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The Gripping Hand (Moties #2)

3.8 of 5 stars 3.80  ·  rating details  ·  8,072 ratings  ·  152 reviews
Robert Heinlein called it "possibly the finest science fiction novel I have ever read." "The San Francisco Chronicle" declared that "as science fiction, "The Mote in God's Eye" is one of the most important novels ever published." Now Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle, award winning authors of such bestsellers as "Footfall" and "The Legacy of Heorot, " return us to the Mote, ...more
Hardcover, 413 pages
Published January 1st 1994 by Turtleback Books (first published 1993)
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This is the sequel to The Mote in God's Eye, and everything that made the original book remarkable is missing, while everything that bothered me about it is back with a force. What made the original so compelling was the central mystery around the true nature of the aliens with whom the protagonists make first contact -- I can't talk about that without spoiling the first book to readers unfamiliar with it. There's very little of that sort of driving enigma present in The Gripping Hand. The novel ...more
Long-awaited sequel to The Mote in God's Eye. It doesn't live up to its predecessor, but Mote is perhaps the best first contact s.f. novel ever, so it's understandable why Hand fails to hit the mark.

Roughly the first half of the novel, before Kevin Renner and company return to the Mote system, is slow-going, but I appreciated the opportunity to see a bit more of the Empire itself, especially the capital world of Sparta. The character of Horace Hussein Bury is also fleshed out much more here than
Tadiana ✩ Night Owl☽
This is a two-time dnf for me. I like The Mote in God's Eye so much and I kept thinking, even if the sequel's not as good, it has to be worth reading, and I really want to find out what happened with the Moties. And both times--several years apart--I got about half-way through, bogged down and quit. The storyline just got too slow and confusing and I completely lost interest.
Nov 26, 2011 MattR rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: science fiction readers
Recommended to MattR by: my father
25 years have passed since the Moties were locked into their solar system by the human blockade.In the plot of The Gripping Hand by Larry Niven Horace Bury, the man given thje job of keeping the alien moties under control, and his assistant Renner find out that a new jump point to the motie system may open up allowing the moties to escape. Mean while a worm is invented to allow moties to live without reproducing.If moties don't reproduce they die. Burry and Renner discover the jump point just in ...more
Daniel (Attack of the Books!) Burton
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 29, 2008 Steve rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: hardcore Niven/Pournelle fans
Shelves: fiction
Have you ever watched a sequel to a movie that you really liked, and partway into it realized that the whole purpose of the movie was for the stars to have a paid summer vacation? (Yes Ocean's Twelve, I'm looking at you.) The plot is thin, marginal characters from the original show up, there are a lot of exotic locales and gratuitous makeouts between characters (onscreen or off), and basically everyone in the production, if not the audience, is having fun.

The Gripping Hand is that concept applie
Kat  Hooper
The Gripping Hand (1993) is Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle’s sequel to their popular 1974 novel The Mote in God’s Eye, which you probably want to read first. This review will have a couple of spoilers for The Mote in God’s Eye.

Recall that by the year 3017 AD, humans had designed the Alderson Drive — an interstellar transporter which allowed them to jump out of our galaxy to colonize different star systems. Then they discovered the first alien species — the Moties — who were excellent engineers
This is the sequel to The Mote in God's Eye where humans and 'Moties' once again have contact. The Gripping Hand is easier to understand if you have read The Mote in God's Eye.

Man has blockaded the Alderson Point to keep the Moties (Moties bred exponentially and would quickly overrun Man's Empire) bottled up in their own system.

Bury and Renner (from The Mote in God's Eye) believe the Moties may have escaped; they pull strings so that they can visit the blockade. The tension builds through the no
I enjoyed this probably more than my 3 star rating would indicate. Non-planetary Moties, some returning characters from The Mote in God's Eye and some new, space battles and political strategy--all pluses. But the big minus for me was that most of the book seemed to be build-up and all the action was really crammed into the second half of the book.
A. Roy King
"The Gripping Hand" is the 1993 sequel to Jerry Pournelle and Larry Niven's 1974 classic science-fiction novel "The Mote in God's Eye." This sequel brings many of the same characters back together decades after the "Mote" events and concludes some of the unresolved conflicts in this story of human encounter with an alien life form.

