Footfall, a novel by Larry Niven
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Footfall is a classic science fiction novel by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle.

This book handles a subject that H.G. Wells defined in his 'War of the Worlds': hostile first contact.

Earth is overrun by aliens that bombard the planet with asteroids and are quickly victorious. The story follows a couple of people, but the pivital role is played by a group of army people, scifi writers (!), scientists and politiciens who 'sit around' thinking of ways to defeat the aliens.

It all sounds pretty straight-forward and it is in some ways, but Niven & Pournelle have worked out the aliens with great detail and the way humankind is fighting back is really engaging, exciting and very original in places.

The conclusion of this story gave my goose-bumps. The whole thing is wrapped up and the explanation for the reason for the aliens to attack is really surprising and stunningly simple and logical at the same time. Totally brilliant.

The thing I didn't like about the book is that it takes a while for things to get started. I know you need space to introduce the players and set-up the board, but I found the first part of the book a bit boring. Also if you hate typical american patriotism, you might read some parts of this book with gritted teeth. But stick with it, you'll not regret it!

Written on 21st August 2003 by

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