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The Mote in God's Eye Audiobook

The Mote in God's Eye

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Publisher's Summary

Writing separately, Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle are responsible for a number of science fiction classics, such as the Hugo and Nebula Award-winning Ringworld, Debt of Honor, and The Integral Trees. Together they have written the critically acclaimed best-sellers Inferno, Footfall, and The Legacy of Heorot, among others.

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.

What the Critics Say

  • All-Time Best Science Fiction Novels (Locus Magazine)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (5226 )
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4.1 (3542 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Kristen Falls Church, VA, United States 11-19-12
    Kristen Falls Church, VA, United States 11-19-12 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great perspective on humans"
    What made the experience of listening to The Mote in God's Eye the most enjoyable?

    The book got me thinking about how social values evolved; as well as the capacity of humans to grow and evolve. Liked the story. A lot of folks thought the social norms were dated but .... I thought it was an interesting twisted to have a society that had advance technologically but "regressed" socially. Made it more interesting to think about how technology influenced our social norms.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    I find often find it hard to follow all the supporting charters in audio books. (Think I'm more visual), but after a few chapters I had the team of character down. While I found the "out date social norms of many of the characters "cheesy"... I liked how it worked together and was able to believe that people would respond in such a manner.

    The Russian Admiral was my favorite because he was honest and complex. And even if you didn't agree with his perspective you could respect that he was playing his role.


    What does L J Ganser bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    I liked the narration. Think it hard for men to do female characters but he did a good job with the variety of men. Thought he established different rhythms and patterns for each.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mary 11-07-12
    Mary 11-07-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "This cannot be the best sci-fi has to offer"
    What disappointed you about The Mote in God's Eye?

    not an interesting story...too much detail


    Would you ever listen to anything by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle again?

    probably not


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    He didn't have much to work with


    What character would you cut from The Mote in God's Eye?

    don't remember any of them


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Linda Benton Harbor, MI, United States 10-24-12
    Linda Benton Harbor, MI, United States 10-24-12 Member Since 2010
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    "Interesting"
    What did you love best about The Mote in God's Eye?

    There was always something new going on.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The subject line had good continuity


    What about L J Ganser’s performance did you like?

    There was good character interpretation.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Be careful of alien sentients.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alexander New Richmond, WI, United States 10-08-12
    Alexander New Richmond, WI, United States 10-08-12 Member Since 2010
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    "Good Classic Sci-Fi"
    If you could sum up The Mote in God's Eye in three words, what would they be?

    Solid political storyline.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I'm always impressed by Sci-Fi writers who can both accurately write about the political landscape of their time and who can predict the type of technology we will use in the future.


    Have you listened to any of L J Ganser’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No I haven't.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Laurence 10-01-12
    Laurence 10-01-12 Member Since 2015
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    "A Classic"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Mote in God's Eye to be better than the print version?

    I enjoyed both


    What did you like best about this story?

    I loved the Moties.


    What does L J Ganser bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    I enjoyed the narration.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes


    Any additional comments?

    I loved this story when I first read it years ago and still do. Wish the story line had continued through more stories Available on Audible.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jonathan 10-01-12
    Jonathan 10-01-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Good SciFi story"

    It was hard to get into at first because the narrator seemed noisy. Maybe it was because the last book I listened to had a really good narrator, but this narrator took a lot of getting used to. The story was good, though, and I can recommend this audiobook.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chris Boston, MA, United States 10-01-12
    Chris Boston, MA, United States 10-01-12 Member Since 2013
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    "Classic sci-fi"

    This is one of the sci-fi classics. Space battle, politics, and ethical questions are all over this book. If you enjoy those types of stories, then this should be a very enjoyable listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    gerald Amarillo, TX, United States 09-05-12
    gerald Amarillo, TX, United States 09-05-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A strange and interesting view of alian contact"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, the story proved to be exciting and kept my attention throughout. I found the main characters to be well developed and their interactions realistic.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The ship's captain who was put in an imposible position seemed to use great logic in finding solutions where none seemed possible


    Have you listened to any of L J Ganser’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No, this was the first. I found the reader to be clear and deliberate.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    The book made me think much about how we would handle a situation of first contact with an alien world. I woul hope we would do better.


