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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 Earth's 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, that's sledgehammer of a spaceship. Build that for me any time, just don't 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, that's right)! Don't 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 "Lucifer's Hammer" to round out the week. Sadly I think that's 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 art by John Harris

Reviews of other works by Jerry Pournelle:
King David's Spaceship

Reviews of other works by Larry Niven:
Ringworld
The Ringworld Engineers
Ringworld's Children

Reviews of other works by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle:
The Mote in God's Eye
Lucifer's Hammer
The Moat Around Murcheson's Eye
The Gripping Hand
The Burning City
Burning Tower

Reviews of other works by Larry Niven and Stephen Barnes:
The Barsoom Project

Reviews of other works by Larry Niven and Steven Barnes:
Saturn's Race

Reviews of other works by Larry Niven, Jerry Pournelle and Michael Flynn:
Fallen Angels

Reviews of other works by Larry Niven, Jerry Pournelle and Steven Barnes:
Beowolf's Children
The Dragons Of Heorot



Reviews of other works with covers by John Harris:
Light Raid
The Stonehenge Gate
Old Man's War
The Ghost Brigades
The Moat Around Murcheson's Eye

Reviews of other works with covers by John Harris and Carol Russo Design:
Earth Made Of Glass