By Jerry Pournelle
This is actually a somewhat annotated and updated reissuing of a book I remember reading many, many years ago, but thoroughly enjoyed revisiting. After at least thirty, probably closer to 35 years – it was first published in book form in 1979 according to the copyright page, and it is furthermore an edited compilation of monthly columns Pournelle initially presented in the pages of Galaxy magazine as early as 1974 – I had few specific memories of much of it. My clearest recollections, in fact, are of the section on “Building The Mote in God's Eye,” which novel I remember reading in high school (so, late 1970s), probably the second book by Jerry Pournelle (actually co-written with Larry Niven) (the first had been the novelization of Escape from the Planet of the Apes a few years earlier) that I read and the one that made me a life-long fan of his writings. I actually had the glow-in-the-dark "UFO" reissue of the plastic space-ship model Leif Ericson that Pournelle describes using as a template for designing the I.N.S.S. MacArthur, and I remember holding it and rereading parts of Mote with that visualization in mind.