What ever happened to Niven's Known Space?

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Stevens R. Miller

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Dec 5, 1995, 3:00:00 AM12/5/95
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My failing memory tells me that, way back in the 70's, one-or-another of the
Known Space books ("Tales of Known Space"?) contained a preface by Niven, to
the effect that he was done with the series. Further, I think he said
something like, "if you want more, write them yourself; there's enough
material to get you going," or words to that effect.

Assuming my memory isn't totally like my soul (corrupt), I'd like to know if
anyone has taken him up on that offer. For that matter, does anyone know if
he was seriously offering to let the series go into the public domain?

--
Stevens R. Miller http://www.interport.net/~lex/

Rich Holmes

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Dec 5, 1995, 3:00:00 AM12/5/95
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Niven has continued to write Known Space material: _The Ringworld
Engineers_, _The Ringworld Throne_ (in progress), and material
included along with old stories in the collections _Crashlander_ and
_Flatlander_ among them.

The Man-Kzin wars time period has been opened up to other authors and
these stories have been published in a series titled, oddly enough,
The Man-Kzin Wars. They're up to volume 7, I think.

I don't know what his intentions were at the time, but my guess is
that, at present, anyone trying to make a buck with a Known Space
knock-off without Niven's permission would learn quite firmly that he
does not consider Known Space to be public domain.

--
- Rich Holmes

Of course it's daft, it's traditional.
- Terry Pratchett

Erich Schneider

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Dec 5, 1995, 3:00:00 AM12/5/95
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In article <lex.687....@interport.net> l...@interport.net (Stevens R. Miller) writes:

>My failing memory tells me that, way back in the 70's, one-or-another of the
>Known Space books ("Tales of Known Space"?) contained a preface by Niven, to
>the effect that he was done with the series. Further, I think he said
>something like, "if you want more, write them yourself; there's enough
>material to get you going," or words to that effect.
>
>Assuming my memory isn't totally like my soul (corrupt), I'd like to know if
>anyone has taken him up on that offer.

Well, there have been, what, 7 or 8 _Man-Kzin Wars_ volumes at this point?

Niven is also apparently working on another novel involving the Ringworld.
--
Erich Schneider er...@bush.cs.tamu.edu http://bush.cs.tamu.edu/~erich

"Now the Cosmos is stormed every day, but the rockets are nothing more
than bread trucks. This is not surprising from Americans, who will
always try their best to turn the stars into dollars."
- Rudy Rucker and Bruce Sterling, "Storming the Cosmos"

Rob Furr

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Dec 5, 1995, 3:00:00 AM12/5/95
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In article <RSHOLMES.9...@gamera.syr.EDU>,

rsho...@gamera.syr.EDU (Rich Holmes) wrote:
>In article <lex.687....@interport.net> l...@interport.net (Stevens R.
Miller) writes:
>
>I don't know what his intentions were at the time, but my guess is
>that, at present, anyone trying to make a buck with a Known Space
>knock-off without Niven's permission would learn quite firmly that he
>does not consider Known Space to be public domain.

Niven addresses this point quite clearly in either _N-Space_ or _Playgrounds
of the Mind_: he mentions the fact that a member of a Star Trek club wanted
to clear his use of his character - who was a Kzinti, be it noted - in
the club's fanfic with the creator of that species. Niven states that, while
the proposed use seemed inoffensive, and passably well done, he refused
permission. Period. Flat out no.

If you really *must* write a Known Space story, then the only way for you to
do it currently is talk to the editors of the Man-Kzin Wars series. (And,
unlike some of the other people in this thread, I'm not going to insult the
person asking for wishing to write in someone else's playground. I have a
story idea that I'd *love* to write, but, since the core idea is based on
certain postulates of "Flash Crowd" etc., I can't. Not easily, at any rate,
and it'd be a stronger story if I could use Niven's complete set of
postulates than my own in this particular case. Oy.)

Rob F.

