by Larry Niven, Jerry Pournelle


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They first appear as a series of dots on astronomical plates, heading from Saturn directly toward Earth. Since the ringed planet carries no life, scientists deduce the mysterious ship to be a visitor from another star.

The world's frantic efforts to signal the aliens go unanswered. The first contact is hostile; the invaders blast a Soviet space station, seize the survivors, and then destroy every dam and installation on Earth with a hail of asteroids.

Now the conquerors are descending on the American heartland, demanding servile surrender--or death for all humans.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780345323477
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 07/01/1987
Pages: 528

About the Author

Larry Niven is a prolific American science fiction writer. His best known works are a collection of short stories and books informally referred to as "Tales of Known Space". The first book in the Known Space series is Ringworld, and it received Hugo, Locus, Ditmar, and Nebula awards. Niven has also written fantasy novels, including the series The Magic Goes Away. He has also collaborated with fellow science fiction authors Jerry Pournelle and Steven Barnes on several books.

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Footfall 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 28 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
'Footfall' is by far the best alien invasion story ever penned. The thing I liked most was the invader¿s mission. Take out the Earth's space power, then air power, and finally a ground war. Their use of 'kinetic' bombs was efficient and technically superior to other invasion stories. The come back of the defeated Earthlings is a great saga. Highly recommended!!!
Anonymous 11 months ago
andyray on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I think it's time to rest from the Niven-Pournelle twosome. This effort doesn't seem to be as good, though it is more complicated and quite proficient in theory. The aliens are small elephants with two trunks and that's hard to overcome with a leap of the imagination. But if you should do that, well, you have to imagine them able to fire rifles with the trunk and clawed hooves. If you can manage that, I hope you can grok the language and their family surnames, such as Chintithpit-mang (the "mang" being the family name). It's an interesting enough story, but it is strrrretched out toooo loooong with its 581 pages (any good story shouldn't take more than 300 pages, tops m-- Andy's rule). Just know you are going to have to read this slooooowly and long.
pauliharman on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
An enjoyable story of alien invasion
Karlstar on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A great sci-fi 'near future' adventure novel. In what his now common in TV and movies, aliens appear in the solar system and invade Earth. This is about how we fight back in various ingenious ways, using technology that was dreamed up for the space program in the 60's and 70's and never used. Sort of Independence Day many years before the movie. As usual with Niven and Pournelle, the characters are interesting and the action carries the story.
ashleyludwig on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Another Niven and Pournelle fun filled Sci Fi Thriller! Give way to the willing suspension of disbelief and enjoy as the Sci Fi writers work with NASA and the government to stop the aliens from pummeling planet!
HALLERAN1 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The book that started me on Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle.
wenestvedt on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I first read this walking home one summer day from the Highland Park Library and was so engrossed that I was almost struck by cars at several intersections. This story of humans fighting back against alien invaders (who look like little elephants with two trunks) is a dandy treat. The humans are plucky, the invaders are hidebound, and in the end...well, I don't want to ruin it for you.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
While still a good sci fi read, the complete lack of combat between human soldiers and alien Fithp leads me to feel a little dissapointed.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Fabulous book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
After having read Lucifer's Hammer by the same writing team I was eager to read this one. by page 30 I was sorry I bought the book. It felt like I was reading an updated copy of Lucifer's Hammer with just then names and dates changed. If you haven't read any of the authors works before you will probably enjoy this story. For me I was disappointed by the similarity of the two novels.
BurningBronze More than 1 year ago
I read this in college and was impressed then with the unique aliens, their herd mentality and what it takes for humans to fight them. The destruction and technology employed still seems relevant after the most recent near flybys of asteroids and comets to the earth. Great fun and page turning excitement that is hard to put down nice you start!
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RealRocketsRedGlare More than 1 year ago
This is a really good read! Eliphant looking alians want earth and take it the old fashion way by force and shock troops! They are big, mean, bad and nasty and don't mind throwing thier weight around!
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Guest More than 1 year ago
This was my second time through Footfall, as I also read it when it first came out in paperback in May of 1986, almost twenty years to the day prior to my re-reading of it in the 21st Century. Footfall is simply a delightful and thrilling old-fashioned science fiction novel. For what can be more genuine SciFi than aliens attacking our Earth? The front of the work thoughtfully lists a four page Dramatis Personae, but it is really not needed. And, the book does violate the writer's-law of assigning the aliens unpronounceable names, such as Herdmaster Pastempeh-keph and K'turfookeph his mate. But what names are double-trunked-baby-elephant-looking aliens from the vicinity of Alpha Centauri going to use? Bruce and Doris Jones? Beginning in November of 1980, when the town-sized spacecraft is discovered amongst the rings of Saturn, the action builds to a edge-of-the-seat climax. The Footfall title refers to the ability of the alien Fithp's to accurately fling huge space rocks at planet Earth, the Foot itself, being by far the largest of many. The invading pachyderms are also armed with 'elephant guns' (go figure) that rip orange-sized holes in whatever they hit, humans being their favorite destination. Orbiting scores of digit-ships are also capable of directing, with pinpoint accuracy, death beams anywhere on the planet. There are sexual encounters, but since they are exposed within one or two sentences, I found them acceptable. Along our journey, we meet farmers and National Guard troops, Russians and survivalists, dinner plates used as land mines and enough atomic explosions to satisfy North Korean fatboy KIM Jong Il. And, in a self-serving twist, author's Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle, in order that the Presidential administration and the military might discover the mind-set of the aliens, have NORAD sequester a group of top science fiction writers inside Cheyenne Mountain. All in all Footfall is a great Science Fiction shoot-em-up that I highly recommend.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I found this book at a local used book store, and the owner said that if I liked Sci-fi I had to read this one. I have to say that he was right. This is an alien invasion classic. It is a little dated but that wont matter once your start reading. I couldn't put it down. I think what the aliens looked like was one of my favorite aspects of the book. They look like Elephants. The ending was heart pounding and clever also. I highly recommend this book to anyone that's into Science Fiction