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Playgrounds of the Mind

3.86 of 5 stars 3.86  ·  rating details  ·  567 ratings  ·  10 reviews
The sequel to N-Space

Playgrounds of the Mind captures the startling range and variety of Larry Niven's spectacular career, from bestselling novels such as Lucifer's Hammer and The Ringworld Engineers, from his classic short stories of science fiction and fantasy, from his thought-provoking essays and non-fiction, from his innovative and seldom-seen work in comics (on such
Paperback, 704 pages
Published July 15th 1992 by Tor Science Fiction (first published 1991)
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As usual, science fiction stories are the easily digestible and thought provoking fare, though I have to say I much prefer Asimov's and Clarke's short stories overall. This volume is definitely meant for those who are more familiar with Niven's writing and career. It's harder to appreciate for a newcomer like myself; too many anecdotes and references. I haven't even read Ringworld, but after this, I'm definitely looking out for a copy. The known space universe isn't much to my taste though, I ha ...more
Dec 11, 2008 Peter rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Hardcore Niven fans
Shelves: science-fiction
WARNING: Playgrounds of the Mind contains about 99% recycled material.

Sometimes, when a writer gets older, they start recycling their work. Heck, some of them even do it when they're young. They put out book after book of short story collections in which a large numbers of the stories are duplicates from previous editions, and only a few of the stories are new.

It's sleazy, of course; basically an obnoxious way to rip off the reader. Unfortunately, in his declining years Larry Niven started doing
This is Larry Niven’s second volume of various essays, short-stories, and various anecdotes from his 40 years in science-fiction circles. The first was N-SPACE.

Some of the material in Playgrounds of the Mind is very interesting, such as his essay "Bigger than Worlds", in which he sketches out a number of interesting ideas for large-scale habitats, including his now famous Ringworld. His recipe for Irish coffee is sure to delight fans of the drink.

Nonetheless, the bulk of the selections in Playgr
Erika RS
A book of short stories, excerpts, with a handful of random stuff thrown in just for fun. Much of the material was excellent, but like many collections, some of it was "meh". A number of the random items and some of the commentary read like special messages for people in the know -- all well and good, but confusing to outsiders. Overall, it was a lot of fun.
If you’ve never read Larry Niven, these two collections are a great place to start. They are both a mix of essays, short fiction, and excerpts from novels. If you’ve already read practically all of Niven’s work, there is not a lot of new material, but the convention essays still make the books worth the read.
I would have been happy with a collection of short stories, instead it turned out to be excerpts from his novels, way too much commectary about the stories he didn't write (who wants to hear about bad story ideas!), and just a few short stories (mostly about magic instaed of sci-fi. Dissapointment!
I gave this 5 stars because while it's not a complete story arc, it is a great sampler for intro into Larry Niven, and it really turned me on to his stuff.
Just as good as "N Space". I love Niven's books, but I think he shines best in the short-story format.
Kenneth Flusche
Good short story book, If you read a lot of Niven you will recognize parts of many of his stories
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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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