Andrew C. Plotkin

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Dec 6, 1995, 3:00:00 AM12/6/95
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l...@interport.net (Stevens R. Miller) writes:
> My failing memory tells me that, way back in the 70's, one-or-another of the
> Known Space books ("Tales of Known Space"?) contained a preface by Niven, to
> the effect that he was done with the series. Further, I think he said
> something like, "if you want more, write them yourself; there's enough
> material to get you going," or words to that effect.
>
> Assuming my memory isn't totally like my soul (corrupt), I'd like to know if
> anyone has taken him up on that offer. For that matter, does anyone know if
> he was seriously offering to let the series go into the public domain?

There was a case a few years ago where someone was writing erotica
(S/M erotica, if I recall correctly) in a SF setting, and included
a Kzin at one point. This was stuff being posted to Usenet, not sold.
Niven threatened legal action, and the guy backed down.

Niven admits the incident, in as many words, in the introduction to
one of the Man/Kzin War books.

I think Niven was being an ass, personally. Regardless of whether the
erotica was worth reading. And I rather liked the idea that if anyone
is in the mood to write porn involving an eight-foot-tall feline
alien, they refer to the creature as a "Nvin". :-)

In any event, I think actions have spoken louder than words. If you
want to write Known Space stories, talk to Niven first.

--Z

"And Aholibamah bare Jeush, and Jaalam, and Korah: these were the borogoves..."

Dana Crom

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Dec 6, 1995, 3:00:00 AM12/6/95
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In article <UklRcNq00...@andrew.cmu.edu>,
Andrew C. Plotkin <erky...@CMU.EDU> wrote:
...

>There was a case a few years ago where someone was writing erotica
>(S/M erotica, if I recall correctly) in a SF setting, and included
>a Kzin at one point. This was stuff being posted to Usenet, not sold.
>Niven threatened legal action, and the guy backed down.
>
>Niven admits the incident, in as many words, in the introduction to
>one of the Man/Kzin War books.

Elf Sternberg. He ended up rewriting the stories. And Elf himself
has posted that he feels the stories were the better for it.

The stories - and a lot of other info - can be found on his homepage:

<http://www.halcyon.com/elf/elf_sternberg.html>

As a connoisseur of well written science fiction and pornography, I have
to applaud. Writing good porn is hard (dip into alt.sex.stories if you
disbelieve me - Sturgeon's Law applies with a vengeance). Writing good SF
is even harder. *Combining* the two, and making it work, takes talent.

Definately non-commercial, though. The sex content of most of Elf's
stories is far too high for most SF publishers to touch it, while the
science fiction (and storyline, for that matter) content is too high for
the porn market.

>I think Niven was being an ass, personally. Regardless of whether the
>erotica was worth reading. And I rather liked the idea that if anyone
>is in the mood to write porn involving an eight-foot-tall feline
>alien, they refer to the creature as a "Nvin". :-)
>
>In any event, I think actions have spoken louder than words. If you
>want to write Known Space stories, talk to Niven first.

Though I'm not an expert on copyright law, others who *are* have rehashed
this _ad nauseam_. It boils down to "unless you exercise control, you
lose it," as I understand it.

Getting upset with Niven, or any other professional writer, for wanting
to retain legal control over their own creations seems rather odd. They
don't make the law - but they depend on their work for their living.

And if anyone needs a horrible example of the effects of LACK of control,
remember that horrible _Lensman_ anime.
--
-----------------------+------------------------+------------------------------
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da...@morc.mfg.sgi.com | (415) 390-1449 | what you've been up to . . .


Steve Brinich

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Dec 6, 1995, 3:00:00 AM12/6/95
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> I have a story idea that I'd *love* to write, but, since the core idea
>is based on certain postulates of "Flash Crowd" etc., I can't.

Maybe, maybe not. It depends on whether those "postulates" are simply
general ideas about the implications of cheap teleportation or details of
how Niven developed that theme.


--
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89B992BBE67F7B2F | it should set a better example | ========= I fear
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Erik Max Francis

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Dec 6, 1995, 3:00:00 AM12/6/95
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rsf...@uncg.edu (Rob Furr) writes:

> I have a
> story idea that I'd *love* to write, but, since the core idea is based on

> certain postulates of "Flash Crowd" etc., I can't. Not easily, at any rate,
> and it'd be a stronger story if I could use Niven's complete set of
> postulates than my own in this particular case. Oy.)

