Because My Tears are Delicious to You 5: Neutron Star by Larry Niven

185 views
Skip to first unread message

James Nicoll

unread,
Jun 30, 2014, 2:04:45 AM6/30/14
to
These days Larry Niven is perhaps best known for turgid, lifeless prose,
advocacy of race-based medical fraud [0] and other choice examples of right-
wing cane-wavery [1] but extraordinary as it may seem to younger readers, there
was a time in the long long ago when readers willingly picked up his books for
reasons other than desire for self-flagellation.

I first encountered Niven in the August 1970 issue of Playboy,

where his Svetz story "Leviathan" appeared, and while it held my attention
long enough to finish the story, I don't think I took note of his name at
the time. What got me hooked on Niven was this collection, first published in
1968; my edition is from 1975 and it was almost certainly the Rick Sternbach
cover that got me to pick it up:

http://www.isfdb.org/wiki/images/c/c4/NTRNSTRGVL1979.jpg

but it was the stories inside that got me to keep picking up his books.

As it turns out, a lot of people got hooked on Niven thanks to this collection:

"It seemed to "Spike" that he should suggest to readers that they try
a different Niven book first, as an introduction to Known Space. He tried
out his theory: Of a sample set of about 60 or so readers, he got them to
first try the Neutron Star collection before attempting Ringworld. Doing
so improved the sample set's desire to continue on to other Known Space
books from one-third to approximately two-thirds."

http://www.tor.com/blogs/2010/10/ringworld-40th-anniversary-getting-the-most-out-of-ringworld#135529

The stories in this collection are all set in Niven's Known Space. Most
occur in a short but eventful span of years in the middle part of the
27th century; the exception is "The Ethics of Madness", which begins in
the 24th century and runs for some considerable time thereafter.

I've included the dates of initial publication just to highlight how
productive the young Niven was. This isn't even all of the *Known Space*
stories he wrote from 1966 - 1968, just the better ones.

Neutron Star (1966):

This introduces Niven's popular character Beowulf Shaeffer, a star pilot
who has just the right mix of laziness, greed and perspicacity to ensure
a life full of adventures that do not quite kill him. In this one he
is hired to do a close flyby of a neutron star as imagined just before
the discovery of pulsars in the hope that he will be able to figure out
what killed the last pair of pilots to try this. Luckily for him he does.
Less luckily, the penny only drops for him after it is too late for him
to avoid the deadly trap.

This was fun to read and popular enough to get a Nebula nomination and
to win a Hugo; aside from Clarke, I cannot think of any SF writer at
this time who even mentioned neutron stars . It is somewhat unfortunate that
as fun as this story is and as engaging as Shaeffer is, rereading it only
underlines how none of it makes a lick of sense, and I am not just talking
about how Shaeffer's trick to survive would not have worked. Why, in a
setting with robot probes, send humans to do a flyby like this? How could
the Institute of Man on Jinx of all worlds make the oversight that they do?

It struck me while I was reading this that Shaeffer comes very close to making
a deduction about the Puppeteer homeworld that probably would have justified
killing him outright for reasons of security: for the Puppeteers to be unaware
of the phenomena in question, their world has to lack both a moon but also
a near-by star. Or Niven just forgot about solar tides.

Early Niven has characters who have to work for a living, people who are
often one bad call away from poverty. The next few years of Shaeffer's
life are driven by the fact his employer went bankrupt and by his
inability to budget.

A period note: even though Niven was a Fred Pohl discovery, you can see
Campbell's effect on the field as the McGuffin that justifies human star
pilots involves Astounding-style psionics.

A Relic of the Empire (1966):

A cunning space pirate stumbles over a greedy academic while fleeing the law.
While the pirate and his men have all the firearms, the academic has
knowledge and the advantage that his captors do not ever think about
what they have been told, even after their first oversights blow up in
their face.

A common issue with SF settings is that causally disconnected
civilizations nevertheless are close enough in technological development
that conflict is possible, rather than it being a matter of laser cannons
against a thin film of single celled organisms. Known Space avoids this
in a couple of ways, one of which is detailed here: there was a great
synchronization event in the past of Known Space in the form of the
extinction of every higher life form in the Milky Way.

The protagonist Rich Mann is another example of a poverty-stricken Niven
protagonist. He's worse off than Shaeffer because he actually did spend
years flat broke. It's probably not polite to ask how he can afford to do
his field work; I was reminded of the economics in the old song "Henry
Martin".

Something that turns up in a couple of the earlier Known Space stories is
the use of star systems that humans, limited for the most part to the
sphere of stars within 30 light years [2] of the Sun, have no business
visiting. This is set in the "Mira Ceti" system, which appears to be
Omicron Ceti, a star far enough away from us that Niven's 3 days to the
light year hyperdrive would take years to reach. I don't know if he
hadn't settled on the hyperdrive speed, had a bad source for stellar
distances or just thought the setting was too cool to bother about the
distance.

By the way, the population of Known Space jumps around in this collection from
40-odd billion to 50 billion, as though Niven has not made up his mind
what it was. Earth is very consistently 18 billion and rich; I am not sure
where the other 30 billion people are living, because most of the other
worlds in Known Space are nowhere as habitable as Earth.

At the Core (1966):

Shaeffer returns, this time hired to fly a super-fast but impractical star
ship to the core of the galaxy and back. The ship is fast enough dodging stars
is difficult but as it turns out that's not his biggest problem. Once
again he has been hired to fly into an environment whose hazards are
not sufficiently understood; the revelation of those hazards will have
great consequences for Known Space down the line.

Rather like Neutron Star, this is a fun, fast moving story and under
no circumstances should you sully your enjoyment by running the numbers on
any of the assertions made along the way, in particular how often even
a fast ship like this one would encounter stars and whether or not
the mechanism for accelerated rates of supernovas passes the sniff test.
The point of stories like this is enjoying the process as Shaeffer slowly
comprehends the depth of the crap into which he has stepped, not mere
plausibility.

The Soft Weapon (1967):

A star pilot makes the mistake of making a small detour to visit an
interesting stellar system, a decision that drops him, his wife and
their alien patron right into a trap laid by the Kzin, a race of predatory
aliens. Rather like A Relic of Empire, the protagonists are outgunned,
forcing them to weaponize superior comprehension.

This is another example of Niven using a stellar system that should be nowhere
near Known Space, in this case the Beta Lyrae system. My guess is that like
so many of us he was inspired by this Chesley Bonestell illustration:

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/6/63/Beta_Lyrae_Reconstruction.jpg/640px-Beta_Lyrae_Reconstruction.jpg

It seems churlish to point out that the wife in this mostly seems to have
stuff explained to her while serving as a hostage so instead I will say
that's not often one sees a protagonist fail so abjectly to save the love
interest from an on-stage semi-fridging. She does stand as one of the few
female demi-protagonists from this era in Niven's career, though, and
while the sexual politics in this have not aged well, she is nowhere near the
most egregious example.

