They first appear as a series of dots on astronomical plates, heading from Saturn directly toward Earth. Since the ringed planet carries no life, scientists deduce the mysterious ship to be a visitor from another star. The world's frantic efforts to signal the aliens go unanswered. The first contac ...more
Footfall is an Independence Day (the movie) type book, about an alien invasion and a wide range of humans across the globe reacting to said invasion. I'm sure you've seen Independence Day and I hope you didn't like it because it sucked. but have you seen Mars Attacks? now that is a great alien invasion film. smart and hilarious. Footfall is much better than Independence Day but it is a far cry from Mars Attacks.
the first thing you should know about Footfall is that the aliens in question who ar ...more
The book is long ...more
One thing mentioned on the podcast was that this book wasn't ...more
This book was described somewhere as "a rich tapestry". I recently read 99 Ways To Tell A Story , which has a witty page telling the story using the conventions of the Bayeux Tapestry, and I suddenly saw Footfall retold in the same way.
I think it would work quite well. To start off with, in a tapestry you expect all the characters to be two-dimensional. What else would th ...more
Audiobook is 24 hrs. About 4&1/2 hours in. There's a zillion (well 124) characters, lots of women and sexual intrigue, and it's set nearly in the present, with an oncoming alien attack. I guess they were going for a mainstream bestseller like Lucifer's Hammer (8 years earlier), and apparently they succeeded, back in the 80's. It starts slow. I'm listening in the car, and get confused as to who's talking. There's a lot of Russian/Cold War stuff that we don't worry about much these days. At le ...more
One quirk of these elephantine invaders is: they will fight but if they surrender, they belong to the winning side permanently. So they are confused when humans surrender--and then fight back. They consider those humans to be dangerously "rogue", and kill them instead of conquering them.
Also, one of the aliens is captured by our side--and becomes a ...more
Though it's familiar territory, Footfall really delves into the human aspect, extrapolating from hard science and politics to paint a very plausib ...more
2016 - I thought it was time for a revisit to one of the best books I'd ever read and the book that taught me 'big & busy' was nothing to fear when picking a book. The cast of characters were many. Wes Dawson is wonderful, one character makes me mist up near the end, we're offered better female characters from Niven, there are aliens I could hate and even care about a few. A word of note to readers: When 'Archangel ...more
I'm sure there's a literary term for what the author's have done in Footfall and L.H., but I'm going to have to describe it- All of the characters we meet (and there are a lot) make the right decisions and are clearly superior to the common people who we don't ever really get to know. Pu ...more
And the importance of science fiction writers to the war effort? Maybe less realistic, but still a lot of fun.
Of course, aliens invading earth is really the perfect setup for what is a pro-military somewhat "conservative" world view. Endless accumulation of nuclear weapo ...more
The metaphors, amazingly compared, similes for sure, like some hackmen had written a crappy genre book without really giving a shit.
I like big sprawling books that you can really sink into. People talk about "world building" and I vaguely understand/care about what they say, but world building like Larry Niven does in ...more
While Footfall is arguably a classic, I’m doubtful of the somewhat hedging accolade that many editions of this book carried: “Probably the finest novel of alien invasion ever written.” Later editions carry a quote from Tom Clancy: “Nobody does it better than Niven & Pournelle.” That’s peculiarly appropriate, in that N&P’s co-authored titles share similar virtues and vices with most of Clancy’s stuff. They’re obsessively researched at a technical level, have workmanlike but compulsively r...more
Multitudes of characters, converging plotlines, cold war intrigues, and a good old fashioned, worldwide alien invasion story. There's good and bad in this novel, but at the end, the good outweighed the bad and made the book worth reading. I'll start with the bad, and get that out of the way-
Too many characters. They become hard to keep track of after awhile, especially when you have to also figure out social connections that appeared briefly pages ...more
Footfall is the story of alien invasion. Before you say to yourself, "yeah, I saw that movie", let me tell you this: that movie (which ever one, you pick!) was probably based off this boo ...more
So yes, the book is really good and after about 300 pages I hardly had ...more
The aliens morphology is silly but their instincts are interesting.
The books is an answer to the question:
"How can a race travel between stars without being peaceful?"
Sagan might argue any such race must have survived cultural adolescence.
They managed not to destroy themselves before reaching the space age.
This can be done through cooperation and peace.
But it could also be accomplished by an instinct to submit once defeated!
With su ...more
By Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle
Publisher: Del Rey
Published In: New York, NY, USA
REVIEW MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS
Beyond Saturn, we see them for the first time. A small series of dots on telescopic images moving against the backdrop of Saturn’s rings. Ships inbound from the deep solar system or beyond. Signals rip across space, desperately trying to make contact with the unknowns. First contact destroys a space station. Second contact, a targeted bombardment of ast ...more
In today's light, it's pretty offensive to my inner feminist. It doesn't even pass the Bechdel Test. I wouldn't go as far as calling it misogynistic as other reviewers have, but it's clear the authors can not or do not care to write believable or interesting female characters. The women in this book are only there to sleep with and be rescued by the male characters ...more