Friday, March 15, 2013

Book Review: The Mote in God's Eye by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle


By Jacob Donley

THE MOTE IN GOD’S EYE  by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle

THE MOTE IN GOD’S EYE  is a science fiction novel written by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle. The main premise of the story is the first contact of humans with a nonhuman alien civilization and all the problems, conflicts, and potential benefits that may come with that encounter. This first encounter comes in the future with technology that is far advanced to that which we have today and in a society that is centuries in the future in comparison to ours, where an Imperial Monarchy exists for humans in an interplanetary civilization.

While some science fiction creeps heavily on the fiction side when it comes to science, this novel does a good job of incorporating factual scientific theories into the story. Things such as how the 'Motes', the alien civilization, would have or could have evolved are presented in a scientifically plausible way. Also, though the drive and the shield technology talked about quite often in the novel are not explained, other things such as Trojan points, societal technology advancement, and how gravity can be simulated on space ships are quite accurate in theory.

Overall, the story, while slow at times and bogged down with periods of explanation, is quite riveting when it arrives at the Imperial politics, rebellion, interaction with the alien civilization, and sequences where naval officers are in a fight for their lives in space or trapped behind enemy lines. I would recommend this novel to any science fiction fan that wants a 'hard' sci-fi read.