Flatlander (1967):

Having befriended one of Earth's richest men, Shaeffer allows himself to be
talked into accompanying the fellow when he heads out to have a grand
adventure in deepest space; Shaeffer's well-developed sense of caution
is enough to save them both, although it takes longer to kick in than
it should have.

Funny how .8 light speed turns up over and over in Niven's fiction.

This highlights another way Niven handles the problem of relative tech levels;
in fact there's quite a range shown and at the very tippy top of it all
sit the Outsiders, who seem to have turned the entire Milky Way into their
personal commercial fiefdom, something that constrains the range of tech
levels seen. Luckily for humans, the Outsiders have no interest in
terrestrial real estate because it's pretty clear the Outsiders could
destroy the Earth the moment that they decide it is a sufficient danger
to them.

Did the Outsiders ever find out about the connection between humans and
Protectors?

Shaeffer meets the love of the life in this story, which will have
consequences later on.

It's my impression the Man-Kzin anthologies recast Earth into the planet of
the second-rate welfare bums far inferior to the doughty space colonists but
this early in Niven's career, Earth has its issues but is the jewel of
Known Space, home to a rich, comfortable population.

The Ethics of Madness (1967):

This is the odd one out in this collection, set back in the days when
interstellar travel was entirely sub-light. Despite prior warning,
the protagonist allows his brain chemistry to go out of whack; the
consequences include quadruple murder and a vendetta carried out over
many, many millennia.

The Handicapped (1967)

Garvey, a fellow who specializes in intelligent aliens who lack the ability
to physically manipulate their environments, is drawn into a first contact
scenario with a group of aliens who combine extreme physical vulnerability
with abilities seemingly calculated to provoke human paranoia.

Garvey jumps to the conclusion that just because the Grogs share an
ability with the Slavers, they must be related. I am skeptical. I think
an ability as useful as the one the Grogs and Slavers share probably has
evolved over and over, which by the way is why I think humans stopped
exploring as soon as they got the hyperdrive; ARM probably realized that if
a bubble 30 light years across included relics of a race of malevolent
telepaths, whatever killed everyone on Home, an interstellar empire run
by ostentatiously carnivorous imperialists, a trade network run by a superior
civilization which is itself dominated by an even vaster, even more
advanced civilization, continued exploration would eventually stumble across
something that would follow the explorers home to destroy the Earth.

Rather akin to how I didn't notice the billions of people Lukas Trask
murdered, when I reread this I was struck by the raw deal the Bandersnatch of
Jinx get. They pay for the goods they buy from humans by allowing the humans
to hunt and kill them for an insultingly small amount of money. The
justification is that the Bandersnatch enjoy the hunt as much as humans
do but really, that's the best trade item a culture over a billion years
old can offer?

Grendel (1968):

Shaeffer has left Earth so that he doesn't have to watch his wife canoodling
with Carlos Wu, a genius who can offer Sharrol the child that Earth's
eugenics laws bar Shaeffer from fathering. He happens to be a bystander to
a kidnapping and as per past experience gets himself tangled in the plot
because he spots where events are headed just slightly too slowly to
avoid participation. His combination of intelligence and sloth gets
lampshaded at one point. Happily for him, he's the protagonist in
an ongoing series or he'd definitely have ended up dead in the jungle.

Here we see another system with no business being in Known Space, in
this case CY Aquarii, but what I want to talk about is the eugenics
subplot. Lots of settings have eugenics as part of the background but
it's not often that the protagonist is personally inconvenienced by
eugenics laws; yet another example of how early Niven has empathy for
the little guys he would lose later on. That said, the tragedy in
which Shaeffer has to watch his lover marry someone else so she can
get knocked up makes no sense in the context of a civilization where
artificial insemination was developed almost a millennium earlier.

For various reasons . the demand for longer collections, Niven's slower
pace of writing as he gets older, and the way in his skills have eroded
over the years . recent collections by him cannot compare to Neutron Star,
which last saw print in the 1990s. I was a bit worried about revisiting it
for fear of what the suck fairy might have done to it but either it has
aged reasonably well or starry-eyed nostalgia has managed to place a pillow
firmly on the face of my critical skills.

0: http://io9.com/370762/larry-niven-tells-dhs-to-spread-organ-harvesting-rumors

1: https://web.archive.org/web/20000818062244/http://www.space.com/sciencefiction/larryniven/larry_niven_000210.html

2: Is it a coincidence that is the scale of the old SPI RPG Universe map?
--
http://www.livejournal.com/users/james_nicoll
http://www.cafepress.com/jdnicoll (For all your "The problem with
defending the English language [...]" T-shirt, cup and tote-bag needs)

Greg Goss

unread,
Jun 30, 2014, 4:21:13 AM6/30/14
to
jdni...@panix.com (James Nicoll) wrote:

>I first encountered Niven in the August 1970 issue of Playboy,
>
>where his Svetz story "Leviathan" appeared, and while it held my attention
>long enough to finish the story, I don't think I took note of his name at
>the time. What got me hooked on Niven was this collection, first published in
>1968; my edition is from 1975 and it was almost certainly the Rick Sternbach
>cover that got me to pick it up:
>
>http://www.isfdb.org/wiki/images/c/c4/NTRNSTRGVL1979.jpg
>
>but it was the stories inside that got me to keep picking up his books.
>
>As it turns out, a lot of people got hooked on Niven thanks to this collection:

I was in a "read everything" mode, and picked up that book
semi-randomly at a used book store and immediately became a fond fan.

But I never really notice covers much. I didn't see that cover until
MUCH later. None of the covers that come up in images.google really
look familiar from that time period. It might have been the
spectacularly ugly
http://www.risingshadow.net/library/book/4824-neutron-star

>It struck me while I was reading this that Shaeffer comes very close to making
>a deduction about the Puppeteer homeworld that probably would have justified
>killing him outright for reasons of security: for the Puppeteers to be unaware
>of the phenomena in question, their world has to lack both a moon but also
>a near-by star. Or Niven just forgot about solar tides.

Most of Niven's puppeteer stories get a retcon re-play in the "Worlds"
series. I forget how they explain this bit, considering that their
worlds are described as having ten tides a day.

(Wouldn't the rosette just average out to one gravitational gradient,
and have just the familiar two?)

