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3.77  ·  Rating details ·  1,011 ratings  ·  32 reviews
The Lion in His Attic - (1982)
Spirals - (1979) - Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle
A Teardrop Falls - (1983)
Talisman - (1981) - Larry Niven and Dian Girard
Flare Time - (1978)
The Locusts - (1979) - Larry Niven and Steven Barnes
Yet Another Modest Proposal: Roentgen Standard - (1984)
Folk Tale - (1984)
The Green Marauder - (1980)
War Movie - (1981)
The Real Thi
Mass Market Paperback, 240 pages
Published February 1985 by Del Rey
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Average rating 3.77  · 
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 ·  1,011 ratings  ·  32 reviews

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Stewart Tame
Apr 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a fine collection of (mostly) science fiction stories from one of the masters of the genre.

I’ve been reading Larry Niven for years, so some of these--most notably “Flare Time” and “The Locusts” (written with Steve Barnes)--were already familiar to me. Niven is nearly always worth rereading though, so this really isn't a problem. Longtime fans will be delighted to return to familiar worlds such as the fantasy tales of the Warlock, and of course the Draco Tavern.

Although known for hard SF,
Sep 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: niven
I thought this was a great collection of short stories.
I like short stories in general though, because if you get a stinker, you are only in it for a bit, not a whole novels worth.
That wasnt a concern with this collection - they were great from start to finish.
Some were more general sci-fi goodness, but some really make you think, and I dont know if there is anything better you can say about literature of any sort. When a story makes your own imagination shoot off into related ideas and varied
Jun 17, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a collection of short stories culminating in several extremely short Draco Tavern stories. There’s an end-of-fantasy story, “The Lion in His Attic”, about a restaurateur in an abandoned, flooded castle after magic in the world ended. An old-school twist about an abandoned research engineering team making the most out of funding troubles, “Spirals”, and then “Flare Time”, another old-school story about a world that changes completely every time there’s a solar flare. Instead of night and ...more
Feb 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Del Rey used to gather up all of Larry Niven's new short fiction every few years throw a new volume out to dazzle, challenge, and entertain his fans. Those were good times... This one contains Niven's contribution to Harlan Ellison's Medea project, a good manna-universe tale, a couple of good space adventures, and a handful of Draco Tavern shorts. As always, what he lacks in character development he makes up for with thought-provoking ideas. This edition comes with a nifty wrap-around Ron Walots ...more
Apr 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sf
A mix of SF and fantasy, with some stories better than others.
I did like all the "Tales from the Draco Tavern", "Yet Another Modest Proposal" (wickedly funny), and "Flare Time". Flare Time was my favorite: a simple story about human colonization of a planet with extreme physical conditions and a corresponding biology. The story provides only a glimpse into the colonization efforts, and a large part of the focus is on the alien biologies/ecosystems (plural intended!), and the almost disaster a vi
Samuel Lubell
This is a short collection of Larry Niven's late 70s, early 80s stories. I especially liked "The Lion in His Attic" about a were-animal (the exact animal is a secret for most of the story) who runs a restaurant in a city that had drowned; "Spirals" about an orbital space platform that ventures out to the asteroids; "Talisman" about a thief who is caught after stealing a pointer to a great treasure; "The Locusts" which seems to forget that evolution doesn't have a mind of its own"; and "The Green ...more
Apr 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
Limits is another great Larry Niven anthology-as far as i am concerned everything Niven touches turns to gold. This collection is especially delightful because it demonstrates that the author can craft both good science fiction and good fantasy stories. The standout tale here has to be The Locusts which Niven co-wrote with frequent collaborator Steven Barnes. It is both heartbreaking and heartbreakingly superb.
Nov 04, 2019 rated it liked it
I'm 'spaced' out after reading the short stories in this book. I liked Mr. Niven's Ringworld--read many years ago. So, I thought Limits by Larry Niven would be good. I did not know about short stories. They are good, especially the one about what to do with radioactive waste.
If you like stories about space and/or space aliens, you will enjoy this book.
Many of these stories seemed rather ordinary to me, but there were a few very good ones. I think my favorites were the short-short pieces, the "tales from the Draco tavern." I also liked "Spirals," "Talisman," and "The Locusts." I kept thinking about the last one for a long time after I finished reading it. ...more
Bri (the short story guy)
Feb 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
• The Lion in His Attic -
• Spirals -
• A Teardrop Falls -
• Talisman -
• Flare Time -
• The Locusts -
• Yet Another Modest Proposal: Roentgen Standard -
• Folk Tale -
• The Green Marauder -
• War Movie -
• The Real Thing -
• Limits -
Amanda Ure
I can't remember when I read this but it was after the whole of the 'Known Space' series so it would've been in the late 1980s. It makes a refreshing change to see Niven writing stories which are still SF but not "boxed-in" by the very rigid world of his previous universe. ...more
Jun 30, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A so-so collection of short stories by the man who wrote the so-so “Ringworld”

