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N-Space

3.91  ·  Rating Details ·  2,058 Ratings  ·  30 Reviews
Arthur C. Clarke was once asked to name his favorite writer. His answer was "Larry Niven." Countless others agree. The Baltimore Sun and Kirkus Reviews have both dubbed Niven "the premier writer of hard SF," and Gregory Benford has hailed him as "the paradigm of SF personality of the last several decades."

Now Larry Niven presents us with his undisputed masterwork. N-Space
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Paperback, 544 pages
Published August 21st 2007 by Tor Books (first published August 28th 1990)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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K. Axel
May 30, 2014 K. Axel rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, anthologies
Alright, another huge anthology by Larry Niven, so there is bound to be some "old friends" from other collections and anthologies. This will be another review-in-progress, so expect short reviews as I read the shortstories and excerpts (yeah, this anthology has short bits from a few of his novels).

This anthology gives the reader more than just shortstories, it also gives us stories about Larry Niven, as well as stories about how he got to write the... stories. I personally love this sort of thin
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Joel Bradshaw
May 02, 2015 Joel Bradshaw rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book has a special place in my heart. Nearly a decade ago, someone pasted the entirety of The Hole Man in a comment on Slashdot, and I printed it out, read it on the bus, and loved everything about it. Looking for more, I originally picked up a copy of N-Space in some used book store in Seattle - probably Ophelia's - and was instantly fascinated. This was the book that really got me back into sci-fi, gave me a taste of what was possible, and fully introduced me to the inimitable Larry Niven ...more
Robert Dunlap
Jul 13, 2016 Robert Dunlap rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Most books I buy used and donate. I donated this one and regretted it, then found it again in a smaller paperback. What a relief!

This book has an eye-opening discussion of Niven's methods, including the fact that before writing a certain story, he wrote a couple pages of differential questions.

That's the difference between amateurs and masters, between the shallow and the deep. Niven makes sure his assumptions have a physical basis and are consistent with the story. There is also a glimpse into
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Larry Wentzel
Feb 20, 2015 Larry Wentzel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Anna
Anna marked it as to-read
May 02, 2015
Darth
Jul 27, 2013 Darth rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: niven
I love me some short stories - in general because if you get a stinker you arent tied up in it that long - in specific I am rounding out the missing Niven shorts. I was able to skip over the novel chunks in this one, and thankfully because this book is over 650 pages. Not that its too long, just very thick, and awkward to keep ahold of near the front and back - not so bad in the middle.

The shorts are excellent and instead of a quick paragraph at the front of the book, there is an intro by the au
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Kevin Kern
Dec 31, 2015 Kevin Kern rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Amazing collection of excerpts from existing novels, short-stories, and original drafts. Niven is one of the best science fiction authors out there, among the likes of Heinlein and Vonnegut. Definitely recommend this as an intro for those who are unfamiliar with Niven.
J.D.
This collection of Niven tales and lore allows you not only to experience some classic Niven, but also gives great 'behind-the-scenes' info and history on how these stories began and were developed. It reads like a history lesson and biography with neat stories mixed in between. You do get another unique Smoke Ring story in 'The Kiteman', and a great CoDominion (see Pournelle) short story in 'Brenda'. I personally found the book helped me to understand Niven himself better. If you want in depth ...more
Shayna
May 20, 2016 Shayna rated it it was amazing
At the beginning, I wasn't sure what I would think of this book.
Turns out, I'd end up bloody loving it!
I don't know if it's Nivens sense of humour, or his talent at writing science fiction, but I loved every minute that I spent reading this book.
It's a great insight into the world of sci-fi and Niven, and it's great.
King Ævil
Nov 02, 2013 King Ævil rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another collection of short fiction and excerpts from novels. Most notable for the story "Brenda," which adds some fascinating development to the universe of The Mote in God's Eye, and essential background for The Gripping Hand.

The worst part of this compilation, by far, is the final essay on economic development of space travel, which I call "Libertarians in Spaaaaaace!". It's tragic that such fertile minds as those of Niven and his colleagues would be completely taken in by the corporate propa
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William Alan
Jul 11, 2016 William Alan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The collected short stories of SF's premier hard-science writer. Good throughout, great in places. Recommended.

