World of Ptavvs

World of Ptavvs is a science fiction novel by American writers Larry Niven, first published in 1966 and set in his Known Space universe. It was Niven’s first published novel and is based on a 1965 short story of the same name.

World of PtavvsA 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. Kzanol is a living Thrint, a member of a telepathic race that once ruled the galaxy through mind control.

Eons ago, Kzanol’s spaceship had suffered a catastrophic failure; its reactive drive system failed and the navigation computer automatically jettisoned it. Faced with insufficient power to use hyperspace, Kzanol aimed himself at the nearest uninhabited Thrint planet (which turns out to be Earth) used to grow yeast for food, and turned his spacesuit’s emergency stasis field on to survive the long journey and impact. He also arranged for his ship to change course for the system’s eighth planet (Neptune) after he was in stasis, with his amplifier helmet and other valuables inside his spare suit (in order to hide these valuables from any rescuers).

Although he assumed that the resident thrint overseer would be able to rescue him after seeing the plume of gas created by his impact, his timing could not have been worse; while in stasis on the way to the planet, the slave races revolted against the Thrint. Facing extinction, the Thrint decided to take their enemies with them by constructing a telepathic amplifier powerful enough to command all sentient species in the galaxy to commit suicide. They set it to repeat for centuries and every sentient being in the galaxy perished. After hundreds of millions of years, the yeast food mutated and evolved into complex life on Earth.

After his telepathic encounter with the Thrint, Greenberg is confused by having two sets of memories, his own and Kzanol’s. He instinctively assumes he is Kzanol. Both Greenberg and the real Kzanol steal spaceships and race to reclaim the thought-amplifying machine on Neptune, which is powerful enough to enable control of every thinking being in the Solar System. Eventually, Greenberg’s personality reasserts itself and, armed with the knowledge of how to resist the Power (one of Kzanol’s own memories), Greenberg traps Kzanol again in a stasis field.

More: WikipediaSF ReviewAV ClubJosh OnSF BookSiderite,


N-Space is a collection of short stories by American science fiction author Larry Niven released in 1990. Some of the stories are set in Niven’s Known Space universe. Also included are various essays, articles and anecdotes by Niven and others, excerpts from some of his novels, and an introduction by Tom Clancy. Its sequel is Playgrounds of the Mind.

Known Space stories and other relevant essays and articles

From World of Ptavvs
From A Gift From Earth
From Ringworld
Shall We Indulge in Rishathra (with cartoons by William Rotsler)
Cloak of Anarchy, 1972: An experiment in an anarchy-based society where there is no government. First published in Analog, March 1972. Reprinted in the collections Tales of Known Space and N-Space.
From Protector
Madness Has Its Place, 1990: Published in the collections N-Space (1990), Three Books of Known Space (1996) and in the anthology Man-Kzin Wars III (1990)

Madness Has Its Place

Short story from 1990. Published in the collections N-Space (1990), Three Books of Known Space (1996) and in the anthology Man-Kzin Wars III (1990).

Larry Niven paints a picture of the peace-loving Sol system in the years before 2375, when the Kzin make their appearance known with a devistating attack. A few humans in ARM are able to piece together enough information and technology in advance to start secretly building Sol’s defenses, but will it be enough?

More: Wikipedia Man-Kzin WarsBaen Books (excerpt), Man-Kzin War BibliographyGoogle,

Shall We Indulge in Rishathra

Letter by Larry Niven sent to Science Fiction Review, November 1978. SF sex jokes, with cartoonish art by William Rotsler. Published in collection N-Space in 1990.

Related: Rishathra (Wikipedia),

CoDominium stories

From The Mote in God’s Eye (with Jerry Pournelle)
Building The Mote in God’s Eye (with Jerry Pournelle)

Other relevant essays and articles

Introduction: The Maker of Worlds by Tom Clancy
On Niven (by David Brin, Gregory Benford, Wendy All, John Hertz, Steven Barnes, and Frederik Pohl)
Foreword: Playgrounds for the Mind
Niven’s Laws
Bibliography of Larry Niven

Links: WikipediaGoogle


The long Arm of Gil HamiltonARM is a science fiction novella by American author Larry Niven. Set in the Known Space Universe, it is the third of five Gil Hamilton detective stories. Published in Epic Magazine 1975. Republished in The Long Arm of Gil Hamilton (1976) and Flatlander (1996).

Hamilton is called to the scene of a murder. The victim is Dr. Raymond Sinclair, a brilliant scientist who has invented a mysterious device that creates a bubble of accelerated time. The murder scene is a locked apartment at the top of a high-rise, where the prime suspect is a beautiful young woman whom Gil refuses to believe is the killer.

