M is for The Mote in God’s Eye


And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?

The Mote in God’s Eye by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle is a clash of civilisations science fiction novel. Set in the far future where interstellar travel has resulted in human colonisation of vast areas of space, the action takes place in a system known as New Caledonia on the far side of the Coalsack Nebula from Earth. The Nebula blacks out a huge swathe of the night sky, the only visible objects within it are a red giant star known as Murchison’s Eye with a smaller yellow twin know as The Mote. The locals believe the Nebula to be the face of God, hence the title. It is from the Mote that a small vehicle enters that New Caledonian system propelled by a Light Sail, carrying an alien. This is the start of contact between humans and the Moties, a contact that at first looks to be positive and benign for both sides…


This a great book. It’s over 500 pages long but never loses the pace and becomes genuinely suspenseful as it goes on. As I work my way through this challenge I keep thinking “I should read that again”. I’m putting it on my list right now. You should too. If you like it then try “Footfall” by the same authors.


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