    Any additional comments?

    A long book, but worth the time.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Daniel 09-03-12
    Daniel 09-03-12
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    "Epic, entertaining, but confusing performance."

    Great story, but the overlapping voices were difficult to keep track of at times. Got a little slow in the middle, but all around a great epic sci-fi tale.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Patrick Katy, TX, United States 08-27-12
    Patrick Katy, TX, United States 08-27-12 Member Since 2010
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    "Good story"

    This was an easy story for listening, comprehension and was enjoyable. I would enjoy reading the next installment whenever it comes along.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • Curates egg
    5/4/10
    Overall
    "Listen before you buy!"

    This might be a good book.........I wouldn?t know.

    My own fault, I should have listened to an excerpt.

    The narrator reads it as if every fourth word comes as a complete surprise to him. The intonation of his sentences gives the distinct impression that he hasn?t prepared in any way for the job of telling this story. Reading the book quietly to himself in advance might be a good start!
    His attempts at differentiating between the voices of different characters takes the form of speaking more loudly or attempting an impersonation of a Scotsman (I recommend him not to try it in Sauchiehall Street on a Saturday night).

    I was bitterly disappointed that I had wasted my money on this pathetic attempt and would ask Audible to consider instituting a satisfaction guarantee. I am afraid I was unprepared for such a bad attempt at reading a book after the excellent narration I have experienced in the 20 or so other books I have bought. Quite frankly I have heard better narration in the free public access books produced by amateur volunteers for organisations like LibraVox.

    26 of 29 people found this review helpful
  • Simon
    Waterlooville, UK
    11/25/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A classic showing its age"

    This is a very decent book but for me it shows its age in some respects. It tackles one of the classic Sci Fi themes of humanity's first contact with intelligent alien life forms. I think the authors deserve enormous credit for how they attempted to deal with both sides of the story representing the points of view of the human and Mote races as the plot unfolds. Possibly the real strength in the story is that most of us would sympathise with both sides as they try to navigate their way through the intricacies of contact. This is no simple humans versus nasty aliens tale!

    That said, I found some of the characters a bit shallow, more caricature than character. Compared to more recent fiction I felt the human characters lacked an edge and were a bit one-dimensional and predictable in their reactions to the situations they faced.

    The book isn't fast moving as you'd expect given the dual approach it has to what is a very complex subject. It is though a satisfying book despite its length and I felt well narrated. There is a certain quaintness about how the English traditions of aristocracy and naval terminology survived into an Inter-stellar Empire and its armed forces. Even so, it adds to the charm of what has been a much-loved book for four decades.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Dennis
    Altrincham, Cheshire, United Kingdom
    1/19/10
    Overall
    "Very glad I went back to this"

    This book is well known in SF circles as a classic. A must read for any SF fan. Well I did try to read it as a teenager and failed to get into it. I have now read it as an audiobook because I listen to Leo Laporte's TWiT podcasts and he had Jerry Pournelle on one of his shows. They mentioned the book and I felt I should revisit it.

    Very glad I did. It is a masterpiece. The success of the book hinges on the nature of the aliens (Moties), their biology, history, the way they consist of a collection of specialised sub-species, their planetary circumstances, the consequences of all those taken together and the dilemma it creates for the humans.

    The specialised castes are particularly frightening. Sub sentient engineers who can't talk but could get hold of your car, fiddle around with it for 5 minutes and hand back to you something that would win the next Monaco GP. Then there are the mediators who can observe humans, quickly learn their language and mimic and understand them so well they appear to read minds.

