Dangerous Visions

Dangerous VisionsDangerous Visions is a science fiction short story anthology edited by Harlan Ellison, published in 1967.

Dangerous Visions helped define the New Wave science fiction movement, particularly in its depiction of sex in science fiction.

The list of the authors’ names reads like a Who’s Who of 1960s science fiction. Ellison introduced the anthology both collectively and individually while authors provided afterwords to their own stories.

The collection was followed by another collection, Again, Dangerous Visions, published in 1972.

Known Space stories

Jigsaw Man, 1967. Chilling implications of human organ transplant technology. The story was first published in Harlan Ellison’s anthology Dangerous Visions, and is included in Niven’s collections All the Myriad WaysTales of Known Space and Three Books of Known Space

Read More: Wikipedia,

Again, Dangerous Visions

Again, Dangerous VisionsAgain, Dangerous Visions is the sequel to the science fiction short story anthology Dangerous Visions, first published in 1972. It was edited by Harlan Ellison and illustrated by Ed Emshwiller.

Like its predecessor, Again, Dangerous Visions and the stories within it received many awards. The Word for World is Forest, by Ursula K. Le Guin, won a Hugo for Best Novella. “When It Changed” by Joanna Russ won a Nebula Award for Best Short Story. For a second time, Harlan Ellison received a special Hugo for editing the anthology.

Again, Dangerous Visions was to be followed by a third anthology, The Last Dangerous Visions, but it was never published.

Hainish Universe stories

The Word for World Is Forest by Ursula K. Le Guin

Read More: Wikipedia,

Tales of Known Space: The Universe of Larry Niven

Short story collection by Larry Niven from 1975 and reissued 1985, containing:

  • The Jigsaw Man, 1967: Chilling implications of human organ transplant technology. The story was first published in Harlan Ellison’s anthology Dangerous Visions, and is included in Niven’s collections All the Myriad Ways, Tales of Known Space and Three Books of Known Space
  • The Warriors, 1966: Man’s first encounter with aliens of Kzinti species. Kzinti’s have vastly superior technology, but heroic men beat them in the little war in deep space! Originally published in Worlds of If. Later republished in the collections The Shape of Space (1969), Tales of Known Space (1975), The Man-Kzin Wars, Three Books of Known Space and The Best of All Possible Wars.
  • How the Heroes Die, 1966: Only one of the two men can live. First appearance in Galaxy Science Fiction, October 1966. Republished in the collections The Shape of Space (1969, collection), Inconstant Moon (1973, coll), Tales of Known Space: The Universe of Larry Niven (1975, collection), Three Books of Known Space (1996, coll)
  • Intent to Deceive, 1968: A software bug creates major chaos at a fully automated restaurant. First published in Galaxy Magazine, April 1968. Republished in the collections Tales of Known Space and Three Books of Known Space.
  • Becalmed in Hell, 1965: An accident on Venus. First appearance in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, July 1965. Republished  in several collections: All the Myriad Ways (1969, coll), Inconstant Moon (1973, coll), Tales of Known Space: The Universe of Larry Niven (1975, coll), Playgrounds of the Mind (1991, coll), Three Books of Known Space (1996, coll)
  • At the Bottom of a Hole, 1966: Human explorers to Mars are killed by the natives. Short story first published in Galaxy Science Fiction, December 1966. Republished in several collections: The Shape of Space (1969, collection), Inconstant Moon (1973, coll), Tales of Known Space: The Universe of Larry Niven (1975, collection), Three Books of Known Space (1996, coll)
  • Wait it Out, 1968: An accident on Pluto puts a man in natural semi-stasis, awaiting & hoping eventual rescue. First published in1968. Published in the collections All the Myriad Ways (1971), Tales of Known Space: The Universe of Larry Niven (1975), Playgrounds of the Mind (1990) and Three Books of Known Space (1996)
  • Eye of an Octopus, 1966: Humans dig up a Martian’s grave. First published in Galaxy, February 1966.
  • The Coldest Place, 1964: Hunt for alien creatures on “the dark side of” Mercury. First published in Worlds of If, December 1964. Republished in the collections Tales of Known Space (1975) and Three Books of Known Space (1996).
  • Safe at Any Speed, 1967: A man is eaten by a huge bird along with his air car, & survives! On an new colony world. First published in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction 1967. Later published in collections The Shape of Space (1969), Tales of Known Space (1975) and Three Books of Known Space (1996).
  • There Is a Tide, 1968: An alien cons a human on an extra-Sol world, & regrets it because of an unexpected development. First printed in Galaxy, June 1968. The reprinted in the collections A Hole in Space 1974, Tales of Known Space 1975 and Three Books of Known Space 1996.
  • 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.
  • The Borderland of Sol, 1975: Space pirates are robbing commercial traffic on busy interstellar routes with a new weapon. The story was originally published in Analog, January 1975, and reprinted in the collections Tales of Known Space, reissued 1985, Playgrounds of the Mind (1991), and Crashlander (1994).

