We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access .
The Mote in God's Eye Audiobook

The Mote in God's Eye

Regular Price:$22.99
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

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

4.0 (5476 )
5 star
 (1927)
4 star
 (2033)
3 star
 (1036)
2 star
 (305)
1 star
 (175)
Overall
4.1 (3817 )
5 star
 (1557)
4 star
 (1291)
3 star
 (677)
2 star
 (205)
1 star
 (87)
Story
4.1 (3777 )
5 star
 (1509)
4 star
 (1443)
3 star
 (599)
2 star
 (139)
1 star
 (87)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    J. Rhoderick Frederick, MD USA 02-12-10
    J. Rhoderick Frederick, MD USA 02-12-10 Member Since 2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
    270
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    265
    20
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    16
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A great read!"

    The Mote in God's Eye, set far in the future, tells the tale of humanity's first contact with an alien species. Despite being first published in 1974, the science holds up fairly well. There are a few funny oddities that show the story's age, such as the mention of "microwave ovens" and "pocket computers" as if we would be shocked by their ubiquity, but these are rare. However, in this tale, the science isn't the star of the show. Rather, it's the nature of humanity and how that nature compares to the Moties who represent a unqiue threat.

    The characters, while not of any great depth, are passable for sci-fi. Some reviewers may complain about this but, as an avid sci-fi reader, I have seen much worse. I never really developed any strong attachment to the characters, but I did get to know them well enough to keep the story engaging.

    This is a moderately paced story with some parts moving rather quickly and others trudging along. There are a handful of dull portions, mostly involving Empire politics or background exposition, but just when I started feeling bored, the story picked up. The plot, while sometimes predictable, still leaves enough mystery to keep you reading. The story is long, perhaps a bit longer than it needs to be. For example, I think Horace Bury's character added nothing to the story and could have been cut entirely.

    I don't understand why some reviewers disliked the narrator. Personally, I think LJ Ganser does a superb job. Ganser can handle a room full of similar characters while giving each one a unique voice. His narration of Admiral Kutuzov deserves a freakin' medal. His reading never once interfered with my ability to absorb the story.

    Overall, I'd say this is a great read. It isn't the best first contact story, and it isn't the best sci-fi novel ever written, but it's fun, engaging, and memorable.

    77 of 78 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jim "The Impatient" 01-14-12 Member Since 2016

    My taste differs from kid books to gory horror books.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    28808
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1328
    1295
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    462
    13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "You can't go home"

    My memory of this book from years ago was that it was a classic. One thing about memory is that we often omit the bad or average. I still think the book is good and an enjoyable read, just not a classic.

    The aliens in this are the best. I don't want to tell you too much about them as that is part of the fun of reading the book. I will mention that they don't waste anything and everything and I mean everything is custom made. We get to hear not only about our misconceptions about them, but there misconceptions about us. I love a book that puts the reader in the mind of the alien. This book is very creative, but believable.

    What did kind of bother me, was the belief that a space faring nation will have queens, kings, princes and an aristocratic society. Course I have trouble believing that that still exists in modern society. I could not believe that the prince loses a battleship and then is treated like a hero. We are also given examples of competent men who can not advance because of there bloodline, but they are happy with that. The attempt at a love story here is pathetic and should have been omitted.

    My favorite Niven books are Ringworld, Protector, The Integral Trees, and Limits.

    All that being said, I gave this four stars and I believe it a must read for all Science Fiction Fans.

    23 of 23 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael Mesa, AZ, United States 08-21-09
    Michael Mesa, AZ, United States 08-21-09 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    82
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    8
    0
    Overall
    "Oldie but goldie"

    I read this book in paper format more than 30 years ago, but I had forgotten how good it really is. When I saw it available in audible format I jumped at the chance to listen to a previous good read.

    Some of the reviews I have read are very hard on the book, but I believe that the are looking in the wrong place. What makes this book so interesting and unique, at least to me, was the idea that humans could encounter aliens so different that all of our assumptions would be wrong. How do two species interact when one is general and adaptive in nature and the other is differiented. That is at the core of this story; at least for me.

    The process of meeting, all of the mistaken assumptions and the final realization as to just how different the species are is, I believe, a very interesting story with, for new readers, an unknown conclusion.

    But listeners should know that this story is from 1974 and hence some of the story line is 35 years out of date. I believe that to be the cause of some of the bad reviews. Perhaps those listeners did not know the copyright date and might have been more charitable to the male-centered character of the story.

    All in all I think this is a nearly great book with more than adequate reading.

    82 of 85 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Christopher Union, NJ, United States 09-14-10
    Christopher Union, NJ, United States 09-14-10 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    129
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    48
    29
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    7
    0
    Overall
    "Why, oh why won't someone make this into a movie?"