But you can't copyright ideas, only your expression of those ideas. The
kzinti species is an expression of ideas; but a big cat-like alien is
simply an idea and is not copyrightable. You can write as many stories
about big intelligent cats as you like and you are completely free from
any possible copyright infringement -- but start calling them kzinti and
now you're infringing.

Same thing goes with some kind of teleportation device: As long as you
don't call it a transfer booth or do something which makes it obvious
that you are copying, then you are not infringing.

Of course, there's probably a better reason for not writing a similar
teleportion story than possibly copyright infringement -- Niven pretty
much sealed that subject shut with his teleportation stories. :-)


Erik Max Francis, &tSftDotIotE && uuwest!alcyone!max, m...@alcyone.darkside.com
San Jose, California, U.S.A. && 37 20 07 N 121 53 38 W && the 4th R is respect
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_Omnia quia sunt, lumina sunt._ && GIGO Omega Psi && http://www.spies.com/max/
"The Creator Raven looked at Man and was . . . surprised to find that this
strange new being was so much like himself." -- Eskimo creation myth

Chris Kuan

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Dec 7, 1995, 3:00:00 AM12/7/95
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rsho...@gamera.syr.EDU (Rich Holmes) wrote:

>In article <lex.687....@interport.net> l...@interport.net (Stevens R. Miller) writes:
>
>>My failing memory tells me that, way back in the 70's, one-or-another of the
>>Known Space books ("Tales of Known Space"?) contained a preface by Niven, to
>>the effect that he was done with the series. Further, I think he said
>>something like, "if you want more, write them yourself; there's enough
>>material to get you going," or words to that effect.
>>
>>Assuming my memory isn't totally like my soul (corrupt), I'd like to know if
>>anyone has taken him up on that offer. For that matter, does anyone know if
>>he was seriously offering to let the series go into the public domain?
>
>Niven has continued to write Known Space material: _The Ringworld
>Engineers_, _The Ringworld Throne_ (in progress), and material
>included along with old stories in the collections _Crashlander_ and
>_Flatlander_ among them.
>
(stuff snipped)

In _N-Space_, Niven writes (in _Down In Flames_) that Norman Spinrad persuaded
him (in 1968 or 1969) to overturn the story assumptions of Known Space. But when
he wrote _Ringworld_, he didn't need to do this, because the assumptions behind
KS and RW were different. Not having read either work [heresy! :-) ], I cannot
comment on Nivens comment.

--

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/ / / /\ \ BHP Information Technology, Wollongong Region
\ \/ / / / Voice +61 42 75 5657 Fax +61 42 75 5500
\ / / / e-mail kuan.c...@bhp.com.au
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Rob Furr

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Dec 7, 1995, 3:00:00 AM12/7/95
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In article <4a5bpq$2...@access4.digex.net>,

ste...@access4.digex.net (Steve Brinich) wrote:
> > I have a story idea that I'd *love* to write, but, since the core idea
> >is based on certain postulates of "Flash Crowd" etc., I can't.
>
> Maybe, maybe not. It depends on whether those "postulates" are simply
>general ideas about the implications of cheap teleportation or details of
>how Niven developed that theme.

It's a fairly specific hole that Niven left in that universe - to use the
idea, I'd have to replicate about 2/3rds of the Niven premises, and I think
that's too much.

Rob F.

Bronis Vidugiris

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Dec 7, 1995, 3:00:00 AM12/7/95
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In article <vyn397u...@csdl.tamu.edu>,
Erich Schneider <er...@csdl.cs.tamu.edu> wrote:

)Well, there have been, what, 7 or 8 _Man-Kzin Wars_ volumes at this point?
)
)Niven is also apparently working on another novel involving the Ringworld.

The latest I've seen is Man-Kzin wars VII. The series has generally
been uneven, but I was very impressed with Gregory Benford's entry
"A Darker Geometry". [Think it may have had a co-author too,
unfortunately this slips my mind right now.]

The story goes into some of the politics and history of the Outsiders,
and a lot more detail on their and the pupeteer's involvment in
the Man-Kzin war. The "wheels within wheels" idea is very reminiscent
of some of the better Niven, and the science is up to Benford's
usual (high - IMO - YMMV?) level.

And it also has a statement of the true builders of Ringworld.

