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Book Note: Larry Niven, The Mote in God's Eye

I read this book about 19-May-2003. I've read this book before. The book is copyright 1974. This note was last modified Tuesday, 04-Feb-2014 14:30:04 PST.

This note contains spoilers for the book.


One of the great classics of science fiction, which I'm rereading for the umpteenth time. This is at least the third edition that I've owned. Also one of the best extant examples of successful collaboration—Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle. I really should do something about this booknotes system not really handling joint authorship decently.

The Moties are a great science-fictional achievement. I'm not sure I actually believe the Watchmaker's and Engineer's tremendous instinct for tools and technology, but what the heck. And the history of the species, with collapses of civilization, genetic engineering, and differentiation from the basic stock is fascinating. I also find their Industrial Feudal society fascinating. Museums whose purpose is to provide technology to rising cultures after the next collapse.

Another achievement, not so well noted, is the computer systems everybody uses. Handhelds that you write on, which communicate wirelessly with larger computers, via building and vehicle infrastructure. We still haven't got this working in the real world, but we're getting slightly warm.

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David Dyer-Bennet