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Tales of Known Space: The Universe of Larry Niven
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Tales of Known Space: The Universe of Larry Niven (Known Space)

4.15 of 5 stars 4.15  ·  rating details  ·  3,952 ratings  ·  39 reviews
Ranging from the 20th Century to the 31st, these interconnected stories trace Man's expansion and colonization throughout the galaxy...

Becalmed in hell
Howie's spaceship had a malfunction...but it might be only psychosomatic!

Wait it out
He was trapped on Pluto...and all his assets were frozen!

The borderland of Sol
Forward possessed the ultimate weapon...but no one would ever
...more
Mass Market Paperback, 240 pages
Published March 12th 1981 by Del Rey (first published July 12th 1975)
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Hyperion by Dan SimmonsEnder's Game by Orson Scott CardDune by Frank HerbertFoundation by Isaac AsimovCassastar by Alex J. Cavanaugh
Best Space Opera
58th out of 301 books — 716 voters
Old Man's War by John ScalziStarship Troopers by Robert A. HeinleinPandora's Star by Peter F. HamiltonRevelation Space by Alastair ReynoldsOn Basilisk Station by David Weber
Excellent Space Opera
133rd out of 280 books — 1,471 voters


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Community Reviews

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Kaethe
Fair warning: one really nasty tale of homophobia.

Classic stories from the 60s and 70s, one out-of-date (as science) practically before it was published. What works: the tech and the mystery format that many of the stories fall into. What doesn't work: well, despite being able to imagine that each off-world culture would distinguish itself from home-earth culture, the nevertheless manage to be pretty white and patriarchal. For once the large-scale erasure of female characters is a relief, becaus
...more
Preston Page
Full of wonderful sci fi ideas, not the mostly junk on the so called sci fi channel. Pierson Puppetteers are one of the most interesting of all aliens, they change the laws of earth to breed lucky human beings, and it only works or partially to their advantage. Human beings are descendent from an intelligent species fleeing from the galactic core. The list goes on and on. Please read and enjoy, there are many other books of this series.
Emu
Jun 10, 2009 Emu rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: sci-fi
Nothing world-shattering; just filling in lots of details for Niven's universe. Exactly what I was hoping for. A fun read.
Charles Palmer
Any Niven book or short story is worth reading! The very best SCI/FI writer ever!!!
Phil Giunta
Larry Niven's Known Space series of anthologies and novels covers a vast timeline of spacefaring adventures encompassing 10,000 years. This particular volume contains 13 stories. While it was interesting to see how richly populated and developed Niven's universe is, only about half of the tales in this collection appealed to me. All were interesting in their own way, but I found the other half to be anticlimactic. My favorites included:

"Eye of an Octopus" - Human explorers on Mars discover a str
...more
Marcus Gipps
Yep, more Niven, just because. It's alright, there's only one more I own that isn't in storage, so I'll stop soon. This is a collection of short stories, all set in Niven's Known Space future history and, as is almost always the case with short stories, the quality is variable. There are some nice SF ideas done in a few pages, and the science appears to be fairly accurate (if a little dated in places). A couple of the stories are more concerned with the impact of technological advances on societ ...more
Brett
Nov 28, 2014 Brett rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to Brett by: Bungie
Not as good as I remembered it being.

This anthology collects all of Larry Niven's Known Space short stories that don't fit in thematically to his other collections (Crashlander, Flatlander, and Neutron Star.) As such, it's a grab bag of quality. The early stories are the first that Niven ever wrote, and seem unpublishable by modern standards. The middle entries are characterized by great concepts lacking in execution. The last few stories, however, are among Niven's best.

The Coldest Place 1/5

Be
...more
Cole Schoolland
An interesting collection, but it didn't help me gain a good sense of the history of Niven's universe. I did appreciate Niven's unique take on John Carter of Mars though.

I suppose I'm going back to his main works.
krin
Apr 05, 2010 krin rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: sf
I enjoyed this anthology of Known Space stories. I especially liked the stories "Wait it out," (set on Pluto), "At the Bottom of a Hole," (Muller discovers the truth behind the failure of a human settlement on Mars) and "The Borderland of Sol" (Julius Forward has a very dangerous weapon). I also like the timeline at the beginning of the book which sets the stories in context and the bibliography at the end.