On a **** scale, I give it at least ***, possibly more.


Joel Rosenberg

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Dec 8, 1995, 3:00:00 AM12/8/95
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In article <e1uPFD...@alcyone.darkside.com> m...@alcyone.darkside.com (Erik Max Francis) writes:


>rsf...@uncg.edu (Rob Furr) writes:

>> I have a
>> story idea that I'd *love* to write, but, since the core idea is based on

>> certain postulates of "Flash Crowd" etc., I can't. Not easily, at any rate,
>> and it'd be a stronger story if I could use Niven's complete set of
>> postulates than my own in this particular case. Oy.)

>But you can't copyright ideas, only your expression of those ideas. The
>kzinti species is an expression of ideas; but a big cat-like alien is
>simply an idea and is not copyrightable. You can write as many stories
>about big intelligent cats as you like and you are completely free from
>any possible copyright infringement -- but start calling them kzinti and
>now you're infringing.

There's a whole spectrum from "Hell, yes," to "You did WHAT?!?" Big
intelligent cats are fine; nobody'll mistake, say, CJ's for Niven's.

Big violent intelligent cats are no problem.

Big violent intelligent cats from a species where only the males are
intelligent, and with a culture in which earning a name is important and who
attack before they're ready . . . well, those are kzinti, even if you call
them smeerps.

---------------------------------------------------------------------
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a black problem. In the words of the formidable critic and
activist Barbara Smith, 'We don't oppose anti-Semitism
because we owe something to the Jewish people, but because
we owe something very basic to ourselves.'"
-- Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

Mark Stackpole

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Dec 8, 1995, 3:00:00 AM12/8/95
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In article <vyn397u...@csdl.tamu.edu>,
>Erich Schneider <er...@csdl.cs.tamu.edu> wrote:
>)Niven is also apparently working on another novel involving the Ringworld.
>
Worked. "The Ringworld Throne" is completed, now in the hands of either
Ellen Kay Harris or one of her subordinants, and will be published by
DelRey Books May-June of 1996.

On the matter of Baen's Man-Kzin was series, it think the best
contributions have been the long stories by Donald Kingbury (in vols. 4 &
6, I think).

Mark Stackpole


Josh Kaderlan

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Dec 8, 1995, 3:00:00 AM12/8/95
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In article <4aa3l7$s...@ni1.ni.net>,

Mark Stackpole <Mark_St...@oclc.org> wrote:
>
>On the matter of Baen's Man-Kzin was series, it think the best
>contributions have been the long stories by Donald Kingbury (in vols. 4 &
>6, I think).
>
I thought King(s?)bury's first story in the series was one of the best.
It took a couple of re-readings before I really grasped the horror of
what was happening. However, I thought that his follow-up ("The Heroic
Myth of Lt. Nora Argamentine") was overlong and generally lacking in
point. It was a real disappointment, especially after his first story.


--Josh
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Joshua Kaderlan | "An American? Nobody told me he was an American."
jek...@cac.psu.edu | "Not American -- Canadian." "Well, what's the
| "difference?" "They're touchier, that's what."
| Robertson Davies, *What's Bred in the Bone*
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Mark Stackpole

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Dec 8, 1995, 3:00:00 AM12/8/95
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jek...@cac.psu.edu (Josh Kaderlan) wrote:
> King(s?)bury

Yup -- does it count that I spelt his name correctly in another post?

> However, I thought that his follow-up ("The Heroic
>Myth of Lt. Nora Argamentine") was overlong and generally lacking in
>point. It was a real disappointment, especially after his first story.
>

I viewed "Heroic Myth" as the middle part of KingSbury's Kzin novel --
just like Anderson, Pournelle, & Ing extracted separate books from their
contributions -- and am willing to forgive a little discursivness in what
I view as a work-in-progress.

OTOH, I don't remember much of the plot of "The Outsider" (was that the
title of the first one?), and nothing at all from "Heroic Myth"; just a
memory of reading it.

