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The Colonists From Earth Have Spent A Century In Cold Sleep To Make The First Journey, One Way, To Settle A Planet In Another Solar System Avalon Seems Perfect, A Verdant, Livable World Still In Its Prehistoric Age The Biologists And Engineers Who Busy Themselves Planting And Building Scoff At The Warnings Of Professional Soldier Cadmann Weyland Until A Large, Unnaturally Fast And Cunning Predator Begins Stalking The Colony Learning How To Kill The Beast Is Only The First Step, For They Must Then Reevaluate Their Entire Understanding Of Avalon S Ecology


10 thoughts on “The Legacy of Heorot

  1. says:

    One of the few Science Fiction novels I ve had the privilege and time to re read I love this book Not only is it a totally awesome story, it is also the book I used to bait my wife into the Science Fiction genre Kudos.Establishing a new colony on a far off planet is in itself a daunting prospect The collaborating team of Niven, Pournelle Barnes have here come up with a concept that makes it absolutely terrifying Now, I ll be completely honest with you, while I appreciate the theme of don t mess with the ecosystem and the political intricacies of the book, there is one very, very prominent reason for reading this GRENDEL.What When military advisor Cadmann Weyland gets uneasy about animals going missing and fences being torn down he suspects that something is stalking the recently established colony However, he is promptly ignored and scoffed at by the scientists, who are quick to provide all kinds of facts and reasons why this is implausible.Of course, we all know where this is headed.Where ShitsvilleLet s just say, that if they had ever made a film based on this novel, it could potentially have given Aliens a run for its money What I should point out, however, is that it is also a Hard Science Fiction novel, and the authors provide an interesting and believable scientific basis for everything that happens And it s pretty cool, not the kind of thing you and I would have been able to come up with unless of course, you re reading this and you re one of the authors apologies.Wow Indeed The story is well written too, with almost perfect pacing, strong characters and some well handled human drama and intrigue, to boot Perhaps it is the nostalgia speaking it can be a mighty powerful emotion , but this is one for the ages Don t bother with the sequel, however.Expect suspense, expect terror, expect the great reveal, expect gosh wow Expect bada boom Grendel, this one is on you, you magnificently terrifying bastard s Crank up the thrash metal and give it stick 5 stars Added to favourites


  2. says:

    Excellent read There are some good characters, a good plot, balanced story telling very little lag at any point I can t quite go to 5 stars with it though I may reconsider over time but I can highly recommend this one.This is a space exploration, space colonization novel of people from Earth meeting challenges on an alien world It hits a lot of true notes and you ll see people you know here The geniuses transplanted to another world who know what they know and dismiss anything that challenges what they know to be true view spoiler the thing that saves them actually comes from knowledge they had but forgot The character who has insight based on experience and Murphy s Law they dismiss out of handand almost die hide spoiler


  3. says:

