The Mote in God's Eye

Larry Niven, Jerry Pournelle
The Mote in God's Eye Cover

The Mote in God's Eye


Stunningly good. A top favourite. Heinlein apparently told Niven that he considered it the best space opera ever (so long as LN would trim an extensive portion of the introductory material).

The first encounter with the "moties", and the brave stand of the mid-shipman against the vast alien horde are very memorable.

There was a rather acidic criticism by David Pringle (in his wonderful The Ultimate Guide to Science Fiction) regarding the novel being "politically unpleaant". This was code for the fact the Niven and Pournelle had dared to feature a monarchy in this work. Gasp and shudder! What nonsense. Does anyone really want all of their fiction to be set in an identical political system.

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.