Heinlein on "The Mote in God`s Eye"
August 09, 2012, 12:48 PM
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Here`s an interesting bit of science fiction literary history: Robert A. Heinlein`s 17-page critique of the first draft of  The Mote in God`s Eye by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle (pp. 15-31 of this PDF). Heinlein tells them it`s the best first-contact-with-aliens story ever, but nobody`s going to read it unless they replace their original title Motelight,ideally with something Biblical (Heinlein`s title Stranger in a Strange Land from the story of Abraham has to be among the best names ever bestowed upon a book), and lose the first 100 pages of future history backstory.

In a recent vote on the top 100 fantasy and sci-fi novels by 60,000 NPR listeners, Mote came in 61st in a broadly defined list that includes just about every conceivable classic except Gulliver`s Travels.