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Come to Larry Niven's Universe and meet all the natives Thrints Bandersnatchi Puppeteers and a host of other wonderfully created charactersVisit Lookitthat Down and Jinx indeed an entire galaxy of planets found only in these stories that trace man's expansion and colonization throughout Known SpaceA spectacular cycle of the future a 10000 year history of man on Earth and in spaceContents· Neutron Star Beowulf Shaeffer · nv If Oct ’66 · A Relic of Empire · nv If Dec ’66 · At the Core Beowulf Shaeffer · ss If Nov ’66 · The Soft Weapon · nv If Feb ’67 · Flatlander Beowulf Shaeffer · nv If Mar ’67 · The Ethics of Madness · nv If Apr ’67 · The Handicapped “Handicap” · nv Galaxy Dec ’67 · Grendel Beowulf Shaeffer · nv

10 thoughts on “Neutron Star

  1. says:

    Original review Feb 2009For people who haven't read the book a uick physics test The hero agrees to put his ship on an orbit that will take it to within one mile of the surface of a neutron star His employers assure him correctly that the ship's hull will stop any form of radiation Nevertheless it's a really stupid idea Why?If you didn't get it don't feel bad Beowulf Shaeffer doesn't either and finds out the hard way Update Jul 2014Since posting the above review I've read a fair amount of general relativity It's given me a good opportunity to assess just how stupid this so called hard SF story isview spoilerTo recap Beowulf Shaeffer is paid by the Puppeteers a mysterious and secretive alien race to take his spaceship to within one mile of the surface of a neutron star He nearly gets ripped apart by the tidal forces On returning he successfully blackmails his employers for a bonus he says that if they don't pay up he will reveal that their planet has no moon See if they had a moon they'd know about tidesThis is amazingly bad science The Principle of Euivalence the cornerstone of general relativity says that every frame of reference is locally euivalent to a Minkowskian one Or in everyday language if you're in free fall you don't experience a gravitational forceOf course this doesn't mean that if someone is in free fall then gravity has no effect on them That's exactly the mistake Shaeffer and his puppeteer employers make It means that gravitational forces disappear to first order There are second order terms; these are the ones you'll find in the Einstein tensor on the left hand side of the general relativity euation They in effect give the local curvature of space in terms of tidal forces ie the tendency of closely separated particles to move apartSo we're supposed to believe that the extremely advanced puppeteer civilization doesn't know things about general relativity that any freshman would learn in her first course? Implausible doesn't begin to cover it hide spoiler

  2. says:

    Holy crap was this ever good I'm not sure how I missed reading any of the Ringworld series before but with this being the 40th Anniversary I figured it was time With epic series like this I usually hit the 'net to see if there's a recommended reading order or anything that will help me to get it a little easily Every site I visited recommended starting with Neutron Star This is an anthology of 8 short stories each novelette length set in the universe of Ringworld the future of humanity Each story stands on it's own as character studies political and social commentary scientific exploration and adventure It's easy to see why Niven is widely regarded as one of the masters of Sci fi I'm looking forward to diving into Ringworld next

  3. says:

    I remember reading this years ago when I was first exploring science fiction the artwork by Peter Jones the doorway in to Known Space even today still appeals to me But I get ahead of myself I can tellOkay this was part of a series of books I picked up at a carboot sale British thing trust me and where there was an old suitcase full of books Well I could not resist not realising what I was letting myself in forAnyway this is a series of interconnected stories if you accept the connection being in the majority the same character or adventures in the same universe okay rather vague but it works for me You see Larry Niven created a universe where various stories can occur which share some common thread Now I must admit I am not sure if this was some mater plan or if like Asimov's Foundation and Robots stories sort of evolved together in to one massive time line Either way you meet in this book some of Niven's most famous and long lasting characters and events from the Puppeteers to the Kzin along with the odd Bandersnatchi along the way There is no starting point for the tales of Known Space rather its a case of pick a point and start from there and this book is as good a place as any

  4. says:

    I’m not fond of Science Fiction in general except for the ‘known space’ stories by Larry Niven Known Space is populated by than 10 intelligent species each with its own eccentricities My favorites are the puppeteers — extremely smart but ditto cowards — and the Outsiders who do not need an atmosphere and live by selling information interesting facts about the galaxy which they seem to know better than anyone Niven has written many stories about known space This book was recommended as a good starting point The stories themselves are often funny and definitely not to be taken seriously Just light and very enjoyable reading at least to me

  5. says:

    I'd been in the mood to read some classic sci fi something distant and cynical taking place in deep space where there was fantastic technology and alien races and not many people to mess it all up This was perfect Neutron Star is a collection of short stories from Niven prefacing Ringworld and highly worthwhile if you like the latter I'll be re reading Ringworld soon with these stories in mind Plus let this also be a good reminder to just read Larry Niven There aren't many writers so good at picturing real people in fantastic futures Plus he's a lot funnier than I think he gets credit forRead November 2010 Re read October 2011

  6. says:

    Neutron Star is my favorite short story collection with uite a few gems from Niven’s Known Space universe Unfortunately it is out of print Luckily though all the Beowulf Shaeffer stories have been republished in Crashlander with the addition of two newer storieshttpwwwbooksrosbochnet?p255

  7. says:

    Second time through and I was able to finish as well as remember what I readMy favorite is The Ethics of Madness I was dumbstruck by the ending I also really liked the structure and the way Niven related the story and the information indirectly

  8. says:

    Neutron Star is arguably Niven's best Known Space collection containing stories that appeared over a relatively brief span but introduced a vast array of fantastic puzzles and fabulous stories Beowulf Schaeffer a likable rogue who's one of Niven's best characters appears in many of them and planets such as Jinx Down and Lookitthat provide classic science fiction settings This is hard sf at its best

  9. says:

    Niven sure has a wild imagination And a really bad taste for puns but also some really intellectual humor His ideas are genius even to this day and age His science fiction is so realistic it's disturbing at times

  10. says:

    Great book of short stories which I usually don't care for The difference here I believe is that most of the stories relate in some manner or if nothing else they are all set in the same sci fi universe Good stuff