All of the short stories take place in the Known Space Universe.

Links: Variety SFThe Incompleat Known Space Concordance,

Intent to Deceive

Intent to Deceive aka The Deceivers is a short story by Larry Niven, first published in Galaxy Magazine, April 1968. Republished in the collections Tales of Known Space and Three Books of Known Space.

Lucas Garner reminisces about an incident at an automated restaurant that malfunctioned, with disastrous consequences for anyone who tried to escape through the robotic kitchen…

Links: Variety SF,

Eye of an Octopus

Short story by Larry Niven, first published in Galaxy, February 1966. Three early human explorers on Mars. Henry Bedrosian and Christopher Luden go down to the surface, Abe Cooper remain in orbit. They find a buried martian and dig him up. In series with How the Heroes Die and At the Bottom of a Hole.

Links: Variety SF,

The Coldest Place

Short story that first appeared in Worlds of If, December 1964. Republished in the collections Tales of Known Space (1975) and Three Books of Known Space (1996).

Larry’ Nivens first-ever published story. On the dark side of a non-rotating Mercury, explorers Eric and Howie collect unexpected samples of life. This story was rendered obsolete before it was even published due to advanced probes of the planet. Larry Niven wrote a sequel, “Becalmed in Hell” with the same two characters. Technical aspects of the story are dated.

Links: Variety SF,

Cloak of Anarchy

Short story first published in Analog, March 1972. Reprinted in the collections Tales of Known Space and N-Space.

Humans have a chaotic nature. In the same breath they demand the security and peace of law enforcement and demand freedom from control and prying eyes. The leaders of the future democracies have solved this by creating what are called Free Parks: places where anything and everything is allowed — except violence against one’s fellow human. Enforcing this edict are flying machines called copseyes. At the first sign of violence, the copseye stuns and paralyses both parties, and each participant wakes up far away from the site of violence under the watchful gaze of a copseye.

There are those that believe even the copseyes are too restrictive however, and one man’s plan to drop all of them from the sky at once gives those with this belief the power to test it. But the anarchists ideas are not well thought out, and the result is not what anyone expects…

Links: Larry Niven.net (full story), Variety SF,

The Borderland of Sol

The Borderland of Sol is an English language science fiction novelette written in 1975 by Larry Niven. It is the fifth in the Known Space series of stories about crashlander Beowulf Shaeffer.

The story was originally published in Analog, January 1975, and printed in the collection Tales of Known Space, reissued 1985 , and reprinted in Crashlander (1994).

It includes some solid science as well as ‘space opera’. It is one of the earliest works of fiction to feature a black hole.

Segments of the novel Fleet of Worlds serve as a prequel to the story.

A rash of spaceship disappearances around Earth results in a dearth of available transit, stranding Beowulf “Bey” Shaeffer on Jinx away from his love, Sharrol Janss. While visiting the Institute of Knowledge he runs into his old friend Carlos Wu. Carlos is the father of Janss’ two children, a fact that he found so embarrassing that he decided to leave Earth rather than face Bey upon his expected return. But Bey proves perfectly happy to hear about the children, as his albinism denies him a license to have children of his own, and he and Sharrol had agreed that Carlos should act as a surrogate.

Reconciled, Carlos mentions that he has been contacted by Sigmund Ausfaller of the Bureau of Alien Affairs, who has offered him a ride to Earth. Bey has had several run-ins with Ausfaller in the past; Ausfaller aims to protect human-alien relations in any way he can, and at one point he planted a bomb on Bey’s alien-provided General Products’ #2 hull to prevent him from stealing it and potentially causing a sticky diplomatic incident. Worried about what might happen to Carlos at Ausfaller’s hands, he decides to accompany him on his next meeting…

The story is retold, from the point of view of Sigmund Ausfaller, in Juggler of Worlds.

