The Gripping Hand
The Second Empire of Man barely survived its first contact with the biologically specialized race that human’s dubbed Moties (THE MOTE IN GOD’S EYE), and no one involved was anxious to repeat the experience. Fortunately, a single Alderson point connected the two systems, and a portion of the Imperial Fleet was assigned to destroy any Motie vessel which survived the passage.
The universe, however, is not a static environment, and when a new transit point opens the Empire is faced with another challenge to its very existence, inasmuch as humanity and Moties cannot coexist. The Moties are divided into distinct biological forms, each supremely adapted to serve a different function in a manner that human’s can’t match. Moreover, as a group they are incapable of restricting their reproductive functions. It’s not that theyare a race of superior beings bent on conquest and domination, aswere the genetically engineered Saurons; rather, the Moties must, once their resources prove insufficient to deal with the increasing population density, expand or die. Fortunately, in the years since the first disastrous contact, the Empire of Man has developed what may prove to be a method whereby the Moties can regulate their reproduction. The question is, can Humanity convince the Moties that salvation is at had before they spread like lemmings throughout the Empire.
Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle demonstrate once again that each deserves the literary honors heaped upon them—they know exactly when to offer detail and when to stimulate the reader’s imagination. THE GRIPPING HAND is a worthy successor to THE MOTE IN GOD’S EYE, but readers should not attempt the sequel without reference to the earlier work.