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The Patchwork Girl (Known Space)

3.65  ·  Rating details ·  933 Ratings  ·  24 Reviews
Only one person could have been on the lunar surface... Her name is Naomi Mitchison. She's the most beautiful woman on the moon; she was also the only person who was outside on the lunar surface at the right moment to send a near-fatal laser beam into the chest of the Fourth Speaker for the Asteroids. But she's not a murderer, that much A.R.M. investigator Gil "The Arm" Ha ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 205 pages
Published December 1980 by Ace (first published April 1980)
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May 12, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This part of a series of short (the others are novellas) stories following ARM agent Gil Hamilton, which is in turn part of the larger series Tales Of Know Space. The series follows the exploits and life of Gil which are presented as much as a detective Noir story as they are science fiction.

This story is slightly longer than then others in the series and as such is set slightly different with Gil being away from is usual duties at ARM to act now an a UN delegate at a lunar conference. However
Dec 08, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: niven
I know this is also included in the Flatlander collection, which is also on my shelf, but I chose to read this seperately, mostly for the added funky old school sci-fi illustrations in this edition.

This isnt a very good book. Not a great mystery, wrapped in not a great setting, filled with not very great characters.

This will not call to mind the person of Louis Wu, or spark the imagination like the integral trees. It will mostly take of 2 or 3 hours, and having you saying, "eh"

Gil Hammilton is o
Jul 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was an interesting science-fiction/mystery hybrid. My main complaint was that some aspects of the future world's culture felt a bit artificial. But I thought it was well-plotted. Also, Larry Niven's prose style is more vibrant than those of most other science-fiction writers. And I liked the illustrations.
Sep 05, 2007 rated it liked it
Gil "The ARM" Hamilton is attending a political conference on the moon when a fellow attendee is attacked and nearly killed. An ex-girlfriend is implicated, and Gil has to feel out the truth... literally, at times. You see, Gil has a psychic arm that replaces the one he lost to a meteor. And if he doesn't act quickly, his ex will become an unwilling organ donor.

While I enjoy Niven's Gil stories... I'm not sure they can carry a whole novel. The profuse (and rather trippy, 60's style) illustratio
Sep 01, 2011 rated it liked it
This novel, illustrated in the original editions, features Gil “The Arm” Hamilton, the detective protagonist of the stories in Flatlander (most of which were published earlier in “The Long Arm of Gil Hamilton). A woman is accused of murder and Gil must clear her name before she is executed and ends up in the organ banks.

The novel is rather short but a solid story from Niven at the height of his powers. If you can get hold of one of the original editions, the illustrations are have a nice retro f
Edward Creter
Mar 05, 2014 rated it liked it
Gil Hamilton is a detyective with telekinetic powers and an "imaginary" hand that can sift through evidence quickly and easily. His latest case involves a young woman on the moon accused of an attempted murder just as the victim is taking a bath. Can he solve the case and still have quality time with the beautiful 7-foot lunar girl Laura Drury? Filled with drawings, mostly of busty women which throws you off the track but a surprising mystery all the same.
Krishna Shah
Oct 30, 2010 rated it liked it
I love the known universe series becuase you can have stand alone novels that still have a basis in set parameters where things make sense. The storyline was interesting but something was missing--the action I think. The main character was nice but I didn't see the usually tight writing and development of the character.
Shannon Appelcline
Oct 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: science-fiction
Perhaps the best of the Gil Hamilton stories. This one offers up a very classic mystery that's meticulously detailed and well considered. On top of that, you have some great characterization as you see these folks moving through their lives — something that's somewhat rare for a writer of Niven's generation.
May 01, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-fiction
Pulpy, but enjoyable at times. Really, I'd give this two stars if it weren't for the illustrations, which were a very welcome surprise.

I don't know if this is the introduction to Niven that I wanted prior to Ringworld. So it goes.
May 21, 2015 rated it liked it
Gil "The Arm" Hamilton uses his imaginary left arm to magically produce evidence that will solve the big murder mystery. Gil also uses his "middle arm" to satisfy all the lusty lunar babes. It's CSI In Spaaaaaaaace! Meh...
Mar 23, 2012 rated it liked it
This is a sexy sci-fi detective novel set in a future where the moon and the asteroid belt have been colonized. it was written in 1980 but still reeks of the 1970s especially the illustrations. It's not exactly a graphic novel but you can read it in a day. A guilty pleasure.

Adam White
I'm glad this was an quick book to read at 144 pages it was over in a couple of hours. Which I won't get back. No real mystery, predictable, and full of foe angst. That said, I like Larry Niven, and he writes some good science fiction.
Jul 06, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Great science fiction and great murder mystery, at the same time. Really liked the description of different physics on the Moon, and the futuristic culture and legal issues that are brought up, both of which actually become relevant to the plot.
Cory Hughart
Jan 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi, niven
I saw some less-than-favorable reviews, but I really enjoyed this book. The mystery was better than the last one, but perhaps that's a function of being longer and more fleshed out.
Like most of the Ringworld series, I felt that the overt sexual promiscuity detracted from the story.
Science Fiction
Jun 13, 2010 rated it really liked it
Standard locked room mystery in a less standard location; the moon. Good story, compelling mystery set against a conference on lunar law.
Mohit Mohan
Apr 03, 2013 rated it liked it
This isn't a excellent book. Not a great mystery, wrapped in not a great setting, filled with not very great characters. i feel "the boy who played with dark matter" is a decent read
Jul 06, 2008 rated it it was ok
Shelves: sci-fi
Interplanetary stud bones three gorgeous ladies of the stars; also happens to solve murder on the side. Ho-hum.
Nikolas Co
The Patchwork Girl by Larry Niven (1980)
Aug 07, 2010 rated it liked it
I enjoyed this book. It's a quick read with a moderately interesting mystery.
John Lawson
Apr 13, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: sci-fi-fantasy
Attempted murder on the moon. Gil "the Arm" is there to solve it. Smoke and mirrors ensue.
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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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Other Books in the Series

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