>It seems churlish to point out that the wife in this mostly seems to have
>stuff explained to her while serving as a hostage so instead I will say
>that's not often one sees a protagonist fail so abjectly to save the love
>interest from an on-stage semi-fridging. She does stand as one of the few
>female demi-protagonists from this era in Niven's career, though, and
>while the sexual politics in this have not aged well, she is nowhere near the
>most egregious example.

This was re-written (rather poorly) by Niven as a Star Trek Animated
episode.,

--
We are geeks. Resistance is voltage over current.

Brian M. Scott

unread,
Jun 30, 2014, 4:28:40 AM6/30/14
to
On Mon, 30 Jun 2014 06:04:45 +0000 (UTC), James Nicoll
<jdni...@panix.com> wrote in
<news:loquls$32v$1...@reader1.panix.com> in
rec.arts.sf.written:

[...]

> Funny how .8 light speed turns up over and over in Niven's
> fiction.

Possibly because if v = 0.8c, sqrt(1 - v^2/c^2) is the nice
0.6, which is easy to work with?

[...]

Brian
--
It was the neap tide, when the baga venture out of their
holes to root for sandtatties. The waves whispered
rhythmically over the packed sand: haggisss, haggisss,
haggisss.

Jack Bohn

unread,
Jun 30, 2014, 7:57:46 AM6/30/14
to
Was it Carl Sagan who first pointed out that everyone involved in "Neutron Star" should have known what was happening, homeworld conditions or not?

I nominate a "Neutron Star exemption" for stories more parable than history, where the point is to see whether the reader and Ellery Queen can determine what is happening.

--
-Jack

Don Kuenz

unread,
Jun 30, 2014, 11:31:01 AM6/30/14
to
Carl Sagan's take sounds intriguing. Does Sagan's comments pertain to
the short story or the collection?

_Neutron Star_ is a collection of seven short stories previously
published in Worlds of If magazine,

"Neutron Star" October 1966
"At the Core" November 1966
"A Relic of the Empire" December 1966
"The Soft Weapon" February 1967
"Flatlander" March 1967
"The Ethics of Madness" April 1967
"The Handicapped" December 1967

plus one new short story, "Grendel." My If collection includes several
of the short stories. Perhaps those stories will move me enough to buy
the entire collection. :)

James Nicoll

unread,
Jun 30, 2014, 12:11:49 PM6/30/14
to
I prefer A Hole in Space but Neutron Star is a fine collection.

Oddly, Niven is really underrepresented in the radio dramas late enough to
include his work. The only story I recall being adapted is the one about
time loops and black holes.

Ted Nolan <tednolan>

unread,
Jun 30, 2014, 12:13:44 PM6/30/14
to
In article <los285$lcg$1...@reader1.panix.com>,
Maybe he didn't need the money?
--
------
columbiaclosings.com
What's not in Columbia anymore..

David DeLaney

unread,
Jun 30, 2014, 12:23:03 PM6/30/14
to
On 2014-06-30, James Nicoll <jdni...@panix.com> wrote:

> It struck me while I was reading this that Shaeffer comes very close to making
> a deduction about the Puppeteer homeworld that probably would have justified
> killing him outright for reasons of security: for the Puppeteers to be unaware
> of the phenomena in question, their world has to lack both a moon but also
> a near-by star. Or Niven just forgot about solar tides.

Oh goodness, you're right.

...But it would still be a false deduction, because knowing how to arrange
{REDACTED} in a Klemperer rosette practically _requires_ a working knowledge
of what tides are and what causes them... I'm guessing that at that point
Niven himself didn't know about the Puppeteer rosette, either. {"First
described ... in 1962", says Wikipedia.}

> A Relic of the Empire (1966):

which I -always- want to parse as "A Relic of Empire" for some reason

> The Soft Weapon (1967):

which was "adapted" into a Star Trek: The Animated Series, No The Original
One, Yes, Remember That One? episode, which in the process established that
_kzinti_ were one of the races available for Federation folks to interact with!

> Did the Outsiders ever find out about the connection between humans and
> Protectors?

I imagine that if they did, it was about the same time, in their scale,
approximately, as finding out about the Core issues _without_ being exposed
to them first-hand. I also imagine they'd rank the latter as a bigger
immediate threat.

> which by the way is why I think humans stopped
> exploring as soon as they got the hyperdrive; ARM probably realized that if
> a bubble 30 light years across included relics of a race of malevolent
> telepaths, whatever killed everyone on Home, an interstellar empire run
> by ostentatiously carnivorous imperialists, a trade network run by a superior
> civilization which is itself dominated by an even vaster, even more
> advanced civilization, continued exploration would eventually stumble across
> something that would follow the explorers home to destroy the Earth.

Now, be fair - that even vaster m.a.c. would be present everywhere in the
galaxy that sufficiently advanced folk existed, and as such isn't really an
increased risk factor for having found them right near hu-mons since the
trade network was already there.

> Rather akin to how I didn't notice the billions of people Lukas Trask
> murdered,

[*]? Because on a first thought I don't either.

Dave, now wondering just how many galaxies the Outsiders inhabit; they clearly
have the ability to migrate to the Magellanic Clouds and/or any of the dwarf
galaxies slowly decaying in orbit around ours, but only the LMC has anything
like a galactic core, out of those, so presumably they wouldn't want to
colonize the others. But third-quantum hyperdrive (no, don't quibble, if they
SELL second-quantum to anyone who can pony up the fee, they have to have
something even more spectacular in reserve as a defense mechanism) would make
Andromeda and most of the Local Group accessible, right?
--
\/David DeLaney posting thru EarthLink - "It's not the pot that grows the flower
It's not the clock that slows the hour The definition's plain for anyone to see
Love is all it takes to make a family" - R&P. VISUALIZE HAPPYNET VRbeable<BLINK>
http://www.vic.com/~dbd/ - net.legends FAQ & Magic / I WUV you in all CAPS! --K.

James Nicoll

unread,
Jun 30, 2014, 12:31:43 PM6/30/14
to
In article <c1dglo...@mid.individual.net>,
How much has he needed the money since the 1970s? But he keeps publishing
new books.

Ted Nolan <tednolan>

unread,
Jun 30, 2014, 12:43:42 PM6/30/14
to
In article <los3df$58a$1...@reader1.panix.com>,
Sure, but that's his vision. He might think of radio drama as an
obscure medium that's not going to reach many people and is probably
going to introduce "so the visuals can be described to" characters
and otherwise muck things up.

Total uninformed speculation on my part, of course.
(This is USENET after all..)