    Messing Up the Eco System26 January 2017 Sydney Sometimes I wonder whether the authors a book has the worse it becomes Actually, come to think of it, I struggle to actually think of any work of literature that has than one author it seems as if for a book to enter into the annals of greatness the book has to be written by a single author To me this isn t actually all that surprising because artists tend to work alone In fact, when one considers music the same seems to apply, considering Bohemian Rhapsody was allegedly written by a single person though I was always under the assumption that Queen, a four piece band, actually wrote the song, but then again people seem to think that Freddy Mercury actually wrote the song, Queen just performed it Anyway, as you can probably tell, this book was written by three people, which makes me wonder how a book is actually written by three people do they write a chapter a piece, or do they just write specific characters In either case how is it that they actually put the book together do they sit down and work it out around some really bad cups of coffee, or do they argue about it around some really bad glasses of wine, and then go away, write their own sections and let the editors work it out Or is it that they simply draft the outline of the book and then let poor Larry Niven sit down and put it all together Well, however they do it the final product really didn t turn out all that well So, the story is set on a planet orbiting Tau Ceti The characters had just come out of a hundred year long sleep and are now setting up for a new world on what appears to be a paradise Unfortunately there was a problem with the hibernation pods and apparently everybody has emerged from deep sleep somewhat stupider Mind you, if we are talking about the best and the brightest, maybe it is simply the fact that the one thing that they lack is common sense this seems to always be the case when you put a bunch of academics together, the one thing that they all seem to lack is common sense Anyway, they land on this world and in their mind it is a paradise, and after a number of surveys they believe that there isn t actually anything hostile on this world, that is until a nasty monster comes along and starts ripping everything apart However, they don t actually believe that it was a monster, but some guy who is sulking over the fact that nobody believes that there is anything hostile on the island that doesn t sound as if the hibernation pods had busted, that just sounds like your typical bunch of human beings who want to live with their heads in the sand climate change anybody Anyway, they eventually realise that these creatures exist after one of them almost completely destroys the camp, so they decide to go out and hunt the rest of them down and kill them Well, that turns out to be a particularly smart idea because it also turns out that these creatures have a natural way of keeping their population down they eat their young In fact, it turns out that they are like frogs as babies they start off as fish, but when they mature they turn into these monsters so, the mature creatures basically eat the babies, which keeps the population down However, now that they have basically gone out and killed all the mature ones there is nothing keeping the population down, so they pretty quickly discover that the whole island is swarming with monsters Mind you, the other catch was that they only eat their young if there is nothing else to eat, so when the colonists arrive with all their live stock, all of a sudden they have something else to eat As I mentioned, this book was rather dull and boring, and in fact is the first part of a trilogy Sure, it did do well to explore how humans have this nasty habit of completely ruining an eco system with their introduced species For instance, the landed gentry introduced foxes into Australia simply so they might have something to hunt, and not surprisingly they have gone and run havoc across the environment Mind you, the farmers then get criticised by the likes of PETA when they try to cull the foxes due to them causing issues with their live stock Then again, I do see where they re coming from because technically humans are an introduced species, and a pest, but we don t go around culling ourselves Mind you, the other interesting thing is that we all know that the colony is going to survive, but then again this novel does play out like a movie, and unless the creators are really clever, we never actually have the protagonists lose Okay, they have to adjust the way the colony works, namely that every man gets to have two wives namely because half of the male population was wiped out when they went to war against the monsters they called them Grendels after the monster from Beowulf , however the colony does manage to survive The other interesting thing is that the planet is ten light years from Earth, and they took a hundred years to get there from Earth, and they are talking about advertising for new colonists Well, they didn t think that through all that much because first of all it is a twenty year round trip for any communication, and even if another colony ship was sent out, it would take a hundred years for them to arrive, and that doesn t take into account humans developing new technology Mind you, as yet I don t know of any book where the colonists arrive at a planet after traveling for a hundred years only to discover that while they were asleep humanity has invented the FTL drive and the planet has already been colonised.


  4. says:

    Larry niven and Jerry Pournelle are great hard science fiction writers and With Steven Barnes they have great combat and martial arts scenes grreat stuff it makes Aliens look like a Disney nature film The Washington Times said.


  5. says:

    A friend with usually very reliable taste recommended this book to me It was Author Larry Niven , to boot Of course it was going to be good, right No.spoiler alert followsSadly, it was a bug hunt Not that I ve got anything against bug hunts, but the prose was oblique and occasionally opaque The characters were simplistic, unsympathetic, and, frankly, sexist in many places The main character is a geek s Mary Sue an exhaustingly perfect warrior with a Cassandra complex who has all the answers, is the only one who can save Mankind, the perfectly lonesome brooding outsider surrounded by idiot geniuses The ending was so lame I laughed Then I read it again, assuming I d read it wrong, and I hadn t and I laughed again If you re going to base your ENTIRE BOOK on a BIG SCARY MONSTER that kills and eats people, on a giant army swarming towards you of these scary scary monsters, on the last ditch, last stand battle against these monsters, if you spend something like the last quarter of the book in this giant to the death, end of civilization battle, your big resolution shouldn t be. after two days of fighting, the surviving monsters learn to not eat humans That s right Despite being so hungry they cannibalize their young, they avoid the tasty humans and their livestock after just two days The Beowulf parallels were labored The relationships smacked of high school boys fantasies The plot was lame, the denouement baffling There s a sequel, too Beowulf s Children I opted not to read it, so bored was I by this thing, and instead read the summary on Wikipedia Wow and I glad I didn t waste than two minutes reading that Sigh It s always sad when one of your favorite authors lays such an bad egg.


