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Colt
2003-Jan-12, 12:05 AM
I finally got around to buying it along with The Ringworld Engineers. I read them both in about two days. All I can say is that they were some of the best SF I have read, ever. I really liked some of the technologies in them, flycycle, flashlaser, and the Kzinti (not really technology /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_razz.gif). Not sure what else to say about them, I am waiting for my local used bookshop to find a copy of the third one (how many are there?), hopefully some of you will reply and spark my memory on a specific thing in the book.

I also bought the first six books of the Man-Kzin Wars and I am almost done with the first. I was surprised at their format, I had always thought they were novels coauthored by the three of them.

Anyway, I am a fan of Niven now. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif -Colt

Starshark
2003-Jan-12, 10:32 AM
There are three, plus an RPG game that the third book makes reference to. But don't lose any sleep over the game. You'd probably be lucky to find a computer that can run it now.

You should also read 'Neutron Star', 'World of Ptaavs' (damn! What a book!) and 'Protector' (DAMN! WHAT A BOOK!). 'Protector' is my favorite. It explains EVERYTHING! /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_biggrin.gif

The good thing about Niven is that he tries really hard to get it right. In the original Ringworld novel, he didn't have jets around the ring to keep the orbit of the ring stable. It was pointed out to him by -I think- some students of his that you would need something to keep the ring's orbit stable, as it would be naturally unstable and go off-centre.

I just realised though that Niven mentions it in the intro to his second novel. So I've wasted my time. Never mind.

darkhunter
2003-Jan-12, 01:34 PM
Also check out "The Guide to Larry Nivens Ringworld" by Kevin Stien, published by Baen SF. It has sections on most of the major aliens and technology of the Ringworld and some of Known Space. Third book on the Ringworld series is "The Ringworld Throne" that answers a lot of the questions about how it got to its "present" state...although I STILL want to know if there are any more out there, and if the Pak built it or found it and modified it (remember, they thought big and wouldn't hesitate to wipe out the original owners to take it for themselves)...

Donnie B.
2003-Jan-12, 02:13 PM
Over the holidays I read "World of Ptavvs", "A Gift from Earth", and "Tales of Known Space", all in a single volume and in chronological order (a nice package!) Though I'd read a lot of Niven, I had never read the two novels before, and a few of the "Tales" were new to me too. What a treat!

It's hard for me to name a SF author I enjoy as much as Niven. His non-Known Space material is great, too; I even liked "Destiny's Road", though it's a much smaller-scale work.

Dickenmeyer
2003-Jan-12, 05:03 PM
You guys might want to check out a couple of volumes that came out together about ten years ago, PLAYGROUNDS OF THE MIND and N-SPACE. The first contains excerpts from a lot of Niven's novels and some essays and such. The second has some really obscure short fiction, including a few stories that can be read as proto-Known Space stories. I've been a Niven fan for as long as I've been reading SF and if you are too, these shouldn't be overlooked.

TinFoilHat
2003-Jan-12, 06:30 PM
I do *not* recommend reading Ringworld Throne for any reason other than completeness. It's a waste of ink and paper, one of the worst books Niven has ever written.

darkhunter
2003-Jan-12, 06:37 PM
On 2003-01-12 13:30, TinFoilHat wrote:
I do *not* recommend reading Ringworld Throne for any reason other than completeness. It's a waste of ink and paper, one of the worst books Niven has ever written.



I liked it /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif --but to each his own. As I said--I still have unanswered questions...

David Hall
2003-Jan-12, 08:22 PM
I thought Ringworld Throne was just confusing. Now I really have no idea how the Ringworld came into being or why it's inhabited by so many different humanoids. I can't even see any reason why the Pak would want to build such a structure (though maybe they just found it, as mentioned above--interesting idea), and they certainly wouldn't want a bunch of breeders to mutate out of true. I guess I'll have to read the series again to try to clear it up.

I've heard the story about the students myself too. I seem to remember reading that a group of them ran around at a Worldcon convention shouting "The ringworld is Unstable!", thus prompting him to write a sequel.

As for the Kzin series, Niven introduced them in his short stories. In fact, it's reprinted as the very first story in MKW I. But just like the Klingons did in Star Trek, his Kzin grew so popular that people wanted to expand on them, so he opened his universe up to other writers. I'm not too sure if he considers the stories "canonical" in any way, but some of them go a bit beyond the scope of his initial creation in my opinion. I can't get over how, in the space of a couple of centuries and only 4.5 light-years in his universe, they managed to awaken two Slavers and a Tnuctipun (counting the original World of Ptavvs. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif

Personally, I've always liked the Puppeteers best of all his aliens. They are to me the most realistic alien race I've ever read, with the possible exception of the Moties.

Tom
2003-Jan-12, 09:42 PM
On 2003-01-12 13:30, TinFoilHat wrote:
I do *not* recommend reading Ringworld Throne for any reason other than completeness. It's a waste of ink and paper, one of the worst books Niven has ever written.



Agreed; I am a Niven fan from 'way back... the book is MUCH different than earlier works. Amazing what a perspective of 40 years of his written works gives. "Throne" reflects the current mode of today's mainstream SF - SEX! (coincidentally set in a SF environment.)

It should have been titled "Guide to Rishathra on the Ringworld". Heh. Maybe it was ghostwritten by Ellison.

Gah.

ham "but I read it anyway..." bubba

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Tom on 2003-01-12 16:43 ]</font>

The Shade
2003-Jan-13, 12:57 AM
What I've found is that most of Niven's work prior to 1980 about Know Space is good. Most of what he did after 1980 is not so good.

