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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

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ISBN-10:  0671741926
ISBN-13:  978-0671741921
Author:  Larry Niven
Genre:  Science Fiction & Fantasy
Publisher:  Pocket Books
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review by . October 08, 2010
As a reader, I have to admit that I don't read a huge amount of sci-fi. I like a good sci-fi story and I've read some of the "classic" sci-fi novel, such as Frank Herbert's DUNE. However, unlike many of my friends who read sci-fi novels, I just can't keep up. A lot of sci-fi authors create an entire universe and after the initial book or trilogy, a lot of action and story are lost. Not only that, but often the devotion to detail and actual scientific probability that some …
review by . January 17, 2001
. . .alien life-forms ever presented in a science fiction format.Normally, sci-fi novels excel in one of a number of areas. Either the science is good, or the plot is exciting, or significant issues are discussed, or the characters are well-developed -- but rarely are more than one or two of these elements ever found within the pages of the same book."The Mote in God's Eye" is a spectacular exception to this trend. It is a believable "First Contact" story with a reasonable "history". The characters …
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