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The Legacy of Heorot (Heorot #1)

3.89 of 5 stars 3.89  ·  rating details  ·  4,183 ratings  ·  121 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
...more
Paperback, 383 pages
Published August 1st 1988 by Pocket (first published May 1987)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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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
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Paul
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.
Amanda
Apr 21, 2014 Amanda rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: no one, really
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Andrew
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
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Zachary
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
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Drew
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
Mike
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.
Ed
Apr 10, 2011 Ed rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  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
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Darth
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
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John
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
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Marc
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
Chris
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
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Michael Chaddock
I read this one as a teenager and had some problems with it then. I just finished it again and it has not aged well at all.

The protagonist is a petulant future soldier/macho jerk/total asshole. Probably a Pournelle jerk-off fantasy. He has the strength and experience to deal with anything, if only those eggheads would let him! Yes, he's one tough dude who manages to be smarter than the greatest scientists and engineers on Earth.

Most of the conversations between characters ring totally false. Th
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David Langer
So, I read the second book in the series a while ago, but it was wonderful to come back and get the earlier perspective. The combination of talents of the authors are very enjoyable, I like the characterizations, and the ecology of the alien world. The details of the grendels are awesome, and the particular horror of them towards the end of the book really got me, even after having read the second book in the series, it was a revelation as to how the ecology worked. Not that this book is a horro ...more
Ronschae4
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!
Will
As bug-hunt science fiction goes, this is entertaining enough. It reads a lot like the novelization for a summer blockbuster movie, with all the good and bad that that implies. It is also written by three authors, and feels like it...there are moments when this reads like a "novel by committee". The characterizations are pretty one-dimensional, especially the attempts at a love triangle (*snort* it's pretty bad) and there is one particular plot device that seems almost comically contrived (no sp ...more
Alan
I think this is one of the best Sci-Fi books i have ever read!
Jonathan
Bad and sexist? A little sexism is amusing but this is rubbish.
Marcelo
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
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Invadozer Saphenousnerves 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
good as MOTE IN GOD'S EYE or LUCIFER'S HAMMER which
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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Alfred
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Talkswithwind
This is a book in the, Earth sends Colonies to the stars, and runs into major problems, genre. It is interesting as I read this book just after a Nancy Kress novel in the same genre. This particular book was published twenty years ago, so the science assumptions are subtly different than more recent books.

I first picked this book up while I was on my Larry Niven kick. It was very different than other Niven books because this is a colaboration with two other authors. This adds to the book in my j
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Doug
With a signiature writing style, an eerie scene, and as many complex character interactions as a small city, Legacy of Heorot is astounding in its simplicity and setting. It begins as a simple jaunt to another planet to set up shop and bring the human race to other stars. Very few mishaps happen and the story itself wears out by chapter three until the perspective itself changes. This is where the writing takes on a very unique feel of another lifeform wandering in a foreign habitat.
With this
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AmbushPredator
Another re-read, and this book has aged well. It's a taut little backs-against-the-wall, serpent-in-paradise story of the first colonisation of Tau Ceti IV, which seems like a glorious tamed world. Until a quirk of its evolutionary tree pokes its head out to bite the colonists.

Characterisation is a little spotty in parts, but it is amazing it hasn't been picked up for a film treatment.
Whitney
Got this for a dollar at the JCCC used book sale, and it was a dollar well spent for a relatively quick and entertaining read.

The first half was definitely far more interesting than the last, which consisted mostly of detailed battle scenes. Yawn. The characters were pretty flat and uninteresting, and I will agree with others here that it was kind of sexist and the resolution seemed a bit TOO easy... That said, it provided a lot of good food for thought and I really appreciated the scenes writt
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Geison Pulga
Expedição de humanos viaja 10 anos-luz para povoar um planeta orbitando Tau Ceti, chegando lá tem contato com a ecologia alienígena similar à terra, mas com algumas peculiaridades fatais, onde a mitologia nórdica se encarrega de dar nomes aos seres que lá povoam.

A primeira parte do livro se encarrega de forma brilhante a descrever o dia a dia dos exploradores espaciais e a interação com o mundo, mas a mão do homem em ambientes equilibrados não podia dar outra coisa a não ser merda.

*Spoilers abai
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Jamie Friesen
This is my favourite book by the team of Niven/Pournelle (yes, I'm aware that Steven Barnes also co-wrote this).

It is set 200 years in the future at the site of mankind's first interstellar colony. Roughly 200 of mankind's best and brightest volunteered be cryogenically frozen to undertake this 100 year journey - and in doing so colonized an uninhabited planet far from Earth.

However the cryogenics were far from perfect and dozens of colonists suffer from side effects such as lowered intelligen
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Mark
I loved this book, a long time ago. I think it would seem a little childish now & earn less stars but it was great. The antagonist is a race of supermonsters they called "Grendels" (I think: it was a long time ago) whose basic aspect was of an alligator, and whose superpower was sacs of hydrazine-like blood additive that gave them lightning speed, at the cost of severe overheating.

After zooming through the camp & eating a few folks, they's have to sulk, steaming, underwater someplace co
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Anthony Chitea
Good. I am an old fan and have read their stuff over the years. Great space opera with introspection. Would make a good movie. Someone is sitting on the rights. 5 stars for what it is within its genre--as in meeting and exceeding expectations. A fun speculative future read.
Ellen
IN the far future Earth has set up a colony in the Tau Ceti system, all seems to be going fine with nothing for the only soldier there to do. However, they've changed the ecosystem and something is preying on them.

This is one of the first sci-fi books I can remember reading as a kid, fond memories, and still holds up 20+ years later.
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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
More about Larry Niven...

Other Books in the Series

Heorot (2 books)
  • Beowulf's Children (Heorot, #2)
Ringworld (Ringworld, #1) The Mote in God's Eye (Moties, #1) Lucifer's Hammer The Ringworld Engineers (Ringworld, #2) Footfall

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