Saturday, January 29, 2011

The Rough Guide to Space Opera: Larry Niven - Blue Tyson

Larry Niven was a good writer of science fiction and fantasy whose talent seemed to fall off a cliff somewhere around 1980. His short fiction productivity also went away. Why this was, I do not know, but perhaps is why he writes with junior partners these days to try and get around it.



Before then though he produced some classic work of interest to the subgenre, especially with the motley crew explore massive band around a star Big Dumb Object novel Ringworld, part of a fairly extensive Future History with humans in space, fighting alien Tiger-Men, dealing with cowardly Puppeteers and more.


Teaming up with Jerry Pournelle he wrote The Mote In God's Eye, which has humans dealing with a race of aliens who approve amazingly adaptive with technology, sort of mini-mitted gremlin MacGyvers to the max, cubed, probably being able to come up with a fusion reactor death ray out of a coffee pot and a radio controlled toy rabbit and a spoon if you gave them enough time. Down In Flames is a collaboration with Norman Spinrad about possible Known Space directions, so not a story as such but possibilities.



Neutron Star is a collection of his Known Space future history stories, including the title story about being stuck in a gravity tide. There are many decent Known Space stories of interest other than those mentioned here. There is a tide has Louis Wu searching in space and getting into a problematic situation on a planet, along with an alien, and lends a hand.




The Mote In God's Eye

Down In Flames

Neutron Star

Neutron Star [short story]

Ringworld

There Is A Tide



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