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.