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Fallen Angels

3.49  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,909 Ratings  ·  95 Reviews
Reeling under a new ice age, the lunatic fringe of the environmental movement controls the US government. Abandoned by Earth, the space colonies replenish their air by scoop-ships diving into the atmosphere - but Alex and Gordon's ship was hit by a missile, and they are now wanted dead or alive.
Paperback, 464 pages
Published January 1st 2004 by Baen (first published 1991)
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(showing 1-30 of 2,851)
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Marina Fontaine
This book is both fun and depressing. Fun because of quirky characters and snappy dialogue. Depressing because of the setup- humanity, in particular the United States, having turned their back on technology, is fighting a losing battle against an Ice Age. The government writes off whole regions and populations, spending resources instead on persecuting fans of science fiction as subversives. In different hands, this premise could create a dystopia in some ways bleaker than 1984. Instead, the cau ...more
James
Another of the Baen ebook giveaways; this is Niven's, Pournelle's and Flynn's dystopian future-America novel where the Greens have won and dominated, at least, the north American political landscape. As a result, any anthropogenic global warming that there was is abruptly halted and instead a new ice-age sweeps down across the American landscape. While science is not banned outright, there is now the concept of appropriate science and inappropriate science. Inappropriate science is a large catch ...more
David
A dated book, and definitely not Niven and Pournelle's best. Instead of global warming, the Earth is being covered by glaciers, thanks to those silly environmentalists and all their anti-pollution laws, which literally reversed the Greenhouse Effect. Two astronauts from the space habitats still orbiting the Earth are shot down over North America, and have to be rescued, by sci-fi fans. (Hah, see me use "sci-fi" deliberately just to annoy all the SF pedantists?) Half ego-fluffing for SF fandom, h ...more
Ron
Sep 19, 2012 Ron rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"If life always fell short of your expectations, that was no argument for lowering them."

Finally, fiction about fans, rather than fan fiction. Best "free" book yet. Niven, Pournelle and Flynn take us on a fast and fun adventure that is all the more fun for the improbability of it.

It's hard to know what was meant seriously and what tongue in cheek. I abandoned my quibbles and go with the flow. Published in 1991 describing a future right about now (2012), the book reminds us how the rapid changes
...more
YouKneeK
This book was ok, but it didn’t really grab me and keep me interested throughout the entire book. The premise is that, instead of the global warming that most people predicted, Earth entered into an ice age. Everybody’s attempts to "go green" and limit pollution actually helped hasten that ice age. The book is very U.S.-centric and we don’t really learn what’s going on in the rest of the world but, in the U.S., there’s a glacier moving its way across the U.S. People are cold, resources are limit ...more
Derek
Mar 17, 2012 Derek rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Nobody!
I was absolutely stunned. I love Niven and Pournelle, and when they get into a threesome it usually works too.

I can't give this book an honest review because I gave up about 10 pages in. It was terrible!.

First, this was written in 2002, still believing that we're going to be going into another Ice age. Yeah, I've always known Pournelle was an unbeliever, but most scientists haven't believed that for over 20 years. It's true that naturally the Earth is in a cooling cycle - but we've been pumpin
...more
John (Taloni) Taloni
Subversively hilarious. It's the near future and Earth has slipped into an ice age, brought on by environmental activism. Turns out only soot has kept back the ice age since early in human history, and with the Greens in power, an insistence on clean energy has allowed the glaciers to take over with lightning speed. The government is committed to political correctness rather than actual science, which is overstated only in degree. Most of the examples of government overreach are based on actual ...more
Mike
Nov 14, 2007 Mike rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi
Small band of valiant romantics against the Proxmires (think early Algore types) of the world. Having grown up in Wisconsin, I used to play in Kettle Moraine, carved out by the glaciers 10,000 years ago. Personally, a little global warming ain't so bad. This book is great fun.
Brent Fulgham
Nov 09, 2014 Brent Fulgham rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
For many years, I have used this book as a reference point to which all other science fiction books are measured. This book is absolute zero on my quality scale. I hated literally everything about this book.
Al Philipson
Nov 29, 2015 Al Philipson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The next ice age is developing and our intrepid heroes, most of them science fiction fans if you can believe this, are off to rescue a pair of astronauts who've been shot down for the "crime" of scooping nitrogen from the upper atmosphere.

