ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Book Review: 'Fallen Angels'

Updated on January 27, 2018
tamarawilhite profile image

Tamara Wilhite is a technical writer, an industrial engineer, a mother of two, and a published sci-fi and horror author.

About the Book

"Fallen Angels" by Larry Niven, Jerry Pournelle and Michael Flynn was incredibly prescient, given that it was written in 1990, published in 1991. How did this book accurately predict the future?

Reading Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle's 1970s classic "Lucifer's Hammer" helped make me a science fiction fan and sci fi author.
Reading Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle's 1970s classic "Lucifer's Hammer" helped make me a science fiction fan and sci fi author. | Source

Secret Digital Warrants

Digital warrants are presented in which the individuals to be searched for and the judge who signed it are all secret. In 2013, the Justice Department fought to keep a warrant for journalist James Rosen secret. This is separate from the secret FISA warrants that various Obama administration officials submitted until they could monitor targets like Trump's staff under false pretenses.

The federal “Do Not Fly List” that bans people from flying is secret until you learn you cannot get on an airplane; there is no way to appeal when your toddler cannot board, though it is unlikely he’ll do anything dangerous beyond throwing up on a stewardess. Secret warrants to search your emails are compounded today by secret courts ruling on FISA requests whose rulings themselves are secret.

Conservation Versus Increasing Supplies

The solution to all problems is conservation, not increasing supply. The thermostat laws mandating a maximum 55°F are noted throughout the book. This reflects the push for thermostats the government can monitor remotely and calls for the government to monitor how long people shower.

Dissent is Crazy

Those in the book who disagree with the state are considered mentally ill, then treated with electroshock and drugs. This reflected the Soviets labeling those who didn’t see the Soviet Union as utopia as having sluggish schizophrenia, but it parallels the liberals who want to label political dissidents with left wing fascism as “crazy”. We’re not yet at drugging adults into compliance, but we routinely drug intelligent, active and adventurous boys in schools.

SJW Attacks on Sci-Fi Community

Social justice warriors taking on the science fiction establishment as sexist, racist and heterosexist and trying to snuff out the genre if it isn’t dramatically environmentalist. See the “Sad Puppies” slate for the Hugo Awards trying to bring writers banned from nomination for not being liberal enough, instead of on the quality of their writing and the “Rabid Puppies” liberal response. More telling is the Entertainment Weekly report that had to be retracted on April 6, 2015. It called the “Sad Puppies” slate misogynistic and racist, not realizing that several of the authors were women, several of color, and one of the white men had a black wife and interracial daughter.

Science Education's Decline

The erosion of science education is noted in several scenes in the book “Fallen Angels”. The most telling scene is where one of the characters opposes the “equal time” push in the science department. While crystals and Creationism are taught in the liberal arts department for course credit, the chemistry and physics teachers don’t consider such topics suitable for science. The dean’s answer? “He said that the alleged objectivity of materialist science was an invention of heterosexual white males, so we shouldn’t use that as a basis for judgment.” There are multiple books and blogs that espouse this same view, a large number of them Marxist / Communist.

Today, kids sit through lessons on global warming and the importance of conservation to save the Earth, never learning about the global warming pause or over 50 excuses for why global warming stopped. They give presentations on why we have to save the polar bears, which are not declining in numbers, while the U.S. sees its rankings on international math and science tests decline. Science class contains more environmentalist propaganda and the history of the few women and non-Europeans they can identify, instead of Newton's Laws and the Laws of Thermodynamics. A final example of this are the colleges that teach the history of science for science credit, where learning about Ada Lovelace and Madame Curie counts as much as learning about radioactivity and mathematics.

Science Is Evil

Science is shunned as a conspiracy to pollute the Earth, and plant genetics was outlawed despite the benefit. In the book, genetically engineered cold tolerant wheat has to be destroyed because the creators are afraid of being killed as witches.

In reality, the thoroughly studied Golden Rice that would have prevented blindness and death by malnutrition for millions of children a year for the decade it was delayed by fear-mongering environmentalists.

People in the book "Fallen Angels" shut down oil drilling and refining, arrested people for cutting wood without permission and let scientists get lynched. The fact that people in the book now routinely freeze to death in blizzards as the glaciers approach is irrelevant.

Green Police Seek Offense

The Green police in the book are staffed by young kids, teenagers and college students, who seek out offenses. They look for things to say that are an offense to their senses (too loud, ugly), or an offense to the environment. When presented with sound meters per EPA standards, they still try to say it is too loud or offensive to break up a gathering they do not like.

To quote Dennis Prager, too many people use "I'm offended" in place of "I disagree", because the latter tends to shut up nice people, and that's the intent.

We see this in real life with coordinated online groups reporting politically incorrect and politically embarrassing reports and commentary as racist, offensive and so forth, getting the sites banned by Google or content taken down off Facebook.


Cool Prediction of the Not So Hot Future

The book was mostly written in the late 1980s. It discusses how we were approaching a new Mauder minimum that suggested we were going to drop into a new Ice Age, though the fear was of global warming.

Depending on the satellite data you use or the land based temperatures you study (not counting adjustments to make the data fit the model), global warming stopped around 2000.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)