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Flatlander (Known Space)

3.95  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,572 Ratings  ·  29 Reviews
Gil "The Arm" Hamilton was one of the top operatives of ARM, the elite UN plice force. His intuition was unfailingly accurate, his detective skills second to none, and his psychic powers -- esper sense and telekinesis -- were awesome. Now you can read all the classic stories of the legendary ARM operative, collected in one volume for the first time -- plus, an all-new, nev ...more
Kindle Edition, 369 pages
Published (first published June 1995)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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May 15, 2016 Andrew rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have added this book (and yes I do have a copy of it - partly because at the time I didn't realise how much of the volume is covered off in other books I have already read) but really there is only one story in it I needed to read having covered the rest of the book between reading "the long ARM.." and "Patchwork girl". The story in question is "The woman in del Ray Crater"

This story is set after the events of the Patchwork Girl but sees Gil Hamilton return to his role within ARM. As such its
All the Gil “The Arm” Hamilton stories collected in one volume with a previously unpublished story. These are good SciFi murder mysteries set in the Known Space universe. It just goes to show that Niven has a devious mind. As he says himself, SciFi murder stories are tricky since the reader must know all the “rules” of the environment in order to have a shot at solving the mystery himself.

Note: Most of the stories were previously published in “The Long Arm of Gil Hamilton”.

Leo Knight
A collection of stories in Niven's "Known Space" universe, featuring Gil "The Arm" Hamilton, essentially noir-ish detective stories with SF elements. For sheer science fiction mindbenders, Niven always delivers. However, some of the stories feel a bit dated, having been written mostly in the '70s. I especially noted his pre-AIDS view of casual sex. Also, Niven seems to want to slide in political digs, e.g. one particularly reviled group are called "Naderites", most of the problems of the world a ...more
Jan 02, 2013 Traummachine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a collection of 5 stories, varying from 50-115 or so pages each. Niven did a great job of fleshing out this point in his Known Space timeline, and with the main characters constant in these tales it allowed him to spend more time on plot and social commentary and less on developing new characters over and over. Actually, it also allowed him to flesh out the main characters more fully -- with 5 stories, there were 5 different sets of circumstances for them to react to.

Again Niven reminded
Sep 29, 2013 Patrick rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A friend recommend the exploits of Gil Hamilton, ARM detective, to me. My own series is focused on a detective, so I like to read other science fiction detective stories. The five novellas/novelettes included here were written by Larry Niven between 1968 and 1995. The stories are:

Death by Ecstasy
The Defenseless Dead
The Patchwork Girl
The Woman in Del Rey Crater

Gil was born on Earth and emigrated to the Belt, where several years later he is injured in an explosion while trying to move an astero
Nov 09, 2015 Brett rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Brett by: Bungie
Collects all of the Gil “The Arm” Hamilton stories, which are sci-fi detective stories set within Known Space. Four short stories and one novella. The anthology is bookended by its weakest entries – which are decent – but everything in the middle of the book is great, including the sizable novella.

Death by Ecstasy 3/5
Good mystery, with a particularly interesting setting – it establishes the practices of organlegging and droud addiction, which become core facets of Known Space. However, the writi
Charles Harrison
Dec 14, 2015 Charles Harrison rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I do love a bit of Niven and this one was a safe bet mainly because I have read one of the stories before. The mystery is solid for a set of short stories you are playing guess the murderer right up until Gil gets attacked every time! What really stands out is the inventive use of the science. Suppose esp existed what would be it's practical outlay? This is how proper science fiction works. The futuristic morals and new crimes (organ legging etc.) make this near future work all too believable.
Jun 19, 2011 Jen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
There was some overlap to this book and Ringworld, yet I'm glad that I read Ringworld first as Larry Niven didn't explain Puppeteers, Kzintzi, or the inhabitants of Jinx at all. He just sort of assumed you knew what they were about. He also did very little by way of explaining General Products hulls. Nonetheless, this was a charming little novella and great fun to read as a sequel to Ringworld.
Mar 27, 2014 Jimagn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I don't what it is about Larry Niven that I enjoy his writing so much, but there it is. If I were on a desert island and could have books from only one author, they would likely be his. Gil Hamilton stories weren't always my favorites of the Niven oeuvre, but going back to them I find great enjoyment. This version also has some comments from Niven which only add to an appreciation of his craft and creativity. Fortunately for me Larry Niven has been a prolific author.
May 27, 2014 A.N. rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Niven's favorites (smoking, alcohol/drugs, sex, psi power,
criminals for organs & 'Del Rey Cracker') wrapped in CSI.
Dec 04, 2014 Dale rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Always enjoy reading Larry Niven's books.
Mar 26, 2013 Darth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: niven
Gil "the ARM" Hamilton stories are not my faves in the Niven-Verse, but they are still better than average, and a lot of writers have made careers out of writing lesser work.