One of the themes running throughout the story, and in fact a vital element in the solution of the mystery, is the loss of an arm. Gil himself lost an arm and had a new one grafted on, using parts from an organ bank which is supplied by the bodies of criminals and “corpsicles”, people who underwent cryogenic suspension. At the scene of the crime, a beautiful young woman is discovered unconscious in an “autodoc” (a device for fixing minor injuries or preserving life until help arrives) recovering from the loss of one of her arms. Another character in the story also lost an arm previously, but regards grafts as immoral and wears an advanced prosthetic arm instead. The “accelerated time bubble” has the effect of amputating the arm of anyone who reaches into it, since the arm’s metabolism speeds up to the point where the rest of the body cannot supply it with blood.

Links: Wikipedia,

The Long Arm of Gil Hamilton

The long Arm of Gil HamiltonShort story collection by Larry Niven and set in the Known Space Universe with the two short stories Death by Ecstasy (Organleggers), 1969, and The Defenseless Dead as well as the novella ARM, 1976. Published in 1976.

Gil Hamilton was more than an operative for ARM – the elite global police force. He was an essential. His intuition was peerless; his psychic powers were devastating. And his raw courage took him into the depths of inner and outer space where others feared to tread! But Gil Hamilton had enemies. Many enemies. Some were organleggers – those murderous dealers of illicit transplants. Others were just ordinary killers. Around any corner, Gil could probably find someone waiting to kill him. In order to stay alive – and operating – he always had to be armed for death!

Gil Hamilton-stories

Novels and collections

The Organleggers (Death by Ecstasy) (1966). Published in The Shape of Space (1969, collection)
The Defenseless Dead (1973). Published in collection Ten Tomorrows.
ARM (1976)
The Long Arm of Gil Hamilton (1976 collection)
The Patchwork Girl (1980)
Flatlander (1995, coll.) (Death by Ecstasy (Organleggers) 1969, The Defenseless Dead 1973, ARM 1976, Patchwork Girl 1978, The Woman in Del Rey Crater)


A.R.M. (1990, Adventure/Malibu Graphics), 3-issue mini-series, B&W. Based on the short story, “Death By Ecstasy” by Larry Niven. Written by Bill Spangler. Art by Terry Tidwell and Steve Stiles
“Death By Ecstasy” (September 1990, #1)
“The Organ Leggers” (October 1990, #2)
“Heart Attack” (November 1990, #3)

A.R.M.: The Defenseless Dead, (1991, Adventure/Malibu Graphics), 3-issue mini-series, B&W

Known Space Books and Games

Books by (Larry Niven)


  • Neutron Star (1968 collection, republished in Omnibus 1991) (Neutron Star 1966, At the Core 1966, Flatlander 1967, Grendel 1968, The Handicapped, The Soft Weapon, A Relic of Empire, The Ethics of Madness)
  • The Shape of Space (1969 collection) (At the Bottom of a Hole 1966, The Warriors 1966, Safe at Any Speed 1967, How the Heroes Die 1966, The Organleggers 1969)
  • All the Myriad Ways (1969, coll (Becalmed in Hell 1965, Jigsaw Man 1967, Wait it Out 1968)
  • Inconstant Moon (1973, coll) (Becalmed in Hell 1965, Death by Ecstasy (Organleggers) 1969, At the Bottom of a Hole 1966, How the Heroes Die 1966)
  • A Hole In Space (1974, coll) (There is a Tide 1968)
  • Tales of Known Space: The Universe of Larry Niven (1975 collection) (The Coldest Place 1964, Becalmed in Hell 1965, Eye of an Octopus 1966, The Warriors 1966, How the Heroes Die 1966, At the Bottom of a Hole 1966, Safe at Any Speed 1967, The Jigsaw Man 1967, Intent to Deceive 1968, There is a Tide 1968, Wait it Out 1968, Cloak of Anarchy 1972, The Borderland of Sol 1975)
  • The Long Arm of Gil Hamilton (1976 collection) (Death by Ecstasy (Organleggers) 1969, The Defenseless Dead, ARM 1976)
  • N-Space (1990, coll) (Cloak of Anarchy 1972, Madness Has Its Place 1990, Shall We Indulge in Rishathra (cartoons by William Rotsler), part from World of Ptavvs, from Ringworld, from Protector, from A Gift from Earth)
  • Playgrounds of the Mind (1990, coll) (Becalmed in Hell 1965, The Defenseless Dead, Wait it Out 1968, The Borderland of Sol 1975, part from the Patchwork Girl, part from Ringworld Engineers, The Soft Weapon, A Relic of Empire)
  • Bridging the Galaxies (1993, coll) ( The Color of Sunfire 1993, Procrustes 1993)
  • Crashlander (1994, coll.) (Neutron Star 1966, At the Core 1966, Flatlander 1967, Grendel 1968, The Borderland of Sol 1975, Procrustes 1993)
  • Flatlander (1995, coll.) (Death by Ecstasy (Organleggers) 1969, The Defenseless Dead, ARM 1976, Patchwork Girl 1978, The Woman in Del Rey Crater)
  • Three Books of Known Space (coll, 1996) (The Coldest Place 1964, Becalmed in Hell 1965, Eye of an Octopus 1966, The Warriors 1966, How the Heroes Die 1966, At the Bottom of a Hole 1966, Safe at Any Speed 1967, The Jigsaw Man 1967, The Deceivers 1968, There is a Tide 1968, Wait it Out 1968, Cloak of Anarchy 1972, Madness Has Its Place, World of Ptavvs and A Gift from Earth)
  • Scatterbrain (coll, 2003) (Excerpt from The Ringworld Throne, The Woman in Del Rey Crater, Procrustes, Introduction to Man-Kzin Wars II, Canon for the Man-Kzin Wars)


