The Flight of the Horse
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

The Flight of the Horse

3.77 of 5 stars 3.77  ·  rating details  ·  1,076 ratings  ·  23 reviews
'We don't know where on Earth you'll wind up,' Ra Chen had told him.

And the Director of the Institute for Temporal Research didn't know precisely when, either. ALl he knew was that Haville Svetz would be travelling back in time almost 2,000 years.

But when he returns, Hanville Svetz won't be alone. If his mission is successful he will be accompanied by a creature long extin...more
Paperback, 212 pages
Published March 4th 1999 by Orbit (first published September 1973)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Flight of the Horse, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Flight of the Horse

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,654)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
John
As a rule, I'm not a big fan of Niven's attempts at humor, and the first several stories in this collection, including the title story, confirm my opinion. Those tales of Svetz, a civil service time traveller, tasked at bringing extinct animals from the past, manage to combine weak satire and a good amount of silliness with an underlying grimness and pessimism into what I found an unpleasant mix.

On the other hand, the last two pieces are unrelated novellas, and they are significantly better. Th...more
Alex
Acceptable, mildly diverting, but overall dumb.
Raj
This collection of short stories mostly describes the exploits of Hanville Svetz and his attempts to retrieve extinct animals to please the childlike ruler of this future world. Except nobody really knows what these animals look like, so nobody questions it when the Horse has a horn and likes young women; or when the Snake has wings and breathes fire.

These stories are mostly quite amusing as Svetz blunders about in time trying to retrieve whatever has taken the whimsy of the Secretary-General of...more
Melanie
This book is unlike anything else I've read of Niven. He normally sticks to science fiction. This is most definitely fantasy especially the last story. However, I wouldn't let the label of genre dissuade the reader from trying it out. It's an interesting book because it is stretching the ability of the writer. It is probably a good exercise for writers to try writing in a genre that is not so familiar to them occasionally. You can point out the science fiction influences in the way he describes...more
Stephanie
Larry Niven's Flight of the Horse is a whimsical handful of stories about time travel, more fantasy than science fiction, and two novellas. Svetz, the "time retrieval expert," reminds me somewhat of Stanislaw Lem's "Pirx the Pilot." The first novella, "Flash Crowd," is an examination of what life could be like with "displacement booths," instant transportation devices.
M—
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Andreas
In this, hilarious short story collection, time traveller from the future Svetz has to go back in time and collect fauna from our time in order to populate the ruler’s zoo. Unfortunately, the time machine has the unexpected side effect of making him chase after mythical creatures. The horse is actually a unicorn and so on. The past is a fantasy version of the real past. Poor Svetz has to contend with quite a few mishaps with dragons and the like. A lot of fun, much of it with Svetz as the punchl...more
Jimmy Pedersen
Weird little book, but I really enjoyed it :-)
Valerie
Time-travel paradoxes played for laughs. This may have been the 1st Niven book I ever read, and I didn't pick it up because of him, but because I was intrigued by the title. The description of the 'flight of the horse' is more poetic than Niven's usual work.

I should point out that Niven seems to be laboring under a misapprehension about the speed of evolutionary change, and about the slowness of cultural change. He's scarcely alone in that, of course, but I hadn't really noticed it until I read...more
Rob
Larry Niven's dystopian tales of Svetz the Time Traveler, all included in The Flight of the Horse, are not among his best. However, this collection also contains my favorite story from his fantasy universe: "What Good Is a Glass Dagger?", featuring the Warlock and an unlikely ally, that sets the stage for his more famous novella The Magic Goes Away.
Kristen Johnson
I really enjoyed this collection of short stories. Svetz's adventures into other times were fun, but I loved the story "Flash Crowd" about a newstaper (news journalist) who investigates the company JumpShift who makes teleportation devices. These devices have consequently enabled people from all over the world to congregate in one location resulting in the Mall riot. I got lost a little on some of the scientific explanations, but it was a fun read.

Steve
Time travel is fantasy, the rules of physics don't allow it. At least when Niven wrote these stories. So, given it's a fantasy, what kind of things could happen. Niven loves to consider the societal implications of some counter-fact. These stories let his imagination run with the concept of travel through time, bringing back artifacts and life forms from the past. Travel to the future remains impossible.
Darth
Sep 27, 2010 Darth rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: niven
I had read all the stories in this one already except for Flash Crowd - Most in Rainbow Mars, and Glass Dagger in Time of the Warlock - So I gave it a spin just for Flash Crowd. Having read all the Ringworld novels already this was a fun short story that went a good ways towards setting up the world of Louis Wu
Mars
Tales of Svetz, the Time Retrieval Expert (and a few other futuristic tales tossed in for padding)
This is a small collection of Niven's stories about Svetz, and a few others. The way this is written would probably be much more enjoyable to a 10-to-12 year old demographic than grownups, but it's not bad.
fri-'net-ik
Feb 16, 2008 fri-'net-ik rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: students of sociology and journalism
Certainly the most interesting short story in my opinion is Flash Crowd, which in its way predicted the short-lived internet meme of flash mobs 30 years before they started happening and examines the problems with instant journalism combined with instant travel...
Marva
Nov 11, 2007 Marva rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Larry Niven fans
Another oldie from SciFi. Strangely, I think I missed this one all these years. At least I don't recall it. It's fun to see references to tapes instead of DVDs, somebody having to find a telephone to make a call. Still, Niven is always entertaining.
Rob
Enjoyable. Niven plays around with the idea that if Time Machines are fantasies, then a time machine will bring back fantastical creatures. Flash Crowd is a very interesting exploration of how technology effects our societies for better and worse.
Jacinda
Liked "Flash Crowd" and "What good is a glass dagger". The other stories were eh... I'm not really a fan of Niven's sense of humor or how he ends stories with a "funny" comment.
Emu
Dec 19, 2008 Emu rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: sci-fi
Just a humble short story collection, several of them tied together in a series. Not his strongest work, but a fun read. Especially the time travel pieces. Time travel hurrah!
Jonathan
Time travel to fantasy from totalitarianism. Highly amusing.
bluetyson
Flight of the Horse by Larry Niven (1999)
Liz
Typically great Niven short stories.
Lorelei
Still wonderful fun.
Freek
Dec 13, 2007 Freek added it
N/A
Kurt Cason
Kurt Cason marked it as to-read
Sep 11, 2014
Shane
Shane marked it as to-read
Sep 11, 2014
Michelle Johnson
Michelle Johnson marked it as to-read
Sep 09, 2014
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 55 56 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Warm Worlds and Otherwise
  • Empire Star
  • Up the Line
  • Ensign Flandry (Flandry, #1)
  • The Left Hand of the Electron
  • Hello Summer, Goodbye
  • This Star Shall Abide (Children of the Star, #1)
  • Isle of the Dead
  • The Whole Man
  • Time and Again
  • Telempath
  • Pilgrimage: The Book of the People (The People)
  • Lest Darkness Fall
  • Chaining the Lady (Cluster, #2)
  • Lord Kalvan of Otherwhen (Paratime Police)
12534
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

Share This Book