Three from Larry Niven

Tales of Known Space Neutron StarCrashlander

“I have to admit,” I said to Mr. Niven, “while I’ve read most of your collaborations with Jerry Pournelle and liked them, I’ve never actually read a whole book done written just by you.”

“Well, I’m pretty good alone,” he replied

The occasion was Minicon 50, a rare visit to a science convention for me. Mostly I went to see some of the other guests of honor, Michael Whelan and Tom Doherty, but my wife wanted to see Larry Niven. While I had certainly read Niven solo pieces through the years in various anthologies and magazines, I had never actually read any of his collections.

So, I took three off the shelf – Tales of Known Space: The Universe of Larry Niven (1975), Neutron Star (1968), and Crashlander (1994) – and was in the midst of reading the first when I briefly talked to Mr. Niven before a panel appearance of his. All three are part of Niven’s Known Space, one of the many series I’ve grazed in without entirely consuming. In this case, I first encountered Niven with “Neutron Star” in the late 1970s in one of those anthologies of Hugo winners.

No reviews follow, just impressions, criticisms, and spoilers. Continue reading

The Collected Stories of Robert Silverberg, Volume Four: Trips, 1972-73


By 1973, the brilliant star of Robert Silverberg was set to go off the main sequence of science fiction.

His furnace of production had been going for over 21 years since his first sale in 1952.

Even judged merely by awards, he was burning very bright indeed between 1968 and 1973 when his work won six awards for various lengths.

But deep within the core of the Silverberg sun, all was not well. Continue reading