Beowulf Shaeffer stories

Neutron Star, the first story in the Beowulf Shaeffer series. Published in the collection Neutron Star.
At the Core, the second story in the series. Published in Neutron Star.
Flatlander, the third story in the series. Published in Neutron Star.
Grendel, the fourth story in the series. Published in Neutron Star.
Borderland of Sol, fifth story about Beowulf Shaeffer. Republished in Crashlander.
Procrustes, the sixth story in the series. Published in Crashlander.
Ghost, the framing story in the collection Crashlander.
Fly-By-Night, the seventh story in the series, written after Crashlander.

More: Wikipedia,

A Hole In Space

A Hole In SpaceShort story collection from 1974 with stories written by Larry Niven. Includes $16,940, The Alibi Machine, All the Bridges Rusting, Bigger Than Worlds, The Fourth Profession, The Hole Man, A Kind of Murder, The Last Days of the Permanent Floating Riot Club, Rammer and There is a Tide.

One of the stories, There is a Tide take place in the Known Space Universe.

There is a Tide

First printed in Galaxy, June 1968. The reprinted in the collections A Hole in Space 1974, Tales of Known Space 1975 and Three Books of Known Space 1996.

Louis Wu, on sabbatical in deep space until he can stand the sight of another human face again, detects a slaver stasis box, the biggest ever found. But another ship is homing in on his target, and Louis finds himself gambling with the Trinocs for his prize… and his life!

Inconstant Moon

Inconstant Moon is a science fiction short story collection by American author Larry Niven that was published in 1973. “Inconstant Moon” is also a 1971 short story that is included in the collection. The title is a quote from the balcony scene in William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. The collection was assembled from the US collections The Shape of Space and All the Myriad Ways.

Known Space Universe stories in the collection

Becalmed in Hell, 1965
Death by Ecstasy (Organleggers), 1969
How the Heroes Die, 1966
At the Bottom of a Hole, 1966

Becalmed in Hell

Short story by Larry Niven with story placed in the Known Space Universe. First appearance in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, July 1965. Republished  in several collections: All the Myriad Ways (1969, coll), Inconstant Moon (1973, coll), Tales of Known Space: The Universe of Larry Niven (1975, coll), Playgrounds of the Mind (1991, coll), Three Books of Known Space (1996, coll)

A ship with a two-man crew, a normal human Howie and Eric – a disembodied brain of a previously injured man taking the part of ship’s computer, is exploring the upper atmosphere of Venus, using the empty fuel-tank as a dirigible device.

About to return to Earth, Eric reveals that something is wrong with the ramjet that propels the craft, necessitating a landing in order to fix the problem. When Howie can find nothing physically wrong with the system, he can only conclude that, disturbingly, the problem is with Eric. He believes Eric has a psychosomatic disorder preventing him from operating the ramjets, using the analogy of a traumatized soldier that can no longer feel his hand and pull the trigger of a gun.

After revealing his theory to Eric, Eric admits it is a possibility but insists that Howie keep inspecting the ship, reasoning that Howie is the only one that can check for mechanical problems. Howie agrees, but secretly has convinced himself that the problem is truly with Eric.

In an effort to cure Eric using a placebo, Howie creates buckets of ice-water using the ship’s freezer, and dumps it into the wiring panels on the wings, telling Eric that the heat and pressure of Venus might be affecting the ships function. Eric regains the use of the ramjets and the pair manage to escape from Venus and back to Earth.

On the trip back, Howie reveals his ruse to Eric. Eric insists that the cause was mechanical, and challenges Howie to a $5,000 bet that the problem will be found back on Earth. Howie accepts the bet. Back on Earth, the mechanics determine that, indeed, it was a mechanical problem due to the pressure of Venus’s atmosphere.

The Organleggers

First appearance in Galaxy Science Fiction, January 1969 (as “The Organleggers”). Later published in collections The Shape of Space (1969, coll), Inconstant Moon (1973, coll), The Long Arm of Gil Hamilton (1976 collection), Flatlander (1995, coll.) Renamed to Death by Ecstasy when published in Inconstant Moon and that title was used from that time on.

Asteroid miner Owen Jennison is found dead in an apartment on Earth, apparently of suicide: He was a Wirehead, directly stimulating the pleasure center of the brain, and starved.

Gil Hamilton, an operative of the United Nations Police (and friend of Owen’s) must solve what appears to be a classic locked room mystery: he does not believe that Owen was the type to turn wirehead or commit suicide, so the death must have been planned by somebody else.

His investigations lead him to names associated with organlegging – the illicit handling and sale of spare body-parts. Eventually, he comes into contact with a West-Coast organlegging gang where his psychokinesis – in the form of a phantom “third arm” – becomes very useful.