  6. says:

    I enjoyed this book far than I expected, and found myself devouring it late at night at a frightful pace I ve not had great success with books by two authors in the past they always seem to be plagued by inconsistent characters and general sloppiness , so I assumed three authors would be even worse Pleasantly, in this case, not so The story s premise is basically Beowulf in space, which sounded deliciously pulpy to me It ended up being a sophisticated and nuanced book than I anticipated The characters are all ridiculously flawed people and quite unlikeable, but by the end I found myself surprisingly attached in spite of it Still not brilliant literature, and the characters obsession with sex while understandable in the context of a colony trying to perpetuate itself in the face of low numbers felt downright juvenile, but I d give it up to a 3.5 star rating.


  7. says:

    Take an island on one planet 10 LY from Earth, Avalon, a human colony of 200, some strange alien life forms and you got a movie scenery At least, this was my impression, that this book was written specifically for this purpose I don t know if there is a movie based on it, but there are several alike, no doubt.Still, it s that kind of story that keeps you hooked until the end, although it is predictable An easy and enjoyable reading, one that does not put your neurons to work D


  8. says:

    This is essential SciFi reading Combine Beowulf with star travel, strong, good looking men women, hard science Also the best example of the law of unintended consequences in action Not to be missed.


  9. says:

    This is quite an amazing book The science, sociology, psychology all of it is extremely well thought out And the pacing is rather incredible Niven has quite a knack for moving things along quick enough for most of the book, and then really stepping things up a couple of notches for the huge climax Great fun Humanity has finally decided to reach out to the stars and attempt to colonize a new planet But being so far away, they ve gotta freeze the people so they ll make it there at a decently young age The first difficulty the colonists have to deal with is that some of them were affected by the freezing But that is minor compared with what is awaiting them on Avalon, their new land What seems a perfect place, at first, turns into a nightmare complete with monsters There is almost a horror feel to the book, due to the violence and how incredibly horrific the grendels are But it is definitely science fiction, through and through Niven, Pournelle, and Barnes have done an excellent job crafting the science and technology of the people, as well as creating very intriguing and convincing characters.This is the first of three books set in the Heorot universe Beowulf s Children is a sequel to this It actually takes place when the children born in this book get old enough to begin claiming the planet for themselves If you enjoy this book, definitely get your hands on Beowulf s Children There is also another book, Destiny s Road, which also takes place in the same universe, mentioning events from the first two, but which is not really a sequel or continuation of their storyline at least the way I understand it.There is a lot of violence in the book, but really no sexual material at all There is a little inuendo or inference to sexual situations, but nothing specific and definitely nothing explicit.Overall, I highly recommend this book It would probably not be appropriate for younger readers due to the violence as well as the much relaxed sexual s of the settlement.


  10. says:

    In my many years of reading Larry Niven books I have frequently almost always found that the ones in which he is collaborating with another author or authors, are not as good as the ones he does alone Oath of Fealty comes to mind, and the MOTIES sequel, and the one with the space shuttle ANANSI I want to say.As a result, this one, and it sequel have spent YEARS on my shelf, until I had read and in some cases re read almost all of his other books Well, I am running out of Niven books to read, and shelves on which to store them, so it was time to clean this duology up.Now I do not know whether to be sad I waited to so long, or thrilled to have this golden nugget just recently under my belt This is one of the best books I have ever read whether by Niven or anyone else.The story sucked me in straight away, and it kept a pretty good pace throughout, with only a few sluggish points in the second act, and one development that to me, was clearly a plot device and not how an actual person would have acted and, I guess, an irritating over use of self comparison to the olde English tale of BeowulfIt was similar in feel to some of Heinlein s books especially TUNNEL IN THE SKY but it did not have feeling of being derivative despite borrowing some nomenclature So it probly doesnt hurt that I happen to like most of Heinlein s work, but this stands on its own.The plot is not too unusual for a sci fi novel People travel to a faraway place and face dangerous circumstances, and barely pull through, and learn lessons, and grow stronger As gross over simplifications go, that covers MOST sci fi out there But most of it doesnt grab the imagination the way this did for me I see a number of reviewers did not share in my enthusiasm for this I guess we all like different things, and that is good too, uniformity is boring but for my taste, this was a FANTASTIC read that kept me up in the wee hours to finish.