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The Legacy of Heorot (Heorot #1)

3.92  ·  Rating Details ·  5,281 Ratings  ·  161 Reviews
A novel of Visionary Terror and Adventure! Light years from Earth, the pinnacle of mankind's genius is reached: two hundred men and women carve an idyllic, self-sufficient colony out of the vast planet Tau Ceti Four. Among the biologists, genetic engineers and farmers is one man who urges caution - Colonel Cadmann Weyland, a warrior among strangers...

They ignore his warnin
Paperback, 383 pages
Published August 1st 1988 by Pocket Books (first published May 1987)
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Community Reviews

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Mike (the Paladin)
Excellent read. There are some good characters, a good plot, balanced story telling very little lag at any point. I can't quite go to 5 stars with it (though I may reconsider over time) but I can highly recommend this one.

This is a space exploration, space colonization novel of people from Earth meeting challenges on an alien world. It hits a lot of "true notes" and you'll see people you know here. The geniuses transplanted to another world who "know" what they "know" and dismiss anything that c
David Sarkies
Jan 25, 2017 David Sarkies rated it did not like it
Shelves: sci-fi
Messing Up the Eco-System
26 January 2017 - Sydney

Sometimes I wonder whether the more authors a book has the worse it becomes. Actually, come to think of it, I struggle to actually think of any work of literature that has more than one author – it seems as if for a book to enter into the annals of greatness the book has to be written by a single author. To me this isn't actually all that surprising because artists tend to work alone. In fact, when one considers music the same seems to apply, con
Jul 18, 2008 Amanda rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: no one, really
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 01, 2008 Paul rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Larry niven and Jerry Pournelle are great hard science fiction writers and With Steven Barnes they have great combat and martial arts scenes.
grreat stuff "it makes Aliens look like a Disney nature film." The Washington Times said.
Sep 01, 2014 Claudia rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
Take an island on one planet 10 LY from Earth, Avalon, a human colony of 200, some strange alien life forms and you got a movie scenery. At least, this was my impression, that this book was written specifically for this purpose. I don't know if there is a movie based on it, but there are several alike, no doubt.

Still, it's that kind of story that keeps you hooked until the end, although it is predictable. An easy and enjoyable reading, one that does not put your neurons to work :D
Jul 18, 2009 Zachary rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
This is quite an amazing book. The science, sociology, psychology - all of it! - is extremely well-thought out. And the pacing is rather incredible. Niven has quite a knack for moving things along quick enough for most of the book, and then really stepping things up a couple of notches for the huge climax. Great fun!

Humanity has finally decided to reach out to the stars and attempt to colonize a new planet. But being so far away, they've gotta freeze the people so they'll make it there at a dece
Aug 17, 2013 Darth rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: niven
In my many years of reading Larry Niven books - I have frequently (almost always) found that the ones in which he is collaborating with another author or authors, are not as good as the ones he does alone. Oath of Fealty comes to mind, and the MOTIES sequel, and the one with the space shuttle - ANANSI I want to say....

As a result, this one, and it sequel have spent YEARS on my shelf, until I had read and in some cases re-read almost all of his other books. Well, I am running out of Niven books t
Nov 09, 2014 Andrew rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book many years ago while preparing for my exams, yes there were far too many distractions even then - I decided to read the book again remembering how much I enjoyed it the first time.
Having read the authors individual works I was interested in seeing how they worked as a collaboration (they have in fact collaborated on a number of books all of which I enjoyed to differing degrees and for different reasons) and even though the authors have been criticised in the past - some of which
Oct 28, 2014 Dmitry rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent colony novel by a trio of masters. Niven and Pornelle are well known for their worldbuilding in The Mote in God's Eye. The duo is joined by Steven Barnes, a relative unknown at the time, who provides the action and - numerous - sex scenes.

Its a wicked little romp with many false peaks - every time you think the threat is over, you look at the progress on your kindle and what do you know, youve only read thirty percent of the novel. What could possibly happen next? This excellent pace i
Stephanie Ricker
I enjoyed this book far more than I expected, and found myself devouring it late at night at a frightful pace. I've not had great success with books by two authors in the past (they always seem to be plagued by inconsistent characters and general sloppiness), so I assumed three authors would be even worse. Pleasantly, in this case, not so! The story's premise is basically Beowulf in space, which sounded deliciously pulpy to me. It ended up being a more sophisticated and nuanced book than I antic ...more
Feb 19, 2012 Drew rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
When I was in eighth grade, I watched The Ring at a friend's house. It didn't seem too scary at the time, maybe because I was in a group, but on the way home, we did see a girl walking on the sidewalk in a nightgown in no shoes, face hidden by her hair. Creepy. When I got home, my stepdad did some crude imitation from the movie and further terrified me, putting a good night's sleep pretty far out of the question. I remember eating a bowl of cereal around midnight, sitting at the kitchen table un ...more
Oct 29, 2007 Mike rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi
This is essential SciFi reading. Combine Beowulf with star travel, strong, good looking men & women, hard science... Also the best example of the law of unintended consequences in action. Not to be missed.
Jan 03, 2013 Alfred rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 03, 2011 Ed rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Thriller Sci-Fi Fans
In some ways this book was very imaginative and in some ways just another Heinlen-like hero story.