Death by Ecstasy has been adapted as a graphic novel by Bill Spangler, Terry Tidwell, and Steve Stiles in 1991.

Gil Hamilton-stories

Novels and collections

The Organleggers (Death by Ecstasy) (1966)
The Defenseless Dead (1973). Published in 1973 in the Roger Elwood anthology 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)

Comics

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

How the Heroes Die

First appearance in Galaxy Science Fiction, October 1966. Republished in the collections The Shape of Space (1969, collection), Inconstant Moon (1973, coll), Tales of Known Space: The Universe of Larry Niven (1975, collection), Three Books of Known Space (1996, coll)

The 15-man team setting up the first base on Mars experience tragedy when a murder is committed. Carter, the murderer, in the process of escaping on one of the transportation buggies crashes through the plastic bubble which holds in the base’s atmosphere in an attempt to kill everyone else; however, it fails, and he is soon chased by Alf, the brother of the victim on another buggy.

The lethal chase, with the two combatants in constant radio communication, slowly reveals the community stresses which resulted in the murder. Alf wants to kill Carter in revenge for his brother, while Carter wishes the same and to try once more to destroy the base …. but with limited oxygen in their tanks, the two men must ensure that they have enough left to return to base.

At the Bottom of a Hole

Short story first published in Galaxy Science Fiction, December 1966. Republished in several collections: The Shape of Space (1969, collection), Inconstant Moon (1973, coll), Tales of Known Space: The Universe of Larry Niven (1975, collection), Three Books of Known Space (1996, coll)

A sequel to “How the Heroes Die”. Muller, a smuggler with a cargo of precious magnetic monopoles, attempts to use Mars (the ‘hole’ of the title; to spacers, planets are merely gravity wells to be avoided if possible) as a means to whip his ship to a new orbit that will enable him to escape the customs authorities who are chasing him. His plan fails, and he crashlands, close to the now-abandoned base. Over the next few days, he explores the ruins and finds out the terrible story of what happened. Unfortunately, he himself suffers the same fate as the original colonists – all of which he commits to his log, which is later recovered.

The two Mars stories do belong to “Known Space” and they are specifically referred to and to some degree influence the plot of “Protector”, which takes place a long time later. Also, the failure of Mars colonization as depicted here contributes to the generally-held opinion in that future history that planets (at least in the Solar System) are virtually worthless and it is asteroids which are the truly desirable real property.

 

All the Myriad Ways

All the Myriad Ways is a collection of 14 short stories and essays by science fiction author Larry Niven, originally published in 1971. 3 of the stories takes place in the Known Space Universe.

In the eponymous story contained within, Niven attempted to craft a response to stories featuring the many-worlds interpretation as a key plot point, taking the social implications of infinite realities to a depressing conclusion. A police detective, pondering a rash of unexplained suicides and murder-suicides occurring since the discovery of travel to parallel universes, begins to realize that if all possible choices that might be made are actually made in parallel universes, people will see their freedom of choice as meaningless. The choice not to commit suicide, or not to commit a crime, seems meaningless if one knows that in some other universe, the choice went the other way. They therefore kill themselves or commit the crime, because they abandon the sense of choice.

Known Space stories in the collection

Becalmed in Hell, 1965
Jigsaw Man, 1967
Wait it Out, 1968

Becalmed in Hell

Short story by Larry Niven with story placed in the Known Space Universe. First appearance in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, July 1965. Republished  in several collections: All the Myriad Ways (1969, coll), Inconstant Moon (1973, coll), Tales of Known Space: The Universe of Larry Niven (1975, coll), Playgrounds of the Mind (1991, coll), Three Books of Known Space (1996, coll)

A ship with a two-man crew, a normal human Howie and Eric – a disembodied brain of a previously injured man taking the part of ship’s computer, is exploring the upper atmosphere of Venus, using the empty fuel-tank as a dirigible device.

About to return to Earth, Eric reveals that something is wrong with the ramjet that propels the craft, necessitating a landing in order to fix the problem. When Howie can find nothing physically wrong with the system, he can only conclude that, disturbingly, the problem is with Eric. He believes Eric has a psychosomatic disorder preventing him from operating the ramjets, using the analogy of a traumatized soldier that can no longer feel his hand and pull the trigger of a gun.

After revealing his theory to Eric, Eric admits it is a possibility but insists that Howie keep inspecting the ship, reasoning that Howie is the only one that can check for mechanical problems. Howie agrees, but secretly has convinced himself that the problem is truly with Eric.

