Review of ‘Lucifer’s Hammer’

Lucifer's HammerLucifer’s Hammer by Larry Niven
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book is about how a comet hits the earth, how people prepare for it, and the aftermath. It follows various story lines, mostly set in California, and ties them altogether in the end.

My favorite sections were the little scientific summaries and global descriptions that often preceded the narrative in the various chapters. Some of the conversation feels a bit dated and corny, but overall I really enjoyed it.

Underlying the whole book, which is full of action and suspense, is a real foundational question: what is civilization? The authors handle it with delicacy and tact.

Other books in the genre are The Night of the Long Knives and Other Works and The Stand.

View all my reviews


Author: duanemiller

I was born in Montana and grew up in Colorado and Puebla (in Mexico). I completed a BA in philosophy at the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) and then an MA in theology at St Mary's University (also in San Antonio). Later life took me to Jordan where my wife and I studied Arabic, to Israel where I helped found a seminary, and to Scotland for doctoral work, among other places. I live in Madrid now where I teach and minister. I'm highly interested in the interactions of Islam, Christianity and secularism in modern contexts. My main areas of research for my PhD in divinity were religious conversion from Islam to Christianity, contextual theology, and the shari'a's treatment of apostates. I've also published research on global Anglicanism and the history of Anglican mission in the Ottoman Empire. I've had the pleasure of teaching in many places over the years: from Costa Rica to Turkey, and Kenya to Tunisia. I am at-large lecturer and researcher in Muslim-Christian relations at The Christian Institute of Islamic Studies (, and deacon at the Cathedral Church of the Redeemer in Madrid, Spain. Visit my blog ( or page for more information or to have me speak at your church, university or seminary.

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