Jerry Brown

unread,
Jun 30, 2014, 1:28:16 PM6/30/14
to
On Mon, 30 Jun 2014 11:23:03 -0500, David DeLaney
<davidd...@earthlink.net> wrote:

>On 2014-06-30, James Nicoll <jdni...@panix.com> wrote:

>> The Soft Weapon (1967):
>
>which was "adapted" into a Star Trek: The Animated Series, No The Original
>One, Yes, Remember That One? episode, which in the process established that
>_kzinti_ were one of the races available for Federation folks to interact with!

and they turned up again in a later episode (IIRC, the one where the
Enterprise falls into a pocket universe full of other trapped ships of
various species and shows them all how to get out by cooperating).

--
Jerry Brown

A cat may look at a king
(but probably won't bother)

Lawrence Watt-Evans

unread,
Jun 30, 2014, 2:27:48 PM6/30/14
to
On 2014-06-30 12:31:43 -0400, James Nicoll said:

> In article <c1dglo...@mid.individual.net>,
> Ted Nolan <tednolan> <tednolan> wrote:
>> In article <los285$lcg$1...@reader1.panix.com>,
>> James Nicoll <jdni...@panix.com> wrote:
>>> In article <lorvqu$pgi$1...@dont-email.me>, Don Kuenz <gar...@crcomp.net> wrote:
>>>
>>> Oddly, Niven is really underrepresented in the radio dramas late enough to
>>> include his work. The only story I recall being adapted is the one about
>>> time loops and black holes.
>>
>> Maybe he didn't need the money?
>
> How much has he needed the money since the 1970s? But he keeps publishing
> new books.

He's NEVER needed the money. His father gave him a million dollars for
his twenty-first birthday, for heaven's sake! He writes because he
likes to.



--
I'm serializing a new Ethshar novel!
The twenty-second chapter is online at:
http://www.ethshar.com/ishtascompanion22.html

Greg Goss

unread,
Jun 30, 2014, 3:16:36 PM6/30/14
to
jdni...@panix.com (James Nicoll) wrote:
>Ted Nolan <tednolan> <tednolan> wrote:

>>>Oddly, Niven is really underrepresented in the radio dramas late enough to
>>>include his work. The only story I recall being adapted is the one about
>>>time loops and black holes.
>>>--
>>
>>Maybe he didn't need the money?
>
>How much has he needed the money since the 1970s? But he keeps publishing
>new books.

Since the mid-70s? I thought that Niven was "Tim Hamner", a son of
old money looking for something meaningful to do with his life?

I vaguely remember some quote (Spider Robinson?) "Niven's great
grandparents were GREAT grandparents. They discovered oil in
California. The La Brea Tar Pits are where some of the Niven oil
soaks through to the surface. Some people are born with a silver
spoon in their mouth. Niven was born with a sterling silver steam
shovel."

Has Niven ever needed the money? Forget about "since the 1970s"

Greg Goss

unread,
Jun 30, 2014, 3:17:58 PM6/30/14
to
David DeLaney <davidd...@earthlink.net> wrote:

>> A Relic of the Empire (1966):
>
>which I -always- want to parse as "A Relic of Empire" for some reason

Um, your comment is the first time I ever noticed that there is a
"the" there.

Larry Headlund

unread,
Jun 30, 2014, 3:18:16 PM6/30/14
to
On Monday, June 30, 2014 2:04:45 AM UTC-4, James Nicoll wrote:
> Neutron Star (1966):
>This introduces Niven's popular character Beowulf Shaeffer, a star pilot
>who has just the right mix of laziness, greed and perspicacity to ensure
>a life full of adventures that do not quite kill him.

"a life full of adventures that do not quite kill him"

Why does that sound like someone who posts around here?

Greg Goss

unread,
Jun 30, 2014, 3:21:21 PM6/30/14
to
Yeah, but Bey's are more believable.

Lawrence Watt-Evans

unread,
Jun 30, 2014, 3:24:06 PM6/30/14
to
On 2014-06-30 15:16:36 -0400, Greg Goss said:

> jdni...@panix.com (James Nicoll) wrote:
>> Ted Nolan <tednolan> <tednolan> wrote:
>
>>>> Oddly, Niven is really underrepresented in the radio dramas late enough to
>>>> include his work. The only story I recall being adapted is the one about
>>>> time loops and black holes.
>>>> --
>>>
>>> Maybe he didn't need the money?
>>
>> How much has he needed the money since the 1970s? But he keeps publishing
>> new books.
>
> Since the mid-70s? I thought that Niven was "Tim Hamner", a son of
> old money looking for something meaningful to do with his life?

Well... sort of. His maternal ancestors were oil zillionaires, yes,
but it was family policy that the kids would earn a living, not be a
bunch of useless parasites. Writing was how Larry chose to earn his
way. It wasn't so much to do something meaningful as to keep his
parents and grandparents happy.

> I vaguely remember some quote (Spider Robinson?) "Niven's great
> grandparents were GREAT grandparents. They discovered oil in
> California. The La Brea Tar Pits are where some of the Niven oil
> soaks through to the surface. Some people are born with a silver
> spoon in their mouth. Niven was born with a sterling silver steam
> shovel."
>
> Has Niven ever needed the money? Forget about "since the 1970s"

No, he hasn't. Ever.

Alie...@gmail.com

unread,
Jun 30, 2014, 3:27:11 PM6/30/14
to
On Monday, June 30, 2014 9:23:03 AM UTC-7, David DeLaney wrote:
> On 2014-06-30, James Nicoll <jdni...@panix.com> wrote:
>
> > It struck me while I was reading this that Shaeffer comes very close to
> > making a deduction about the Puppeteer homeworld that probably would have
> > justified killing him outright for reasons of security: for the Puppeteers
> > to be unaware of the phenomena in question, their world has to lack both a
> > moon but also a near-by star. Or Niven just forgot about solar tides.
>
> Oh goodness, you're right.
>
> ...But it would still be a false deduction, because knowing how to arrange
> {REDACTED} in a Klemperer rosette practically _requires_ a working knowledge
> of what tides are and what causes them... I'm guessing that at that point
> Niven himself didn't know about the Puppeteer rosette, either. {"First
> described ... in 1962", says Wikipedia.}

I don't see how tides are relevant to forming a rosette offhand, or to maintaining one. They may be important in the assembly stage, but that was done before their primary star went red giant and the moved the rosette to their Oort cloud, never mind before they went mobile. They didn't take a star with them so there'd be no solar tides to notice unless they passed near a star while in flight, and that doesn't sound like something they'd do willingly.

AFAIR there's no hint the [REDACTEDs] rotated WRT each other either.

Maybe they just forgot about all those fiddly tidal details since they didn't live with them every day, and the only Puppeteers who *would* be familiar with them were the insane traveler types who would have to concern themselves with the gravitational foibles of messy natural systems.