One good aspect of this novel, as well as the original installment, is Pournelle and Niven's imaginative creation of an alien race. The Moties are a differentiated lif
This book continues the story of the Moties some 30 years after the end of the first book and the installation of the Blockade. It features more Moties, some of the characters of the previous book, and a some new.

I found the story in this book less engaging, revolving around the complex political situation of the Moties and a strained space Battle. On the other hand, the new characters were interesting and Bury and Rennor are fun characters. On the gripping hand, the science behind the space vo
Fantasy Literature
The Gripping Hand (1993) is Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle’s sequel to their popular 1974 novel The Mote in God’s Eye, which you probably want to read first. This review will have a couple of spoilers for The Mote in God’s Eye.

Recall that by the year 3017 AD, humans had designed the Alderson Drive — an interstellar transporter which allowed them to jump out of our galaxy to colonize different star systems. Then they discovered the first alien species — the Moties — who were excellent engineers
Lukas R
The Mote in God's Eye while I though flawed in it's speed and storytelling was rather original so, despite the dismal reviews, I continued on in the series. The Gripping Hand has more of exactly the things that made the first book a bit of a bore. It takes forever to get the story of the ground, including a completely pointless storyline introducing an entire cast of characters that disappear as soon as the actual story get underway (which is after almost half the book). When the story finally s ...more
Adam Collet
Finished this a while ago, just catching up.

I have really mixed feelings about this. In the first book, the lead-up to the Mote system and the denouement afterward weren't fantastic, and the time spent in the Mote system was really fun, suspenseful, etc. In this book, the time leading up to the Mote system was *fantastic* ... the time in the Mote system was, um, boring. And the ending felt rushed and sloppy. I think they were trying to write in a way that mirrored the character's feelings of bei
Jeff Miller
Really quite a good SF book with one major fault, being that it is a sequel to The Mote in God's Eye one of the best SF books ever written. This sequel has much to like as far a military sf and in-depth social-political plotting in regards to both the humans and the aliens the Moties. The understanding of the Motie civilization via the lens of Arah history was also quit interesting. Some of the characters from the first novel are there with a concentration on the former Navy navigator and the Ga ...more
Ron Arden
I didn't even know there was a sequel to "The Mote in God's Eye", but here it is. The story picks up from its predecessor 25 years later. Rod Blaine is now a Lord and his wife Sally Fowler are big shots in the Empire. They have 2 children, Chris and Glenda Ruth, who among other things have been raised by the Motie ambassadors from the previous book.

Kevin Renner, who was the sailing master on MacArthur, the ship that visited the Mote in the first book, has been the pilot of Horace Bury these pas
Sep 17, 2012 Marcelo rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of Jerry Pournelle. Larry Niven fans should stick with the «Ringworld» series.
I waited a long time for this book, the sequel to The Mote in God's Eye, the best sci-fi I've ever read. Problem is... could I really expect that the authors would repeat their miracle? Well, part of me hoped so, but this book doesn't live up to its predecessor.

It's a good book, well-written, chock-full of witty dialogue and space action scenes laced with real science. But it isn't The Mote in God's Eye. I loved seeing those characters again, but big chunks of this book are a little boring (and
Jose Vera
“El tercer brazo” es la continuación de “La paja en el ojo de Dios”, uno de los mejores libros de ciencia ficción que he leído. Pero de eso hace ya muchos años.

La acción de este libro se desarrolla 25 años después que los humanos tuvieran contacto con los pajeños, los primeros alienígenas inteligentes con los que se topo el imperio del hombre.

Nos encontramos con viejos conocidos. Horace Bury, próspero magnate musulmán que esta usando ahora todos sus conocimientos y dinero para proteger el imperi
Interesting story, involved plot, creative treatment of encounter with new intelligent species. Niven was prominent in a 1970's trend in Science Fiction that emphasized the "science," a reaction to the fantasy trend that was growing and dominant then.