Mark Stackpole


Josh Kaderlan

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Dec 9, 1995, 3:00:00 AM12/9/95
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In article <4aadm8$5...@ni1.ni.net>,
Mark Stackpole <Mark_St...@oclc.org> wrote:

>jek...@cac.psu.edu (Josh Kaderlan) wrote:
>
>> However, I thought that his follow-up ("The Heroic
>>Myth of Lt. Nora Argamentine") was overlong and generally lacking in
>>point. It was a real disappointment, especially after his first story.
>>
>
>I viewed "Heroic Myth" as the middle part of KingSbury's Kzin novel --
>just like Anderson, Pournelle, & Ing extracted separate books from their
>contributions -- and am willing to forgive a little discursivness in what
>I view as a work-in-progress.
>
Has Kingsbury written a third part? (I haven't gotten *MK Wars VII*
yet.) If so, then that puts "Heroic Myth" in some kind of perspective...
but I still think it wasn't that great. Each individual part in a series
should still be readable independently at a certain level, I think.

Alan L. Bostick

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Dec 9, 1995, 3:00:00 AM12/9/95
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What ever happened to Known Space? you ask.

The answer to your question is simple. Known Space was destroyed by a
chain-reaction of supernovae at the core of the galaxy; the blaze of
hard radiation rendered it uninhabitable.

Set all the stories there you want; but I'm warning you: there's not
much excitement in a radioactive lifeless ruin.

--
Alan Bostick | SWINDON: What will history say?
Seeking opportunity to | BURGOYNE: History, sir, will tell lies as usual.
develop multimedia content. | George Bernard Shaw, THE DEVIL'S DISCIPLE
Finger abos...@netcom.com for more info and PGP public key

Kethas epetai-Khemara

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Dec 12, 1995, 3:00:00 AM12/12/95
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Stevens R. Miller (l...@interport.net) wrote:
: My failing memory tells me that, way back in the 70's, one-or-another of the
: Known Space books ("Tales of Known Space"?) contained a preface by Niven, to
: the effect that he was done with the series. Further, I think he said
: something like, "if you want more, write them yourself; there's enough
: material to get you going," or words to that effect.
Yah. Your memory hasn't failed you. . .unless mine has too. . .and I
only read it 2 weeks ago:)
: Assuming my memory isn't totally like my soul (corrupt), I'd like to know if
: anyone has taken him up on that offer. For that matter, does anyone know if
: he was seriously offering to let the series go into the public domain?

Since he said that he's written(sometimes in collaboration, yah) "The
ringworld engineers", AND TWO VOLUMES(so far. . .)of "The Man-Kzin wars."
And no, its not in the public domain. . .See the introduction the the
first volume of the main-Kzin wars for reasons.
Hope this helps!
Wayne.
--
*****************************************
* *
* From: Wayne Haley *
* a.k.a."Kethas epetai-Khemara" *
* < wm...@alpha2.bton.ac.uk > *
*---------------------------------------*
* "Malt does more than Milton can, *
* to justify Gods ways to man." *
* *
* -G. Benford. *
*****************************************

Nancy Lebovitz

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Dec 12, 1995, 3:00:00 AM12/12/95
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In article <4aaqmi$17...@hearst.cac.psu.edu>,

Josh Kaderlan <jek...@cac.psu.edu> wrote:
>In article <4aadm8$5...@ni1.ni.net>,
>Mark Stackpole <Mark_St...@oclc.org> wrote:
>>jek...@cac.psu.edu (Josh Kaderlan) wrote:
>>
>>> However, I thought that his follow-up ("The Heroic
>>>Myth of Lt. Nora Argamentine") was overlong and generally lacking in
>>>point. It was a real disappointment, especially after his first story.
>>>
>>
>>I viewed "Heroic Myth" as the middle part of KingSbury's Kzin novel --
>>just like Anderson, Pournelle, & Ing extracted separate books from their
>>contributions -- and am willing to forgive a little discursivness in what
>>I view as a work-in-progress.
>>
>Has Kingsbury written a third part? (I haven't gotten *MK Wars VII*
>yet.) If so, then that puts "Heroic Myth" in some kind of perspective...
>but I still think it wasn't that great. Each individual part in a series
>should still be readable independently at a certain level, I think.

If "Heoic Myth" is most of volume VI, then I thought it was the first
half of a pretty promising novel, and I'm looking forward to the other
half.

