Lucifer's Hammer by Larry Niven

17 Ratings: 3.6
Lucifer's Hammer by Larry Niven - Science Fiction - Apocalypse

Product Description   The gigantic comet had slammed into Earth, forging earthquakes a thousand times too powerful to measure on the Richter scale, tidal waves thousands of feet high. Cities were turned into oceans; oceans turned into steam. … see full wiki

Author: Larry Niven
Genre: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Apocalypse
Publisher: Del Rey (May 12, 1985)
Date Published: (May 12, 1985)
1 review about Lucifer's Hammer by Larry Niven

Time to say goodnight ...

  • Nov 8, 2008
  • by
Rating:
+5
Stephen King's 'The Stand' was virus, Robert R. McCammon's 'Swan Song' was nuclear, Thomas Disch's 'The Genocides' was alien plant growth, Walter J. Williams 'The Rift' was earthquake; and 'Lucifer's Hammer' is annihilation by comet. Each of these books are 'must have's' for fans of Apocalypse Fiction.

The major protagonist is Tim Hamner, a rich-boy with nothing to do but indulge his fascination with the stars. Hamner, along with a young boy named Gavin Brown from Iowa, discover a comet heading towards earth. The comet, Hamner-Brown, soon becomes known as The Hammer, as scientists plot its course closer and closer to Earth's orbit.

Hamner makes acquaintance with Harvey Randall, a news reporter who wants to make a documentary series on the comet. Joining with them is Dr. Charles Sharps from the Jet Propulsion Laboratories, Senator Arthur Jellison and his daughter Maureen, Dr. Dan Forrester, an astronomy Phd and computer programmer, a team of astronauts, and a dedicated postal worker named Harry Newcombe.

The story centers around Los Angeles and the San Joaquin Valley, after pieces of the "calved" comet hit all across the world, causing first earthquakes and then a massive tidal wave to hit the Los Angeles basin. Senators, rich men, thieves and killers are suddenly made equal in the wake of Mother Nature. Rich and poor take on a whole new meaning in a society that suddenly has different values and different needs.

Senator Jellison owns a ranch in the foothills of the Sierras, and along with his neighbor George Christopher begins to form an aftermath society bent on survival at all costs.

The good points of 'Lucifer's Hammer' are the characters, the topography staying fairly true to form, the realism of many of the needs and behaviors of an abandoned society (especially the herding behavior) and the many points of view from all the different types of survivors.

The bad points would be some flat spots in the prose, some outdated notions (since the book was written in 1977) and too many circumstantial meetings.

All in all, this is a great book, and again, a must have for any fans of Apocalypse Fiction. Enjoy!
Lucifer's Hammer by Larry Niven

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