In an effort to cure Eric using a placebo, Howie creates buckets of ice-water using the ship’s freezer, and dumps it into the wiring panels on the wings, telling Eric that the heat and pressure of Venus might be affecting the ships function. Eric regains the use of the ramjets and the pair manage to escape from Venus and back to Earth.

On the trip back, Howie reveals his ruse to Eric. Eric insists that the cause was mechanical, and challenges Howie to a $5,000 bet that the problem will be found back on Earth. Howie accepts the bet. Back on Earth, the mechanics determine that, indeed, it was a mechanical problem due to the pressure of Venus’s atmosphere.

Jigsaw Man

“The Jigsaw Man” is a short story in the Known Space Universe by Larry Niven. The story was first published in Harlan Ellison’s anthology Dangerous Visions, and is included in Niven’s collections All the Myriad Ways, Tales of Known Space and Three Books of Known Space.

In the future, criminals convicted of capital offenses are forced to donate all of their organs to medicine, so that their body parts can be used to save lives and thus repay society for their crimes. However, high demand for organs has inspired lawmakers to lower the bar for execution further and further over time.

The protagonist of the story, certain that he will be convicted of a capital crime, but feeling that the punishment is unfair, escapes from prison and decides to do something really worth dying for. He vandalizes the organ harvesting facility, destroying a large amount of equipment and harvested organs, but when he is recaptured and brought to trial, this crime does not even appear on the charge sheet, as the prosecution is already confident of securing a conviction on his original offense: repeated traffic violations.

A graphic adaption of the story was published in 1993.

Wait it Out

Short story in the Known Space Universe by Larry Niven, first published in 1968. Published in the collections All the Myriad Ways (1971), Tales of Known Space: The Universe of Larry Niven (1975), Playgrounds of the Mind (1991) and Three Books of Known Space (1996)

Narrator, along with Jerome Glass & Sammy Cross, has traveled to Pluto on an exploration mission when Pluto was closest to earth. About 18 months one way trip.

Sammy will stay in orbit; narrator with Jerome goes down in a landing craft.

Something goes wrong after landing. I didn’t quite catch all the details of accident, but the two are now marooned. No way to go back to orbiting return vehicle.

Sammy quickly commits suicide – by removing his helmet, & quickly freezing to death.

Narrator does something similar but doesn’t die. He is now in a semi-stasis. Comes alive with very sluggish metabolism & thoughts during night; is pretty much dead during the day.

Story is told by this frozen narrator for whom the time has all but stopped. And he is awaiting rescue which will surely come some day!

Read more: Wikipedia,

Ten Tomorrows

Ten TomorrowsShort story collection edited by Roger Elwood. Published in 1973. Contains:

Barry N. Malzberg- Yahrzeit (A strange story of an overcrowded world and its macabre solution to population growth.)
Gardner R. Dozois- In A Crooked Year (A chilling tale of one man who survives a cataclysmic war only to find he cannot live with himself. )
Robert Silverberg- Ms. Found An Abandonded Time Machine.
Laurence Janifer- A Few Minutes.
Edgar Pangborn- The Freshman Angle.
Larry Niven- The Defenseless Dead.
Anne McCaffery- The Rescued Girls of Refugee.
Pamela Sargent- Matthew.
David Gerrold- An Infinity of Loving.
James Blish- A True Bill

Space Opera stories

The Defenseless Dead

The Defenseless Dead is a novella in the Known Space Universe by Larry Niven. It is the second of five Gil Hamilton detective stories. It was published in 1973 in the Roger Elwood anthology Ten Tomorrows. Republished in The Long Arm of Gil Hamilton (1976), Playgrounds of the Mind (1991) and Flatlander (1995).

In the story, Organlegging is rampant on Earth in the early 22nd century. In an attempt to alleviate the problem, the UN has just passed the first “Freezer Law”, declaring paupers in cryogenic suspension to be dead in law, allowing their organs to be harvested and made available for transplant.

A few years later, Hamilton is finishing lunch with an acquaintance, when he is shot at in a seemingly random act by a local lunatic. Closer investigation reveals the attacker to be a former organlegger who retired after the first Freezer Bill went into law.

Gil Hamilton-stories

Novels and collections

The Organleggers (Death by Ecstasy) (1966). Published in The Shape of Space (1969, collection)
The Defenseless Dead (1973).
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)

Comics

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 Shape of Space

A Shape of SpaceShort story collection published in 1969. Contain the short stories At the Bottom of a Hole 1966, The Warriors 1966, Safe at Any Speed 1967, How the Heroes Die 1966, The Organleggers 1969. All written by Larry Niven and set in the Known Space Universe.

