Larry Niven, Jerry Pournelle
Inferno Cover



It truly is remarkable how many of Larry Niven's best novels were written in collaboration with Jerry Pournelle. On the other hand, I assume that ALL of Jerry Pournelle's best novels had Larry Niven as a co-author (unless, apparently, you are a die-hard fan of military fiction). This is NOT, however, a guarantee of a successful novel. The pair did come up with a few duds, such as The Hummingbird God.

The only truly terrible bit that I recall from Inferno occurred when our hero encountered an environmentalist who has been consigned to hell by some asinine deity for the sin of trying to save the planet. Occasionally Niven (and I assume Pournelle) seem slightly to the right of Attila the Hun, politically.

The sequel - Escape from Hell - is not nearly as memorable. You could easily give it a miss.

I would disagree with those who tagged this novel as apocalyptic or a dystopia. It's just hell, for goodness sake!

Perhaps readers who used the tags apocalyptic/dystopia mean to imply that a world where the malevolent god would make people suffer for all eternity for minor/nonexistent transgressions would be terrible? Amen to that!

My rating system: I begin with one star being equivalent to a rating of "C -". Progressing upwards, I add ½ star for each step, up to the maximum 5 stars, which is equivalent to a rating of "A"+. I reserve ½ star for BOMBS, there being no option of zero or negative stars.