Outies

Outies

3.0 13
by J.R. Pournelle
     
 

In a return to the CoDominium universe of the Second Empire of Man, Outies pauses at the fringes of human space, on an outworld that never knew fossil fuels. New Utah instead pushed crude solar technologies to the limits of everyday utility. But a planet is a big place - and it's time for the New Utahns to meet the neighbors. Blending hard science and social science,…  See more details below

Overview

In a return to the CoDominium universe of the Second Empire of Man, Outies pauses at the fringes of human space, on an outworld that never knew fossil fuels. New Utah instead pushed crude solar technologies to the limits of everyday utility. But a planet is a big place - and it's time for the New Utahns to meet the neighbors. Blending hard science and social science, Outies explores complexities of biology, geology, and ecology at the heart of alien Motie society and evolution. While military science fiction in a sense, that sense is very much of the wars of our time. Outies plunges through the confusion, chaos, factionalism, and unpredictability of low intensity conflict with realism, but largely through civilian eyes. In a twist on traditional space opera, it introduces Asach Quinn - a wily, thoughtful, genderless, and diplomatic foil to reckless pilot Kevin Renner. Leaving the aristocratic manors of Sparta, Quinn burrows deep inside the heads of members of the Church of Him - who believe that the red dwarf visible twinkling through the Coal Sack Nebula is literally the Eye of God. Pournelle - an ex-Army intelligence officer turned anthropologist - provides New Utah and its characters with a rich sense of place and deep motivations; hints at what may become, over the next millenium, of Mormons, moties, and Earth islanders displaced by sea level rise - and even masters some Tok Pisin along the way.

At nearly 110,000 words (about 400 print pages), the book is packed with additional material designed to allow the reader to explore New Utah in as much depth as desired. For those new to (or needing a refresher on) the Mote series, a detailed chronology lists key events over the five centuries preceding Outies. The cast of characters is organized by role and location, providing hints of relationships that unwind over the course of the novel. A map lays out the continental-scale environs in which the story is set. An appendix provides a guide to acronyms, details of religious history and organization, an explanation of alien accounting systems, and evolutionary biology. There is even an original musical score, composed by music theorist J. Daniel Jenkins.

Outies is an authorized sequel to The Mote in God's Eye and The Gripping Hand by best-selling SF duo Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle. With a fresh point of view, deep continuity, and page-turning plot twists, J.R. (Jennifer) Pournelle brings a mature generation of Moties to life for a mature generation of readers. Outies introduces new characters, adds depth to beloved old ones, creates a rich, imaginable world, and gives clear voices to aliens and outsiders.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780615434148
Publisher:
New Brookland Press
Publication date:
03/30/2011
Pages:
402
Sales rank:
612,967
Product dimensions:
5.25(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.82(d)

Meet the Author

Jennifer R. Pournelle is an archaeologist and anthropologist who reconstructs the landscapes that surrounded ancient cities. Her work in Turkey, Iraq, and the Caucasus has been featured in Science magazine, The New York Times, on The Discovery Channel, and on National Geographic Television. In a former life, she received numerous decorations for service as a United States Army officer and arms control negotiator, and directed reconstruction work in Iraq as a civilian.
Pournelle won the South Carolina Poetry Initiative Book Prize for Excavations, A City Cycle.

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Outies 2.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
KavKaz More than 1 year ago
it would read like this. Outies isn't just a boys-and-toys space opera. It's a real novel, with a complex structure and breathtaking description. Four plotlines weave together into a grand finale that ties together points of view from Imperial to alien, building a sense of a "real" place, viewed from the inside. The characters are both understated and rich. You'll find no "dear reader" passages masquerading as dialogue - the characters are sharply drawn by their actions and decisions. Outies is written by Jennifer R., daughter of Jerry E. It is an authorized sequel to The Mote in God's Eye and The Gripping Hand, set (mostly) on the "outworld" of New Utah (hence the title) about one year after the events of The Gripping Hand. J.R.-the-daughter makes no bones that she's not trying to ape her father's style. A universe (even a fictional one) is a big place, and can't all be seen from the deck ofstarships. While consistent with the science, universe, and characters of the first two books, Outies shifts point(s) of view from those of the Imperium, to those of inhabitants of and visitors to outworlds on the fringes of Second Empire space. In light of the 35-odd years since publication of the original work, the younger Pournelle plausibly and effectively updates and integrates biology, geology, and other "hard" sciences that previoulys took a back seat to space transportation and communications technologies. Outies also updates thinking about gender from the original works - existing characters maintain their integrity, but gone are the boilerplate roles, and the new protagonist, Asach Quinn, is an enigmatic study, to say the least. Outies is not, strictly speaking, military science fiction, but it does has its fair share of low intensity combat scenes, and anyone who has ever served or worked in the chaos, uncertainty, and unpredictability that is a pre-and-post-war zone will feel right at home. There is a realistic confusion of factions, neighborhoods, goals, and conflicts - readers and characters alike are left wondering when, what, and where is the war, exactly? Readers are helped by the list of characters at the front, and the explanatory appendices at the back, but the characters have to work answers out for themselves. In summary, this is a book for serious readers, not those looking for a linear plot and a two-hour airplane read. There is nothing wrong with such works - but readers with that expectation may find themselves annoyed and frustrated. On the other hand, those looking for serious science AND serious fiction will find it fascinating and thought=provoking.
Knuckledragger More than 1 year ago
If you enjoyed The Mote in Gods Eye then Outies is a must read. Jennifer Pournelle's writing style is far more poetic than her fathers and she isn't interested in describing technology. In fact she makes a few technical gaffs, but so did her father and Niven. However; she explores the Moties' bizarre biology and offers plausible explanations. She also offers startling revelations about Motie history and origins. One finishes the book with the hope that the main impediment to Motie / human coexistence can be solved.
ZZYX More than 1 year ago
OK, so I was afraid this was going to be a really dated attempt to follow up the original book (which I got from my Dad). But this is completely different. Its like a science nerd crashed into a word nerd, and out pops this completely different take on everything. For starters, it just launches in - it's not like those ripoff sequels where half the book is just a rewrite of the last book. This one really stands on its own. it makes you want to read the original books for the backstory, but you don't have to. Then there's the main character. I looked up the review that's quoted above, and it blew me away. She (the reviewer) was totally right - I had absolutely decided what sex Asach Quinn was - and never noticed that I was completely wrong. And then went back and tried to figure out why I thought that - and couldn't decide. So that's a game you can play at home! Anyway I think this is really a good book and really different from anything else out there. I don't really know what color Asach's hair is, but in my mind it's blue. That's one of the things that's really good - the author leaves a lot of room to the imagination. You know what kind of person Asach is - but then you realize you don't actually know how old, or where from, or any of that. Sort of like Enoch Root in Stephenson (but a comepletly different character).
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DerFish More than 1 year ago
Apparently the daughter of Jerry P and she has about 200 different scenes and twice that many characters. I got into Jerry's books, and especially those with L Niven, but I couldn't wade thru this one!
RedLeslie More than 1 year ago
I was excited at another shot at the Motie universe. Less so after reading this. I gave up at about page 70. The author loves words and shows it. She is verbose and I haven't been able to see how all the facets she's creating will come together. I think this book could have used another editor's look. I will give this book a shot at a later date and see if 'it sticks.' I sure hope it will because I miss the Moties and all the other characters in this universe.