    For fans of hard science fiction, this book will not disappoint. Unfortunately, it's unlikely to ever be made into a movie because the story is quite long and complex, and to present it visually would probably be very difficult and require a lot of CG. Therefore, this audio book version is as close as we're likely to get. This is a very good production, and I much enjoyed the reader's performance. If you liked this, I recommend Niven & Pournelle's "Footfall."

    17 of 17 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Aerindel 07-28-09
    Aerindel 07-28-09 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    326
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    345
    29
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    32
    4
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Book gets a 4, reader gets a 2"

    When I first read this book seventeen years ago it was the most realistic and impressive Sci-Fi that I had read to date and Moral of the story seemed all too true. Unfortunately this book now seems a little dated and simplistic compared to Dan Simmons and Peter F. Hamiltions works for example. This is really too bad since this is one of the books that I have been wishing would come to audible for ever since I became a member.This is still an excellent story and the Motie Aliens are as well thought out as the Kzinti or Puppeteers, (two of Nivens other alien creations). The only real complaint about the writing is the pacing of the story, it seems to climax halfway through, get lost for a while and then come to a resolution.
    The reader on the other hand, (The gripping hand as the Motie's would say) is a real annoyance usually I don't care that much about the narrator when I'm picking out audiobooks, its the book that's important, not the reader. But this audio book makes me wonder if I've been spoiled by audible's other narrators. The voice is understandable and the speed and emphasis is fine but this man is just no fun to listen too, particularly for twenty hours. I can't come up with any better description, but this is the first time reader has been bad enough to be distracting.

    77 of 83 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mike From Mesa 08-21-09 Member Since 2015

    MikeFromMesa

    HELPFUL VOTES
    1993
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    258
    181
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    376
    0
    Overall
    "Oldie but goldie"

    I read this book in paper format more than 30 years ago, but I had forgotten how good it really is. When I saw it available in audible format I jumped at the chance to listen to a previous good read.

    Some of the reviews I have read are very hard on the book, but I believe that the are looking in the wrong place. What makes this book so interesting and unique, at least to me, was the idea that humans could encounter aliens so different that all of our assumptions would be wrong. How do two species interact when one is general and adaptive in nature and the other is differiented. That is at the core of this story; at least for me.

    The process of meeting, all of the mistaken assumptions and the final realization as to just how different the species are is, I believe, a very interesting story with, for new readers, an unknown conclusion.

    But listeners should know that this story is from 1974 and hence some of the story line is 35 years out of date. I believe that to be the cause of some of the bad reviews. Perhaps those listeners did not know the copyright date and might have been more charitable to the male-centered character of the story.

    All in all I think this is a nearly great book with more than adequate reading.

    30 of 32 people found this review helpful
  •  
    S 12-28-09
    S 12-28-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
    31
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    40
    4
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "ALIUMS!"

    A good book about alien contact and it goes into the depth to which we would likely misunderstand anything that would be alien. Well written with a fair amount of societal and structural understanding. Not as much of a War In Space book as I was concerned about, good mix of military and social sci-fi. Recommended with only slight reservations.

    19 of 20 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ann Raleigh, NC 02-10-10
    Ann Raleigh, NC 02-10-10 Member Since 2011

    Ann

    HELPFUL VOTES
    10
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    175
    9
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Smart, interesting read"

    I really enjoyed reading this novel. I thought the authors came up with a very smart and clever story of humanity's first encounter with an alien race. I was surprised to find that the alien race described was very different from all other sci-fi books, tv shows and movies that I've seen before. I was expecting the aliens to be a copy from a "star trek" idea, but they were quite different.

    The book also explores human nature by describing humanity's reaction to the aliens. The story unfolds throughout the novel. So there is action and questions to be answered right up until the end.

    I would recommend this book to anyone that likes to read fiction especially for those who like books that explore human nature in a "what if" scenario.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andrew mORRINSVILLENew Zealand 08-14-09
    Andrew mORRINSVILLENew Zealand 08-14-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
    446
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    122
    52
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    12
    0
    Overall
    "Top notch, classic Sci - Fi"

    Read this twice in my youth so when it recently appeared on Audible I took the opportunity to re-visit it. After a dubious start I found myself sinking into the story and was soon hooked. Still a fantastic story all these years later. Good old straight forward sci-fi with all the elements.
    Really enjoyed it.

    15 of 16 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ed Marietta, GA, United States 08-08-09
    Ed Marietta, GA, United States 08-08-09 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    55
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    10
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    "Narrator does matter...."

    I read the book many years ago and loved it. It is dated, but if you like shows like "Firefly", it won't bother you too much. The science isn't really dated...just the cultural norms. The story is interesting, as are the aliens. As others have mentioned the narrator is annoying. He would have been okay for 1 character, but having him read all the parts just didn't work. It is worth listening to.

    33 of 37 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank you.

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.