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The Mote in God's Eye (Orbit Books) [Mass Market Paperback]

Larry Niven , Jerry Pournelle
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)

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Book Description

1 Oct 1981 Orbit Books
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 bestsellers "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.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 560 pages
  • Publisher: Macdonald Futura (1 Oct 1981)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0860079066
  • ISBN-13: 978-0860079064
  • Product Dimensions: 17 x 11.2 x 3.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 422,021 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"Minneapolis Tribune"Intriguing and suspenseful...the scenes in which the humans and aliens examine one another are unforgettable. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Larry Niven trained as a mathematician. On turning his hand to writing he met with immediate success. He has since won three Hugo Awards and one Nebula Award with novels such as the classic 'Ringworld' (which won both awards) and 'Tales of Known Space'. He and his wife live in Los Angeles. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The mote in god's eye 29 Jan 2013
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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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Who watches the Watchmakers? 12 Sep 2011
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
I first read this great novel some 20 years ago, and wanted to read it again, before tackling the sequel, "The Gripping Hand".
As always, I was curious to find out what the earlier me had found so fascinating, and so began reading with some trepidation.
I needn't have worried, however - it is still the greatest "First Contact" novel of all time, full of action, drama and scientific detail in equal measure, so innovative that it will constantly surprise even the most jaded "Speculative Fiction" palate. Why shouldn't ETs have population, social and environmental issues to deal with?
I've read many N + P novels and their obvious views on nuclear power and environmentalism are often at odds with my own; they seem to believe that nuclear fission will produce a glowing future and I fear that they are right. That said, the authors' decision to revisit their earlier successes (this, "The Burning Tower", "Escape from Hell"; what about the guys from "Lucifer's Hammer"? How are they making out?) is the right one.
A cracking good read, which fizzes along like a firework but with an infinitely more satisfying explosive pay-off.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A truly stunning piece of literature 2 May 2000
Format:Paperback
Anyone wanting an introduction to science fiction or a hard core reader of the subject, this is probably one of the most intriguing and well thought out novels I have ever read. I can only compare it to Asimov's Foundation series for the ability to hold the reader. Niven and Pournelle are modern day literary giants.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A copy at last! 19 April 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a book I read many years ago and I have been looking for a copy for some time. I can't say what I think now because I have a few other books 'on the go' so I haven't read it yet. Ordering and deliveryt was spot on though, very pleased.
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Format:Kindle Edition
Coming a few years after Larry Niven had exhausted himself writing the same story over and over again about his Known Space continuum, this collaboration does borrow fairly heavily from themes and notions previously popularised, but defines a new and distinctly different iniverse to the one we all got so used to. He does go into way too much detail, far more than a novel of this nature really requires --- the human race is some kind of super-whip mix of every culture and civilisation that's around today, making titles and ranks a cumbersome mess of royal highnesses, excellencies, petty midshipmen, etc etc. That does tend to detract from one's enjoyment of this book in the early stages, and its actually quite a way through before we even first hear about the alien probe launched from the Motie system. We don't need an entire thousand years of history about the human race to understand what this novel is actually about.

What is is about is mankind's hardwired paranoia about aliens. While it manages to further expand itself with long detailed accounts of exploration and a look into a complex social structure among the Moties, what it eventually boils down to is human xenophobia, and the insane decisions and conequences that leads to.

It's more a fact than ever that science fiction reflects the age in which it was written rather than the time in which it is set, and when you consider the state of the world in the mid to late 1970s, it all begins to make sense.

They've managed to get technology sorted out a little better here.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The best aliens 21 Jan 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The strangest, most credible aliens in all Sci-Fi! THis is one of my all time favourite books - highly recomended.
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5.0 out of 5 stars What a great book 30 Nov 2013
By Chris
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
An amazing plot and so well written. I could not put it down. I'm definitely going to read the next book now.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good, but you have to work at it! 5 Nov 2013
By quijibo
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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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Why did I not read this before?
Excellent read - an original sci-fi, with food for thought! You can see where so many amazing sci-fi books/tv series etc. got their ideas from - an original.
Published 7 months ago by Karen J. Silman
5.0 out of 5 stars Superlative
I have had this book since it was published, and I love it better than "City and the Stars" , "Dune", "Ringworld". Read more
Published 7 months ago by A B C Davidson
5.0 out of 5 stars Great service
I first read this book about ten years ago and thought it was great. I recently told my son about it and he said he would like to read it too, but my original copy had been lost... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Paul Wilson
5.0 out of 5 stars The best first contact book. Ever.
Multi award winning and deservedly so. A true Sci fi classic that deserves to be be read & read again & again.one for the bucket list.
Published 7 months ago by alistair stewart
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic sci-fi, it doesn't get much better than this.
Although off to a slow start, once it gets going it really does. Gripping read, couldn't get enough, which is why I bought the second book in the series as well, which isn't quite... Read more
Published 8 months ago by J. Ritmeijer
5.0 out of 5 stars fantastic book
outstanding book - very good mix of hard sci-fi and military sci-fi. Highly recommended, with very well-thought out alien civilization.
Published 9 months ago by Gearoid
1.0 out of 5 stars risible
a book with a range of characters that goes from A to B. Risible dialogue and a creaking plot. I would sooner suffer a beam in my eye than pick it up from its position across the... Read more
Published 9 months ago by david craig
5.0 out of 5 stars A great story
A great story about alien contact. In my view, It's a pity that the story does not have many women characters.
Published 11 months ago by Silous Umali
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