Readers who like Niven's work may like Shaun Farrell's October 2007 interview with Larry N
...more
Richard Buro
A representative collection of Mr. Niven's early short fiction all set in that part of space he calls "Known Space," which includes interplanetary.space around our Sun as well as near interstellar areas. Those who appreciate "hard" science fiction will appreciate Mr. Niven's work which reflects the knowledge as we have had it regarding interplanetary space inour Solar System. The end pages of the book includes a "history" of the Known Space short and longer (novel length) works inclusive of thos ...more
Charles
weak. I was hopeful for this book. I loved some of the ideas in a couple of his novels, but the characters were just stereotypes. Like, his aliens were unique but didn't have distinct personalities. One Kzinti is the same as another. The humans were all stereotypes, the most common one being the manipulative, but "good" spy-type of personality. But, I thought maybe character development would be less important in his short stories-he could focus more on the cool SF ideas. But, maybe Niven needs ...more
Mark
Short stories spanning the first part of Niven's writing career, all set in his "Known Space" future. Some of the stories were obsolete almost before they appeared in print but they all were based on extending just the frayed edge of accepted science at the time and examining the possible consequences. THoughtful, fun and cautiously optimistic.
Doug
The stories in this were kind of hit and miss (as you'd expect from a collection that spans so many years of a writer honing his craft). You could probably skip some of the earlier ones (which read a little bit like 40's Asimov knock-offs to me). I particularly liked Niven's unselfconscious introduction and his notes on the stories.
Nick
Jul 26, 2013 Nick rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: sf, diff-ed
I'm not normally a short story reader but I make an exception for Larry Niven. This loosely connected set of stories is a good place to start. Gives you a scatter-shot overview of the Known Space setting for many of his collections and novels, and a good sense of his writing aesthetic.
Blair
i very much enjoyed the book, again these are short stories but i don't think their are any stories in that book that i could complain about. my dad introduced me to niven's books and i certainly plain to read more.
Ninja Pigeon
Mr. Niven has an amazing ability to draw you into his life, not just his worlds, with a candid manner of writing about the happenings in his worlds and his own life.
A pleasure to have been a part of it.
Marin
Stories in this collection proved to vary greatly in quality, but most of them are pretty good. Another (more or less) fitting piece added to the fun and exciting Known Universe puzzle :)
Kevin
Some of Niven's short sci-fi stories. Good reads, though in this vein I like some of his short novels better: Neutron Star, Protector.
Terran
Niven's worldbuilding is really at its best in short-story form, where the punch of the idea can stand on its own.
J.D.
A must read for Niven fans! It's like a guided tour of Known Space history with storybook flashbacks included.
Max Wilson
A great anthology for folks wanting to test the waters with Larry Niven. One of my all-time favorites.
Chris
I've really enjoyed this early Niven stuff. Also try and keep my body organs to myself.
Michael Burhans
Great stories from Larry Niven's Known Space universe. A must have for the fan.
Dev
Nivens hard science of the 70's was the best of the time and it still holds up today.
Kevin
"Neutron Star" is a better introduction to Niven's Known Space universe.
Nathanielk
Somewhat dated, but he wrote the original book on semi-realistic space opera.
Vaughn Grabarkewitz
Ahhhhh. One of my all time favorites. Very much a "comfort" read now
Chad
May 07, 2011 Chad added it
An interesting gathering of short stories... worth the read.
Lawrence
More fantasit science fiction by the master. Niven - you're awesome.
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Laurence van Cott Niven's best known work is Ringworld (Ringworld, #1) (1970), which received the Hugo, Locus, Ditmar, and Nebula awards. His work is primarily hard science fiction, using big science concepts and theoretical physics. The creation of thoroughly worked-out alien species, which are very different from humans both physically and mentally, is recognized as one of Niven's main strengths ...more
More about Larry Niven...
Ringworld (Ringworld, #1) The Mote in God's Eye (Moties, #1) Lucifer's Hammer The Ringworld Engineers (Ringworld, #2) Footfall

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