What follows is an unlikely tale (but pretty scientifically accurate) of rescue and the attempts to get the two (and maybe some more) back to their space habitat (an overcrowded, cobbled together, pair of space stations that are just barely surviving, plus a mo
...more
Jason
First, I have to note the amazingly ironic context in which I first heard of this book. In the C-Realm podcast #451, after John Michael Greer mentioned that his recent science fiction novel Star's Reach is the first to his knowledge that explicitly incorporates science fiction and science fiction fandom, the show's host KMO mentioned this title as another example of science fiction about science fiction. The irony is that the interview (and Greer's work in general) is about the very themes—con ...more
Bob
Aug 27, 2012 Bob rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a great book, particularly if you consider yourself a science fiction fan -- science fiction fans are the heroes of the day. This book is another Promethius Award winner, and very deservedly so. I highly recommend it. The book describes a dystopian and anti-technology society set in the not-to-distant future. Civilization as we know it is desperately threatened by a vicious and rapidly progressing new ice age, brought about, ironically, by environmentalists who thought global warming was ...more
DaveA
Apr 17, 2011 DaveA rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I can't believe I'm giving anything but 5 stars to a Niven book - and especially to a Niven-Pournelle collaboration. Niven and Niven-Pournelle have written several books in my most favorite of all times.

However, this one just didn't captivate me as others had. There was no captivating science in it (like the Ringworld, or a neutron star). There were no captivating alien cultures (like the Kzin, the Ptavvs, the Grendels, or the Moties). The character development seemed week (I never even really e
...more
Annette
Re-read from probably a decade ago, when I was too young to get all the references.
While I'm only giving this three stars, it really is a very enjoyable book, especially for true fen, GAFIATed or not, who understand that FIAWOL.
The plot, in a nutshell, surrounds a pair of astronauts who crash-landed on the glaciers rapidly encroaching on North America (Canada is already mostly under ice), only to be rescued by a group of sci-fi fans - fans who, due to the current political climate - must actua
...more
M. Mendrygal
May 05, 2013 M. Mendrygal rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
An amusing, occasionally frustrating, visit to a not-too-distant future in which staunch environmentalists have seized the reins of power -- to an unfortunate extreme.

Earth's in the grip of a new ice age, and feeding the planet has become an even more formidable challenge. Vastly complicating matters, progress has been halted and most technology is considered evil. The space program is a particular victim of this mindset, and some of those who'd wish it to be otherwise have escaped into orbit,
...more
Dorian
Aug 24, 2012 Dorian rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: other-ebooks
This is a rather peculiar piece of science fiction.

The setting is near-future - probably now-ish, given that the book was first published in 1991! The earth is in the early-ish stages of an Ice Age - all of Canada (at least - probably more but my knowledge of North American geography is shaky) being under the ice, and glaciers moving rapidly further south. (Apart from a token mention or so, the rest of the world does not appear to exist.) This Ice Age has apparently been caused, or at least hurr
...more
Tracey
Sep 06, 2007 Tracey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: e-text
fter a few weeks of on & off reading, I finally finished Fallen Angels by Larry Niven, Jerry Pournelle & Michael Flynn. Part of the reason it took so long is because I was reading it in e-book format, courtesy of The Baen Free Library.
I had just finished reading the part where Alex (one of the astronauts stranded on Earth) visits an abandoned museum and finds a plaque commemorating the Challenger astronauts the day before the Columbia exploded. :^(

