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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Long winded, intricately detailed roller-coaster ride
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...
Published 7 months ago by F. M. Havicon

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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The mote in god's eye
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...
Published 19 months ago by julianbury


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Long winded, intricately detailed roller-coaster ride, 6 Feb 2014
By 
F. M. Havicon (Brighton, East Sussex United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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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. Previously Niven on his own hadn't really thought about this and they were still using film cameras and tape spool recorders and playback devices in the far future of Known Space, but here at least there's talk of Pocket Computers, a smartphone evolution perhaps.

The writing is as smooth and flawless as Niven can be when he's caught up in the flow of things; how much of Pournelle is reflected in the prose is open to debate. It's a huge work and you need a huge patience to get into it, but about a fifth of the way through it begins to flow and after that it pretty much reads itself.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The mote in god's eye, 29 Jan 2013
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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 A truly stunning piece of literature, 2 May 2000
This review is from: The Mote in God's Eye (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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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Who watches the Watchmakers?, 12 Sep 2011
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Mr. W. Murray "Big Louie" (Schottland) - See all my reviews
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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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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hyped up a little bit - but a necessary page-turner..., 25 Mar 2007
By 
D. Martin "DpMDpMDpM" (Sheffield, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Mote in God's Eye (Paperback)
I'd been trying to get hold of this book for some time and, eventually, ended up getting a second-hand copy. I've read it over the last week and have just put the book down after reading the last 150-or so pages.

As far as characterisations go, there seems, to me, to be a pretty thin veneer on most people in the book - there are quite a lot so it would be too much to ask to develop them all... however, I don't even feel as though Blaine was made clear to me. Sally, on the other hand, did my nut in - as well as the Chief Scientist - they just annoyed me frankly - with their pre-formed ideas being used repeatedly in the book to offset the views of common-sense... so, the book has some realism there - you'll never have large groups of people who are all sensible - so truth in that.

With regards to action... it is spread out, with just about the right levels of suspense and intrigue and guesswork required on your part as you progress through the book. When the action does come you are dragged along with it and are able to visualise it well and care for the outcome.

I still can't really decide whether the Moties are just trying to get out of their "Cycles" and see expansion as a necessity, or whether they are hell-bent on conquest of the only other civilisation they have come across. There are parts of the book - where some of the main Motie characters are talking - when they appear extremely calculating and callous. The Moties, as aliens, are believable and actually quite worrying... faced with the moral dilemmas that are in the book I'd go for the easy option of quick, out-and-out, extermination of the blighters.

At times the book can be a little slow - with, seemingly, not much happening - however, these lulls might be storytelling means of building the reader up onto the crest of a up-coming wave of intrigue or action - of which there are plenty.

The final solution in the book was a bit of a surprise to me - I didn't see the story going that way - and obviously I've now started researching for the follow-on book - but I see that it has generally negative reviews on Amazon... I wonder if I really will bother trawling through it?

So, all-in-all, four stars for this... I had waited for such a long time to read it I might be guilty of allowing myself to be a tad disappointed.
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5.0 out of 5 stars awesome read, 26 Jun 2014
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This review is from: The Mote in God's Eye (Paperback)
one of the top sci fi books ever written an awesome read by any standard keeps you interested right until the end a true masterpiece.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Mote In God's Eye - Review, 13 Jun 2014
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Movie Crazy (Chertsey, Surrey, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Mote in God's Eye (Paperback)
I have read this novel several times in the past. It is simply the best science fiction work I have ever come across.
Recently I discovered the senior librarian at my local town library is a science fiction addict and she had never heard of this title, so I bought it as a gift for her to enjoy. No report yet!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Books for the kindle - great, 2 Jun 2014
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This is a book my husband had been looking for but was unable to find, the purchase was smooth and the seller helpful. It was on my kindle before I had finished the transaction.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic read, 7 May 2014
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Robert Johnson (Nottingham, England) - See all my reviews
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Fantastic characters. Great universe. Brilliant idea. Cool aliens. Gripping plot. One of my favorite all-time reads. A very memorable story.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The best aliens, 21 Jan 2014
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The strangest, most credible aliens in all Sci-Fi! THis is one of my all time favourite books - highly recomended.
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The Mote in God's Eye
The Mote in God's Eye by Jerry Pournelle (Paperback - 11 Oct 1993)
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