Lucifer's Hammer

Lucifer's Hammer

by Larry Niven, Jerry Pournelle

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Overview

“The first satisfying end-of-the-world novel in years . . . an ultimate one . . . massively entertaining.”—Cleveland Plain-Dealer

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. . . .

“Take your earthquakes, waterlogged condominiums, swarms of bugs, colliding airplanes and flaming what-nots, wrap them up and they wouldn’t match one page of Lucifer’s Hammer for sweaty-palmed suspense.”—Chicago Daily News

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780449208137
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 05/28/1985
Pages: 640
Sales rank: 61,276
Product dimensions: 4.15(w) x 6.86(h) x 1.01(d)

About the Author

Larry Niven was born in 1938 in Los Angeles, California. In 1956, he entered the California Institute of Technology, only to flunk out a year and a half later after discovering a bookstore jammed with used science-fiction magazines. He graduated with a B.A. in mathematics (minor in psychology) from Washburn University, Kansas, in 1962, and completed one year of graduate work before he dropped out to write. His first published story, “The Coldest Place,” appeared in the December 1964 issue of Worlds of If. He won the Hugo Award for Best Short Story in 1966 for “Neutron Star” and in 1974 for “The Hole Man.” The 1975 Hugo Award for Best Novelette was given to The Borderland of Sol. His novel Ringworld won the 1970 Hugo Award for Best Novel, the 1970 Nebula Award for Best Novel, and the 1972 Ditmar, an Australian award for Best International Science Fiction.

