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Inconstant Moon by Larry Niven
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Inconstant Moon

by Larry Niven

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» See also 2 mentions

A fairly decent collection of known space stories first published between 1965 and 1970

1) Inconstant Moon: 4/5
One night the moon becomes extremely bright. It seems like the ideal night for romance until the protagonist realizes that since the moon’s light is a reflection of sunlight, something must have happened to the sun to create this extraordinary effect and this may well be their last night earth. A good end-of-the world tale.

2) Bordered in Black: 3/5
The first interstellar expedition returns from Sirius having found a planet that might just be a gigantic farm. But who are the farmers and where are they?

3) How the Heroes Die: 2/5
The premise of this story was rather silly, with the basic idea being that an all male team sent to colonize Mars would go stir crazy due to the long lengths of time spent amongst men, which would lead to greater homosexuality which would lead to violence and what might these days be termed decreased ‘unit cohesion’. This premise forms the backdrop to a relentless cat and mouse chase for a murderer across the desolate Martian landscape where the limitations placed upon the pursued and pursuer by their oxygen supply play a major role.

4) At the Bottom of a Hole: 5/5
A Belter smuggler trying to evade the authorities lands on Mars and gets the abandoned station working again in order to refuel his ship. He finds evidence that the previous occupants of the station were murdered and suspects hidden Martians did the dirty deed. References the previous story.

5) One Face: 4/5
An accident distorts the jump drive of a ship, hurling in billions of years into the future. The Sun is a white dwarf and the Earth has stopped spinning. The ship’s crew and passengers have to figure out what to do next. The damaged ship computer recommends that they put the astrophysicist in charge.

6) Becalmed in Hell: 3/5
A cyborg spaceship malfunctions on an exploratory trip to Venus. His crewmate must figure out what the fault is if they are going to be able to leave.

7) Death by Ecstasy: 3/5
A Gil Hamilton story. One of Gil’s old Belter crewmembers is found in a dingy Earth apartment, having starved to death while blessed out on ‘current’. It appears to be suicide but Gil suspects foul play. ( )
  iftyzaidi | Feb 12, 2010 |
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This is a collection of short fiction, not to be combined with the short story of the same title
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