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Suggested Reading: "Lucifer's Hammer"

July 27, 2016

Yes, it sounds like some sort of Satanist-themed porno, but it's actually a sci-fi book written in 1977.

You know a book might be interesting when reviewers who say things like:

...fiction really doesn’t age well. I think it can be “good for its time” and respected as laying the foundations of what we have today, but it’s often not good by current standards. Much like the Founding Fathers.

go on to hate the book.

Caution, this post will contain spoilers! Because I personally hate that sort of thing, so here's your warning! If you want to go into the book with absolutely no knowledge, stop reading this now. It's a great book, you'll enjoy it.

Sci-fi is great because it takes on the "what if?" questions. Lucifer's Hammer takes on the question of, "what would happen if a new comet were discovered, hurtling towards earth?" It follows the months proceeding it, and, as you are probably unsurprised to learn, what happens when the billions-to-one-against chance collision occurs. It features both the disaster itself, and America as society tries to rebuilt. I really love the fact that it involves all three of those time periods!

1977 was an interesting time for feminism. You can look at this incredibly poorly designed infographic to get a bit of historical context.

If you are like me, you love media about the end of the world. Zombies, plagues, you name it. But if you look at modern post-apocalyptic media like, say, The 100, you'll notice that they take great strides to appease the feminist demographic, regardless of how much sense it makes. Hell, even "sexist" game of Thrones BeginningOfGoTSpoilers is down to having most kingdoms ruled by women. Though I'm hardly complaining, #TeamSansa and #TeamBearIsland 4ever, and Cercie's not-giving-a-fuck-but-also-giving-too-many-fucks is amazing EndOfGoTSpilers Ok, back to the point. The point being: Lucifer's Hammer is not only a great story, but also gives historical insight into America before the crazier elements of feminism really took hold, and gives a more realistic look at how a post-apocalyptic world would operate... or at least how it would operate before recent generations of men were tamed by today's society. In reading it, it's interesting to imagine how different the story would play out in the modern world. It would not go well, I feel.

Some random observations:

  • The guy in the story who is considering suicide even before the comet hits has the most "liberated" wife

  • The man who thinks he can only get a woman through gifts and adoration is a complete creeper, to say the least

  • Men want to be and agree to be led because it makes sense for the situation, and because they respect the person doing the leading (or out of greed, or out of fear, or out of duty. We are humans, after all!). The women end up being led by whoever they feel most emotion for, regardless of how much sense it makes. Choose your captain carefully!

  • There's a situation where a very RP woman who was accepting of her husband's very demanding work schedule and work trips and etc, begs her husband to, just this once, forgo his duties and care for their family. He ignores her request, and it because of resulting outside factors, it doesn't go well. This not only furthers the plot, but the author also tells his readers, "hey, feel free to make decisions day to day, but if you ignore your wife in her time of gravest need, it's not a good plan for you her."

Reading it made me feel more grateful for my partner, because I know that in any sort of dangerous situation, from small accidents to cataclysmic events, he'll rise to the challenge. I'm sure I'm not alone in that!

Lucifer's Hammer has 4.3 stars on Amazon and costs less than $6, though of course it is free at your local library! I personally like the audiobook version, because that way I can listen while doing other things like hunting Pokemon, or folding laundry.

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Post Information
Title Suggested Reading: "Lucifer's Hammer"
Author Lilia42
Upvotes 9
Comments 5
Date July 27, 2016 4:57 PM UTC (7 years ago)
Subreddit /r/RedPillWives
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[–][deleted] 2 points3 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

I was just looking for good fiction to try, so yay.

[–]Kassader2 points3 points  (3 children) | Copy Link

I read the book once in high school and once in college, very highly recommend. I've been thinking of picking it back up again and after reading op's fresh observations, I think I'll do just that.

[–]Lilia42[S] 2 points3 points  (2 children) | Copy Link


I read it as a feminist, and am re reading it now. Needless to say, I have a newfound appreciation for it!

[–]Kassader2 points3 points  (1 child) | Copy Link

If I understand your statement, you're no longer a feminist and if so, I have a question. When you were reading it as a feminist, did you identify with or agree with or disagree with certain things then that you no longer do? I'm curious as to how your interpretation of the story has changed with your personal outlook. As an aside, I'll take this opertunity to plug Larry Niven and Jerry Pournell, the co-authors of this book. Everything they've written is really stellar. Figuratively and usually literally.

[–]Lilia42[S] 2 points3 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

The story annoyed me, at the time. I didn't get why one of the main characters would want to be married to a "girly girl" who didn't even enjoy hiking, even though it specifically said he enjoyed coming home to her and the comforts of home she provided after a camping trip.

I didn't like how the women were automatically relegated to "softer" post apocalyptic tasks (though obviously it's still rough going!). Aren't we just as strong as men? Why are women making sandwiches while men use a limited supply of shovels to clear a path?

And probably other things. I still liked the book then, but I found it a bit "problematic" :p

You can kill a man, but you can't kill an idea.

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