The Mote in God's Eye

From TheAlmightyGuru
Jump to: navigation, search
The Mote in God's Eye

Mote in God's Eye, The - Hardcover - USA - 1st Edition.jpg

Hardcover - USA - 1st edition.

Author Larry Niven, Jerry Pournelle
Published 1974-??-??
Type Fiction
Genre Science Fiction
Themes Science Fiction
Age Group Adult

The Mote in God's Eye is a science fiction novel written by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle and published in 1974.

The book is about Earthlings in the year 3017 making first contact with an alien race.


Read?Audiobook read by L.J. Ganser.

I chose to read this book after seeing it ranked among the best science fiction ever written. I didn't much care for it.




— This section contains spoilers! —


  • The authors do a decent job of not falling into the Star Trek style of aliens (humans with minor modifications to their face). The asymmetrical body, biological caste system, and sequential hermaphroditism made the aliens quite alien.
  • The brownies become a rather impressive threat, and create a rather unsettling, but exciting scene with the space suit trying to climb its way to the ship.
  • It's apt, and rather frightful, how the Earthlings are so distrusting of the Moties, but angered that the Moties aren't entirely forthright with them.


  • Overall, I found the book to be rather boring. It's hinted that something is amiss with the Moties, but it takes forever to get to it. And, for a science fiction book, there is very little action and a whole lot of military and political protocol. The book could have been cut in half.
  • Despite taking place in the 3000s, humans, even those who have grown up on different planets, all have the same sensibilities as Americans from the 1970s. The crew are very modest about being nude around each other and they feel awkward talking about sex and birth control around the Moties.
  • It is said that brownies don't have the capacity for intelligence, but are trained to repair technology. However, they also improve technology that's entirely alien to them, which wouldn't be possible without intelligence.
  • The Moties claim to have biological capabilities to the point of minor genetic engineering, but they can't figure out how to make a birth control pill? Seems unlikely.
  • The book's ending isn't really an ending so much as a setup for a sequel. I don't like this, even in books that I like, let alone ones I don't.


  • No one thing ruins the book, but all the minor things make it pretty unattractive.


Link-Wikipedia.png  Link-GoodReads.png  Link-TVTropes.png