Brennan was a Belter, the product of a fiercely independent, somewhat anarchic society living in, on, and around an outer asteroid belt. The Belters were rebels, one ...more
Hyperspace Shunt: "Protector" by Larry Niven
(Original Review, 1980-07-29)
Some apparent anomalies in Niven's "Protector".
I am reasonably comfortable with Larry Niven's "Known Space" universe, however I have just finished rereading "Protector" for the umpteenth time and I am somewhat disturbed by the apparent incompatibility with other "Known Space" stories. ...more
The saga of Brennan the Belter and Phssthpok the Pak seems to enjoy a bit of cult status, and it’s easy to see why. It’s an enjoyable enough tale, with some nice surprises to keep things spicy. It also gets fairly technical, with ...more
The premise of Protector is pretty interesting, as are the protectors themselves. Niven covers a lot of logical & moral ground in this book. I was constantly asking myself if I thought th ...more
On the home planet, humans go through two life stages. First, they are Breeders. Breeders, as the name suggests, are only interested in h ...more
Take all the features of human senescence: wrinkled, leathery skin, teeth and hair falling out, heart failure, joints swollen from over-use. Now imagine that all of these features are signs not of a body breaking down, but the beginnings of a third-stage of human development: the super-strong, hyperintelligent "protector" stage.
The frailties of old age become the strengths of a ...more
Translation = Big concept, Hard SF that is a lot of fun. Recommended.
Nominee: Hugo Award for Best Science Fiction Novel (1974)
Nominee: Locus Award for Best Science Fiction Novel (1974)
In a few places it did seem a bit dated, and I was not at all convinced about the mono-pole (single ended magnet) technology, but overall, still a great book. Bringing together scienc ...more
I enjoy a number ...more
(After reading the 5 books of the Ringworld, I decided to read the related works in Larry Niven's Known Space universe. Protector figured largely in the unfolding of the Ringworld series and I thought it would be interesting to revisit this book. As such enterprises tend to do, it brought up memories of a youthful life and all the silly things one can get into. Like hitching a ride with the Pak, you never know where you'll wind up.)
So Protector is the book, also the race and the spaceship. T...more
(Interesting bit of trivia: the cover art of the UK edition by Peter Andrew Jones was also used as the cover of the 1989 videogame Blood Money by DMA Design, the team that would later go on to fame as Rockstar North, the developers of the Grand Theft Auto games).
It’s a touch more sexist than I recall, but not too bad considering it was written in 1972. The women are just as smart and capable as the men, with a couple in positions of authority. Still, there is a touch of “I’m just a girl!” to some of it.
As with all SF from this era the tech is sometimes painfully outdated, with the exception that people have phones on them the way we do today. Also the throwaway bit about how shoes are individually tailored to each ...more
Larry Niven had a streak where he wrote some truly bad ass science fiction. His later stuff isn't as fun - somewhere along the way he stopped being original and started writing "like Larry Niven" - but for a while he was the best there was. Ringworld, World Out Of Time, and his short stories are all very good, and definitely worth checking out.
As for Pr ...more
One of my favorite Larry Niven books.
Fun concept, and I very much like the descriptions of interplanetary travel and interplanetary combat. Another reviewer here mentioned that this book managed to span a lot of time, distance, and ideas into a short novel, and that's both true and part of the charm of the book. The book isn't rushed, but it's efficient: there's no time for things that aren't directly related to the story. Like much h ...more
Larry Niven is best known for his Known Space series and it outgrowth, Ringworld. One of the majors players in Ringworld are the Protectors, beings of great strength, intelligence, and a homicidal desire to protect their offspring, the idiot hominids that are their offspring. Millennium before a colony had been sent to Earth and never reported back, so a childless Protector comes here to find out what happened. It finds a space faring civilization, someth ...more
Definitely worth a read if you are a sci-fi type, especially if you enjoy hard-sci-fi and/or have ever read any of the Known Space novels (e.g. Ringworld). ...more
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