Also, AFAIR the rosette thing was first mentioned (misspelt at that) by Niven in _Ringworld_ which was published almost a decade after 1962.

> > A Relic of the Empire (1966):
>
> which I -always- want to parse as "A Relic of Empire" for some reason

That's how it was listed on the cover of _If_ when first published. You have a LOOOONG memory:

http://www.isfdb.org/cgi-bin/title.cgi?58984

> > The Soft Weapon (1967):
>
> which was "adapted" into a Star Trek: The Animated Series, No The Original
> One, Yes, Remember That One? episode, which in the process established that
> _kzinti_ were one of the races available for Federation folks to interact
> with!

Yep, and they were EVAR so much more fun than the Klingons, even given the warrior-race-with-a-code-of-honor similarity. Think of the makeup and costumes the poor actors would have had to wear, though.

> > Did the Outsiders ever find out about the connection between humans and
> > Protectors?
>
> I imagine that if they did, it was about the same time, in their scale,
> approximately, as finding out about the Core issues _without_ being exposed
> to them first-hand. I also imagine they'd rank the latter as a bigger
> immediate threat.

Or, they knew about the thallium-deficiency thing and figured (hoped?) humans would never find out about it. If they had any clue humans would eventually intentionally make more Protectors they might have acted pre-emptively.

Wait, I'm thinking Puppeteers here. Why would Outsiders care about Protectors?

> > which by the way is why I think humans stopped
> > exploring as soon as they got the hyperdrive; ARM probably realized that if
> > a bubble 30 light years across included relics of a race of malevolent
> > telepaths, whatever killed everyone on Home, an interstellar empire run
> > by ostentatiously carnivorous imperialists, a trade network run by a
> > superior civilization which is itself dominated by an even vaster, even
> > more advanced civilization, continued exploration would eventually stumble
> > across something that would follow the explorers home to destroy the Earth.
>
> Now, be fair - that even vaster m.a.c. would be present everywhere in the
> galaxy that sufficiently advanced folk existed, and as such isn't really an
> increased risk factor for having found them right near hu-mons since the
> trade network was already there.

Besides, why would any m.a.c. that wouldn't bother exterminating the Kzinti be more afraid of humans? Well, at least until they found out that humans had (repeatedly) defeated the Kzinti even without Protectors.

I think humans "stopped" exploring for several reasons. First, there were lots of other species already out there, and humans would know from our own history that turf wars never make for lasting friendships. Second, buying data from other species is infinitely cheaper than going out to collect it for ourselves. Also, colonization efforts hadn't gone all that well. Maybe most important (from Niven's right-wing/Libertarian POV), the State would not want humans finding out that other species manage to get along fine with less repressive styles of governance.

> > Rather akin to how I didn't notice the billions of people Lukas Trask
> > murdered,
>
> [*]? Because on a first thought I don't either.

Bwuh? H. Beam Piper's Trask, or some other one?

I'm not sure how raw a deal the Bandersnatchi get, from their POV. AFAICT they're effectively immortal and have no material culture other than that which depends on the items they buy with their lives.

Maybe they just eventually get really bored.

I suppose that, being intelligent (with seriously huge brains) they might well have contacted other races and could have shitloads of information they could sell, but not being materialists themselves they may just not grok how valuable such information might be to the ephemeral humans. Maybe they do and decided to keep it to themselves.

Now I'm wondering what their culture *is* like. Very smart, long-lived, can't evolve, no family life, probably still bitter about having been *designed* as food animals and spies...

I'm guessing big on traditions, but what traditions?

> Dave, now wondering just how many galaxies the Outsiders inhabit; they clearly
> have the ability to migrate to the Magellanic Clouds and/or any of the dwarf
> galaxies slowly decaying in orbit around ours, but only the LMC has anything
> like a galactic core, out of those, so presumably they wouldn't want to
> colonize the others. But third-quantum hyperdrive (no, don't quibble, if they
> SELL second-quantum to anyone who can pony up the fee, they have to have
> something even more spectacular in reserve as a defense mechanism) would make
> Andromeda and most of the Local Group accessible, right?

Outsiders either never travel FTL or avoid it unless absolutely necessary, but I don't remember why. They are also said to have "something better" than hyperdrive.

We know Starseeds often eject their eggs out toward other galaxies and that Outsiders are very interested in them. Maybe both species have colonized every galaxy, with a core that could suitably do for Starseeds whatever they need them for, in the visible universe.

("And beyond!")

Wikipedia says that _Juggler of Worlds_ retcons much about Outsider history and the Fleet of [REDACTED]. I haven't read it. Maybe I should.


Mark L. fergerson

lal_truckee

unread,
Jun 30, 2014, 3:47:26 PM6/30/14
to
On 6/30/14 12:24 PM, Lawrence Watt-Evans wrote:

> it was family policy that the kids would earn a living, not be a bunch
> of useless parasites.

So he became a writer? That suffices?

(Actually, I'm a fan of most of his stuff, until he fell captive to Ring
World and Puppeteer extension-ism...)

lal_truckee

unread,
Jun 30, 2014, 3:56:55 PM6/30/14
to
On 6/29/14 11:04 PM, James Nicoll wrote:

> Was it Carl Sagan who first pointed out that everyone involved in "Neutron Star" should have known what was happening, homeworld conditions or not?

Not important. What's important about Niven is he pretty much
single-handed got me reading genre SF again after the New Wave drove me
completely away for 5 years or so. I can forgive him a couple of dozen
unstable ring worlds and a few tidal insufficiencies for that boon.

Lawrence Watt-Evans

unread,
Jun 30, 2014, 4:06:37 PM6/30/14
to
On 2014-06-30 15:47:26 -0400, lal_truckee said:

> On 6/30/14 12:24 PM, Lawrence Watt-Evans wrote:
>
>> it was family policy that the kids would earn a living, not be a bunch
>> of useless parasites.
>
> So he became a writer? That suffices?

When he made enough off his writing to live on, yes.

The story is that he gave himself a year to make it as a writer, and
would have quit if he didn't make it by then. Eleven months in he sold
his first two stories.

> (Actually, I'm a fan of most of his stuff, until he fell captive to
> Ring World and Puppeteer extension-ism...)


Walter Bushell

unread,
Jun 30, 2014, 4:26:44 PM6/30/14
to
In article <losesg$hin$1...@dont-email.me>,
He succeeded as a writer which is work.

--
Never attribute to stupidity that which can be explained by greed. Me.

Greg Goss

unread,
Jun 30, 2014, 4:37:35 PM6/30/14
to
I liked the "fleet" stories. I'm not sure how much of that is his and
how much is the co-writer's work.