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Lucifer's Hammer 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 134 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I've been buying and reading science fiction books for over 50 years, and I've sold and given away several thousand books. This is one of a handful I'll not let go of. The story line is compelling and the imagery is incredible. Some of the scenes will stick with me forever. Don't miss this one.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The book was great AFTER you plowed threw the first 250 pages of fluff. I know you have to set the stage for a book, but I don't think it should take 250 pages. I almost gave up on it, but the good reviews kept be going. I'm glad I did, but I feel those first pages could of been condensed.
Susan_Sherlock More than 1 year ago
This is the best 'End of the World As We Know It' thriller I have read. It's right up there with Stephen King's 'The Stand' in scale. If you want a GOOD YARN, read this. The most incredible image I hvae carried with me since I read this book is that of the SURFER riding the wave. I read this book back in the 80's and have NEVER forgotten it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I own this book and have had it since it was first published.  I first read it when I was in high school and thought it to be one of the best books I've read, which is why it remains in my library.  I've read it numerous times over the years, as I have re-read all my favorites.  This book is excellent with characters that draw you in to their world and their struggles to survive.  It also has been interesting to see how much society (especially in attitude toward women and minorities) has changed over my adult lifetime.   The scenes of the isolated astronauts watching the world as they knew it end, and their subsequent return to earth is especially bittersweet.  Remember, this was written in a time of Star Trek and Star Wars, when the space shuttle program was first getting started.  Heinlein and Clarke were kings.  We had watched man walk on the moon.  We were growing up in the hope and anticipation of space flights, exploration, and it was thought colonization of the moon or even Mars might just be possible in our lifetimes.  This story in all it's datedness is more believable than many of the recent end of world offerings by Hollywood.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
WARNING: Contrary to the listed publication date (2/13/2012), this book was actually published in 1977. So it was written from an older historical context. You cannot return an eBook.
yarnspinner More than 1 year ago
That's about all i can say, EPIC. Yes this book is extremely drawn out but very detailed, it reminds me of Stephen King's style of writing. My next puchase shall be cases of power bars, bullets, and bottles of water after reading this one.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I've read this book four times. When ever I get bored I read this again.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Always on the lookout for an interesting EOW story I found Lucifers Hammer one of the best I have ever read. Could not put it down. It starts slow but takes it's time getting you used to the characters. It builds until the 'Day' the asteroid hits and starts on a whirlwind ride. Thourghly enjoyable and I would recommend this book to everyone.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A must read classic. Slightly dated but well worth reading.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Could be my age or the sorry state of politics today, but this was the best book I have read in awhile. Survival at its rawest. What would really happen without society and all the govt perks. Great food for thought.
Tico_Kenitrin More than 1 year ago
Hot fudge Sunday on a Tuesday yes indeed the Hammer of God has fallen. Though the book starts a bit slow due to character development, and sometimes you have to go back to remember who was who in the story this book is pretty fun to read. The character development may be slow but ultimately after Lucifer Hammer falls you start to realize why it was important to know these characters before the catastrophic event. You become involve in how they try to survive, how they attempt to rebuild some type of normalcy in their Porterville Civilization, and you root for them once the Cannibals attempt to destroy their compound. It starts slow but its worth it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Even though this is classified "Science Fiction", this book crosses several genres. A comet strike is a very real possibility even today. The story about the event, the people,the reactions and actions of the characters are all too real. The story keeps you turning the pages.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Still the best end of the world book ever written. covers everything
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this book. It's the reason I only wear Citizen Eco Drive watchess. If you like apocalyptic novels this is a must read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The hot fudge sundae that falls on Tuesday...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Not worth it. I read 400 pages and gave up. The main event the comet hitting the earth took about 10-12 pages and the rest was character development. Just boring and dull. Not worth it. I did give it 2 stars only because of the idea of it all. Not worth the money or time. Sorry
Anonymous 3 months ago
Just finished the sample and I’m hooked....eminently readable. Intriguing story.
Karlstar on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Doom! This is one of the best end of the world books you can find. Realistic and gritty without being overly dark, fanciful, fluffy or too grim. A great read and what should be a great lesson for anyone that thinks we don't need protection from asteroid collisions. I always enjoy the Niven and Pournelle collaborations. Their characters aren't tremendoulsy memorable but they are well conceived and the writing is always good. The concepts and how they explore them are what makes it exceptional.
john257hopper on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A mostly enjoyable post-apocalyptic novel, in the great tradition of 1970s disaster novels. It is rather long at 640 pages and the middle section dealing with the travails of various groups of people in the immediate hours and days after the comet strikes is rather repetitive. Handles some of the difficult moral issues of survival very well in the last section.
jhevelin on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is one of the stupidest, most racist apologies for fascist ideology I have ever read in my life. It is pure propaganda for nuclear power and survivalist mentality. Having the black population of Los Angeles become cannibals is grosteque. I blame Pournelle -- Niven usually seems to have better sense.
Suzanne81 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A fun but somewhat dated end-of-the-world novel. I have read a number of books in this genre; Lucifer's Hammer is one of the better ones but would have been even better read at the time it was written (1977). Disaster movies such as Armaggedon and The Day After Tomorrow have explored similar subject matter. The portrayal of blacks can at times be jarring, showing how attitudes have changed since that time. A diverting read but not highly recommended.
ft_ball_fn on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Is it long? Yup! Is is a little.. tiny bit slow to start as you get the background on the characters, etc? Yup! Is it a rollicking good time once the action gets going? Yup! Then the rocks start falling from the sky.. the pages fly by. Nice descriptions of the impact (no pun intended) of the meteors on the Earth--the havoc/destruction they cause. If you've read Footfall then I don't need to convince you--this was not as good.. it was better. A stellar book and a must read if you're a PA fan IMO.
andyray on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The only reason I didn't give this story of a post apocalyptic world is there has to be something wrong with all the characters these two writers used. Really, it is the best and truest scenario of what humans would be like after a catacylsmic event such as a comet strike or nuclear war. One senses, too, the psychological change from the characters mind workings before and after the Hammer falls.
Hartman762 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Superior post holocaust story with believable and extremely chilling enemies. Excellent book.
yarriofultramar on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I absolutely love that book. Some say that it shows signs of time but I disagree - sure it take place in the seventies but would much change if comet strike occurred now? I do not think so. The book follows lives of many characters involved in discovery of the comet as well as the afermath of it's strike. The vision of the results of such strike is truly chilling. I read it back to back with "The Road" by Cormack MacCarthy and I like it so much more. True - it is not as sad and intimate as "The Road". On the other hand the characters are active agents trying to survive and improve the situation. "The road" dealt with love and suffering in impossible situation. "Lucifer's hammer", on the other hand, is a book about man resoluteness and ingenuity. A good hard-science fiction. One possible issue with this book is relative flatness of the characters, still the book is great!