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Biased and superficial Science Fiction reviews

       
Footfall

Copyright 1985 by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle

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SOJALS rating:     
one SOJALS point one SOJALS point one SOJALS point one SOJALS point one SOJALS point    Perfect (5/5)

I first read this in 1986 and most recently in May 2001.

A massive alien starship is rapidly approaching Earth. Sadly it turns out not to be friendly, intent simply on conquest. So with Earthís improvised defenses hopelessly outmatched, Its satellites destroyed within minutes, power stations, dams and other major structures obliterated shortly after, what can humankind do to overcome?

This is one of the best hard-science alien invasion novel. If you ever wanted to know how to fight back against an alien invasion this is the definitive manual. It has its great heroes and great technologies: Harry Reddington and Orion, to mention one of each. Harry Reddington does so much better and goes so much further than you imagine at his introduction - he comes high in my list of unlikely heroes. And Orion, wow, thatís sledgehammer of a spaceship. Build that for me any time, just donít launch it in my back yard. And look at all the other stuff: orbiting kinetic weapons, laser launching, EMP bombs, pulse bombs, platform shoes (yep, thatís right)! Donít get nervous if this sounds a little like Tom Clancy. And they even managed to squeeze Robert A Heinlein in there, albeit under a slightly different name.

Woah, I almost forgot! The aliens - what dumbos, but how excellently imagined.

My only criticism? Just that throw-away comment about skipping change control. I mean you can never do that, can you?

Now all I have to do is find my copy of "Luciferís Hammer" to round out the week. Sadly I think thatís in storage back in Wing One (London) which is absolutely no good to me out here, so it's time for another Amazon evening, I guess.

Loaded on the 16th May 2001.
    
Cover of Footfall
Cover by John Harris