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The Legacy of Heorot (Heorot, No 1) Mass Market Paperback – August 1, 1989


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback
  • Publisher: Pocket (August 1, 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671695320
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671695323
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 4.1 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (89 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #285,205 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Barnes has joined the co-authors of Footfall to produce an entertaining if uncomplicated SF version of Beowulfwith a Grendel courtesy of the Alien movies. The colonists from Earth have spent a century in cold sleep to make the first journey, one way, to settle a planet in another solar system. Avalon seems perfect, a verdant, livable world still in its prehistoric age. The biologists and engineers who busy themselves planting and building scoff at the warnings of professional soldier Cadmann Weylanduntil a large, unnaturally fast and cunning predator begins stalking the colony. Learning how to kill the beast is only the first step, for they must then reevaluate their entire understanding of Avalon's ecology. The novel is best in its sympathetic treatment of the once formidable scientists who wake from cold sleep with impaired mental powers. Paperback rights to Pocket Books.
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

YA As the name suggests, this is a science fiction version of the first part of Beowulf. It takes place on Earth's first stellar colony, where the colonists find an apparent paradise. Only Colonel Cadman Weyland, the defensive officer whose skills seem unnecessary, remains skeptical of the perfection. And when dogs and cattle begin to disappear, the colonists remain slow to tighten security against the unknown but very real recent development in the planet's evolutionary cycle. While the book's tough realism and complex characters make the story seem frighteningly real, it reads much like a Stephen King horror novel. The three authors have succeeded in writing a cohesive book which is of interest to students because of its reference to Beowulf, but great art this is not. Dorcas Hand, Episcopal High School, Bellaire
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

My favorite work of science fiction.
Justin Bollen
That said, the story really breaks down and it makes the book really hard to take seriously.
C
Well thought out characters, plot, and the tension is riveting.
c.belljr@worldnet.att.net

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By L. Ochs on March 20, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Why Hollywood has not made a movie from this book is a mystery to me. It has a creature that would eat the "Alien" for a snack and come back for the "Predator" as the main course. Adrenalin-pumping, fast-paced thriller set on an Earth-like planet being colonized by humans. Everything goes well, until they tangle with the 'Grendel', than all hell breaks loose. One of those stories that can be read and re-read, (I usually read it about once a year.) Very good SF which requires literally no suspension-of-disbelief. Has lots of lessons on ecology intertwined with the plot. I love it!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Timothy Warr on August 30, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"The Legacy of Heorot" is the book that I always recommend to people who say that they don't like science fiction. I have yet to get one person say that they don't like this book. It reminds people of the movie "Alien", in fact whenever I picture a "Grendel", the monster from Alien always seems to pop in my head.
Part Australian Outback colonization story, part monster movie, and part psychological profile, "The Legacy of Heorot" delivers on many levels. All of the major characters are well fleshed out and you can actually believe in them. All of the science fiction is rooted solidly in fact. And although the story line drags a bit at times, you can believe that another surprise is waiting on the very next page.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 29, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I'm a Niven/Pournelle fan but this one isn't as good as, say, "The Mote in God's Eye." There is lots of action, but some of it is hard to follow, and the spaces between the action sequences are a bit heavy-handed with the suspense-creating devices (you can almost hear the cellos from Jaws going duuuuuh DUH!! duuuuuh DUH!!) as well as being thin on characterization.
You will find a fascinating alien world and people in peril, but you won't find a moving human story. There also seems to be too much sex in this book--but whether this is a plus or a minus I'll let you decide.
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19 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Michael Battaglia on July 6, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book was really entertaining but definitely not the best place to start for the works of Niven/Pournelle (I'm not sure what Barnes contributed) they seem to be slumming a little bit on the ideas here, the Grendels are the only really new idea and the secret to their life cycle isn't all that impressive and easily dealt with, unlike say the Moties. The beginning scenes with them are great as the authors pour on the suspense and horror but by the end they're just this faceless horde that keeps coming, scary not because they're frightening but because theirs so friggin' many of them. In my opinion it reduces the book to little more than an action movie romp, with the big men strapped on guns and blasting away. Though the strategy stuff is interesting but considering that the Grendels are nearly mindless except for animal cunning, it's not like they're going up against suprageniuses. That and the characters, while drawn enough so you can care about them a little, aren't all that deep, the motivations for coming onto the planet aren't delved into all that deeply. Most of them stick to one type of personality and stick to it without change, heck if I want to read cardboard characters, I'll go get an Ayn Rand novel (ooh, that's one is asking for it, maybe Amazon will delete it to avoid contraversy). But they are sympathetic at least even if everyone seems to think about sex, with or without making babies. Am I being harsh on this book . . . well considering how much better the team has done before, it's probably warranted but at the same time this isn't bad, it's just not as idea driven as the other novel, you sort of check your brains at the door, sit back, relax and have a little fun. It's not even that long. So go try the others first and come to this to see what Niven and Pournelle are like on auto-pilot and you'll see what I mean.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Grimjack13 on December 6, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
In this story some 200 odd especially selected and trained colonists arrive on Avalon to establish the first extra-solar human colony. The hundred year space voyage in suspended animation was fairly successful, although it had side effects as some of the colonists find their intelligence and reasoning skills are impaired. Some are only mildly afflicted whiles others suffer varying degrees of emotion instability or mental retardation. There are the regular clashes concerning who should do what, but basically the Avalon colony is off to a good strong start. The town is being completed, the Earth brought crops are growing, transplanted animals, fish and birds are thriving. It's almost Mayberry MD on another planet. The only problem is the security officer, Cadmann Wayland, seems to be outliving his usefulness.

Then of course, then things start to go wrong, missing animals, damaged property and sabotage. After a few false starts, the Avalon colonists begin to suspect that Wayland is creating an invisible threat to justify his position. And Wayland is starting to feel isolated from his own people. Not a good thing when you have already made a voyage of no return across the vastness of interstellar space. The story moves quickly into a question of whether Wayland is suffering from mental instability or is there truly an unidentified threat outside the Avalon colony. Then it transforms into a monster story and then again into an ecological parable. Without giving away plot elements, the story is a fantastic SciFi first colony rendition.
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