The sociological significance of main character Bury's identification as part of a traditionally repressed and subjugated ethnic minority, Arabs, struggling to maintain its identity in contrast to an indifferent/hostile dominant culture; and the boo
For a sequel, the book starts off a little slow and gradually builds to become more interesting, more exciting, and more engaging. The developments in the Motie system after many years of blockade are the interesting points of note here and the focus on Horace Bury as the lead human representative was also a different approach to my expectations for the novel.

The novel almost entirely focuses on events in and around the Motie system, space battles are to a degree, shortened and lacking detail, w
Benjamin Thomas
Like many reviewers, I was blown away by The Mote in God's Eye, quite possibly the best alien first contact novel ever written. So it is not surprising that a sequel, written more than a decade later would have difficulty living up to that.

That first book was so good because it revolved around the slow building of understanding of just what the alien species (The Moties) were all about. Were they allies or threats or some combination? That is largely known now as we head into this book so there
Eighteen years after publishing The Mote in Gods Eye, Niven and Pournelle have written a sequel that, while not as novel, is more thrilling than the first tale of alien savants.

I think that the opening mystery tale involving “New Utah,” and the possibility that the Moties have at last escaped into the Empire of Man is an unnecessary set up. Even so, it is more interesting than much of the slow build up that follows. But the patient reader is finally rewarded with another amazing look a Motie ci
Durval Menezes
Having loved the original Moties book ("The Mote In God's Eye"), this book was a great disappointment: disjointed, overly long and just plain boring plot, indifferent characters, lack of good ideas. More than once I thought about quitting this book in the middle, it took a lot of persistence to finish it. My advice: if you liked the original Moties book, don't read this one: it will only sour your good memories of the original.
When I read The Mote in God's Eye I was blown away. This long-delayed sequel doesn't live up to it's predecessor. Not even a little bit. There are some interesting ideas--and some amusing depictions of futuristic Mormonism--but the first extended sequence of the book (comprising several chapters) has almost literally nothing to do with the rest of the book. The whole novel is one long, slow attempt to sort of wrap up the tension left unresolved at the end of the first book. But the complete dear ...more
Ben Shelef
Almost as good as the original, though even it were just as good, there will never be another voyage of discovery like the first book was.

Same authors, same in-depth study of an alien species, same shallow treatment of the human characters.

Many of the plot lines are rooted in the original story to the point where it's clear that this was pre-planned. I wonder how come it took so long to flesh out and publish.

If you loved the Mote, absolutely positively read this as well.
Michael Kingswood
The sequel to The Mote In God's Eye. Duh, it rocks. The shocker would be if it didn't. Though the first book was complete in itself, it was nice to see the story of the humans and moties come to a more complete resolution. And the fact that it centered around Renner, who was my favorite character in the first book, just made it even more fun.

So yeah. Great, engaging story, lots of food for thought... It rocked. :)
Too bad we didn't hear as much from the Motie point of view in this sequel, but I thought it was cool how they were so divided into clans and trade associations that it made it impossible for our empire to fight. It wasn't like most science fiction novels where we are fighting an alien race--it was not one race to fight, but a mess of factions. Sure reminded me of the human race!
The Gripping Hand is the sequel to The Mote in God's Eye, which is considered by many to be the finest first contact sci-fi written.

Unfortunately, the Gripping Hand lacks much of that first contact mystery / thrill that the Mote possessed. In lieu of that, we do have some admittedly neato space battles and economic / political maneuvering. But as fun as all that is, The Gripping Hand is strangely... soap opera. And I don't mean that in a good way. I mean that in the sense of melodramatic posturi
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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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

Moties (4 books)
  • Future History (Moties 0.5, Falkenberg's Legion, #a-b)
  • The Mote in God's Eye (Moties, #1)
  • Outies (Moties #3)
Ringworld (Ringworld, #1) The Mote in God's Eye (Moties, #1) Lucifer's Hammer The Ringworld Engineers (Ringworld, #2) Footfall

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