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Three Books of Known Space (1996)

by Larry Niven

Other authors: Fritz Metsch (Text Designer), David Stevenson (Cover designer)

Series: Known Space (omnibus)

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245385,429 (3.9)6
Let three complete books in one take you on a dazzling journey into science fiction's most famous future history: Known Space! World of Ptavvs Kzanol was a thrint from a distant galaxy. He had been trapped on Earth in a time-stasis field for two billion years. Now he was on the loose, and telepath Larry Greenberg knew everything he was thinking. Thrints lived to plunder and enslave lesser planets . . . and the planet Kzanol had in mind was Earth! A Gift from Earth Shrouded in lethal mists, the world named Mount Lookitthat was never meant for humans. Life existed only on one plateau, unreachable except from space. But still the planet had been colonized, and the settlers struggled to survive under a ruthless dictatorship on a rebellion-proof world . . . until fate dealt them a wild card named Matthew Keller, whose secret talent might just be their only hope! Tales of Known Space A classic collection of stories that traces humankind's expansion and colonization throughout the galaxy from the twentieth century to the thirty-first . . . And more: Larry Niven's latest thoughts on the evolution--both creative and "historical"--of known space, as well as an updated Timeline of Known Space and a complete Niven bibliography!… (more)
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An omnibus of two novels and a collection of short stories, all set in Larry Niven's Known Space universe.

The two novels, "World of Ptavvs" and "A Gift from Earth" were both very enjoyable, but the short stories were a more mixed bunch. The ones that shed further light on incidents or people mentioned in these and other Known Space novels were interesting. The others were a bit 'meh', not bad but not really grabbing my interest. ( )
  Robertgreaves | Jan 26, 2017 |
If you like Niven you will like this. ( )
  wweisser | Jul 6, 2013 |
I've been making an effort to read more classic science fiction, so my brother lent this book to me. It includes three books within, though the short story contents are spread out to make everything chronological within Niven's Known Universe. The two novels are WORLD OF PTAVVS and A GIFT FROM EARTH, with the stories from TALES OF KNOWN SPACE.

I had some difficulties with Niven's style. It's abrupt and dated--you can tell they were written in the 1960s and '70s. His leads are all men of certain personality types, and certain stylistic crutches emerge, such as the men entering a social setting and falling for a woman who then betrays them in some way. The women all felt very flat or negative in type; at one point, a rebel woman who portrayed strength entered a home and immediately began preparing supper for the men. It's also funny how the technology is very advanced in many regards, such as fission drives and organ harvesting, yet everyone still uses typewriters.

As a modern reader and writer, I also found it bothersome how the point of view might change several times within a scene. Whiplash!

The work I enjoyed the most was A GIFT FROM EARTH. It contained very unique plot twists and focused on an unusual form of telepathy, and did a good job of portraying complex good and bad guys.

In all, I'm glad I read the volumes, if no other reason than that I can say I read them. My brother has told me that I'd probably like some of Niven's other work more, but I'm not in any rush to read him anytime soon. I appreciate that these books are classics, but I'm very glad that stylistic elements and female characters have evolved a great deal in the past forty years. ( )
2 vote ladycato | Mar 15, 2012 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Larry Nivenprimary authorall editionscalculated
Metsch, FritzText Designersecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Stevenson, DavidCover designersecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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Let three complete books in one take you on a dazzling journey into science fiction's most famous future history: Known Space! World of Ptavvs Kzanol was a thrint from a distant galaxy. He had been trapped on Earth in a time-stasis field for two billion years. Now he was on the loose, and telepath Larry Greenberg knew everything he was thinking. Thrints lived to plunder and enslave lesser planets . . . and the planet Kzanol had in mind was Earth! A Gift from Earth Shrouded in lethal mists, the world named Mount Lookitthat was never meant for humans. Life existed only on one plateau, unreachable except from space. But still the planet had been colonized, and the settlers struggled to survive under a ruthless dictatorship on a rebellion-proof world . . . until fate dealt them a wild card named Matthew Keller, whose secret talent might just be their only hope! Tales of Known Space A classic collection of stories that traces humankind's expansion and colonization throughout the galaxy from the twentieth century to the thirty-first . . . And more: Larry Niven's latest thoughts on the evolution--both creative and "historical"--of known space, as well as an updated Timeline of Known Space and a complete Niven bibliography!

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