Nancy Lebovitz (nan...@universe.digex.net)


Mark Stackpole

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Dec 13, 1995, 3:00:00 AM12/13/95
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Josh Kaderlan <jek...@cac.psu.edu> wrote:
>Has Kingsbury written a third part?

I have no idea. This was guesswork on my part since Kingsbury leaves his
story unresolved at the end of "Heroic Myth".

>(I haven't gotten *MK Wars VII* yet.)

It ain't in there: MK 7 has a long story by Gregory Benford & Mark O.
Martin (a continuation of a story in MK6??) and storter works by Hal
Colebatch and Paul Chafe. This volume is on low priority for me to read,
right after I get around to "Tales from Jabba's Palace." Out of all 7
books in Man-Kzin Wars, I have only read the contributions by Ing, Bear,
Kingsbury and Niven himself.

Mark Stackpole


Elf Sternberg

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Dec 14, 1995, 3:00:00 AM12/14/95
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da...@morc.mfg.sgi.com (Dana Crom) writes:

>Andrew C. Plotkin wrote:

>>There was a case a few years ago where someone was writing erotica
>>(S/M erotica, if I recall correctly) in a SF setting, and included
>>a Kzin at one point. This was stuff being posted to Usenet, not sold.
>>Niven threatened legal action, and the guy backed down.

Yah, that was me. *Laugh* Long time ago, in my memory. Not so
long ago in Larry's, unfortunately. He wouldn't sign my copy of
Man/Kz*n Wars IV last year.

>>Niven admits the incident, in as many words, in the introduction to
>>one of the Man/Kzin War books.

>Elf Sternberg. He ended up rewriting the stories. And Elf himself
>has posted that he feels the stories were the better for it.

Yes. Away from any "rules" I may have felt impelled to follow
because these were someone else's ideas I was tinkering with, I felt the
stories became *my* own work, rather than simple derivatives of someone
else's. After removing anything about Kn*wn Sp*ce from the Journal
Entries, they became much more personal and effective. And Larry said
he'd drop the matter.

He didn't. It showed up again, in the aformented MKW4. I
understand the point he was addressing in MKW4, but rather than just
say, "No, it's my work," he dragged the incident in. I decided to ahve
one last laugh, and wrote one final story, which is absolutely a parody
of Niven's universe-- "The Only Fair Game," which is also on my home
page and which is protected under US law (see: The Estate of Roy Orbison
vs. Two Live Crew. The ruling essentially dictates that parody must be
judged as to whether or not the work being parodied was taken primarly
for it's social or financial value. Since I'm not asking for any
money... ). TOFG digs into Larry's well-rumored aversion to any
sexuality that's even a little bit "weird." Any species with THAT much
macho can't find passive, unintelligent females very exciting as sex
partners.... So what do they do? *gryn*

>>In any event, I think actions have spoken louder than words. If you
>>want to write Known Space stories, talk to Niven first.
>
>Though I'm not an expert on copyright law, others who *are* have rehashed
>this _ad nauseam_. It boils down to "unless you exercise control, you
>lose it," as I understand it.

The trouble lies in a single sentence at the end of "Ringworld
Engineers." Larry wrote, "If you want more Known Space stories, you'll
have to write them yourself." To a lot of people, that reads like an
invitation to filk like mad, and I think it took Larry a long time,
longer than he would like to admit, to realize quite what he'd said
there, or what he'd unleashed. In the beginning, that's all I really
wanted-- more Known Space stories, ones that befitted my tastes. I made
the "mistake" of showing my creation to a half million people.

>Getting upset with Niven, or any other professional writer, for wanting
>to retain legal control over their own creations seems rather odd. They
>don't make the law - but they depend on their work for their living.

>And if anyone needs a horrible example of the effects of LACK of control,
>remember that horrible _Lensman_ anime.

True, but the Lensman anime came 'round a long time after Doc
was dead. The question there is more vague to me... should Doc Smith's
children be allowed to rob their father's intellectual tomb or not?
Intellectual property rights are hard to figure for inheritance.

But you're right on one account-- Niven, attempting to live off
the sweat of his own brow, does have the right to control how his work
is used. He can't stop J. Random Roleplayer from cooking up a version
of his beasts for his local Rolemaster sessions, and somehow I don't
think he'd want to. What he can't do, and what I've seen some writers
try to do, is use this "control" issue to prevent criticism of his work.

