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Footfall Mass Market Paperback – April 12, 1986
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From the Inside Flap
They first appear as a series of dots on astronomical plates, heading from Saturn directly toward Earth. Since the ringed planet carries no life, scientists deduce the mysterious ship to be a visitor from another star.
The world's frantic efforts to signal the aliens go unanswered. The first contact is hostile: the invaders blast a Soviet space station, seize the survivors, and then destroy every dam and installation on Earth with a hail of asteriods.
Now the conquerors are descending on the American heartland, demanding servile surrender--or death for all humans.
"ROUSING . . . THE BEST OF THE GENRE."
--The New York Times Book Review
About the Author
JERRY POURNELLE is an essayist, journalist, and science fiction author. He has advanced degrees in psychology, statistics, engineering, and political science.
Top Customer Reviews
Footfall tells the tale of an alien incursion to Earth in a manner which Hollywood and most authors today never could. There is no pretense, no presuppositions of actions and conduct. The aliens are alien and not just funny almost humans as so often happens in Science Fiction today. The motivations for the aliens are superbly drawn yet completely foreign. The society is bizarre but believable. Wonderful indeed.
The invasion is not a rehash of the same tired story told in Independence Day and many other such tales. Why should aliens come to this planet with the same motivations we would approach other planets? Why should aliens be interested in our culture and society in the same way in which we would be interested in theirs? Niven and Pournelle do an excellent job in portraying a realistic scenario that is spellbinding in its breadth and stupendous in its readability.
I can't tell more without giving away too much of the tale but rest assured this is a novel worthy of the title classic. Excellent and worth every one of its five stars.
read. Granted, it's hard to write a sensible invasion story, given that
a) it's hard to think of a reason for rational aliens to invade, and
b) if they did, they should win overwhelmingly. See rifles vs. spears.
But it makes a great *story*, and N&P have given probably as
reasonable a backstory as anyone could. As an example of high-level
page-turner storytelling, Footfall still rings my chimes. I've read it
three times, plus the last time I picked it up a couple of years ago, to
jog my memory to reply to a post, I got sucked in again and spent the
afternoon rereading the good parts. "Orion will Rise" -- all right!
Footfall is dragged down a bit by dated political background: the
USSR is alive and well here, and is portrayed as considerably
stronger and healthier than it actually was in 1985. I'd skim over the
Russian scenes; in fact the book is pretty slow-moving until the
aliens arrive, so a quick skim of most of this early scene-setting
material is all you need.
And make no mistake, once the action starts, you'll have no further
complaints. Good stuff, guys.
Peter D. Tillman
Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle have provided a good old-fashioned "pulp" story, where you go along for the ride. My only substantive complaint is that the Snouts, as the aliens are called for obvious reasons, have a convenient Achilles heel (or two) that allows Earth to have a fighting chance against a technologically superior enemy that REALLY controls the high ground. My favorite part is President relying on a group of Science Fiction writers for advice on how to deal with these strange visitors from another planet, which at least avoids the stereotype of the stupid military advisers just wanting to use nukes at the first opportunity.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Good story. The aliens are different than any I have read before. You don't like them, then they change on you. Read morePublished 15 days ago by Curious George
I don't read much science fiction, so maybe I'm missing something. But this book has such a GIGANTIC void that it ends up being a huge letdown. Read morePublished 20 days ago by Amazon Customer
Best novel ever about alien invasion. Well fleshed out plot and characterization of the alien culture. The physical form of the alien invaders is unique in all of SF. Read morePublished 27 days ago by Amazon Customer
I am 60 years old; I have 4 degrees including a doctorate; I read 200 novels a year--have read 1000 textbooks in biology, chemistry, physics and medicine; not once in my life have... Read morePublished 2 months ago by R. Lindblad
An interesting read, but it was a little too much fiction and not quite enough science.Published 5 months ago by CW
Good book. Kept my interest. Plot was a bit predictable but still good. Would recommend.Published 6 months ago by C. Bricker
While the alien viewpoint/world building advances this story tremendously, the human angle brings it to a screeching halt. Read morePublished 11 months ago by L. A. Veronie II