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Question about the Pak. What happened to them after the Galaxy's Centre blew up? I know that Brennan thought they were mass migrating this way, but how large was the fleet? After Protector, we never hear of them again, except for Ringworld.

Also, re: the Galatic Centre explosion, I've always had this crazy idea that some renegade Pak were the ones who caused it, whether intentionally or not.

The Bad Astronomer
2003-Jan-13, 02:22 AM
Shade, try here (http://www.notelrac.com/essays.dir/f_and_sf.dir/down_in_flames.html). /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif

Starshark
2003-Jan-13, 10:28 AM
God... DAMN that was great, Phil! Thanks a lot! I'm going to trawl every second-hand bookstore in Australia until I get the whole 'Known Space' series. I'd forgotten how intricate (and interesting!) the politics were in the series. THAT'S how you do it, Lucas!

Starshark
2003-Jan-13, 10:30 AM
I also remember in either "Footfall", "Lucifer's Hammer" or "The Mote Around Murcheson's Eye" (if that's what it was called", Niven, Pournelle and Barnes made a comment about how, "An Australian's first instinct is to strike".

I found this really funny when I read it at the time. Now that I'm a union delegate, I find it even funnier!

Kaptain K
2003-Jan-13, 03:17 PM
..."The Mote Around Murcheson's Eye" (if that's what it was called")...
"The Gripping Hand".

David Hall
2003-Jan-13, 04:08 PM
The Gripping Hand is the American title and The Mote Around Murcheson's Eye is the English title, but they're the same novel, the sequel to The Mote in God's Eye.

Mote is not part of Niven's story-arc, it belongs in Pournelle's universe. But it is without a doubt one of the finest SF novels you'll ever read.

Alan
2003-Jan-13, 05:13 PM
I had thought there was the possibility that the Outsiders were the Tnuctipun fleet that escaped in Slaver times. In World of Ptavvs it was clear that the Tnuctipuns were not squeamish about biological engineering and converting themselves over to a form more suited to living out of sight in the depths of space would be the obvious thing to do.

Colt
2003-Jan-14, 04:49 AM
Wow, err.. Thanks for the replies! I am almost done with the second Man-Kzin Wars book. And I really don't care how much you talk about spoilers, a line of text is never as good as an entire book. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif

I think it is in The Children's Hour (?), the story I am reading now, where they use the iron slugs going near lightspeed as weapons of mass destruction. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_biggrin.gif The first thing I thought about is why didn't they just destroy the Kzin homeworld with something like it? Of course they don't know where it is though.

I have finals tomorrow and all this week so perhaps I should not stay up until five reading.. Maybe. -Colt

James_Digriz
2003-Jan-14, 06:14 PM
"What I've found is that most of Niven's work prior to 1980 about Know Space is good. Most of what he did after 1980 is not so good. "

I concur. Nivin is one of my favorite writers of all time. The Known Space seriers is without an equal. But some of the sequels haven't been so good. Ringworld Throne and The Gripping Hand I couldn't even finish. On the other hand the sequel to his The Magic Goes Away Novelete was good.

Anyone who hasn't read all of the known space books though, you need to get them. All of the Man/Kzin Wars books are awesome also, although they are written by other authors.

Colt
2003-Jan-14, 08:55 PM
^ How many Man-Kzin Wars books are there? I finished the second and am about a quarter of the way into the third. I really liked the Zoo stories from the first and second (I am at school now so I can't check) MKW books. -Colt

James_Digriz
2003-Jan-14, 09:04 PM
Theres 9 of them so far.

James_Digriz
2003-Jan-14, 09:22 PM
...plus a guide to all the people, places and "things" from all the Man/Kzin wars books. A lot like that guide that came out for his Ringworld series.

James_Digriz
2003-Jan-14, 09:28 PM
I think it is in The Children's Hour (?), the story I am reading now, where they use the iron slugs going near lightspeed as weapons of mass destruction. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_biggrin.gif The first thing I thought about is why didn't they just destroy the Kzin homeworld with something like it? Of course they don't know where it is though.

Actually they do. Not sure of the timeline for that particular story but in one of Nivin's Known Space stories he talks about a man who went to the Kzinti homeworld with all the weapons he could carry and killed several Kzinti in retribution for his family being killed by them.

They put together what was left of his body and made a statue out of him. Revenge aka an eye for an eye is deffinately something the Kzinti respect and understand.

Colt
2003-Jan-15, 05:04 AM
That is a lot of books. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_biggrin.gif I know that eventually they found out where the Kzin Homeworld was, Wu visited it after the first Ringworld book. -Colt

David Hall
2003-Jan-15, 02:18 PM
I just posted this in the superhero thread, but the link belongs here as well. Known Space (http://www.larryniven.org/index.htm). Check out the "exclusives" page for some genuine Niven stories. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif

David Hall
2003-Jan-15, 02:29 PM
Oh, and I just noticed a mistake in an above post. I had meant to point it out when I first posted, but I spaced out myself and overlooked it. (The typo is due to lazy cut-and-paste.)

The correct title of the book is actually The Moat (http://www.euronet.nl/~bmeijer/books/moat_around_murcheson_s_eye.html) Around Murcheson's Eye.

Pesonally, I enjoyed it. I thought it was very good. Not quite as good as Mote itself, but then again it would be very difficult to equal that fine novel. Overall I found it a well-rounded sequel.

Colt
2003-Jan-15, 08:54 PM
Thanks DH. -Colt

James_Digriz
2003-Jan-16, 02:58 AM
Two new Draco tavern stories. Swweeeeeeet! 1000 Thanks for the link.