The protagonist, Cadmann Whelan, is in charge of security in a situation where there seems to be little need for it. Homo Sapiens has dispatched a space ship to colonize a new planet. To get there while still young, the travelers must be put into deep freeze. Some of the colonists come out of the freeze with their intelligence negatively influenced. Avalon, which is what they've named the colony see
Jun 12, 2015 Henry rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
A nostalgic read for me, my teenage reading was interspersed by a few from these authors, they were always big schlocky sci fi reads in my eyes trying to write the ultimate in each sub genre. I read the alien invasion one "Footfall", the natural disaster/comet strike one "Lucifer's Hammer" and LOVED them. I mean, LOVED THEM.

This is the alien predator one, where earth's first colony lands on the new planet and has to confront nasties on their own territory in a fight for survival.

The law of unint
Aug 12, 2009 John rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi, thriller, gritty
This book was sensational. Beowulf meets Aliens. Characters and story were wonderful - which I expect from any book that Larry Niven is involved with. More especially, the team of Niven/Pournelle/Barnes (Creators of Dream Park).
It was a retelling of Beowulf in the setting of an interstellar colony. The science was brilliant and handled in such a way as not to overwhelm the reader or bore them to death - incorporated into the story and revealed in baby steps to allow the reader a full understand
Nov 22, 2008 Marc rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked this and its sequel a lot, Niven and Pournelle produce readable, engaging and interesting sci-fi without weirding me out. They're ultimately not that earth shattering but good comfort reading. These books follow the story of a group of humans sent off to start a new life on a remote planet. There's no return, and not even any communication from Earth after the first few years. Once there they find they have problems, big problems, because some of the wildlife on the planet is quite hosti ...more
Vincent Stoessel
Aug 11, 2014 Vincent Stoessel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: re-reading
Last stop on my Niven revisited tour. This was the last Niven novel I read decades ago. Hoping this 3rd book is the charm in terms of holding up to expectations.
So the verdict?
In today's eyes parts of this might be considered slightly sexist but not to a degree that it weakens the story. In fact, this story has held up very well over the years. I may check out the sequel after I read a few goodreads reviews on it.
Dec 19, 2011 Ronschae4 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf
These are the ROCK STARS of modern SF! This is one (of a bushel-ful) of their finest work. A tremendous retelling of Beowulf vs. Grendel with great science behind the plot. Set in a far off world, a human settlement is besieged by a faster-than-the-eye beast - which will be your heart rate, too, as this captivating story unfolds. Brilliant! Classic literature meets contemporary masters - could it get any better? I say NO!
Bad and sexist? A little sexism is amusing but this is rubbish.
Dec 23, 2007 Alan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
I think this is one of the best Sci-Fi books i have ever read!
May 05, 2016 Neil rated it really liked it
Some thots:
Enjoy the throw-out to Tunnel in the Sky with the Dopey Joe reference (view spoiler) and how Cadmann thought he was better at square dancing then everybody else on the dance floor.

And the nod to Red Planet! Love it! (view spoiler) Took me a moment to realize what they were discussing, there.

I never before realized how much the attack on the 'camp' in this story is an homage
Leila B
Jan 19, 2017 Leila B rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
OMG. The sexism, the manly-man protecting the ladies, the Great White Hunter. Coming to a New World to CONQUER! it! It's ours, because we TOOK IT, DAMN IT.

That was just awful.

The sad part? I read this book years ago, and I don't remember it being at bad as it is. I'm not sure I'll continue re-reading books that I read and liked. Because ugh.
Malcolm Price
Feb 09, 2017 Malcolm Price rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had to have a couple of reads through the first chapter, as there are a lot of characters initially, but it's worth persevering.

I had to laugh at the reference to Megabits being a huge amount of data, then was less surprised this was written 30 years ago..

A great read, Niven as always provides excellent aliens.
Renee Werthwein
Dec 18, 2016 Renee Werthwein rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have read this book many times now. I first read in high school at the suggestion of my high school English teacher. It was the book that started my love for all things science fiction and fantasy.
May 05, 2014 Chris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A recent skim through this — I first read and reviewed it in 2001 — confirms what a rich novel this was, from its maps by Alexis Walser to the apt literary quotes as chapter headings, and from its scientific premises to its broader and occasionally more dubious environmental messages. As always there is so much one could say, but a short review will have to focus on a few points that particularly intrigued me.

At twelve light years from our solar system Tau Ceti (or τ Ceti) has long been of astro
This one never loses it's appeal.
When Earth (the National Geographic Society, more precisely) sends away our first colonists to another planet, will we choose amongst the best and brightest? Yes, we will. Will they screw up royally? Oh, yeah, they will.

About 200 hundred colonists, picked up from the most intellectually and physically fit, take the 100-year trip to Tau Ceti and settle on an island in the fourth planet, Avalon. Although they suffer from hibernation instability, a condition that has mildly affected the mental capa
Dec 17, 2016 Rachel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was interesting and I liked the ecological impact storyline. Humans show up, disrupt the ecology because of a lack of information, and have to deal with the consequences. It was interesting to explore that in a foreign environment. Good read!!!
Invadozer Misothorax Circular-thallus Popewaffensquat

I have been putting off reading forever because way
back when I read a review of it and said it wasn't as
Niven and Pournelle wrote together. I loved the book
they did INFERNO also, no one else seems to like that
great book.... but that's not what I'm plugging. This
book I consumed in a day. It held me with it's writing
style and flow after the first few chapters when you're
saying to yourself, what a horrible boring planet
grrrrr. This Avalon planet is
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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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Other Books in the Series

Heorot (2 books)
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