Dream Park did nothing for me, but I actually liked Ringworld
Engineers more than the original. Just like I preferred 2010 to 2001.
I'm not much for "Odyssey" style travelogues, which is how I
characterize the first of each of those series.

I haven't been able to reconcile the version of gravity singularity vs
hyperdrive used in Ringworld's Children and the joined Ringworld 5
Worlds 5 conclusion novel with the way the engine disappeared in
Borderland of Sol.

Robert Carnegie

unread,
Jun 30, 2014, 4:56:19 PM6/30/14
to
I was made to think of Douglas Adams' "Arthur Dent" and
Terry Pratchett's "Rincewind". In one or both of these
cases someone eventually points out their survival skill,
or luck.

Arthur Dent gets to know about a near-death incident
in his future, and uses the knowledge to avoid going
anywhere near the place where it happened, which works
until it doesn't any more.

Robert Carnegie

unread,
Jun 30, 2014, 5:00:15 PM6/30/14
to
Which I haven't read, but, perhaps your tears are delicious to him?

David DeLaney

unread,
Jun 30, 2014, 7:31:09 PM6/30/14
to
On 2014-06-30, Greg Goss <go...@gossg.org> wrote:
> David DeLaney <davidd...@earthlink.net> wrote:
>>> A Relic of the Empire (1966):
>>
>>which I -always- want to parse as "A Relic of Empire" for some reason
>
> Um, your comment is the first time I ever noticed that there is a
> "the" there.

my work here is
is done

Dave, verbal illusions in text

David DeLaney

unread,
Jun 30, 2014, 7:51:11 PM6/30/14
to
On 2014-06-30, nu...@bid.nes <Alie...@gmail.com> wrote:
> On Monday, June 30, 2014 9:23:03 AM UTC-7, David DeLaney wrote:
>> ...But it would still be a false deduction, because knowing how to arrange
>> {REDACTED} in a Klemperer rosette practically _requires_ a working knowledge
>> of what tides are and what causes them... I'm guessing that at that point
>> Niven himself didn't know about the Puppeteer rosette, either. {"First
>> described ... in 1962", says Wikipedia.}
>
> I don't see how tides are relevant to forming a rosette offhand, or to
> maintaining one.

... Think about it. What _causes_ tides?

> Maybe they just forgot about all those fiddly tidal details since they
> didn't live with them every day, and the only Puppeteers who *would* be
> familiar with them were the insane traveler types who would have to concern
> themselves with the gravitational foibles of messy natural systems.

This is certainly possible, but "forgets details from hundreds, if not
thousands, of years' earlier technology" isn't really a thing one would expect
of a civilization once it had gotten to Internet/Wikipedia level, and the
Puppeteers were demonstrably beyond that. Of course there's the librarian
issue and the strange absence of AIs in Known Space...

> Also, AFAIR the rosette thing was first mentioned (misspelt at that) by
> Niven in _Ringworld_ which was published almost a decade after 1962.

Right, long after Neutron Star had been written.

> Wait, I'm thinking Puppeteers here. Why would Outsiders care about
> Protectors?

... If you get even a small colony of protectors established and breeding in
your local system, it's an existential threat - you don't KNOW what they'll
come up with because they're Smarter Than You, and they're weaponizing ALL of
it. Similar to the Moties.

The Outsiders' system is the galaxy. They might have been content to let them
ferment and bubble on their single planet in their system while they showed
no signs of leaving it, but the Expedition, and establishment of even a
late-stage-neutered colony elsewhere, ought to raise loud alarm bells in the
minds of anyone who knew anything about Protectors. (Especially if they
remembered the Slavers and the tnuctipun, which I wouldn't put past the
Outsiders having memory access to...)

>> Now, be fair - that even vaster m.a.c. would be present everywhere in the
>> galaxy that sufficiently advanced folk existed, and as such isn't really an
>> increased risk factor for having found them right near hu-mons since the
>> trade network was already there.
>
> Besides, why would any m.a.c. that wouldn't bother exterminating the Kzinti
> be more afraid of humans? Well, at least until they found out that humans had
> (repeatedly) defeated the Kzinti even without Protectors.

"Captain! This planet has faced Galactus four times in its immediate planetary
history û and beaten him back!" "WHA-A-AT?!?" - X-Men #105, very quickly
followed by a screeching sound as the spaceship's space-brakes are applied
as hard as possible

>> > Rather akin to how I didn't notice the billions of people Lukas Trask
>> > murdered,
>>
>> [*]? Because on a first thought I don't either.
>
> Bwuh? H. Beam Piper's Trask, or some other one?

No, Lucas Trask was a Struldbrug in the Known Space stories, ... oh, no,
that was Lucas Garner. James may have been making a reference to some other
book or film entirely, unrelatd to Niven? Okay, maybe Piper's. James?

>> Dave, now wondering just how many galaxies the Outsiders inhabit; they
>> clearly
>> have the ability to migrate to the Magellanic Clouds and/or any of the dwarf
>> galaxies slowly decaying in orbit around ours, but only the LMC has anything
>> like a galactic core, out of those, so presumably they wouldn't want to
>> colonize the others. But third-quantum hyperdrive (no, don't quibble, if
>> they
>> SELL second-quantum to anyone who can pony up the fee, they have to have
>> something even more spectacular in reserve as a defense mechanism) would
>> make Andromeda and most of the Local Group accessible, right?
>
> Outsiders either never travel FTL or avoid it unless absolutely necessary,
> but I don't remember why. They are also said to have "something better" than
> hyperdrive.

Could be a quantum-entanglement lightspeed "pop!" drive, maybe.

> We know Starseeds often eject their eggs out toward other galaxies and that
> Outsiders are very interested in them. Maybe both species have colonized
> every galaxy, with a core that could suitably do for Starseeds whatever they
> need them for, in the visible universe.
>
> ("And beyond!")

Mmmmaybe! (And yeah, the OBSERVABLE universe runs into the E&M decoupling, for
us, thirteen billion LY out in all directions. We have virtually NO idea how
big it actually is ... and right now we presumably CAN'T know if it's bigger
than about .5 billion more LY than that because of lightspeed.)

> Wikipedia says that _Juggler of Worlds_ retcons much about Outsider history
> and the Fleet of [REDACTED]. I haven't read it. Maybe I should.

The whole _of Worlds_ series does. It's, in one way of looking at it, a
retracing through the Beowulf Shaeffer stories ... from the point of view
of Sigmund Ausfaller. Beowulf turns out to not have a) been the most RELIABLE
of narrators, and b) known what-all was actually going on in every case. Plus
it explores pieces of Known Space that were never gotten to, or were cameoed,
in the main stories. I found it readable; it has moments of awesome along the
way, including one PARTICULARLY memorable one right near the end. Also,
remember Teela?

