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Tales of Known Space: The Universe of Larry Niven

by Larry Niven

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Known Space (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,151712,304 (3.85)16
Ranging from the 20th Century to the 31st, these interconnected stories trace Man's expansion and colonization throughout the galaxy... Becalmed in hell Howie's spaceship had a malfunction...but it might be only psychosomatic! Wait it out He was trapped on Pluto...and all his assets were frozen! The borderland of Sol Forward possessed the ultimate weapon...but no one would ever see it! The jigsaw man The organ banks want you...now! Cloak of anarchy They were free to be anything but violent...but that wasn't enough! -- plus eight other great stories in Niven's spectacular cycle of the future...and, special for this volume, a complete Niven bibliography and a detailed chronology of all his Known Space stories!… (more)

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» See also 16 mentions

English (6)  Danish (1)  All languages (7)
Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
Some good ideas. And I feel wretched at giving it such low review stars as I really liked Ringworld and some of his other work. He says himself in the introduction that two of the stories are so bad they should have been left out - and he is correct but blinkered if he thinks that doesn't apply to quite a few more of the tales.

Also - writing in the 60s and 70s he seems both blissfully unaware of any human rights movements at all, and yet patting himself on the back for tackling a society where some people are harvested for their organs for the benefit of other people to live a long life. There is one homophobic tale to be totally ashamed of writing, let alone including in a collection. And the only women I remember being mentioned are absent - there is a request from Mars for some women to be sent to the colony so the men can have sex - and a couple of women who are at home bringing up the children. At least that also meant that there were no sex scenes...... ( )
  Ma_Washigeri | May 27, 2018 |
I enjoyed this anthology of Known Space stories. I especially liked the stories "Wait it out," (set on Pluto), "At the Bottom of a Hole," (Muller discovers the truth behind the failure of a human settlement on Mars) and "The Borderland of Sol" (Julius Forward has a very dangerous weapon). I also like the timeline at the beginning of the book which sets the stories in context and the bibliography at the end.

Readers who like Niven's work may like Shaun Farrell's October 2007 interview with Larry Niven at the Conjecture convention. It aired on Farrell's podcast Adventures in SciFi Publishing:
http://www.adventuresinscifipublishing.com/2007/10/aisfp-36/ ( )
  krin5292 | Apr 5, 2010 |
A very good book for those who like short stories. Each tale also provides a little bit of insight into the background of Known Space, especially great if you have already read some or all of the Ringworld series. ( )
  sullivan.t | Apr 23, 2008 |
A collection of short stories from the Known Space, Future History universe, featuring some of Niven's key characters. This edition also has some crib notes to the rest of the universe and how the various stories and future history fit together. Short and occasionally poignant, these are very brief flashes in the 2000 year expansion of mankind's exploration of the universe, covering soem of niven's very earliest work and some much later. The style remains the classic light sf without any of the attention to minutae that characterises current space opera. However as Niven is such a big name with legions of fans they have still filled in many of the missing details - orbital velocities etc etc for those interested in hunting them down. A basic appreciation of physics will actually help understand some of the key plot points here. Written in an era when momemtum, inertia, triangulation and properties of heat were part of the basic science teachings unlike the slimmed down ciriculum of today, undertanding howmatter moves is assumed rather than spelt out in detail. Niven's fans have made sure he gets it right. Based on the science as it was known at the time - with aliens on Mars distinctly likely, Niven has resisted the opportunity to edit.

Some of the social commentary on the imagined technological fixes to future problems are interesting - particularly the issue of organ banks.

Interesting, particularly to those who have dwelt in the Ringworld Universe, this is to an outsider nothing more than a collection of brief stories, with contrived and sometime guessable outcomes, and little characterisation. Niven's longer novels are much better. ( )
2 vote reading_fox | Dec 3, 2007 |
Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (6 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Niven, Larryprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Dalzell, BonnieIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kukalis, Romas B.Cover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Marsan, DinoCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pukallus, HorstTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Seligmann, BerndTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sternbach, RickCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Ranging from the 20th Century to the 31st, these interconnected stories trace Man's expansion and colonization throughout the galaxy... Becalmed in hell Howie's spaceship had a malfunction...but it might be only psychosomatic! Wait it out He was trapped on Pluto...and all his assets were frozen! The borderland of Sol Forward possessed the ultimate weapon...but no one would ever see it! The jigsaw man The organ banks want you...now! Cloak of anarchy They were free to be anything but violent...but that wasn't enough! -- plus eight other great stories in Niven's spectacular cycle of the future...and, special for this volume, a complete Niven bibliography and a detailed chronology of all his Known Space stories!

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Book description
Contents (year originally published):

At the Bottom of a Hole (1966)
Becalmed in Hell (1965)
The Borderland of Sol (1975)
Cloak of Anarchy (1972)
The Coldest Place (1964)
Eye of an Octopus (1966)
How the Heroes Die (1966)
Intent to Deceive (1968)
The Jigsaw Man (1967)
Safe at any Speed (1967)
There is a Tide (1968)
Wait it Out (1968)
The Warriors (1966)
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