Okay, so Larry doesn't like gays or leatherfolk; the only people
in his story who ever get laid are take-charge human males whose
partners are usually athletic yet somehow virginal nubile human
females. A lack of creativity in one department does not make Larry
talentless. He's still one of my top five favorite fiction writers
because he taught me what the stars *could* look like, if only you put
your mind to it.


Elf !!!
--
Elf Sternberg Geeks are neither skilled nor curiousities,
e...@halcyon.com they are merely... unseemly.
Public key available http://www.halcyon.com/elf/index.html

Bronis Vidugiris

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Dec 14, 1995, 3:00:00 AM12/14/95
to
In article <4an5gi$3...@ni1.ni.net>,
Mark Stackpole <Mark_St...@oclc.org> wrote:

)It ain't in there: MK 7 has a long story by Gregory Benford & Mark O.
)Martin (a continuation of a story in MK6??) and storter works by Hal
)Colebatch and Paul Chafe.

The Benford story in MK 7 is, IMO, excellent. I don't belive it's a
continuation of any other story, however. As I think I mentioned in a another
post, the Benford/Martin story, "A Darker Geometery" gives us a close look at
the Outsiders (who did play a large role in the Man-Kzin war, which is how it
was tied into the series). It also explains the true origins of the Ringworld.
It's been a long time since I've read a story (esp. a Man-Kzin story) I've
enjoyed as much - I recommend this one, it's worth buying the whole
book for (IMO).


Nancy Lebovitz

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Dec 14, 1995, 3:00:00 AM12/14/95
to
In article <4an5gi$3...@ni1.ni.net>,
Mark Stackpole <Mark_St...@oclc.org> wrote:
>Josh Kaderlan <jek...@cac.psu.edu> wrote:
>>Has Kingsbury written a third part?
>
>I have no idea. This was guesswork on my part since Kingsbury leaves his
>story unresolved at the end of "Heroic Myth".
>
>>(I haven't gotten *MK Wars VII* yet.)
>
>It ain't in there: MK 7 has a long story by Gregory Benford & Mark O.
>Martin (a continuation of a story in MK6??) and storter works by Hal
>Colebatch and Paul Chafe. This volume is on low priority for me to read,
>right after I get around to "Tales from Jabba's Palace." Out of all 7
>books in Man-Kzin Wars, I have only read the contributions by Ing, Bear,
>Kingsbury and Niven himself.

I recommend MKW 7--"The Colonel's Tiger"(?) is an excellent horror-
flavored version of the Kzin, and I enjoyed Benford's version of
the Outsiders. It's been a while since I've read the book, but
I think there was a good adventure story in there, too.

Nancy Lebovitz (nan...@universe.digex.net)


>

Stevens R. Miller

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Dec 14, 1995, 3:00:00 AM12/14/95
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In article <4apqu4$i...@news1.halcyon.com> e...@halcyon.com (Elf Sternberg) writes:

> The trouble lies in a single sentence at the end of "Ringworld
>Engineers." Larry wrote, "If you want more Known Space stories, you'll
>have to write them yourself." To a lot of people, that reads like an
>invitation to filk like mad, and I think it took Larry a long time,
>longer than he would like to admit, to realize quite what he'd said
>there, or what he'd unleashed.

When I started this thread, that was the sentence I was asking about. What
has Niven subsequently said about it? That it meant, "write them, but don't
try to publish them"? I truly thought it was an open invitation to take up
the noble cause in his place. Obviously, I was wrong and I'm glad I asked.
But, I'm still curious: what exactly did he mean?

> True, but the Lensman anime came 'round a long time after Doc
>was dead. The question there is more vague to me... should Doc Smith's
>children be allowed to rob their father's intellectual tomb or not?
>Intellectual property rights are hard to figure for inheritance.

By coincidence, I happen to have a very distant connection to that project.
I do not recall that the Smith estate was involved at all. The movie was
scripted twice: the first was written by someone in New York, who tried to
stay true to the book. The second was written in Japan and, well... it was
not written by a slave to Smith's vision 8-).

