Disappointed by "The Gripping Hand"

Victoria Silverwolf

Vegetarian Werewolf
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I have generally liked the collaborations between Niven and Pournelle. I thought Inferno and Oath of Fealty were very good, and Lucifer's Hammer and The Mote in God's Eye pretty good, if not quite as good as the first two.

I was very disappointed with The Gripping Hand, which I found to be quite lifeless, almost as if the authors were just going through the motions.

Anybody else have any opinions on this sequel?

(You might also let me know if I should bother reading their other collaborations, such as Footfall. And is the sequel to Inferno any good, or would I be disappointed by it, also?)
 

Roadkiller

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Feb 16, 2009
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I thought The Gripping Hand was quite good. However, I am a fan of Pournelle's entire future history in which the novel was set, so I may have gotten more out of it.

Footfall was entertaining, falling in line with their other "best seller SF" novels.

Don't bother with the sequel to Inferno. They didn't even go through the motions with this one, they just wrote the same story (more or less) again.
 

farntfar

She turned me into a newt.
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France.
Thanks for that.
I've only read the mote, which I did enjoy, and was thinking of reading the gripping hand.
But on your advice I'll try Inferno instead.
 

Galactic Journey

The Traveler
Joined
Jun 29, 2017
Messages
109
I have generally liked the collaborations between Niven and Pournelle. I thought Inferno and Oath of Fealty were very good, and Lucifer's Hammer and The Mote in God's Eye pretty good, if not quite as good as the first two.

I was very disappointed with The Gripping Hand, which I found to be quite lifeless, almost as if the authors were just going through the motions.

Anybody else have any opinions on this sequel?

(You might also let me know if I should bother reading their other collaborations, such as Footfall. And is the sequel to Inferno any good, or would I be disappointed by it, also?)
I may have to try Oath of Fealty. It came out right around the time Niven started to be ungood so I've avoided it.
 

farntfar

She turned me into a newt.
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Messages
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Location
France.
I was very impressed with the Mote in God’s Eye.
As well as being difficult to put down (after a slightly difficult start), it presented possibly the most interesting alien race since The Gods Themselves.
(Is the fact that the two books, which I claim describe the best aliens, both contain the word God in the title trying to tell me something?).

This book, after a similar difficult start got going quite well, with some interesting premises. (The second Crazy Eddie and the off world civilisations.) and I was looking forward to a good run.

Unfortunately it got itself bogged down in the chase to the exclusion of almost everything else for almost half the book, and the ending was all rather rushed and poorly defined.

I also got a little confused with the number of characters as, reading it as an E-book, I couldn’t keep flipping to the Dramatis Personnae that they include at the front to avoid that problem.

Other niggles.
Already seen somewhat in the first book, the almost Kiplingesque Empire and public schoolboyness of it all became more and more pronounced. The naming of the capital planet as Sparta was, I suppose,already a give-away, along with the fact that all the heroes were aristocrats. Maybe this was all satire, but if so, it didn’t work.
 

picklematrix

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Jul 1, 2018
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I've read ringworld, and enjoyed it despite some aspects of the plot being hard to rake seriously.
My future plans are read the Nivern books with a high rating on goodreads, then read the others if I love them enough to be completionist about it.
He's been described as hit and miss by many people.
The Mote is, however, considered an important book, or even a classic, by many fans of vintage scifi, so I feel I almost have to read it at some point.
I think maybe genre fiction has changed a lot since he wrote his books, but they do have their merits.
 

Vince W

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I've read ringworld, and enjoyed it despite some aspects of the plot being hard to rake seriously.
My future plans are read the Nivern books with a high rating on goodreads, then read the others if I love them enough to be completionist about it.
He's been described as hit and miss by many people.
The Mote is, however, considered an important book, or even a classic, by many fans of vintage scifi, so I feel I almost have to read it at some point.
I think maybe genre fiction has changed a lot since he wrote his books, but they do have their merits.
Ringworld is impossible to rake. :whistle:
 
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