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Lucifer's Hammer by Larry Niven

Lucifer's Hammer (1977)

by Larry Niven, Jerry Pournelle

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
3,508522,279 (3.93)1 / 122

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English (50)  Dutch (1)  Danish (1)  All languages (52)
Showing 1-5 of 50 (next | show all)
I started this book today. Fifty similarly named characters in, I'm not going any further down this road. My disgust started when I met Rapey McRapist peering through a telescope at his current favorite pre-sexual assault victim and giving us details. I threw in the towel when Judgeleen Immabitch spent paragraphs explaining how she didn't really break up a marriage and wasn't a slut for sleeping with her current paramor.

It's not worth the apocalypse. I'll just read a book on comets.
  authenticjoy | Mar 29, 2019 |
Horribly written novel, I cannot understand how this can pass as one of the classics of the genre, the writing is abysmal even by sci-fi standards. Sentences go nowhere. Characters are flat. Dialogue is a joke.

The characters, which there are way too many of, are unlikeable and flat, the global apocalypse is limited to a small strip in southern california - that is, when it finally happens, because 30% of the book is a ultra-boring buildup to the ineviteable.

Even after the disaster, it keeps boring, I could not care less for any of the characters, I skimmed a lot in order to finish it, no way I could actually read so many pages of this rubbish.

2 / 5 ( )
  summerloud | Jul 27, 2018 |
The book feels a little dated now but was still worth the read. One of those books that I have been meaning to read for years.

I enjoyed it but there were a few parts that went a little long and a few parts which are riddled with clichés about human behavior. Don't regret reading it but would probably have been a much more enjoyable book if I had read it as a kid. ( )
  CSDaley | Mar 28, 2018 |
Imagine riding out the aftermath of a comet strike on Ronald Reagan's Rancho del Cielo where not only one learns how to use every part of a rat carcass but also that all that 70s wishy-washy Alan Alda liberalism was a luxury of convenience. Couldn't help but wondering if the authors had ever talked to a woman or a minority.There's a better, tighter, 300 page story buried within the 640 pages. ( )
  encephalical | Jan 14, 2018 |
No dust jacket
  shortbutsquat | Jan 1, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 50 (next | show all)
"Good, solid science, a gigantic but well developed and coordinated cast of characters, and about a megaton of suspenseful excitement."
added by sturlington | editLibrary Journal 102 (13): p1528., Judith T Yamamoto (Jul 1, 1977)

» Add other authors (37 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Niven, Larryprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Pournelle, Jerrymain authorall editionsconfirmed
Feidel, GottfriedTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Freas, KellyCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
O'Brien, ConnnorNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vietor, MarcNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Information from the Spanish Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
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To Neil Armstrong and Buz Aldrin, the first men to walk on another world; to Michael Collins, who waited; and to those who died trying, Gus Grissom, Roger Chaffee, Ed White, Georgi Dobrovolsky, Viktor Patsayev, Nikolai Volkov, and all the others.
First words
Before the sun burned, before the planets formed, there were chaos and the comets.
He squinted against the brilliance. It flared and he closed his eyes. That was a reflex; wave reflections were a common thing out here. The flare died against his closed eyelids, and he looked out to sea. Wave coming?    

   He saw a fiery could lift beyond the horizon. He studied it, squinting, making himself believe…  