‘Nuff said
Jan 12, 2017 added it
Late to the party, as usual with my hard cover books. Larry Niven has a very interesting touch with different planets and aliens. He has a great touch with 30 page short stories. Many times, reading short stories, I am left wishing that the story would continue, that it wasn't finished yet. With Niven, I felt that the stories were completely told, made for the short story mode. The book, itself, was way too short, but I know that I have a bunch of Larry Niven's stories ahead of me. Great to look ...more
Jul 09, 2009 rated it it was ok
Shelves: sci-fi
I love Larry Niven, but I'm not so hot on short stories. A few of these were entertaining, but I didn't actually read all of them. The best story was "A Teardrop Falls", about a space program building a large habitable space station that would pay for itself by beaming back solar energy to Earth. It reminded me a bit of one of my favorite books of all time: The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress. Sci-Fi writers usually do a pretty good job of covering there tracks and avoiding references to things that wi ...more
Apr 12, 2010 rated it liked it
The thing about Niven is when he is on -- he is on. But when he's off, he's off. I felt like the whole book was just a whirlwind of great visuals but no point. Like he was trying so hard not to give anything away that he essentially sent the reader down a completely different path than the one he was travelling on. That's not to say there weren't good stories in the collection. There absolutely were and if I had the book with me right now I'd list them. It's just that there seemed to be more hit ...more
Apr 29, 2010 rated it liked it
Limits is a mix of Niven's fantasy and science-fiction short stories, heavy on his Draco Tavern series. The two gems of this collection, amongst a raft of so-so stories, are "The Lion in His Attic," my favorite story from the "Mana Goes Away" universe that doesn't involve the Warlock himself, and "The Real Thing," a very short and very sweet Draco Tavern tale in which Rick Schumann visits someone else's interstellar bar. Remember, when you sit down at your custom-environment table, be sure to ty ...more
Sep 06, 2015 rated it liked it
Story collection I remembered from college and found used on Amazon. "The Locusts" is an old favorite, exploring a fairly unique hypothesis and how society implodes when hope is lost. The characters are thin, of course. It's all about the physics and the ideas. I thought maybe I'd understand "Spirals" this time, but the ending still throws me. Other stories, like "Talisman" and "The Lion in His Attic" -- I have no idea what he thought he was doing; they're messes.

Mixed bag. Good nostalgia and a
Apr 28, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Niven fans
Another mess of Niven short stories, some of which I hadn't read before. I enjoyed them but nothing really stood out as over-the-top fantastic. Had a lot of fun/interesting ideas, some of which were fleshed out well, while others left me wishing someone else had tried their hand with the story. Overall, this book is worth checking out for Niven fans, but you're really not missing anything if you decide not to track down a somewhat hard-to-find copy. ...more
Hassan Chaudhri
Dec 24, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Scifi fans, short story readers
Shelves: scifi
A collection of short stories, it's hard to rate this because they vary in quality and tone so much. Niven is a solid writer though, so the few that trail behind are still readable. The best of them are very good though, and honestly I wish that one or two had been expanded into full-on novels! Overall this is a great collection, and I've kept it on hand for a quick read. ...more
Michael Hanscom
Niven is one of my favorite SF writers, and the short-story length is often perfect for a quick exploration of ideas. Even the less-than-excellent stories were worth reading, and the final four, all set in the same tavern catering to a multitude of alien species, were a great way to wind this one up.
Aug 28, 2011 rated it liked it
Not Niven’s best collection, but it still contains quite a few entertaining stories. This is a mix of free-standing short stories, some written in collaboration with other authors, and some shorts in Niven’s Draco Tavern setting.
Pete Bartel
Apr 17, 2012 rated it really liked it
Short stories. Includes 1 on Medea (interesting planet), several from the Draco Tavern (fun multi-species bar on Earth) and 1 or 2 fantasies. Requires concentration, especially at the start of a story, but worth the effort.
Oct 14, 2007 rated it really liked it
the mix of short storys has a few boring books but is mainly very good
Apr 27, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: short-stories, sf
I *really* liked this one, not quite five stars, but I'd like to give it 4 and a half. ...more
Jun 02, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: sf-fantasy
I enjoy short stories and these were entertaining and creative. Interesting sci-fi concepts based around what we already know and some aliens thrown in for good measure.
3-SFBC, 13-p
Dec 16, 2012 rated it liked it
Some fantastic stories, especially but not exclusively the Draco Tavern ones. Didn't particularly care for the magic ones, however, although I usually do like these stories of Niven's. ...more
Jan 20, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: scifi
Larry Niven is a very skilled writer obviously more so in collaboration with others at times. Some very enjoyable stories in this collection.
Nov 16, 2014 rated it liked it
A nice collection of short Fantasy stories.
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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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