World of Ptavvs (1966, republished in Omnibus 1991)
A Gift from Earth (1968, republished in Omnibus 1991)
Protector (1973)
ARM (1976)
The Patchwork Girl (1980)


A.R.M. (1990, Adventure/Malibu Graphics), 3-issue mini-series, B&W. Based on the short story, “Death By Ecstasy” by Larry Niven
Written by Bill Spangler?. Art by Terry Tidwell? and Steve Stiles?
“Death By Ecstasy” (September 1990, #1)
“The Organ Leggers” (October 1990, #2)
“Heart Attack” (November 1990, #3)

A.R.M.: The Defenseless Dead, (1991, Adventure/Malibu Graphics), 3-issue mini-series, B&W
The Jigsaw Man, graphic adaptation; Deepest Dimension Terror Anthology #2, limited-edition comic book, Revolutionary Comics; August 1993
The Ringworld Throne, graphic adaptation (excerpts), by Richard Corben; Omni Comics I, #3; Oct/Nov 1995

Graphic novel

Death by Ecstasy (1991), adapted by Bill Spangler, Terry Tidwell, and Steve Stiles

Ringworld Prequel series (Larry Niven and Edward M. Lerner)

Fleet of Worlds (2007)
Juggler of Worlds (2008)
Destroyer of Worlds (2009)
Betrayer of Worlds (2010)
Fate of Worlds (2012)

Ringworld (Larry Niven)

Ringworld (1970)
The Ringworld Engineers (1980)
The Ringworld Throne(1996)
Ringworld’s Children (2004)

Guide to Larry Niven’s Ringworld (1994, Kevin Stein)

Man-Kzin anthologies

The Man-Kzin Wars (1988, Larry Niven, Poul Anderson, Dean Ing)
Man-Kzin Wars II (1989, Dean Ing, Jerry Pournelle and S.M. Stirling)
Man-Kzin Wars III (1990, Larry Niven, Poul Anderson, Jerry Pournelle and S.M. Stirling)
Man-Kzin Wars IV (1991, Donald Kingsbury, Greg Bear and S.M. Stirling)
Man-Kzin Wars V (1992, Thomas T. Thomas, Jerry Pournelle and S.M. Stirling)
Man-Kzin Wars VI (1994, Donald Kingsbury, Mark O. Martin and Gregory Benford)
Man-Kzin Wars VII (1995, Hal Colebatch, Paul Chafe, Mark O. Martin and Gregory Benford)
Man-Kzin Wars VIII: Choosing Names (1998, Larry Niven, Hal Colebatch, Jean Lamb, Paul Chafe and Warren W. James)
The Best of All Possible Wars: The Best of the Man-Kzin Wars (1998)
Man-Kzin Wars IX (2002, Larry Niven, Poul Anderson, Hal Colebatch, Paul Chafe)
Man-Kzin Wars X: The Wunder War (2003, Hal Colebatch)
Man-Kzin Wars XI (2005, Larry Niven, Hal Colebatch and Matthew Joseph Harrington)
Man-Kzin Wars XII (2009, Paul Chafe, Hal Colebatch and Matthew Joseph Harrington)
Man-Kzin Wars XIII (2012, Hal Colebatch, Jessica Q. Fox, Jane Lindskold, Charles E. Gannon, Alex Hernandez and David Bartell)
Man-Kzin Wars XIV (2013, Hal Colebatch, Jessica Q. Fox, Alex Hernandez, Matthew Jospeh Harrington)

Man-Kzin novels

Cathouse: A Novel of the Man Kzin-Wars (1990 Dean Ing)
The Children’s Hour: A Novel of the Man-Kzin Wars (1991, Jerry Pournelle and S. M. Stirling)
Inconstant Star (1991, Poul Anderson)
A Darker Geometry (1996, Mark O. Martin and Gregory Benford)
The Houses of the Kzinti (2002, Dean Ing, Jerry Pournelle, S. M. Stirling)
Destiny’s Forge: A Man-Kzin Wars Novel (2007, Paul Chafe)
Treasure Planet (2013, Hal Colebatch & Jessica Q. Fox)

Other collections

Centaurus: the best of Australian science fiction (1999, The Colonel’s Tiger by Hal Colebatch)
The Space Opera Renaissance (2006, The Survivor by Donald Kingsbury)

Other books

Annals of the Man-Kzin-Wars: An Unofficial Companion Guide (Alan Michaud?, 2001)


Ringworld RPG (1984)
Ringworld: Revenge of the Patriarch (1992, video game)
Return to Ringworld (1994, video game)