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The Mote in God's Eye
Larry Niven
In 3016, the 2nd 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 lightsail probe enters a human system carrying a dead alien. The probe is traced to the Mote, an isolated star in a thick dust cloud, & 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 & 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 1st collaboration between Niven & Pournelle, two masters of hard sf. It combines Pournelle's interest in the military & sociology with Niven's talent for creating interesting, believable aliens. The novel meticulously examines every aspect of 1st Contact, from the Moties' biology, society & art, to the effects of the meeting on humanity's economics, politics & religions. All the while suspense builds as we watch the humans struggle toward the truth.--Brooks Peck
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