How the Heroes Die

First appearance in Galaxy Science Fiction, October 1966. Republished in the collections The Shape of Space (1969, collection), Inconstant Moon (1973, coll), Tales of Known Space: The Universe of Larry Niven (1975, collection), Three Books of Known Space (1996, coll)

The 15-man team setting up the first base on Mars experience tragedy when a murder is committed. Carter, the murderer, in the process of escaping on one of the transportation buggies crashes through the plastic bubble which holds in the base’s atmosphere in an attempt to kill everyone else; however, it fails, and he is soon chased by Alf, the brother of the victim on another buggy.

The lethal chase, with the two combatants in constant radio communication, slowly reveals the community stresses which resulted in the murder. Alf wants to kill Carter in revenge for his brother, while Carter wishes the same and to try once more to destroy the base …. but with limited oxygen in their tanks, the two men must ensure that they have enough left to return to base.

At the Bottom of a Hole

Short story first published in Galaxy Science Fiction, December 1966. Republished in several collections: The Shape of Space (1969, collection), Inconstant Moon (1973, coll), Tales of Known Space: The Universe of Larry Niven (1975, collection), Three Books of Known Space (1996, coll)

A sequel to “How the Heroes Die”. Muller, a smuggler with a cargo of precious magnetic monopoles, attempts to use Mars (the ‘hole’ of the title; to spacers, planets are merely gravity wells to be avoided if possible) as a means to whip his ship to a new orbit that will enable him to escape the customs authorities who are chasing him. His plan fails, and he crashlands, close to the now-abandoned base. Over the next few days, he explores the ruins and finds out the terrible story of what happened. Unfortunately, he himself suffers the same fate as the original colonists – all of which he commits to his log, which is later recovered.

The two Mars stories do belong to “Known Space” and they are specifically referred to and to some degree influence the plot of “Protector”, which takes place a long time later. Also, the failure of Mars colonization as depicted here contributes to the generally-held opinion in that future history that planets (at least in the Solar System) are virtually worthless and it is asteroids which are the truly desirable real property.

The Warriors

Short story that takes place in the Known Space Universe in the era known as the Man-Kzin Wars. Originally published in Worlds of If. Later republished in the collections The Shape of Space (1969), Tales of Known Space (1975), The Man-Kzin Wars, Three Books of Known Space and The Best of All Possible Wars.

Earth’s “Golden Age” comes rapidly to an end as a human colony ship encounters the Kzinti for the first time.

Links: WikipediaThe Future worlds of Larry NivenSlow Reader,

Safe at Any Speed

Short story first published in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction 1967. Later published in collections The Shape of Space (1969), Tales of Known Space (1975) and Three Books of Known Space (1996).

Narrator is on “Margrave, a world in the first stages of colonization”. He is a taking a 2 hour trip by an air car, on autopilot with preprogrammed route. Part way through the flight, the machine & its human occupant is eaten by a local flying monster called “roc”! This eating process has destroyed external communication devices but not life support in the car.

The beast is less powerful than car. Can neither digest it, nor take it anywhere. Instead ends up going where the machine is going! Because external sensor devices are dead, they have an accident – hit some kind of a hill.

For 6 months, the man will live inside the car inside the beast’s stomach (car apparently can synthesize food). Will eventually emerge when animal’s flesh has sufficiently degenerated, & call for help using flares.

In a settlement with “General Transportation” (the car maker), he will actually get compensation for his pains. Because car makers had not accounted for the fact that car could be eaten by a beast!

Links: WikipediaVariety SF,

The Organleggers

First appearance in Galaxy Science Fiction, January 1969 (as “The Organleggers”). Later published in collections The Shape of Space (1969, coll), Inconstant Moon (1973, coll), The Long Arm of Gil Hamilton (1976 collection), Flatlander (1995, coll.) Renamed to Death by Ecstasy when published in Inconstant Moon and that title was used from that time on.

Asteroid miner Owen Jennison is found dead in an apartment on Earth, apparently of suicide: He was a Wirehead, directly stimulating the pleasure center of the brain, and starved.

Gil Hamilton, an operative of the United Nations Police (and friend of Owen’s) must solve what appears to be a classic locked room mystery: he does not believe that Owen was the type to turn wirehead or commit suicide, so the death must have been planned by somebody else.

