Steve's Reviews > The Gripping Hand

The Gripping Hand by Larry Niven
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's review
Dec 29, 08

bookshelves: fiction
Recommended for: hardcore Niven/Pournelle fans
Read in December, 2008, read count: 2

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 applied to science fiction novels. Take one of the best science fiction novels ever, bring back characters important and marginal, visit several more fun-but-only-tangentially-related places in that universe, and have a lot more partying and sex. Oh, and have a feel-good but thin plot to tie it all together. Then, sell it to all your fans who loved the first book and watch the royalties flow in.

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