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Larry Niven Message Board 10/4/2006 12:51:56 AM
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Author Niven's Book Reviews

A Gift from Earth
This early book of Niven is about a man, Matt Keller, a miner, who lives at Plateau - one of the colonies of the colonies far from Earth. The Plateau society is divided into 2 groups: The descendants of the commanding crew of the two original spaceships that arrived at first to Plateau, and the colonists, the descendants of the passengers of those ships. The latter are cruelly and shameleslly oppressed by the former (who basically control the planet), an...
A World Out of Time
Revived corpsicle Jaybee Corbell barely gets a glimpse of the dystopian 23rd centry before being trained (via RNA injections) as a Buzzard ramjet pilot and sent into deep space to spend the rest of his new life alone in the void. After he hijacks the ship in protest, one of his former captors has his personality beamed into the ship's computer and engineers their return to earth -- via a black hole that adds 3 million (objective) years to the trip. The E...
Crashlander
Crashlander is a collection of stories about Beowulf Schaeffer - those who have read Ringworld will remember him as the man who discovered the core explosion. In Crashlander, we find out about that adventure, as well as a number of others. Beowulf's motto is "the universe is trying to kill me," and from him that's not paranoia, just common sense - it does try, again and again. The binder material that Niven interpolated between the stories is not near...
Destiny's Road
Jemmy, member of a type of earth colony, accidentally kills a travelling merchant, and must somehow hide from the other merchants. He eventually ends up working for these very travelling merchants (who don't recognize him), and from there goes on to try to find out what happened to the rest of the colonists who were supposed to come and the ship which was to bring them. ...

Niven booklist

Dream Park
This is the story about an amusement park of the future, where players can fight holographic monsters with swords in a realistic looking holographic environment--Dungeons and Dragons in the 22nd century. But one of the players stole sensitive technology and murdered a guard, and security chief Alex Griffin has to infiltrate one of the games to find the player who killed the guard and stole the secrets....
Flatlander
Flatlander is a collection of the short stories about Gil "the ARM" Hamilton. Gil is an investigator for the ARM, which investigates organlegging (illegal organ theft), violations of the fertility laws, and technological lawbreaking/new technology. This is a true SF/Mystery book, in that it adheres to the conventions of both genres; as such, it's rare and impressive. The stories do vary somewhat in quality, but overall, this is a dynamite book....
Protector
Man has pretty much conquered inner space. The Moon, Mars, Mercury, asteroid mining, spaceships, fusion drives, human hibernation to cope with long journeys and boredom...the hard sci-fi fan has plenty to enjoy here. Niven is good at picking up realistic science, across the disciplines, particularly physics and biology, and taking the ideas to the next stage, and the next, and the next. By and large it hangs together well. But the real reason I like this...
Rainbow Mars
Rainbow Mars features the continuing adventurers of the time traveller Svetz, who first appeared in the short story collection "Flight of the Horse". If you are lucky (depending upon your geographical location) you will get a free copy of these stories in the same volume as Rainbow Mars. Its good to see that Niven can still write in the old style - the plot of this story allows a prime opportunity for him to "play tourist" again. The premise of...
Ringworld
Louis Wu is recruited by the Pupeteer's to investigate the Ringworld, a massive alien construct 93 million miles in diameter. Louis travels with a human female, Teela Brown and a diplomat from the human's rival race, the Kzinti. Their mission is overseen by a mad Puppeteer, Nessus. When they arrive they find that the society who built the Ringworld has collapsed leaving the Ringworld's populace with only vague descriptions of a race of "Engineers". It is...
Ringworld's Children
Tor, July 2004, 24.95, 288 pp. ISBN 0765301671 The six hundred miles long and a million yards across ribbon-shaped Ringworld is home to fifty trillion hominids as well as many other species and most amazing of all it is man made. All of the sentient species want to learn the technology that went into making Ringworld but the protectors want to keep such people out. The Protector used to shoot down any ship that got too close but the new protect...

Larry Niven list of books

The Integral Trees
This book and its sequel are very interesting. The story of a small tribe of tree dwellers looking for more resources for their tribe encounters another tribe and get sent on many adventures. All this in an environment without a planet. Living on trees floating in a free fall environment....
The Ringworld Engineers
Luis Wu is kidnapped by a pupeteer, and forced, along with speaker-to-animals (now Chmee)to return to the Ringworld. They search for an "element converter", which is actually doesn't exist. After they explore the ringworld again, they discover a horrible truth about Teela Brown... she's now a Protector. They kill her, and eventually save the Ringworld from colliding with its own sun....
The Ringworld Throne
It is many years later and Louis Wu is still on the Ringworld when he discovers that visiting alien ships are being shot out of the sky by some unknown power, the local hominid races are being destroyed by vampires, and the repercussions of all the good things Louis did before now seem to be coming back to him, and not in a good way!...
The Smoke Ring
The exciting sequel to THE INTEGRAL TREES. In the pre-fall environment of the Smoke Ring, the descendants of the crew of Discipline no longer remembered their Earth roots--or the existence of Shrls Davis Kendy, the computer-program despot that ran the ship. Only Jeffer, the Citizen Tree Scientist, knew that Kendy was still watching--and waiting....
World of Ptavvs
Our hero, Larry Greenberg, takes time out from communicating with dolphins using a mental contact helmet to attempt to communicate with the Sea Statue, which is a strange silvery object found years ago. To do this he and the statue are placed in a time retarder field. Unfortunately the statue is an alien in his own retarder field (which he energised when his space drive blew up between planets 2 million years ago) and when he is released we discover th...


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