    Humans are presented as clumsy jacks of all trades. Put them up against any of the specialised Moties in in their specialist area and the humans are in trouble. Fancy trying to negotiate the future relationship between humans and Moties against a Motie mediator who knows you better than you know yourself?

    The book does show its age. There is a rationale for the human political system, the pre-eminence of the aristocracy, religion, military service values (the human spaceship navy runs exactly like the US Navy) but you'd still expect things to be further removed from today given the setting 1,000 years into our future.

    And the narrator is utterly clueless about Scottish accents to the point of cringe-making embarrassment. That is no exaggeration. And his portrayal of the only female character is painfully stereotyped.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Guy Chapman
    UK
    6/26/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Classic story, appaling narration"
    What would have made The Mote in God's Eye better?

    The reader attempts a Scottish accent which is slightly less accurate (and vastly more annoying) than Dick Van Dyck's notorious faux-cockney.


    Would you be willing to try another one of L J Ganser’s performances?

    Nope.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Samuel Halliday
    London, England
    2/19/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Worst Scottish accent, ever."

    apparently writing a review is optional, but the app won't let me submit my headline without 40 words, so that's what this is. Really, it's a terrible accent.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Karen
    2/4/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Narrator killing this great book"
    Any additional comments?

    I read this book many years ago and loved it. I was really looking forward to hearing it but the narrator is just killing it. I suffered it thinking I would get used to his strange cadence but about 30 minutes in he started on a Scottish accent which was like nails on a chalkboard. I just canny take it captain! I'm going to have to hunt down the paperback.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • I Asimov
    UK
    12/2/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Terrible narration"
    What would have made The Mote in God's Eye better?

    A better narrator


    Has The Mote in God's Eye put you off other books in this genre?

    No, I absolutely love sci fi.


    Who might you have cast as narrator instead of L J Ganser?

    Peter Kenny absolutely, he would have been fantastic.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Mote in God's Eye?

    A lot of it. I listened to this as it is on a lot of the 'greatest sci fi' lists but I found the story uncompelling, dated, and disappointing.


    Any additional comments?

    I would suggest that if anyone wants to do this book that they read it, the narrator is aweful.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • S
    Bury St Edmunds, United Kingdom
    4/13/13
    Overall
    "The best 'First Contact' novel ever"

    I first read this book 20 years ago and was totally engrossed. It mixes a great mix of characters in a struggling future Empire of Man with the effects of the sudden discovery - at last - of a totally alien race.

    It combines great entertainment with thought provoking situations. The background to it is a really logical and believable science.

    I think it's the best thing that Niven has written or co-written and that's a big claim.

    The reading is OK - a strong American accent but then that represents the racial background of the lead character Roderick Blaine. The pace is good and him pronunciation is right too.



    This is a long, engrossing listen that will draw you into the sequels.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Takasuwa
    EXETER, DEVON, United Kingdom
    2/11/10
    Overall
    "Best First Contact sci-fi out there."

    The Mote in God's Eye is an exquisite tour de force novel that tries, within limits, to present the most likely outcome that may result on that day, far in the future, when the human race finally encounters another intelligent species. With homour and homage to earlier science fiction work(like a ship's engineer with a thick Scotttish accent!), the authors tackle the deep fears, positive and negative prejudice, that such a discovery can present. Unlike most modern sci-fi which nowadays tend to be about fantastical situations and technolgies, this book is that genuine expression of rarefied science speculation that one can try and rationally explain, to a certain extent, without it all becoming gibberish or nonsensical. Well written piece of hard science fiction. Recommended to all serious sci-fi fans.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Martin
    Inerness, United Kingdom
    12/3/09
    Overall
    "Not what I expected, but good."

    I would have given 4 stars for the enjoyment I got from the book, as it is good - but I found that the description did not quite match up to the experience so only gave 3 - possibly 35 years when published it would have been fair to describe as "....transcends the genre" - it really doesn't nowadays, though if you see past the fact it is a little dated it is a very enjoyable book. I think a fairer description is necessary though.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful

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