The Mote In God's Eye is their acknowledged masterpiece, an epic novel of mankind's first encounter with alien life that transcends the genre. No lesser an authority than Robert A. Heinlein called it "possibly the finest science fiction novel I have ever read".
©1991 Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle; (P)2009 Audible, Inc.
Yes. Niven and Pournelle are unbeatable at writing dialogue and science that is both believable and understandable, yet Hard and accurate.Ganser is a talented vocartist who brings the characters to life.
The terrifying scene on planet where the midshipmen face the Moties.
He has a way of inflecting the words that carry the same subtonal meanings one finds when talking to someone- the difference between hearing someone leave you a message and reading it in an email.
No, the science makes the mind wander away as you contemplate the ramifications of the physics explained to you, so I find I need to stop and think about how my mind was just opened to new ideas. This is a GOOD thing... :)
Niven is one of my alltime favorite authors and I especially recommend any story he has done with Pournelle. Lucifers Hammer and Footfall are great examples besides this.
There was way too much detail in the story. I kept wanting to move on and see if it got any better, but I was still stuck listening to dates and times in the future that meant absolutely nothing to me. Everything was described in such detail that the story moved at a snails pace. After forcing myself to listen for several hours and skipping ahead a few times to see if it got any better, I just gave up. I could not finish it.
NO, I don't like the style of writing that offers so much detail, which adds nothing to the story. The story was like reading a sci-fi comic book, the size of a James Michener Novel.
The story was so boring, it never caught my interest. Even after listening to it for several hours, it was easy for me to walk away from it. I didn't really care what happened next.
Don't waste your money.
Good characters and story
It took me to possible places and events not of our time and place.
The story kept me interested througout most of the book.
No but I was interested throuhout most of the book up to where it ended non-difinitively (as many books do when authors want to leave a thread for the future.
For me it was well worth listening to.
Disappointed. It seemed to fall flat.
He did a fabulous job differentiating between the aliens and the humans.
No. Too long.
I thought it was a good story, but all the reviews I had read made it sound like it was the best first alien encounter ever. I did not agree.
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.
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