FACTOID # 27: If you're itching to live in a trailer park, hitch up your home and head to South Carolina, where a whopping 18% of residences are mobile homes.
 
 Home   Encyclopedia   Statistics   States A-Z   Flags   Maps   FAQ   About 
   
 
WHAT'S NEW
RELATED ARTICLES
People who viewed "Footfall" also viewed:
 

SEARCH ALL

FACTS & STATISTICS    Advanced view

Search encyclopedia, statistics and forums:

 

 

(* = Graphable)

 

 


Encyclopedia > Footfall

Footfall is a 1985 science fiction novel written by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle. This article is about the year. ... Science fiction is a form of speculative fiction principally dealing with the impact of imagined science and technology, or both, upon society and persons as individuals. ... Larry Niven Laurence van Cott Niven (born April 30, 1938) is a US science fiction author. ... Jerry Pournelle, (born August 7, 1933) is an American essayist, journalist and science fiction author who contributed for many years to the computer magazine Byte. ...

Footfall
Author Larry Niven, Jerry Pournelle
Language English
Publisher Del Rey Books
Released May 12, 1985
Media Type Hardcover
Paperback
Pages 608 pages
ISBN ISBN 0-345-32344-0

The book depicts the arrival of members of an alien species called the Fithp that have travelled to our solar system from Alpha Centauri in a large spacecraft driven by a Bussard ramjet. The aliens are intent on taking over the Earth. Larry Niven Laurence van Cott Niven (born April 30, 1938) is a US science fiction author. ... Jerry Pournelle, (born August 7, 1933) is an American essayist, journalist and science fiction author who contributed for many years to the computer magazine Byte. ... Del Rey Books is a branch of Ballantine Books, which is owned by Random House. ... May 12 is the 132nd day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (133rd in leap years). ... This article is about the year. ... The existence of extraterrestrial life remains hypothetical though human beings continue to search Extraterrestrial life is life that may exist and originate outside the planet Earth, the only place in the Universe known to support life. ... Alpha Centauri (α Cen / α Centauri) is the brightest star system (a triple star system) in the southern constellation of Centaurus, and contains the fourth brightest star in the night sky, with an apparent visual magnitude of −0. ... Bussard ramjet The Bussard ramjet method of spacecraft propulsion was proposed in 1960 by the physicist Robert W. Bussard and popularized by Carl Sagan in the television series and subsequent book Cosmos as a variant of a fusion rocket capable of fast interstellar spaceflight. ...


Like several of Niven and Pournelle's books, Footfall is notable for the imaginative alien species. Physically, the Fithp resemble man-sized, quadrupedal elephants with multiple trunks. They possess much advanced technology, but have developed little of it themselves. In the distant past on their planet, another species was dominant, with the Fithp existing as animals, perhaps even as pets. This predecessor species badly damaged the environment, rendering themselves and many other species extinct. They left behind their knowledge inscribed into large stone cubes, from which the Fithp have gained their technology. This plot device rather conveniently allows the Fithp to have the super-technology interstellar Bussard ramjet for their spacecraft while being limited to still advanced, but much more mundane weapons and other technology: laser cannon, projectile rifles, small meteorite strikes to bombard surface targets, lightcraft surface-to-orbit shuttles, etc. Genera and Species Loxodonta Loxodonta cyclotis Loxodonta africana Elephas Elephas maximus Elephas recki † Stegodon † Mammuthus † Elephantidae (the elephants) is a family of pachyderm, and the only remaining family in the order Proboscidea in the class Mammalia. ... A plot device is a person or an object introduced to a story to affect or advance the plot. ... Bussard ramjet The Bussard ramjet method of spacecraft propulsion was proposed in 1960 by the physicist Robert W. Bussard and popularized by Carl Sagan in the television series and subsequent book Cosmos as a variant of a fusion rocket capable of fast interstellar spaceflight. ... Experiment using a (likely argon) laser. ... A meteorite is an extraterrestrial body that survives its impact with the Earths surface without being destroyed. ... A lightcraft is a vehicle currently under development by NASA that uses an external source of laser or maser energy to provide power for producing thrust (beam-powered propulsion). ...


