Customer Review

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Independence Day meets the Selfish Gene, 27 May 2001
By A Customer
Man has pretty much conquered inner space. The Moon, Mars, Mercury, asteroid mining, spaceships, fusion drives, human hibernation to cope with long journeys and boredom...the hard sci-fi fan has plenty to enjoy here. Niven is good at picking up realistic science, across the disciplines, particularly physics and biology, and taking the ideas to the next stage, and the next, and the next. By and large it hangs together well. But the real reason I like this one is the entertaining alien species, the Pak. The pinnacle of evolutionary success for this race is the Protector, the full-adult warrior class member who lives to fight and further his genetic blood line by winning territory and destroying all competition. It is as if Mr Niven anticipated Dawkin's 'Selfish Gene' hypothesis and 'Independence Day' in a leap of the imagination one day in the early 1970's. The nearest thing on earth to the Pak was probably the militaristic Spartan civilisation of ancient Greece. And now the Pak are coming. Earth is a failed Pak colony, a two-and-a-half million year old experiment gone awry. Man was never meant to evolve under his own steam. They want their territory back...
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A Customer