It shows a good deal of Known Space canon in rather a new light, and is worth
it for that alone.

Dave, because she remembers YOU

David DeLaney

unread,
Jun 30, 2014, 7:51:50 PM6/30/14
to
On 2014-06-30, Greg Goss <go...@gossg.org> wrote:
They have to be; he's fictional, and wouldn't have gotten published.

Dave

Walter Bushell

unread,
Jun 30, 2014, 9:55:16 PM6/30/14
to
In article <IbqdnW2x6alyaizO...@earthlink.com>,
David DeLaney <davidd...@earthlink.net> wrote:

> The Outsiders' system is the galaxy. They might have been content to let them
> ferment and bubble on their single planet in their system while they showed
> no signs of leaving it, but the Expedition, and establishment of even a
> late-stage-neutered colony elsewhere, ought to raise loud alarm bells in the
> minds of anyone who knew anything about Protectors. (Especially if they
> remembered the Slavers and the tnuctipun, which I wouldn't put past the
> Outsiders having memory access to...)

Do we know the intelligence level of the Outsiders? They may be
smarter than Protectors even ex human Protectors.

Cryptoengineer

unread,
Jul 1, 2014, 1:09:22 AM7/1/14
to
lal_truckee <lal_t...@yahoo.com> wrote in
news:losfe8$ljt$1...@dont-email.me:
I'll just add that if you take all factors into account, the ship
in 'Neutron Star' comes out of the encounter with a *very* fast
end-over-end spin. The protagonist isn't coming home.

pt

Steve Coltrin

unread,
Jul 1, 2014, 3:17:12 AM7/1/14
to
begin fnord
Greg Goss <go...@gossg.org> writes:

> This was re-written (rather poorly) by Niven as a Star Trek Animated
> episode.,

It gets better if you watch it along with pretty much any other TAS
episode.

--
Steve Coltrin spco...@omcl.org Google Groups killfiled here
"A group known as the League of Human Dignity helped arrange for Deuel
to be driven to a local livestock scale, where he could be weighed."
- Associated Press

Steve Coltrin

unread,
Jul 1, 2014, 3:20:45 AM7/1/14
to
begin fnord
Jerry Brown <je...@jwbrown.co.uk.invalid> writes:

> On Mon, 30 Jun 2014 11:23:03 -0500, David DeLaney
> <davidd...@earthlink.net> wrote:
>
>>On 2014-06-30, James Nicoll <jdni...@panix.com> wrote:
>
>>> The Soft Weapon (1967):
>>
>>which was "adapted" into a Star Trek: The Animated Series, No The Original
>>One, Yes, Remember That One? episode, which in the process established that
>>_kzinti_ were one of the races available for Federation folks to interact with!
>
> and they turned up again in a later episode (IIRC, the one where the
> Enterprise falls into a pocket universe full of other trapped ships of
> various species and shows them all how to get out by cooperating).

Actually an earlier episode, by three weeks. The character model was
rather different in that one, and while it was much more true to Known
Space it was also far from threatening.

Steve Coltrin

unread,
Jul 1, 2014, 3:21:58 AM7/1/14
to
begin fnord
Greg Goss <go...@gossg.org> writes:

> David DeLaney <davidd...@earthlink.net> wrote:
>
>>> A Relic of the Empire (1966):
>>
>>which I -always- want to parse as "A Relic of Empire" for some reason
>
> Um, your comment is the first time I ever noticed that there is a
> "the" there.

I too would swear that my copy of _Neutron Star_ lacks the 'the', but
even the gods do not know where it is right now. Probably in storage.

Steve Coltrin

unread,
Jul 1, 2014, 3:25:05 AM7/1/14
to
begin fnord
t...@loft.tnolan.com (Ted Nolan <tednolan>) writes:

> In article <los3df$58a$1...@reader1.panix.com>,
> James Nicoll <jdni...@panix.com> wrote:
>>In article <c1dglo...@mid.individual.net>,
>>Ted Nolan <tednolan> <tednolan> wrote:
>>>
>>>Maybe he didn't need the money?
>>
>>How much has he needed the money since the 1970s? But he keeps publishing
>>new books.

Hell, he was _born_ not needing the money, but I wouldn't be surprised if
it was part of how he kept score.

> Sure, but that's his vision. He might think of radio drama as an
> obscure medium that's not going to reach many people and is probably
> going to introduce "so the visuals can be described to" characters
> and otherwise muck things up.

I don't think he'd sneeze at radio drama; he wrote for the Star Trek
newspaper comic strip, of all things.

Steve Coltrin

unread,
Jul 1, 2014, 3:27:30 AM7/1/14
to
begin fnord
Greg Goss <go...@gossg.org> writes:

> Since the mid-70s? I thought that Niven was "Tim Hamner", a son of
> old money looking for something meaningful to do with his life?

For values of "old money" including "descended from the only person
involved in the Teapot Dome scandal who didn't go to the joint".
Wasn't Doheny acquitted of offering the bribe that Fall was convicted
of accepting?

Lawrence Watt-Evans

unread,
Jul 1, 2014, 3:30:16 AM7/1/14
to
On 2014-07-01 03:27:30 -0400, Steve Coltrin said:

> begin fnord
> Greg Goss <go...@gossg.org> writes:
>
>> Since the mid-70s? I thought that Niven was "Tim Hamner", a son of
>> old money looking for something meaningful to do with his life?
>
> For values of "old money" including "descended from the only person
> involved in the Teapot Dome scandal who didn't go to the joint".
> Wasn't Doheny acquitted of offering the bribe that Fall was convicted
> of accepting?

Yes, he was. Clever, that.

Steve Coltrin

unread,
Jul 1, 2014, 3:31:08 AM7/1/14
to
begin fnord
Greg Goss <go...@gossg.org> writes:

> I haven't been able to reconcile the version of gravity singularity vs
> hyperdrive used in Ringworld's Children and the joined Ringworld 5
> Worlds 5 conclusion novel with the way the engine disappeared in
> Borderland of Sol.

Left as an exercise for Niven's next co-author?

Greg Goss

unread,
Jul 1, 2014, 4:10:33 AM7/1/14
to
Steve Coltrin <spco...@omcl.org> wrote:

>begin fnord
>Greg Goss <go...@gossg.org> writes:
>
>> This was re-written (rather poorly) by Niven as a Star Trek Animated
>> episode.,
>
>It gets better if you watch it along with pretty much any other TAS
>episode.

