World – Niven

Niven (World 32)

Larry Niven (1938 – ; first SF publication, 1964) has written several short series, often in collaboration, including The Mote In God’s Eye (alien contact), The Magic Goes Away (fantasy), and Dream Park (live-action roleplaying, with animatronic NPCs).

However, it is the Tales of Known Space for which he is best known, especially the Ringworld that orbits one of its stars. A Ringworld is a ring, a million miles “wide” and big enough around to basically match the Earth’s orbit (meaning it’s about 600 million miles around).

In Ringworld, a small expedition ventures to the newly discovered artificial world, including a Kzin (a forerunner of the alien cat-like races in all incarnations of science fiction) and Teela Brown (a woman bred for luck because all her ancestors for several generations back have won the lottery to have children on a severely overpopulated Earth).

Stasis Boxes

Long before humanity ventured into space, the Thrint acquired wondrous technology and enslaved most of known space. One of their technologies was the stasis field, in which anything, living or otherwise, could be held in suspended animation indefinitely. When the slaves eventually revolted, many Thrint stored their greatest treasures in stasis boxes, intending to recover them once the revolution was crushed. In current times, a newly acquired stasis box might hold enormous value … or a soon-to-resume ticking bomb.

 

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