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Mote in God's Eye Mass Market Paperback – 31 Dec 1998

4.5 out of 5 stars 62 customer reviews

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Mass Market Paperback, 31 Dec 1998

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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 592 pages
  • Publisher: Pocket Books (31 Dec. 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671741926
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671741921
  • Product Dimensions: 10.6 x 2.8 x 17.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (62 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,772,584 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


"Minneapolis Tribune"Intriguing and suspenseful...the scenes in which the humans and aliens examine one another are unforgettable.

About the Author

Larry Niven has won the prestigious Hugo Award five times. He is known to millions as the premier modern author of rigorous, scientifically consistent hard SF, the champion of 'SF without a net'.

In addition to being an acclaimed science fiction author, Jerry Pournelle holds degrees in engineering, psychology and political science. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Inside This Book

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"Admiral's compliments, and you're to come to his office right away," Midshipman Staley announced. Read the first page
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I moved onto this book on a recommendation from a friend. I enjoy quite plausible science fiction (like the Sci-fi in The right shorts for lunch (short stories) to 'pew pew lasers' type science fiction romps and this taste is answered effectively by 'The Mote in the God's eye'.

As with a lot of sci-fi this book takes a long time to gain momentum, but there's a lot of back story to bring the reader up to date on. The basis of the story is set around 1000 years from now, man has populated a fairly large chunk of the Universe but is yet to find other non-human civilisations. A situation that is about to change in ways that at first appear quite subtle.

I think this book possible appears to date itself in some of the ways social attitudes are expressed, although I think that may be a deliberate comment on opinions and beliefs are often incompatible with the reality of an intellectually and (allegedly) sociologically developing humanity.

The type of 'payoff' this book offers the reader is something that I have not experienced in other sci-fi. It was quite refreshing and helped turn what at first felt like quite a turgid slog of a book into one that I will likely re-read at some point in the not too distant future.

In summary The Mote in the God's eye was a bit of a slog, but worth the effort. I'm now half-way through reading the sequel The Gripping Hand (The Mote Series) which should stand as an indicator of how I really felt about this book.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I liked this book very much, for many reasons:

- it is REALLY interesting and I couldn't stop reading it

- the alien civilization (Moties) is really alien and very different from ours and as consequence the "First Contact" is a moment of great mutual shock for both parties

- the story mixes the right amount of hard science with author's fantasy and of tragedy with humor

- there is no usual human bashing and inferiority complex ("oh no, we are savages and they are so civilized, how can the aliens like us?") to the contrary, both humans and aliens have their dark and shameful secrets

- there is no usual division between bad politicians/soldiers and good scientists/journalists - here the politicians and soldiers are at least as clever and as reasonable as scientists (and sometimes more); I also really appreciated the fact that a great deal of conversations were about future trade between species

- a particularly strong point is the presence of a Christian priest between humans and his important participation in the "First Contact" (a very welcome change from the usual Christian and Church bashing in SF)

- the hint of the past history of humanity since XX century until the "First Contact" is extremely funny and the synthesis between USA and Soviet Union in a common monarchy is totally irresistible..)))

- the ending of the book is very clever and very different from what one could expect after reading most of other (and lesser) SF books on "First Contact"

In conclusion, I warmly encourage you to discover this great classic of Science Fiction - it is worth it! One advice to finish - read it ATTENTIVELY as every detail has its importance and what happens in the first 100 pages will take a very great significance in the last 50...
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The mote in god's eye:
The transcription from the paper book to the e-book was botched.
It is saturated with errors that could have been avoided by the use of a spell checker.
And it is not just the spelling; there is a sprinkling of non-ascii characters like @, {, ~, #, $, ^, and so on.
The Scottish accent is also badly rendered.
The story, in its original form, is excellent, but the errors disrupt the reading flow. What a shame.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is another addition to the shelf of truly excellent "first contact" scifi. It has good characters, mysterious clues that add up in a later climax that is entirely unforeseeable, and aliens that are fascinating and brilliantly conceived.

This is very fun because layers are continually peeled away as the story of learning to communicate progresses. The alien culture is organized in an entirely different way than human culture, with recognizable patterns that reflect their biology and history. It is so well articulated - and so utterly strange yet believable - that it makes for great scifi. What appears at first to be a highly advanced though mysterious civilization is revealed to be far more than it appears and yet far less as well. The element of chance also plays a role in the outcome, which could have been very different had not uncontrolled "contamination" not occured. "If only the first one you met had not been a brown," one of its leaders laments at the end.

I do not want to play the spoiler here and explain things. The excitment of discovery as events unfold, leaving more questoins at the end than answers is truly great fun if the reader likes to have his/her mind soar with the ultimate concepts of scifi in racial/species destiny, free will, and inter-stellar diplomacy. As it ends, I felt such a sense of wonder and threat, mind-bending in the way that only great scifi can be.

Warmly recommended.
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