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Larry Niven
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Group Reads 2014 > August Group Read - The Mote of God's Eye and Lucifer's Hammer

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message 1: by Jo (new)

Jo | 1092 comments This folder is for discussing Larry Niven and his books The Mote in God's Eye and Lucifer's Hammer.


message 2: by Buck (new)

Buck (spectru) | 896 comments I started reading The Mote in God's Eye tonight. I read Lucifer's Hammer when it was first published back in the 70's. It was quite good.


message 3: by Buck (new)

Buck (spectru) | 896 comments My reading of The Mote in God's Eye was delayed for several days but now I am well underway, nearly halfway. It's a good old fashioned space opera/first contact story. I'm quite enjoying it.


message 4: by Jo (new)

Jo | 1092 comments As I can't fit Dhalgren in my bag i'm going to get one of these for my Kindle. Anybody want to recommend which one I should start with?


message 5: by Buck (new)

Buck (spectru) | 896 comments I'm reading Mote on my Kindle. David says that the final chapter of Dhalgren is best read in printed form. rather than as an ebook. I haven't read Dhalgren yet, so I don't know, but I plan to read it on my Kindle.


message 6: by Jo (new)

Jo | 1092 comments I am reading Dhalgren but only at home, I want something to read to and from work. Would you recommend Mote from what you have read or if you have read it Lucifer's Hammer?


message 7: by Buck (new)

Buck (spectru) | 896 comments I read Lucifer's Hammer years ago. I liked it. It's apocalyptic/post-apocalyptic - an asteroid hits Earth. Mote is a space opera. I'm quite enjoying it. It's fairly long, so if your commute time is fairly short, it may take you quite a while to finish it. Lucifer's Hammer wasn't very short either, if I recall. Anyhow, they're both good. Ya pays yer money and ya takes yer chances.


message 8: by Jo (new)

Jo | 1092 comments Think you've sold me on apocalyptic, I do enjoy a bit of doom! I'm going to try Lucifer's Hammer. Thanks!


message 9: by Jo (new)

Jo | 1092 comments I'm only 16% done with Lucifer's hammer and I gotta tell you, it's really fant..."

I chose well then! I've only read the first 1% and it's just setting the scene at the moment. I will look forward to continuing on Monday on my daily commute.


message 10: by Buck (last edited Aug 16, 2014 07:14AM) (new)

Buck (spectru) | 896 comments The Mote in God's Eye has been on my to-read list for a long time. Now, finally, I've read it. It's a long book and it took me a long time to read it, interrupted by two sessions of house guests.

The writing is simple, plain, straight forward, expository. I like the style but I think it's better suited for shorter works. It is a good old-fashioned space opera with first contact. It's characters, for the most part, are in the Imperial navy. Why do so many science fiction novels set in an interstellar future have a monarchy for government, with its aristocracy and royal traditions? Anyhow, Humans meet the alien Moties and the two species start learning about one another.

(view spoiler)

Now, I've requested that my library acquire Dhalgren, which I hope I'll be able to begin in a few days.


message 11: by Jo (new)

Jo | 1092 comments Lucifer's Hammer is really a book of two halves. The first part before the comet I really enjoyed. My favourite sci-fi is always something plausible and here it was based on science so, so far so good.

The second part after the comment was where I has more of a problem. It always seems to me that in books in the aftermath of an apocalyptic event society disintegrates too easily. In this book it's almost straight away which personally I find unbelievable. If I ignore this, it's really quite an enjoyable read, in fact if it had been written recently i'm sure it would be made into a TV series.

I've not read much Niven so i'm going to try The Mote in God's Eye for comparison.


message 12: by Buck (new)

Buck (spectru) | 896 comments Jo wrote: "Lucifer's Hammer is really a book of two halves. The first part before the comet I really enjoyed. My favourite sci-fi is always something plausible and here it was based on science s..."

I read Lucifer's Hammer many years ago. Now having read The Mote in God's Eye, I think I liked Lucifer's Hammer better. The Mote in God's Eye did not make me want to reread Niven's Ringworld. It is lauded as among his best. I read it years ago. I remember liking it, but I don't remember a lot of the specifics of it.


message 13: by Buck (new)

Buck (spectru) | 896 comments I wonder if anybody in the group besides Jo and me have read anything by Niven.


message 14: by Jim (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) | 4085 comments Mod
I've read both of these books & books by each individually quite a few times. I really like Niven's the best. Just listened to Protector last year. Beowulf Schaefer is a great hero.


message 15: by Zac (new)

Zac | 10 comments I enjoyed both of these books and Lucifer's Hammer in particular immensely. I've read some of their other stuff - Ringworld was decent, but I didn't much care for Footfall. I always struggle with alien species when they're described as being similar to animals, so the kzin and the fithp really took me out of both books...


message 16: by Philip (new)

Philip | 5 comments Buck wrote: "I wonder if anybody in the group besides Jo and me have read anything by Niven."

When I was a teenager, Niven was one of my favourite authors. I have read most of the "Known Space" series. Though interestingly I haven't read either "The Mote in God's Eye" or "Lucifer's Hammer".


message 17: by Jim (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) | 4085 comments Mod
Spoilers for both below.




One of the most important things to civilization in Lucifer's Hammer was electric. Population pressure was the big deal in The Mote in God's Eye. Resources took a back seat. As scarce as they were, they could usually be worked around; substitutes found, recycled, or something. Both are still hot topics today. The times have changed, but their messages are still current.


message 18: by David (new)

David Merrill | 240 comments I've read The Mote In God's Eye, Lucifer's Hammer and Inferno by Niven and Pournelle and Ringworld by Niven on his own. I liked Lucifer's Hammer the best but I remember liking Mote and Inferno very much. Ringworld was ok, but I had a little trouble with his writing style on his own. I had to push my way through it.

I was hoping to have time to reread Lucifer's Hammer with you guys, but I just didn't get there. This month was incredibly busy and I had two meetup group reads with The Name Of The Wind and Player Piano. I didn't even manage to finish Name. I'm hoping to read Inverted World this month because I've never read it.


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