HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

The World of Ptavvs by Larry Niven
Loading...

The World of Ptavvs (original 1966; edition 1979)

by Larry Niven

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,059612,064 (3.58)18
Member:WylieMaercklein
Title:The World of Ptavvs
Authors:Larry Niven
Info:Del Rey (1979), Edition: First Thus, Mass Market Paperback
Collections:Your library, Fiction
Rating:***
Tags:Aliens, Campbellian Science Fiction, Fiction, Hard Science Fiction, Known Space Series, Science Fiction, Softcover, Space Opera, Psionics

Work details

World of Ptavvs by Larry Niven (1966)

Recently added byWestBranch, private library, SpokaneB2P, natnater, Dvdvnr, DavidClemens, bernardgilmore, RobNoB, Marz38

None.

Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 18 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
(Original Review, 1980-08-25)

In response to the idea that perhaps the Pak were actually tnuctip, I think it very unlikely. The Pak date back about 2.5 Million years, while, according to “The World or Ptavvs”, the 'Sea statue' (Kzanol, last of the Thrint [slaver] race) dates back about 2 Billion years. Also according to World or Ptavvs, the tnuctip were wiped out in the war with the Thrints some 2*10^9 years ago (Specifically, the Thrint were said/speculated to have built a telepathy amplifier that would bring the entire galaxy under control at one time.).

In response to the idea that the “Ringworld” was not built by the Pak, this seems reasonable to assume--there was never any mention, in any Known Space novel or story, of a transmutation device known to the Pak. Such a device would seem to be a necessity in forming the 'scrith' that the “Ringworld” was constructed of. After all, why would the Pak have been using nuclear radiation based weapons when warring at home if such a protection was available?

Another comment (unconnected). Upon reading parts of “World of Ptaavs” again, I notice a statement to the effect that the female Thrint is non-sentient. The only other race mentioned possessing this trait is the Kzinti race... From supplied illustrations, one can see that the physical forms are roughly similar...Could the Kzinti be a surviving branch of Thrint or semi-Thint? Comments?

[2018 EDIT: This review was written at the time as I was running my own personal BBS server. Much of the language of this and other reviews written in 1980 reflect a very particular kind of language: what I call now in retrospect a “BBS language”.] ( )
  antao | Nov 13, 2018 |
Incoherent attempt to revive space opera for the modern era. Niven's first published novel, so possibly not his best. ( )
  SFF1928-1973 | Feb 24, 2018 |
ben er maar meegestopt ( )
  EdwinKort | Mar 23, 2017 |
An alien with telepathic powers powerful enough to enslave those around it that crashed on Earth hundreds of millions of years ago has been awoken from statis, its personality imprinted on to that of the human telepath, Larry Greenberg. Now both are in a race to reach the alien's ship on Neptune and the artifact it contains which would allow either one to enslave the entire human race. Trailing them is the UN ARM Garner who must figure out a way to prevent the artifact falling into either of their hands while also allaying the fear of a suspicious Belter government.

This is Niven's first novel and the first set in his Known Space setting. Despite occasional stylistic and narrative quirks that one can put down to inexperience, it holds up pretty well. It has a fast-paced plot, plenty of plot twists and some interesting mysteries thrown in and overall is highly entertaining. ( )
  iftyzaidi | Dec 13, 2010 |
Although this is not the first story set in his Known Space, this is one of the earliest (and as far as I can tell, is the first novel). As a result, the parameters of the fictional future that Niven has mapped out over most of his writing career were not particularly well-defined when World of Ptavvs was written. Through the novel one can see glimpses of the elements of Known Space in embryonic form, but the details are hazy and in some cases have been altered by subsequent books.

The basics of the story revolve around two individuals: Larry Greenberg, a human telepath who has spent a fair portion of his adult life trying to communicate with dolphins, and the thrint Kzanol, a a powerful alien telepath from the past whose race held sway over much of the galaxy when he went into suspended animation in a desperate attempt to save his own life. Their paths cross as a result of an experiment on an archaeological find with less than happy results. The conflict between these two individuals holds the fate of humanity in the balance, and Larry must use his hard won insight into the mind of the thrint to try to stave off humanity's eternal servitude. These events all play out against a backdrop of political tension between Earth and the Belters that the revelations caused by the Greenberg/Kzanol conflict threatens to push into open war.

(As an aside, one wonders what would have happened to humanity when the events of Angel's Pencil taken place had the events in this story taken a different turn, probably nothing good for us it seems).

As noted before, this is a fairly early example of the Known Space setting, and it shows. A lot of material that will be fleshed out later is merely hinted at in this story. In addition, Niven's storytelling style is fairly linear and direct. In the resolution of the story, Niven makes what I consider to be one misstep, in that he seems to argue that technology can be suppressed merely by throwing out an example of that technology, which I find implausible. On the other hand, a large chunk of the subsequent Known Space stories revolve around suppressing technology with military applications via the organization known as the ARM, so it isn't really unexpected.

Although not a good as many of his later works in the Known Space universe, World of Ptavvs is still a good action story with enough mystery and science to jump it above the average. Though his writing career began in the 1960s, Niven's material tends to be similar in tone to the writers of the 1940s and 1950s, so fans of Heinlein and Asimov will probably be comfortable with his output. While not some of Niven's best work, Niven's average fare is better than the best many other science fiction writers turn out, so this book is worth reading. ( )
1 vote StormRaven | Feb 9, 2010 |
Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review

» Add other authors (5 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Larry Nivenprimary authorall editionscalculated
Dalzell, BonnieIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gambino, FredCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jones, Peter A.Cover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
McInnerney, MichaelCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sternbach, RickCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
First words
There was a moment so short that it had never been successfully measured, yet always far too long.
Quotations
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Information from the German Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Publisher series
Information from the German Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
A reflective statue is found at the bottom of one of Earth's oceans, having lain there for 1.5 billion years. Since humans have recently developed a time-slowing field and found that one such field cannot function within another, it is suspected that the "Sea Statue" is actually a space traveler within one of these time fields. Larry Greenberg, a telepath, agrees to participate in an experiment: a time-slowing field is generated around both Greenberg and the statue, shutting off the stasis field and revealing Kzanol.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0345300548, Mass Market Paperback)

Larry Greenberg's telepathic tendencies had been trained and developed to a critical level. The trouble was that if these psychic interchanges were strong enough, a man could end up not knowing who he really was. But when Larry's mind is taken over by an alien force, he has to fight to retain his sanity - and divert a disaster that threatens all mankind. And when Larry's mind is taken over by a sinister alien force, he has to fight to retain his sanity - and divert a disaster that threatens all mankind...

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:25:21 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

Larry Greenberg's telepathic tendencies had been trained and developed to a critical level. The trouble was that if these psychic interchanges were strong enough, a man could end up not knowing who he really was. But when Larry's mind is taken over by an alien force, he has to fight to retain his sanity - and divert a disaster that threatens all mankind. And when Larry's mind is taken over by a sinister alien force, he has to fight to retain his sanity - and divert a disaster that threatens all mankind...… (more)

(summary from another edition)

Quick Links

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (3.58)
0.5
1 3
1.5 1
2 9
2.5 5
3 52
3.5 15
4 65
4.5 4
5 21

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 136,458,960 books! | Top bar: Always visible