Difference between revisions of "The Mote In God's Eye"

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[[Image:Mote In God's Eye - Hardcover - USA - 1st Edition.jpg|thumb|256x256px|First edition hardcover, USA.]]
 
[[Image:Mote In God's Eye - Hardcover - USA - 1st Edition.jpg|thumb|256x256px|First edition hardcover, USA.]]
  
'''''The Mote In God's Eye''''' is a science fiction book written by [[Larry Niven]] and [[Jerry Pournelle]] and published in 1974. It is about Earthlings in the year 3017 making first contact with an alien race.
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'''''The Mote In God's Eye''''' is a [[science fiction]] novel written by [[Larry Niven]] and [[Jerry Pournelle]] and published in 1974. It is about Earthlings in the year 3017 making first contact with an alien race.
  
 
I chose to read this book after seeing it ranked among the best science fiction ever written. I finished it on 2017-08-06 and wouldn't recommend it.
 
I chose to read this book after seeing it ranked among the best science fiction ever written. I finished it on 2017-08-06 and wouldn't recommend it.
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===Good===
 
===Good===
* The authors do a decent job of not falling into the ''[[Star Trek]]'' aliens (humans with minor modifications to their face). The asymmetrical body, biological caste system, and sequential hermaphroditism were good choices.
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* The authors do a decent job of not falling into the ''[[Star Trek]]'' style of aliens (humans with minor modifications to their face). The asymmetrical body, biological caste system, and sequential hermaphroditism were good choices.
 
* The brownies become a rather impressive threat, and create a rather unsettling, but exciting scene with the space suit trying to climb its way to the ship.
 
* The brownies become a rather impressive threat, and create a rather unsettling, but exciting scene with the space suit trying to climb its way to the ship.
 
* It's apt, and rather frightful, how the Earthlings are so distrusting of the Moties, but angered that the Moties aren't entirely forthright with them.
 
* It's apt, and rather frightful, how the Earthlings are so distrusting of the Moties, but angered that the Moties aren't entirely forthright with them.
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===Bad===
 
===Bad===
 
* Overall, I found the book to be rather boring. It's hinted that something is amiss with the Moties, but it takes forever to get to it. And for a science fiction book, there is very little action and a whole lot of military and political protocol. The book could have been cut in half.
 
* Overall, I found the book to be rather boring. It's hinted that something is amiss with the Moties, but it takes forever to get to it. And for a science fiction book, there is very little action and a whole lot of military and political protocol. The book could have been cut in half.
* Despite creating aliens that are more-creative-than-usual, they're still remarkably human. Arms and legs, upright walking, brains in their heads, eyes on their faces, speech through their throats, etc.
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* Creating aliens that are more-creative-than-usual kind of backfired a little. The fact that hey had arms and legs, upright walking, brains in their heads, eyes on their faces, speech through their throats, etc. just served to remind me how unrealistic they were.
 
* Despite taking place in the 3000s, humans, even those who have grown up on different planets, all have the same sensibilities as Americans from the 1970s. The crew are very modest about being nude around each other and they feel awkward talking about sex and birth control around the Moties.
 
* Despite taking place in the 3000s, humans, even those who have grown up on different planets, all have the same sensibilities as Americans from the 1970s. The crew are very modest about being nude around each other and they feel awkward talking about sex and birth control around the Moties.
 
* It is said that brownies don't have the capacity for intelligence, but are trained to repair technology. However, they also improve technology entirely alien to them, which wouldn't be possible without intelligence.
 
* It is said that brownies don't have the capacity for intelligence, but are trained to repair technology. However, they also improve technology entirely alien to them, which wouldn't be possible without intelligence.

Latest revision as of 15:58, 25 October 2019

First edition hardcover, USA.

The Mote In God's Eye is a science fiction novel written by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle and published in 1974. It is about Earthlings in the year 3017 making first contact with an alien race.

I chose to read this book after seeing it ranked among the best science fiction ever written. I finished it on 2017-08-06 and wouldn't recommend it.

Status

I don't own this book, but have listened to an audio book recording.

Review

— This section contains spoilers! —

Good

  • The authors do a decent job of not falling into the Star Trek style of aliens (humans with minor modifications to their face). The asymmetrical body, biological caste system, and sequential hermaphroditism were good choices.
  • The brownies become a rather impressive threat, and create a rather unsettling, but exciting scene with the space suit trying to climb its way to the ship.
  • It's apt, and rather frightful, how the Earthlings are so distrusting of the Moties, but angered that the Moties aren't entirely forthright with them.

Bad

  • Overall, I found the book to be rather boring. It's hinted that something is amiss with the Moties, but it takes forever to get to it. And for a science fiction book, there is very little action and a whole lot of military and political protocol. The book could have been cut in half.
  • Creating aliens that are more-creative-than-usual kind of backfired a little. The fact that hey had arms and legs, upright walking, brains in their heads, eyes on their faces, speech through their throats, etc. just served to remind me how unrealistic they were.
  • Despite taking place in the 3000s, humans, even those who have grown up on different planets, all have the same sensibilities as Americans from the 1970s. The crew are very modest about being nude around each other and they feel awkward talking about sex and birth control around the Moties.
  • It is said that brownies don't have the capacity for intelligence, but are trained to repair technology. However, they also improve technology entirely alien to them, which wouldn't be possible without intelligence.
  • The Moties claim to have biological capabilities to the point of minor genetic engineering, but they can't figure out how to make a birth control pill? Seems unlikely.
  • The book's ending isn't really an ending so much as a setup for a sequel. I don't like this, even in books that I like, let alone ones I don't.

Ugly

  • No one thing ruins the book, but all the minor things make it pretty unattractive.

Links

Link-Wikipedia.png  Link-GoodReads.png