August 9, 2012
Here's an interesting bit of science fiction literary history: Robert A. Heinlein's 17-page critique of the first draft of The Mote in God's Eye by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle (pp. 15-31 of this PDF). Heinlein tells them it's the best first-contact-with-aliens story ever, but nobody's going to read it unless they replace their original title Motelight, ideally with something Biblical (Heinlein's title Stranger in a Strange Land from the story of Abraham has to be among the best names ever bestowed upon a book), and lose the first 100 pages of future history backstory.
In a recent vote on the top 100 fantasy and sci-fi novels by 60,000 NPR listeners, Mote came in 61st in a broadly defined list that includes just about every conceivable classic except Gulliver's Travels.