then again the scientist dude that had the forethought to save book. Book last long er than brains......