The Fithp are herd creatures, and fight wars differently. Throughout their history, when two herds met, they would fight until it was evident which was dominant over the other; then fighting ceased and the losers were incorporated into the winners' herd. The Fithp expect their contact with humans to proceed along these lines, and are genuinely confused by human attempts at peaceful contact. Upon arrival, they attack without warning the Russian space station where Russian and Americans wait to greet them, and proceed to destroy military sites and major infrastructure on Earth. A US Congressman and Russian cosmonauts are captured from the ruins of the space station. U.S. Space Shuttle astronaut Bruce McCandless II using a manned maneuvering unit. ...


The novel's many characters fall into two major groups, those on Earth and those who are taken aboard the Fithp spaceship as captives. Civilians are used to show the effects of the war on day to day life in the United States, while military and government personnel convey a more strategic overview of events. Amusingly, a group of science fiction writers are hired by the government as technical advisors on alien technology and behaviour; these characters are based on real writers, including Niven ("Nat Reynolds"), Pournelle ("Wade Curtis"), and Robert Anson Heinlein ("Bob Anson"). Heinlein autographing at the 1976 Worldcon Robert Anson Heinlein (July 7, 1907 – May 8, 1988) was one of the most influential and controversial authors of hard science fiction. ...


After their initial assault, the Fithp land ground forces in and around Kansas, but these are defeated by a combined Russian and American nuclear attack that lays waste to the region. It is during this initial invasion that more captives are taken. These also comprise a mixed bag of civilians including an elderly couple from the US Bible Belt and a mentally ill woman. These are put to work by the Fithp on board their mothership, who expect them to integrate themselves into the herd. The humans decide to co-operate until a chance for some serious sabotage presents itself. Nuclear War is a card game designed by Douglas Malewicki, and originally published in 1966. ... The approximate extent of the Bible Belt, indicated in red A Bible Belt is an area in which socially conservative Christian Evangelical Protestantism is a pervasive or dominant part of the culture. ...


The Fithp respond to the defeat of their invasion by dropping a "dinosaur killer", a large asteroid whose impact results in environmental damage on a global scale. In the aftermath the aliens invade Africa, where they enjoy more success. To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ...


The United States responds by secretly building a large, heavily armed spacecraft propelled by nuclear bombs (a real concept commonly known as Project Orion). The ship is named after the archangel Michael, the angel who cast Satan out of Heaven. Michael eventually engages the alien mothership in battle. With their ship (and most of their population) on the verge of destruction, the Fithp accept humanity as the stronger species and surrender themselves to become part of the human "herd". An artists conception of a spacecraft powered by nuclear pulse propulsion Nuclear pulse propulsion (or External Pulsed Plasma Propulsion, as it is termed in one recent NASA document) is a proposed method of spacecraft propulsion that uses nuclear explosions for thrust. ... An artists conception of the NASA reference design for the Project Orion spacecraft powered by nuclear propulsion. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ...


External links

  • an artistic rendering of the Michael

  Results from FactBites:
 
Footfall VTS.co.uk: Visitor Throughput Monitoring System (304 words)
FOOTFALL produces reports at the touch of a key, which can be broken down by increments from half-hourly upwards.
FOOTFALL's infrared beams have a range of ten metres, so any entrance or area up to that width (or length) can be monitored.
FOOTFALL sensors can easily be moved from place to place, if you need to check movement in other areas.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

COMMENTARY     


Share your thoughts, questions and commentary here
Your name
Your comments

Want to know more?
Search encyclopedia, statistics and forums:

 


Press Releases |  Feeds | Contact
The Wikipedia article included on this page is licensed under the GFDL.
Images may be subject to relevant owners' copyright.
All other elements are (c) copyright NationMaster.com 2003-5. All Rights Reserved.
Usage implies agreement with terms, 1022, m