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Man-Kzin Wars XI (Man-Kzin Wars) by Larry…
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Man-Kzin Wars XI (Man-Kzin Wars) (original 2005; edition 2005)

by Larry Niven (Contributor), Stephen Hickman (Cover artist), Hal Colebatch (Contributor), Matthew Joseph Harrington (Contributor)

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1524116,047 (3.66)None
Member:JohnFair
Title:Man-Kzin Wars XI (Man-Kzin Wars)
Authors:Larry Niven
Other authors:Stephen Hickman (Cover artist), Hal Colebatch (Contributor), Matthew Joseph Harrington (Contributor)
Info:Baen (2005), Hardcover, 384 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:***
Tags:science fiction, cat-like aliens, humans, kzin, interstellar war, interspecies co-operation, anthology, novellas

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Man-Kzin Wars XI by Hal Colebatch (Contributor) (2005)

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Hal Colebatch wrote 3 stories that form half the book. The first story is a Man-Kzin "dark and stormy night" story (this story is why I gave the book 4.5 stars instead of 5). The other two involve Pak Protectors and "can we trust each other" plot lines. The next 2 stories, by Matthew J. Harrington continue the themes set by Colebatch, but involve more plot obfuscation in that the clues to the real story lines are introduced as an aside and caused me to reread the stories to validate my understanding of what just happened, and why. The last story, by Niven, is an off-hand speculation on why we're so damned deadly in the first place. ( )
  majackson | Mar 24, 2018 |
I picked this book up as part of a Baen eBook Bundle; I'd read the first Man-Kzin Wars book, and I had a vague memory of being indifferent to it. Based on my memories and that cover, I expected macho man-versus-animal space combat, nothing either good or impressive. The first story in the book, Hal Colebatch's "Three At Table," substantiated that viewpoint: it was mostly about a guy on a hunting expedition dealing with dangerous Space Animals, with some weird sex thrown in.

But after that point, the book improved a lot, and made me think I'd probably read "Three At Table" unkindly.  Colebatch's next two stories, "Grossgeister Swamp" and "Catspaws," are complicated depictions, not of a society at war, but of a society after war. There are a lot of characters across all the Colebatch tales here, and many of them are soldiers-- from both sides of the war-- trying to cope with peacetime life and new attitudes.  "Catspaws" is more a short novel than a short story, taking up 40% of the book according to my Kindle, and I liked it quite a bit. I would definitely read more Man-Kzin Wars stories by Colebatch. Though these stories stood alone, these characters quite clearly had histories worth reading about.

There are two stories by Matthew Joseph Harrington: "Teacher's Pet" and "War and Peace." These are less standalone than Colebatch's stories, as they both deal with something called a "Pak Protector," which I dimly recall from when I read the Ringworld books in high school. The stories are decent and do some interesting stuff (especially "Teacher's Pet," where the Pak Protector exploits a kzinti warrior), but they seem to assume I'm much more interested in the minutiae of Pak Protector continuity than I possibly could be.

The book closes out with a quick Larry Niven story, "The Hunting Park," which was decent. A neat idea: it feels like the Man-Kzin Wars story that Ernest Hemingway would have written.
  Stevil2001 | Feb 17, 2013 |
ZZB4 ( )
  mcolpitts | Jul 26, 2009 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Colebatch, HalContributorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Harrington, Matthew JosephContributormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Niven, LarryEditormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Hickman, StephenCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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