Larry Niven is currently one of my favor
...more
Kim
Apr 25, 2014 Kim rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a good book, a nice fun read. I felt like I would have liked it better, though, if I knew the fandom references. They were interesting, but they just didn't excite me like they would have if i was a sci-fi reading maniac in the 1990's, as this book was written. That isn't horribly necessary to know, though. It's a nice easy read, where you can be wonderfully amused of the quirky nature of fans that have survived through all opposition.
Karina
Apr 14, 2016 Karina rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
I had this one on my Kindle for the longest time, and then I ended up visiting St Petersburg with no books and nothing much to do... It was full of typos (or maybe OCR errors), unfortunately. I found it difficult to distinguish between the two astronauts. And one of them supposedly was fluent in Russian, but it seemed rather broken to me... But the premise of the book was interesting, and what they managed to do.
Jeroen
Not that good. Though the writers are sort of well-known, I expected much more from my first acquaintance with them. Having read the blurb on the cover, I thought this would be an interesting novel and I actually kept thinking that the first few times I picked it up, with characters that had a chance of being interesting and a setting that was at least something different than any sci-fi novel I have read until now. However, the story continued, characters meet other characters, hilarity ensues ...more
Andy Phillips
Oct 03, 2014 Andy Phillips rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In the near future, the green movement has become very popular in America and science and technology are only tolerated when necessary. Various government agencies 're-educate' technophiles and science fiction is banned. There are a small number of people living in space stations and a gradually decreasing underground movement of sci-fi fans who try to keep knowledge alive.

On a mission to harvest vital nitrogen from the Earth's atmosphere, two of the inhabitants of the space stations are shot do
...more
Todd
Apr 02, 2015 Todd rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dated and incredibly cheesy at times, but still a fun read if you're a sci-fi fan who can appreciate all of the different flavors of the genre. This flavor is definitely more junk food than hearty, satisfying meal - but hey, junk food is good in small doses, right?
Jay
Sep 28, 2011 Jay rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Niven and Pournelle have collaborated on some of the best sci-fi books I've read. This is not one of them.

The book seems to be more inside humor about sci-fi fans than a serious attempt at a sci-fi book. Thankfully, I got it from Baen Books as the initial freebie in the Pournelle collection. Very odd selection for the free sample book. Had I not read any other Niven/Pournelle, I would likely avoid them in the future. I don't think that's generally the point of the free sample. I suppose they did
...more
Paul Garfinkel
Readable, but a little out of date

Fair read, though out of date and somewhat inside out on the science of climate change. Interesting characters and plot. Could do without the fannish songs....
Sheila
Feb 09, 2008 Sheila rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a fun book, with a lot of affection for classic sci-fi fandom. I'm only peripherally a part of that group--I do media fandom, mostly Internet-based, instead of lit sci-fi fandom, with 'zines and cons--but I definitely felt a kinship with these people, and a lot of them I was sure I'd met at one point or another in my life.

I also felt like it did a great job of universe-building. I read this over several days on my commute home, and every time I had to drag myself out of the book to get o
...more
B. Reese
Jun 23, 2015 B. Reese rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: abadnoned
Was recommended on a Podcast I listen to, but ultimately I couldn't get into it.

I'd almost read a Barbara Hambly or Alan Dean Foster book before this. It had the same painfulness about it as I read.
Kjirstin
Apr 04, 2013 Kjirstin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fun read! I am almost certain that I've read this before... portions of it seemed very, very familiar to me. I must have been a lot younger because I think I didn't "get" a lot of what was happening in it.

Funny... this was my second book in a row with lots of sci-fi con "in-jokes", though of course this dates from an earlier time. It was interesting referencing the technology of 10 or so years ago... I found myself saying, "Oh yeah, a sort used to be kind of a big deal..." and silly things lik
...more
Jennifer
Oct 20, 2015 Jennifer rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This had to be one of the worst books I have ever slogged through. I don't know why I even finished it....terribly written, much of it rambling nonsense that I couldn't follow.
James Willey
Jan 28, 2016 James Willey rated it liked it
Shelves:
Love the premise, environmental wacos who rule the world versus sci-fi fans, but the story dragged a little for me.

Dan
Mar 12, 2016 Dan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Greens are going to hate this book. I like this book because it shows them for what they are and is an entertaining story at the same time. The fan service got a little much at times, but it doesn't hurt much.
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Laurence van Cott Niven's best known work is Ringworld (Ringworld, #1) (1970), which received the Hugo, Locus, Ditmar, and Nebula awards. His work is primarily hard science fiction, using big science concepts and theoretical physics. The creation of thoroughly worked-out alien species, which are very different from humans both physically and mentally, is recognized as one of Niven's main strengths ...more
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