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N-Space Mass Market Paperback – September 15, 1991


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 704 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Science Fiction (September 15, 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0812510011
  • ISBN-13: 978-0812510010
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 4.4 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.7 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,258,286 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

"What Can You Say About Chocolate Covered Manhole Covers?" or, indeed, about any of the provocative ideas that Niven ( Ringworld ) raises in this retrospective collection ranging over three decades of work. This bemusingly titled story is one answer to the question: Why is nobody out there talking to us? "Bordered in Black" provides a second answer, and "The Fourth Profession" a third. "Madness Has Its Place" is a missing tale from the Known Space series, while "Down in Flames" gives the outline for a story in which all Known Space is destroyed. "Brenda" is a novella featuring the Sauron Superman described in Mote; it is nicely complemented by "Building The Mote in God's Eye. " In "The Return of William Proxmire" the title character uses a time machine to save the health and military career of Robert A. Heinlein. While some of the stories here are classics, most have not previously been collected in book form. Niven's essays on the SF genre and commentaries on the stories make this collection a must for SF fans.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"Outstanding...hours of entertainment to be had here."--Houston Post

More About the Author

LARRY NIVEN is the multiple Hugo and Nebula Award-winning author of the Ringworld series, along with many other science fiction masterpieces. He lives in Chatsworth, California. JERRY POURNELLE is an essayist, journalist, and science fiction author. He has advanced degrees in psychology, statistics, engineering, and political science. Together Niven and Pournelle are the authors of many New York Times bestsellers including Inferno, The Mote in God's Eye, Footfall, and Lucifer's Hammer.

Customer Reviews

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Rarely do readers get such a peek inside the mind of one of their favorite writers and it's a welcome look.
Michael Battaglia
The collection is recommended to serious science fiction readers as well and to those just looking for good stories.
John M. Ford
Plotlines and characters are often clunky, and clearly there simply to provide a setting for his brilliant ideas.
Jim Luebke

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Michael Battaglia on September 20, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
A Larry Niven novel, especially lately, can be a hit or miss affair but it's clear the man still knows what he's doing and there's no better way to prove that to pick up this hefty book. Not so much a collection of short stories as a retrospective and an introduction just about every piece here has something to recommend it to new and old readers. Niven has some of the best hard science ideas ever put down on paper but sometimes he forgets about the plot when writing his longer works, in short story form all the brilliance shines right through and you can see why millions revere the man as a writer of ideas. By and large the short stories are all excellent, ranging from the really good ("Cloak of Anarchy" "The Fourth Profession") to the merely okay (the story set in the Smoke Ring). For new readers there are even excerpts from his more famous novels, though only a couple highlight the best portions of the book (especially "The Mote in God's Eye" bit, which reminds those of us who have read it why we loved the book so much in the first place), all are interesting. But even better than the stories are the series of essays interspersed throughout the book. Some are Niven just goofing and having a good time (the bit about Superman's attempt at mating is one of the funniest things I've ever read and is worth the price of the book alone) and others are serious pieces on science fiction and writing in general. Rarely do readers get such a peek inside the mind of one of their favorite writers and it's a welcome look. Overall if you have even a passing interest in Niven you can't go wrong, since it focuses on what he's really good at and with so many stories and essays, the chance of a reader getting bored is very slim indeed.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By "rogue_7" on August 21, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
N-Space and its Companion Playgrounds of the Mind form a wonderful retrospective of the carrer of one of the best science fiction writers. N-Space provides a selection of short stories, especially ones that have not yet appeared in book form, and have been hard to find. It also provides some of his better stories, and gives essays, gossip, and a view into the world of a Science Fiction writer. You really come away knowing Larry Niven, the man, along with a better understading of his fiction. You get some very interesting factiods (did you know that the Kzinti are in Star Trek? neither did I!), and lots of enjoyment, from never read short stories, to anecdotes about your favorite Niven Novel, an unbeatable bargain. N-Space is a great introduction to the various works of Larry Niven (and sometimes co-author in crime Dr. Jerry Pournelle), as well as a great resourse for those who would like to learn more about what they have read and known for years. I rarely give the 5 out of 5 rating, but I have no hesitations here. Highest Reccomendation.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Jim Luebke on November 10, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Larry Niven is one of the most inventive Scifi writers ever to live. His work is always brimming with ideas, from Ringworld --a million mile wide habitable ring around a star (a poor man's Dyson sphere) to Moties, a physiologically asymmetrical species made up of biological castes who each represent an aspect of intelligence (communicators, tool-users, decision-makers) or society. It is difficult if not impossible to find authors with more ingenious premises.
Unfortunately, the narrative matrix these gems are embedded in, while often very good, is too-frequently merely average scifi. Plotlines and characters are often clunky, and clearly there simply to provide a setting for his brilliant ideas. Ideas that fit twenty pages are stretched to two hundred, or at best, patched together with other equally bright ideas that are not a perfect fit.
The solution? A book of short stories and clips like N-Space. This is a collection of the jewels, cut and polished. The selections are short very sweet. Long narratives, instead of being sacrificed for the purity of the premise, are dispensed with entirely. The ideas shine out on their own.
Other recommendations: Playgrounds of the Mind (another book of shorts), The Mote in God's Eye (with Pournelle; probably his best novel), Inferno (with Pournelle; personal favorite, but that's just me).
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 2, 1998
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I paid too much for this book on holiday, desperate for an "english read" on foreign soil.
It has become, (and you have to trust me when i tell you that this is in context!), the most memorable part of my honeymoon. They were simply the most interesting and absorbing set of short "AC Clarke" type stories I had read.
My mouth fell open as I turned the pages. It seemed "real" without trying to be an extension of todays technology. The characters were cardboard in most ways - it was about what they had done, and their background. History.
This is what Niven does. He makes history in the future. Its not just one history either. Each story he writes applies to one of a set of "timelines" or I suppose the "scenarios" he has invented in his literal career.
Inventions cross these scenarios, so that the reader recognises instruments or precepts accross "scenarios".
This is why the book is called N-Space.
It is a space where certain good ideas cross literal boundries and where the story comes first and the reader comes second. I'll take second place.
If you dont buy the book, borrow/ steal it and read "The fourth proffesion" - without a doubt the best short sci-fi I have ever read .
Really - enjoy - It is exceptional stuff.
Just1nHolt@AOL.com
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