Set in the future these are more social commentary than hard edged sci-fi, though the world they take place in are well constructed and fleshed out, if not all that creatively imagined.
In short, this isn't the SMOKE RING, or RINGWORLD in terms of setting, but it is well worth reading if you are a Niven fan.
Camille Stanford
The compiled stories of ARM detective Gil Hamilton. This book is placed in Earth's future, the years around 2123. Gil has an invisible third arm made via psychic powers, from when he lost one of his arms mining in space. This unique power helps him solve interplanetary murders.

There were a couple moral things in this book that made me disappointed; However, overall I liked the concept, and found it to be an entertaining read.
Apr 13, 2010 Greg rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi
This is a collection of longish short stories and a novella that are science fiction mysteries. If you liked Asimov's robot series, you would probably like these. They are mostly locked room mysteries. The science fiction angle mostly explores the ethical challenges of a society that depends on transplants to extend lives, effectively making people immortal.
I'm not very keen on terrestial murder stories, much less murder stories on the Moon!

Gil, "the arm", Hamilton, is conceived as a kind of detective with an imaginary third arm.
l found the stories boring and I jumped over paragraphs occasionally, something I dislike doing. I was unable to finish the last story in the book!
Nov 14, 2012 Patrick rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi
Intriguing science fiction detective short stories... the discussion and implications of "organlegging" - forced organ "donations" of convicted criminals via the death penalty - didn't seem that far-fetched given the ethical and moral attitudes of our current culture.

Some unfortunate ancillary content of a sexual nature.
Louis Carvalho
Classic science fiction with a bit of detective/cop drama thrown in. Unfortunately, it came across as very dated to me, although I liked the gimmick of the psychic arm/hand. I had trouble getting through this book even though it was broken up into short, mostly-unrelated stories.
Cory Hughart
Feb 19, 2013 Cory Hughart rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm a little put off by large volumes of short stories; it's hard to know where to start, and what to read next. While I'm still having trouble with that process in consuming Niven's Known Space stories, this was a pleasant read, reminding me a bit of Asimov's Caves of Steal.
Shannon Appelcline
Overall, a good collection of SF/mystery stories. The Defenseless Dead and the Pathwork Girl are the strongest pieces, while the final story, The Woman in Del Rey Crater, is a slightly weak end to the series, but not a bad one.
Sep 11, 2007 Gail is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
This book has been on my 'must read' list for so long, that I no longer remember the 'why'. But I found it for $3.95 on a closeout shelf and picked it up.

It's interesting, so far...
John Lawson
Bah, imagine my disappointment when I discovered that 300+ pages of this book consists of short stories I've read elsewhere. Alas.
Oct 17, 2008 Sara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I freaking love Gil Hamilton. I only hope that someday I can write a sci-fi mystery that's half as good.
Feb 15, 2013 Kevin rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
fun scifi read. Explores some interesting ethical dilemmas and concepts about life and recycling.
Zachary Stewart
Probably my least favorite known space story line. It is ok, sure, but nothing special.
Jun 16, 2012 Mf rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Where mystery meets scifi and the crack tail goes down smooth.
Dave Holzer
Mar 11, 2011 Dave Holzer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Loved it. Scifi genre detective stories!
May 12, 2008 Jan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
More Known Space. Fun read.
Jan 13, 2011 Andrea marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Sci-fi Mystery!
Grace Carroll
Grace Carroll marked it as to-read
Jul 28, 2016
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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...

Other Books in the Series

Known Space (1 - 10 of 18 books)
  • The Long Arm of Gil Hamilton (Known Space)
  • The Patchwork Girl (Known Space)
  • The World Of Ptavvs (Known Space)
  • Protector (Known Space)
  • Tales of Known Space: The Universe of Larry Niven
  • Neutron Star (Known Space)
  • A Gift from Earth (Known Space)
  • Crashlander
  • Ringworld (Ringworld #1)
  • The Ringworld Engineers (Ringworld #2)

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