THE BOOK

 
Thirty years ago, Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle rocked the science fiction world with The Mote in God's Eye. Sentient, capable, and even charming, the “Moties” nevertheless proved to be enemies of humankind—not by intent, but by dint of biology. Bringing a new generation of Moties to life for a new generation of readers, J.R. Pournelle explores the sources and consequences of that biology—questioning what, in the end, it means to be an alien and an outsider.  

Since first contact with the alien Mote civilization, expansion of the Second Empire of Man has slowed. The Fleet’s attention has become consumed with blocking Motie access to human space—and holding that thin line now depends upon a shaky alliance with the horrifically prolific, technologically brilliant, three-armed Moties themselves.
 
Human and Motie shareholders have assumed joint control of industrial giant Imperial Autonetics, but the Empire decides the fate of worlds. Those already in possession of space-worthy craft may join as Classified systems, and enjoy the benefits of access to new technology, trading rights, and Fleet protection. Those less advanced may be parceled out as colonial concessions. Outworlds that refuse to join risk conquest by zealous commanders intent on preserving the hard-won peace at any cost. Worlds boasting great riches are targeted for quick accession. Those presenting any danger are targeted for quick destruction.
 
Yet, though their very planets depend on guessing the right questions, and delivering the right answers, in the remote backwaters of Imperial space, few of these details are known to the Outies themselves. Set in the first chaotic year following Horace Bury’s death, this gripping sequel to King David's Spaceship, The Mote in God's Eye, and The Gripping Hand introduces Asach Quinn, a human character as enigmatic as the alien Moties, and shifts point of view from the vast race across the stars, to the role played in that race by one small ranching family, on a world already deemed irrelevant.