The Mote in God's Eye      by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle

Set in the year 3017, when man has long colonized space, it tells an engrossing tale of first contact, utterly inhuman aliens who harbor a dark secret, and humanity's unique solution to a potentially dangerous situation.

The Alderson drive has made it possible for humans to shunt between systems in zero time, and, having never encountered another intelligent species, man reigns supreme. Or so it seems -- only a ship appears out of nowhere, bearing an emissary from a civilization totally alien in creed and culture, yet our equal in power and technology. Before contact can be established, the emissary is accidentally killed, and a danger signal transmitted across space. Commander Roderick Blaine of the Imperial Space Navy knows full well the implications of that unfortunate encounter.

Now he and his crew are forced to make a desperate voyage to find the visitor's home world and try to convince its alien inhabitants of humanity's good will. But will they listen? Will they accept Earth's offer to be equal partners in a peaceful universe? Or will they permit nothing less than an all-out galactic war for supremacy?

Year First Published:1974

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Also by Larry Niven

 

Also from 1974