The Mote in God's Eye

Larry Niven, Jerry Pournelle
The Mote in God's Eye Cover

The Mote in God's Eye


Utterly fails for me in both style and characterization. Without those, I don't really see the point. Maybe it just hasn't aged well, or part of the problem is that it is co-authored?

The essence of the book is first contact with an alien species which is continually driven to overpopulation and therefore collapse, only to have the cycle repeat ad infinitum. They cannot expand beyond their solar system because the point of entry within space-time for FTL travel exists only within the atmosphere of a local red giant star. This makes it physically impossible to approach without instant death if you do not have the proper type of shielding (which the humans who visit do have, and the aliens obviously try to acquire through deceit, subtefuge, etc.).

I slogged through the 1st 300 pages or so, but couldn't endure any further. I had to get the plot synopsis off Wikipedia for the last 1/3 of the book. Almost like trying to read a book in a different language, and you only have a passing knowledge of it. A pity and a great disappointment, due the several accolades this has received by others. Would have been great if had any semblance of style or characterization that meets more with my sensibility. I hope your experience proves different.