His investigations lead him to names associated with organlegging – the illicit handling and sale of spare body-parts. Eventually, he comes into contact with a West-Coast organlegging gang where his psychokinesis – in the form of a phantom “third arm” – becomes very useful.

Death by Ecstasy has been adapted as a graphic novel by Bill Spangler, Terry Tidwell, and Steve Stiles in 1991.

Gil Hamilton-stories

Novels and collections

The Organleggers (Death by Ecstasy) (1966)
The Defenseless Dead (1973). Published in 1973 in the Roger Elwood anthology 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)

Comics

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

Links: Wikipedia,

Neutron Star

Neutron StarsNeutron Star is 1968 collection of short stories written by Larry Niven. It was republished in an Omnibus edition in 1991 together with World of Ptavvs and A gift from Earth. Includes the short stories Neutron Star 1966, At the Core 1966, Flatlander 1967, Grendel 1968, The Handicapped, The Soft Weapon and A Relic of the Empire. All of them set in the Known Space Universe.

Neutron Star

A short story written by Larry Niven. It was originally published in the August 1966 issue (Issue 107, Vol 16, No 10) of Worlds of If. It was later reprinted in Neutron Star (1968) and in Crashlander (1994) . The story  is notable for including a neutron star before their (then hypothetical) existence was widely known.

“Neutron Star” is the first to feature Beowulf Shaeffer, the ne’er-do-well ex-pilot and reluctant hero of many of Niven’s Known Space stories. It also marked the first appearance of the nearly indestructible General Products starship hull, as well as its creators the Pierson’s Puppeteers. The star itself, BVS-1, is featured in the novel Protector (1973), where it is named “Phssthpok’s Star”. A prelude to the story is also included in the novel Juggler of Worlds.

Neutron Star

At the Core

A short story written in 1966 by Larry Niven. It is the second in the series of Known Space stories featuring crashlander Beowulf Shaeffer. The short story was originally published in Worlds of If, November 1966, and reprinted in Neutron Star (1968).

The novel Fleet of Worlds is set in the aftermath of the story, from the Puppeteer point of view. The story is retold, from the point of view of Sigmund Ausfaller, in Juggler of Worlds. The events are also referred to in Ringworld.

Four years after the events in the other short story “Neutron Star”, spaceship pilot Beowulf Shaeffer is on Jinx, a planet orbiting Sirius B, when he is again contacted by the Puppeteers, this time by the Regional President of General Products on Jinx, who offers him a chance to guide a cramped (but very fast) experimental ship to the center of the galaxy as a promotional stunt. Shaeffer is offered one hundred thousand stars to make the trip, plus fifty thousand stars to write about it; he is also given the rights to sell the story. Shaeffer, seeing the value of such a promotion (as well as the value of his pay) agrees to go, naming the ship Long Shot.

Flatlander

The short story was originally published in Worlds of If, November 1966, and reprinted in Neutron Star (1968) and Crashlander (1994).

Traveling to Earth after his trip to the core of the Milky Way Galaxy, Beowulf “Bey” Shaeffer befriends Gregory Pelton, a fabulously wealthy and gregarious flatlander who calls himself Elephant. Irritated at always being labeled a flatlander despite having logged many hours in space, Elephant decides to visit the most unusual system in or near Known Space, and has his agents put in a call to meet with the nearest Outsider vessel. Elephant show Shaeffer around Earth for a few days.

Four days after landing on Earth, Elephant and Shaeffer travel to the edge of Known Space in Elephant’s ship, the Slower Than Infinity, to meet the Outsiders for information on the location of the most unusual system in Known Space. The Outsiders charge one million “stars” (the interstellar currency) for the whereabouts of the system and Elephant accepts; the Outsiders also offer to explain, for an additional two hundred thousand stars, what exactly makes the star system unusual. Elephant declines when they reveal that he will be able to find this out for himself.

Grendel

A short story written in 1968 by Larry Niven. It is the fourth in the series of Known Space stories featuring crashlander Beowulf Shaeffer. The short story was originally published in Neutron Star (1968) and Crashlander (1994).

Beowulf “Bey” Shaeffer is on a flight between Down and Gummidgy when the ship’s captain, Margo Tellefsen, announces that she is dropping of out hyperdrive so passengers can witness a starseed setting sail. Just after this happens, all passengers are knocked out by a gas introduced in the ship’s life system; while no cargo is missing, a Kdatlyno touch sculptor named Lloobee has gone missing…

The Handicapped

A science fiction short story written in 1967 by Larry Niven. Published in Neutron Star (1968).

