The Mote In God's Eye by Larry Niven

a review by TC, in the genre(s) Science Fiction. Book published by Orbit in 1974

The Mote In God's Eye is a classic science fiction novel by Larry Niven with Jerry Pournelle.

I not sure how I have managed to put off reading this classic for so long - but better late than never.

The Mote takes place in 3017 when the human empire makes its first contact with an alien species. Two imperial space navy ships goes the Aliens system where they (the aliens, called the Moties) through unlucky circumstances are trapped - they have FTL, but can not use it. The humans have what the Moties need to make their FTL travel effective, but should they give it to them? Are the Moties a threat? Well, that's for you to find out.

Niven and Pournelle has written an interesting story with truly alien aliens - they are somewhat humanoid in their appearance, but that's just about it. That's the thing that makes The Mote interesting and worth reading - but it's the only thing in my opinion, I found the writing forced, the milieu uninteresting and the characters flat. The problem as I see it is the main part of the story takes place on in navy space ships - I find it endlessly boring to hear about how polished the privates boots are, how well they can stand at attention and how much they respect their superiors. Niven/Pournelle tries to make them a bit more human by letting some of them talk with a Scottish accent, but that doesn't quit cut it for me.

Anyway, The Mote is not a bad book and if you like SF set in a military setting you will probably love it. I liked it enough, that I have secured the sequel, The Gripping Hand.

Written on Monday 1st March 1999 by .

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The Mote In God's Eye, a novel by Larry Niven

Book Details

  • The Mote In God's Eye
  • Publisher: Orbit
  • ISBN:
  • Published:
  • Pages: 560
  • Format reviewed: Paperback
  • Review date: March, 1999
  • Language: English
  • Age Range: N/A