I've only ever seen two TAS. When it was new, my region didn't get
Saturday morning toons. I've only ever seen it listed in reruns once,
and for some reason four of the five episodes I saw were that one.

So all I know of TAS is what Blish gave me.

Jaimie Vandenbergh

unread,
Jul 1, 2014, 5:06:58 AM7/1/14
to
On Tue, 01 Jul 2014 01:21:58 -0600, Steve Coltrin <spco...@omcl.org>
wrote:

>begin fnord
>Greg Goss <go...@gossg.org> writes:
>
>> David DeLaney <davidd...@earthlink.net> wrote:
>>
>>>> A Relic of the Empire (1966):
>>>
>>>which I -always- want to parse as "A Relic of Empire" for some reason
>>
>> Um, your comment is the first time I ever noticed that there is a
>> "the" there.
>
>I too would swear that my copy of _Neutron Star_ lacks the 'the', but
>even the gods do not know where it is right now. Probably in storage.

I'm also in the "A Relic of Empire" camp. But my paper copy (Orbit,
1992, UK paperback) not only has the definite article in the contents
and on the first page of the short, but also in the notes at the front:

A RELIC OF THE EMPIRE, copyright (c) 1966 by Galaxy Publishing Corp.
Published in /Worlds of If/, December, 1966

I do own some copies of /If/, but not that one. So where are we all
getting that from? Google searches for '"a relic of empire" niven' vs
the other form get about a 1:4 hit rate, but most of them are just
explaining how the If titlepage got it wrong.

Aside from all that - I concur that the stories hold up, apart from the
title story as there's no excuse for any spacefaring race to not know
about tides. The "ho ho we were feeding you disinformation" retcon in
the _...Of Worlds_ series was hastily glossed over, and rightly so. I
did a full Known Space shorts re-read a couple of years ago, and I was
very pleased about the lack of suck. Well recommended as a cheering
activity.

Cheers - Jaimie
--
A: Think about it. Come on, you can figure it out.
A:>> When half the group posts top and the other half posts bottom.
Q:>>> What's even more annoying than topposting?
Q:> Why would that be annoying?

Robert Carnegie

unread,
Jul 1, 2014, 5:48:55 AM7/1/14
to
On Tuesday, 1 July 2014 09:10:33 UTC+1, Greg Goss wrote:
> [_Star Trek, The Animated Series_]
> I've only ever seen two TAS. [...] all I know of TAS
> is what Blish gave me.

Alan Dean Foster, not James Blish, wrote the
_Star Trek Log ..._ anthologies. Numbers 7-10
are novels wrapped around single episodes.
_Star Trek Log 10_ is "The Slaver Weapon",
but I don't remember if I read it.

Robert Carnegie

unread,
Jul 1, 2014, 5:58:54 AM7/1/14
to
On Monday, 30 June 2014 20:17:58 UTC+1, Greg Goss wrote:
> David DeLaney <davidd...@earthlink.net> wrote:
> >> A Relic of the Empire (1966):
> >
> >which I -always- want to parse as "A Relic of Empire" for some reason
>
> Um, your comment is the first time I ever noticed that there is a
> "the" there.

If you are not in, or in possession of, an empire,
probably it doesn't get the definite article; you
treat it as a disease, perhaps. (Which does,
sometimes. "Can't you walk faster, Lord Vader?"
"I'm sorry, I've got the Imperial March.") Or it's
qualified, like the Klingon Empire or the
Sunderland Empire (Theatre).

Jack Bohn

unread,
Jul 1, 2014, 7:32:18 AM7/1/14
to
On Monday, June 30, 2014 11:31:01 AM UTC-4, Don Kuenz wrote:
> Jack Bohn <jack....@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> > Was it Carl Sagan who first pointed out that everyone involved in
> > "Neutron Star" should have known what was happening, homeworld
> > conditions or not?
>
> Carl Sagan's take sounds intriguing. Does Sagan's comments pertain to
> the short story or the collection?

If it was Sagan, it was only the one story. Iff it was Sagan, it might have been the same essay that took Star Trek to task for Vulcans interbreeding with humans. (This from a man whose childhood inspiration was a book where a Martian interbred with a Human and then laid an egg!) It might not have been the same essay that took to task the proposed title for "2001: A Space Odyssey"; "Beyond the Stars" (and which might be the one that mentions Lloyd's of London refusing to insure the movie against loss of business if extra-terrestrial intelligence were discovered before its release).

> _Neutron Star_ is a collection of seven short stories previously
> published in Worlds of If magazine,
>
> "Neutron Star" October 1966
> "At the Core" November 1966
> "A Relic of the Empire" December 1966
> "The Soft Weapon" February 1967
> "Flatlander" March 1967
> "The Ethics of Madness" April 1967
> "The Handicapped" December 1967
>
> plus one new short story, "Grendel." My If collection includes several
> of the short stories. Perhaps those stories will move me enough to buy
> the entire collection. :)

Buy the collection! Whichever story(s) you don't have, you need! :)

Just noticed: What a year for IF!

--
-Jack

Ted Nolan <tednolan>

unread,
Jul 1, 2014, 8:04:47 AM7/1/14
to
In article <c1f8nn...@mid.individual.net>,
That was Foster. Blish was TOS.

Plus, Foster started taking a generous remit in his later "Star Trek Log"
books (which were the animated adaptions) and he would "adapt" the episodes
to merge into whole new adventures, which basically gave Ballentine a
sub-rosa license to horn in on Bantam's territory.

--
------
columbiaclosings.com
What's not in Columbia anymore..

Steve Coltrin

unread,
Jul 1, 2014, 10:14:14 AM7/1/14
to
begin fnord
Greg Goss <go...@gossg.org> writes:

> I've only ever seen two TAS.

I recommnend _Star Trek : [The Animated Series]_ (the actual series name
was simply _Star Trek_) only to those who enjoy rubbernecking at traffic
accidents, and those who bought Spock ears at their first con. The
better episodes ("Slaver Weapon", "Yesteryear") have 3/4 of a good story,
while the others are lucky if they get 1/2, and Filmation, the production
company, were notorious cheapskates - they made Hanna-Barbera look like
Walt fucking Disney. They recorded possibly two minutes of music for the
entire 26 episodes, 30 seconds of which got looped _constantly_ for
any scene that approximated action, the animation director was color
blind (leading to the hot pink Kzinti ship and ash grey Andorian),
and damn near every guest character was voiced by Nichols, Doohan, or
Barrett (except for the zero-talent kid whose _demo tape_ they used
for Young Spock).

(The above brought to you by a brain cell that might have cured cancer
instead if I had done more productive things with my life.)