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In the year 3016, the Second Empire of Man spans hundreds of star systems, thanks to the faster-than-light Alderson Drive. No other intelligent beings have ever been encountered, not until a light sail probe enters a human system carrying a dead alien. The probe is traced to the Mote, an isolated star in a thick dust cloud, and an expedition is dispatched.
In the Mote the humans find an ancient civilization--at least one million years old--that has always been bottled up in their cloistered solar system for lack of a star drive. The Moties are welcoming and kind, yet rather evasive about certain aspects of their society. It seems the Moties have a dark problem, one they've been unable to solve in over a million years.
This is the first collaboration between Niven and Pournelle, two masters of hard science fiction, and it combines Pournelle's interest in the military and sociology with Niven's talent for creating interesting, believable aliens. The novel meticulously examines every aspect of First Contact, from the Moties' biology, society, and art, to the effects of the meeting on humanity's economics, politics, and religions. And all the while suspense builds as we watch the humans struggle toward the truth. --Brooks Peck
Robert Heinlein Possibly the finest science fiction novel I have ever read.
San Francisco Chronicle As science fiction, one of the most important novels ever published.
Columbus Dispatch A superlatively fine novel...no writer has ever come up with a more appealing, intriguing, and workable concept of aliens.
Frank Herbert A spellbinder, a swashbuckler...And, best of all, it has a brilliant new approach to that fascinating problem -- first contact with aliens.
Theodore Sturgeon One of the most engrossing tales I've read in years...fascinating.
Minneapolis Tribune Intriguing and suspenseful...the scenes in which the humans and aliens examine one another are unforgettable.
Great book. Great as an audio book. About the best first contact alien story I've read.Published 4 days ago by Jon Ball
I've read a bunch of first contact stories and this one is the most plausible and sad. More about politics than battles in space, though those exist as well. Read morePublished 8 days ago by Jonathan Madamba
This is a classic first contact book by two of the finest science fiction writers.Published 8 days ago by RooCat
One of the three best science fiction stories I have ever read. Robert Heinlein, sometimes called the "Dean of Science Fiction," thought it was possibly the best science... Read morePublished 16 days ago by M. Noble
thought provoking conceptual exercise on the cyclical nature of cultures & societies. extend the rational idea far enough & the fictionalized events seem unavoidable. Read morePublished 21 days ago by Jason Kimes
From my view this is a second rate tale from a first rate writer.Published 27 days ago by Richard C. Williams
Very good book by Niven and Pournelle. These guys have combined for a number of Hugo and Nebulla Award winning books. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Jessie Guidry