And yes, I still have my signed first edition.
M.G. Mason
Nice introductory collection of short stories, snippets of novels and previously published material from the master of science fiction.
August
Jun 15, 2011 August rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to August by: Joel Bradshaw
Phew! Besides being painfully long, N-Space was quite wonderful. I don't normally go for hard science fiction. It's too dry and thick and pretentious, in my experience. But Larry Niven is a genius. He knows how to slip the science right under my nose in the guise of likable, interesting characters and fascinating landscapes. I enjoyed nearly every story in here, although some felt a little repetitious (I mean, he is writing in the same universe almost every time. Known Space is an impressive fea ...more
Greg
Aug 24, 2012 Greg rated it it was amazing
Shelves: york
I won this book in a prize draw, promptly forgot about it then was surprised when it turned up (after international shipping) five weeks later. It's a joy - a mixture of hard sci-fi, one-shots and short stories based around a variety of subjects. The hard sci-fi (by which I mean it's not just set in the future or space or has glowing buttons and laser guns, but is actually set in scientifically reasonable worlds and situations distinctly and fundamentally different from our own) is presented wit ...more
Marleda Jones
This is one of my favorite short story collections. Generally, I like my book on a more ...epic level. When I do find a good collection of short stories that go well together and are all generally well done in and of themselves, I get excited. This is one of those cases.

Another one I read when I was a teenager, influenced by my older brother, I think he loaned it to me. I've since read it again, and it's enjoyable at different ages.

Contains the famous "Man of Steel, Woman of Kleenex" essay, whi
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Kathryn
Don't read this if you're looking for a nice neat list of short stories. Or even a vaguely coherent collection. This is more of a "Best Of" gathering that includes short stories, snippets of larger works, fun essays (but only if you like HARD science fiction), works in progress, and other random assortments. I'll take a pass on anything Niven's written in collaboration with another author (those always leave me cold), but everything else can be read over and over.
Kelsey
Oct 23, 2007 Kelsey rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
There are some truly great stories in here, such as "The Fourth Profession", "Inconstant Moon", and "What Can You Say About Chocolate-Covered Manhole Covers"...but along with that it has short stories that were never actually finished...and you can't tell which ones are finished and which ones aren't until you get to the end and there either is an ending or their isn't.
Andreas
Sep 03, 2011 Andreas rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.

http://www.books.rosboch.net/?p=1089
Elana
Aug 07, 2011 Elana added it
Awesomeness! I'm very excited now to read everything else Niven has ever written. "The Fourth Profession" and "Man of Steel, Woman of Kleenex" really stood out to me as being the best short stories. I loved getting to know Grand Masters of SF through Niven's eyes, while Niven's talent shone through as well.
K
Jun 26, 2011 K rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The rating probably has more to do with not being a big science fiction fan combined with aversion to large books of short stories.also the book is a mix of complete/ incomplete stories, essays, notes, etc. I noted a few of the stories I particularly liked in my updates.
Linda
May 24, 2008 Linda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who likes any of Niven's stuff.
This not only has lots of good Niven short stories and novel excerpts, but personal commentary from Niven himself about the origins of the stories, or what it was like working on them. I enjoyed Niven's remarks at least as much as the stories themselves.
Patrick
Nov 05, 2009 Patrick rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
A sample book of Niven's works. Contains short stories, exerpts from books, and my personal favorite, an essay called "Man of Steel, Woman of Kleenex." Great stuff.
Aaron Anderson
How do you rate an anthology of a ton of short stories from a span of an author's career? Some were great, most were so-so, some were actively bad.
Benjamin
Not bad some good stories, many of them I've read before. I'm not really big on collections like this, but it was worthwhile reading.
Mrelia
May 10, 2007 Mrelia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Worth reading if only for "Man of Steel, Woman of Kleenex". :)
Some amusing cartoons render this book unsuitable for children.
Liz Howard
Jan 01, 2010 Liz Howard rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Sci Fi Fans (not to be confused with syfy fans)
Made me want to read a whole lot of Larry Niven, that's for sure. I got started in Known Space because of this book.
Roberto
Jan 30, 2009 Roberto rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great for Larry Niven fans, since it contains some odd stuff and some autobiographical notes, which I liked.
Edward
May 03, 2010 Edward rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book compelled me to automatically buy any Larry Niven books I saw after reading this.
Scott
Mar 28, 2013 Scott rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Worth reading for the great analysis of why an intimate night with Superman is a bad idea alone!
Andy
Jul 20, 2008 Andy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Worth checking out for "Man of Steel, Woman of Kleenex" alone.
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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
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