Stevens R. Miller

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Dec 15, 1995, 3:00:00 AM12/15/95
to
In article <4asb5d$e...@ni1.ni.net> Mark Stackpole <Mark_St...@oclc.org> writes:

>l...@interport.net (Stevens R. Miller) wrote:
>>In article <4apqu4$i...@news1.halcyon.com> e...@halcyon.com (Elf Sternberg)
>writes:
>>

>>>Larry wrote, "If you want more Known Space stories, you'll
>>>have to write them yourself."
>>

>> what exactly did he mean?

>I never once took it as
>Niven placing Known Space into the public domain.

But, didn't he say a bit more, to the effect that, "now you have what you
need," or "you have enough to take it from here," or something like that?

Really, I read it exactly the other way. In the innocence of thinking he was
not all that different from me, it truly seemed he was inviting us to share in
the fun. Fanfic is as old as fandom, and Niven knew it. I don't want to make
a law suit over it, but I think he could have been more exact in his wording.

Mark Stackpole

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Dec 15, 1995, 3:00:00 AM12/15/95
to
l...@interport.net (Stevens R. Miller) wrote:
>In article <4apqu4$i...@news1.halcyon.com> e...@halcyon.com (Elf Sternberg) writes:
>
>>Larry wrote, "If you want more Known Space stories, you'll
>>have to write them yourself."
>
> what exactly did he mean?

I think Larry was attempting to envoke something like the last verse of a
song I sang in camp (something to do with an elephant and a peanut):
"If you want any more you must...sing it yourself, sing it yourself..."

It was more in the nature of an announement that I'm retiring from telling
"Known Space" stories, and you'll have to make up your own stories about the
further adventures of Louis Wu and Slaver Boxes and play them out (and this
is the important part) *in your own imagination*. I never once took it as

Niven placing Known Space into the public domain.

Mark Stackpole

Paula Sanch

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Dec 15, 1995, 3:00:00 AM12/15/95
to
Mark Stackpole <Mark_St...@oclc.org> wrote:
>... [Niven's] announement that I'm retiring from telling
>"Known Space" stories, and you'll have to make up your own stories about the
>further adventures of Louis Wu and Slaver Boxes and play them out (and this
>is the important part) *in your own imagination*. I never once took it as
>Niven placing Known Space into the public domain.

And he most emphatically has retained control. People who try to infringe
get nasty lawyer letters. He states this explicitly in the _Man-Kzin Wars_
anthologies (now up to #7, I think) written by other writers *approved by
Niven*. But he has sorta unretired. There is one story in one of them
by him, and he wrote a new story included in the _Crashlander_ anthology.

I think it's that he was imagined-out, in that universe, but from time
to time, the stories of others in his playground jog the imagination, and
then he has a new story to tell.


eber...@delphi.com

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Dec 16, 1995, 3:00:00 AM12/16/95
to

In the Afterword to Tales of Known Space (1975), Larry Niven wrote:

"The Known Space series is now complete. If you want more stories
in the series, you can make them up yourself. I think I've given you enough
background."

But when he went on to write The Patchword Girl and The Ringworld
Engineers in 1980, it would be reasonable to think the above statement
became inoperable.

Phil Ebersole.

Stevens R. Miller

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Dec 17, 1995, 3:00:00 AM12/17/95
to

Thanks, Phil. That is the language I was trying to recall (and, nice to see
it did come from '75, as I thought, not from '80).

Ignoring whether or not a gift can be taken back by an act of inoperability,
I'd like to read more discussion on whether or not the '75 statement can
reasonably have been viewed (in '75) as a gift. That is, what's wrong with
thinking it means what it says (that he's given the background to us, so we
can make up our own Known Space stories)? Sure, one can say that he meant,
"make them up for your own use, not for publication," but that doesn't quite
fit with the predicate, "if you want more stories *in the series*" (emphasis
added). To me, at the time, he was inviting more additions to the existing
body of published Known Space works.

Of course, I accept that he didn't mean this. But, I regret that he did not,
because it means his words were misleading in a way I could have wished they
were not. Really, wouldn't it have been a fine gift to all of science
fiction, if he'd stuck by the plain meaning of his own words?

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