   “Big wave coming.” He called, and rose to his knees.    
    Corey called, “Where?”      
   “You’ll see it,” Gil called confidently. He turned his board and paddled out to sea, bending almost until his cheek touched the board, using long, deep sweeps of his long arms. He was scared shitless, but nobody would ever know it.     “Wait for me!” Jeanine called.    Gil continued paddling. Others followed, but only the strongest could keep up. Corey pulled abreast of him.      “I saw the fireball!” he shouted. He panted with effort. “It’s Lucifer’s Hammer! Tidal wave!”     Gil said nothing. Talk was discouraged out here, but the others jabbered among themselves, and Gill paddled even faster, leaving them. A man ought to be alone during a thing like this. He was beginning to grasp the fact of death.      Rain came, and he paddled on. He glanced back to see the houses and bluff receding, going uphill, leaving an enormous stretch of new beach, gleaming wet. Lightening flared along the hills above Malibu.     The hills had changed. The orderly buildings of Santa Monica had tumbled into heaps.     The horizon went up.      Death. Inevitable. If death was inevitable, what was left? Style, only style. Gil went on paddling, riding the receding waters until motion was gone. He was a long way out now. He turned his board and waited.     Others caught up and turned, spread across hundreds of yards in the rainy waters. If they spoke, Gil couldn’t hear them. There was a terrifying rumble behind him. Gil waited a moment longer, then paddled like mad, sure deep strokes, doing it well and truly.    He was sliding downhill, down the big green wall, and the water was lifting hard beneath him, so that he rested on knees and elbows with the blood pouring into his face, bugging his eyes, starting a nosebleed. The pressure was enormous, unbearable, then it eased. With the speed he’d gained he turned the board, scooting down and sideways along the nearly vertical wall, balancing on knees…     He stood up. He needed more angle, more. If he could reach the peak of the wave he’d be out of it, he could actually live through this! Ride it out, ride it out, and do it well…     Other boards had turned too. He saw them ahead of him, above and below on the green wall. Corey had turned the wrong way. He shot beneath Gil’s feet, moving faster than hell and looking terrified.     They swept toward the bluff. They were higher than the bluff. The beach house and the Santa Monica pier with its carousel and all the yachts anchored nearby slid beneath the waters. Then they were looking down on streets and cars. Gil had a momentary glimpse of a bearded man kneeling with others; then the waters swept on past. The base of the wall was churning chaos, white foam and swirling debris and thrashing bodies and tumbling cars.     Below him now was Santa Monica Boulevard. The wave swept over the Mall, adding the wreckage of shops and shoppers and potted trees and bicycles to the crashing foam below. As the wave engulfed each low building he braced himself for the shock, squatting low. The board slammed against his feet, and he nearly lost it; he saw Tommy Schumacher engulfed, gone, his board bounding high and whirling crazily. Only two boards left now.      The wave’s frothing peak was far, far above him; the churning base was much too close. His legs shrieked in the agony of exhaustion. One board left ahead of him, ahead and below. Who? It didn’t matter; he saw it dip into chaos, gone. Gil risked a quick look back; nobody there. He was alone on the ultimate wave.     Oh, God, if he lived to tell this tale, what a movie it would make! Bigger than The Endless Summer, bigger that The Towering Inferno: a surfing movie with ten million in special effects! If only his legs would hold! He already had a world record, he must be at least a mile inland, no one had ever ridden a wave for a mile! But the frothing, purling peak was miles overhead and the Barrington Apartments, thirty stories tall, was coming at him like a flyswatter.
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Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
The story details a cometary impact on Earth, an end to civilization, and the battle for the future. It encompasses the discovery of the comet, the LA social scene, and a cast of diverse characters whom fate seems to smile upon and allow to survive the massive cataclysm and the resulting tsunamis, plagues, famines and battles amongst scavengers and cannibals.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0449208133, Mass Market Paperback)

The gigantic comet had slammed into Earth, forging earthquakes a thousand times too powerful to measure on the Richter scale, tidal waves thousands of feet high. Cities were turned into oceans; oceans turned into steam. It was the beginning of a new Ice Age and the end of civilization. But for the terrified men and women chance had saved, it was also the dawn of a new struggle for survival--a struggle more dangerous and challenging than any they had ever known....
"Massively entertaining."

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:23:22 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

As the great Hamner-Brown comet, dubbed Lucifer's Hammer by the press, approaches Earth, various business executives, politicians, criminals, journalists, and scientists await the impending cataclysm and its general and personal effects with decidedly differing feelings.… (more)

» see all 3 descriptions

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