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Man-Kzin Wars XI Hardcover

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Product Details

  • Series: Man-Kzin Wars
  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Baen; First Edition edition (October 4, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416509062
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416509066
  • Product Dimensions: 1.3 x 6.4 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #446,627 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Larry Niven (left) is the Hugo and Nebula Award-winning author of such classics as Ringworld, The Integral Trees, and Destiny's Road. He has also collaborated with both Jerry Pournelle and Steven Barnes on The Legacy of Heorot, Beowulf's Children, and the bestselling Dream Park series. He lives in Chatsworth, California.

Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle were the joint winners of the 2005 Robert A. Heinlein Award.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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I hated to miss what was happening because I was so caught up in the story.
Joy V. Smith
There is a great balance in the stories, and how all the stories work well together.
Hal Colebatch writes the first three stories, which take up most of the book.
Susan Norton

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Susan Norton on October 4, 2005
Format: Hardcover
More terriffic stories in the Man-Kzin series, the best-written shared universe in literature.

Hal Colebatch writes the first three stories, which take up most of the book. The first, "Three at Table" is a stunner, a tale of deepening miasmic darkness, depression and horror that suddenly, in the last few words, turns into something utterly different. I did not know short-story craftsmanship still existed that could pull off this kind of emotional rocket-burst. I cried at the end, but not from sadness.

Grossgeister Swamp, the second story, is the tale of a young Kzin noble charged with caring for the lives of a party of Kzin and human students after the human liberation of Wunderland as they explore mysterious Grossgeister Swamp and the decaying hulk of a delelict Kzin battleship. The delicate human-Kzin relationship, seen here mostly from the Kzin's point of view, is beautifully done, with quite a few touiches of humor, as when the somewhat pedantic young Kzin remarks to a human companion: "You must realise that for cats our space-faring has an incongrously nautical vocabulary." The story is tense, with elements of tragedy, but a thoroughly satisfactory ending.

"Catspaws," Colebatch's third story here, is a novel of about 50,000 words, featuring characters from the first two stories and building on them (these characters also appear in his stories in M-KW IX and X, including Raargh, the tough but appealing old Kzin ex-Sergeant, Dimity Carmody, the beautiful super-genius, and the tragic Leonie Rykermann). Plenty of both action, including some gruesome battles, and believeable and generally likeble characters.
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By William Connors on November 17, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I've read the whole series, and I finally had to interrupt my schedule to comment. It keeps getting better.

The stories appear to be in chronological order.

Colebatch is back with another handful of gems. He continues his habit of making the buildup so riveting that you almost overlook the enormous depth of context development: though the stress of a culture involving intelligent species trying to get along after decades of merciless war is seldom mentioned, it is a constant presence and influence, like nitrogen in the air. His plots are also becoming more surprising, which since his first story in the series was The Colonel's Tiger in volume VII is no small accomplishment. Three At Table in particular made me catch my breath. Grossgeister Swamp addresses the effects of war on its true victims. Catspaws deals with a nightmare vision in a tone of great practicality.

I can't find any previous work by Harrington. I intend to look for more. The amount of detail he puts into a short story is more than is found in many a novel, and he resolves a good many of Known Space's loose ends in the course of developing the character of Peace Corben. (He seems to be a longtime SF fan: the reference to "Cornelius Industries of We Made It" is clearly a bow to Michael Moorcock.) The title Teacher's Pet is an awful pun, and War and Peace is almost as severe; but they're the perfect titles for the stories. The tales answer the question I saw on a convention poster: "How many kzinti does it take to beat one human protector?" "There aren't that many kzinti."

The Hunting Park struck me as primarily a vivid demonstration of how the kzinti had been changed by the Wars.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By T. D. Welsh on March 13, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I have read pretty much everything Niven himself has written, and I think I have pretty much hoovered up all the Man-Kzin Wars series too. It's a way of franchising that part of Niven's universe to other writers, which seems on the whole to be good for everyone - writers, publishers, and readers. Obviously, it's in Niven's interest (and his publishers) to avoid any dilution of the brand.

This latest fix includes three stories by Hal Colebatch, two by Matthew Joseph Harrington, and a short contribution ("The Hunting Park") by Niven himself. I think Harrington's are clearly the best: well plotted, scientifically convincing, and pacily written, they accomplish the challenging feat of extending Niven's vision rather than just wallowing in it. Colebatch is good, but his style is sometimes a bit sentimental for me; to take one example purely at random, "He stroked her, whispered 'Mother', and died. Leonie moved to close his eyes". As other reviewers have said how much they like his writing, this is clearly a matter of taste. To be honest, I didn't feel that "The Hunting Park" stands out above the other stories; indeed I would go so far as to say that Harrington's stories are crisper, more interesting, and generally more like early Niven.

One thing has been puzzling me: the striking cover illustration appears to depict Vaemar and Dimity in action. He is armed with a wtsai, she with a huge gun of some sort. But how come Vaemar is shown as resembling a huge lion, instead of a tiger? Niven has stated over and over that kzinti are basically orange and look like big fat tigers. Also, the powerful impact of the picture merely serves to underline how extremely unlikely any emotional bond between these two creatures would be.
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