The story introduces the Grogs; the sessile but sentient inhabitants of the planet known as Down.

Mr Garvey arrives at the planet Down, having heard about the natives called Grogs. Garvey Limited, a company owned by his father, makes artificial limbs and other tools for the “Handicapped” species; sentient beings that evolved minds but with nothing that would serve as hands, like dolphins. A local reluctantly agrees to show him a living Grog in the desert, but the Grog turns out to be a disappointment. It is sessile enough, being a furry cone living anchored to a rock, but it seems utterly void of sentience. The latter observation is later confirmed by a local exobiologist.

The next morning, Garvey has a revelation. Somehow he knows the Grogs are sentient, without knowing why he knows. He returns to the desert and finds another Grog that begins to communicate with Garvey telepathically. It turns out the Grogs are indeed sentient beings with strong telepathic abilities, but for fear of being perceived as a threat for this very reason, they have concealed this until now. But having read Garvey’s mind, seeing he can help them break their isolation, they are willing to take their chances…

The Soft Weapon

A science fiction short story written in 1967 by Larry Niven. It was the basis of the Star Trek: The Animated Series episode, The Slaver Weapon. The original idea for the episode later became Niven’s novellette The Borderland of Sol.

The Soft Weapon was first published in If (magazine) in 1967 and has since been included in the short story collections Neutron Star (1968) and Playgrounds of the Mind (1991)

The story introduces the character of Nessus, who later became one of the main characters of the novel Ringworld. The story is retold, from the point of view of Nessus, in Juggler of Worlds.

Nessus is returning from a diplomatic mission to the Outsiders, having purchased what is apparently a Thrint stasis box, on a passenger ship run by a human couple, Jason and Anne Marie Papandreou.

They stop at Beta Lyrae to sightsee where they unexpectedly discover, by deep radar, another stasis box. However, the box is a trap by Kzinti pirates. The rogue Kzinti are using a dummy stasis box to lure ships that they detect to be in possession of stasis boxes. The Kzin capture the crew and open the looted stasis box, which is revealed to be a Tnuctipun stasis box, not Thrintun. Stasis boxes (which are rare) often contain advanced technological products of immense military value. The Kzinti hope to use the contents of the box to develop weapons technology that will allow them to wage wars of conquest.

The box contains a Tnuctipun weapon which is capable of morphing into several devices, none of which are deemed useful by the Kzinti as war weapons. However, one setting, an energy absorber, causes the Kzinti restraint field to fail, allowing Jason and Nessus to escape with the weapon. They are recaptured, but not before Jason manages to discover a hidden setting. This setting is a matter-to-energy conversion beam, which is far more powerful than anything possessed by either Human or Kzinti.

The Kzinti, desperate to know how to access the hidden setting, threaten Jason’s wife in attempt to get him to divulge it, but he refuses. Her life is spared when the device, which is intelligent (and loyal to its long-extinct Tnuctipun masters), begins to speak. The Kzinti converse with the weapon, believing they are getting knowledge of how to access the setting. However, the weapon, believing itself to have fallen into the possession of an enemy, tricks the Kzin into activating a self-destruct mechanism. The Kzinti are killed, the humans and Puppeteer survive, in part thanks to the restraint technology used protecting them from the blast impact.

A Relic of the Empire

Larry Niven implicitly joined hist two previous timelines (The Belter Series and Neutron Star/Ringworld) in the story A Relic of the Empire, in which the background elements of the Slaver civilization (introduced in World of Ptavvs, from the Belter series) was used as a plot element of a story in the faster-than-light setting. Roughly 300 years separates the timeline of the last stories of the early setting (which are set roughly between 2000 and 2350), from the earliest stories in the later Neutron Star/Ringworld setting (which are set in 2651 (Neutron Star) and later).

Beowulf Shaeffer stories

Neutron Star, the first story in the Beowulf Shaeffer series.
At the Core, the second story in the series.
Flatlander, the third story in the series.
Grendel, the fourth story in the series.
Borderland of Sol, fifth story about Beowulf Shaeffer. Published in Crashlander.
Procrustes, the sixth story in the series. Published in Crashlander
Ghost, the framing story in the collection Crashlander.
Fly-By-Night, the seventh story in the series, written after Crashlander.

More: WikipediaDarkRoastedMike BrothertonGoogle,

References on Neutron Stars: WikipediaNASA,

Known Space Books and Games

Books by (Larry Niven)

Collections

  • 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)

Novels

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)

Comics

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)

Games

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