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The Long Arm of Gil Hamilton Mass Market Paperback – July 12, 1977


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Mass Market Paperback, July 12, 1977
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 182 pages
  • Publisher: Del Rey (July 12, 1977)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345258088
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345258083
  • Product Dimensions: 6.7 x 4.1 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,281,777 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Larry Niven has won the prestigious Hugo Award five times. He is known to millions as the premier modern author of rigorous, scientifically consistent hard SF, the champion of 'SF without a net'. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 20, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
In the future, medical science has perfected organ transplantation to the point almost anything can (and is) transplanted, bringing up an interesting problem: where do you get the "spare parts"? The society's answer, make just about any crime, including J-walking, a capital crime and make the criminals organ donors. Niven brings us 3 short storries which probe the ethics and morals of a world we approach and did it 19 years ago. A clear example of yesterdays science fiction becoming todays science fact, ie. how the Chinese sell hearts, kidneys, corneas, etc. of executed criminals for transplants. His insight into this new world gives us an idea of issues we may soon be facing in the near future. Highly recommended.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Stephen Holland on August 12, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Good mysteries are very hard to write. The puzzle is either too simple and the reader solves it long before the story ends, or the puzzle is too hard and the reader ends up feeling cheated. Finding the right balance is hard, which is why so many mysteries are unreadable, formula-driven hack jobs. Trying to write a good mystery in a science fiction setting is even harder because the background sociology, technology, history, and settings all need to be explained in a way that does not bore the reader to tears, and still allows the story's puzzle to be at the right level. This is a lot harder than it sounds and only a few authors have been able to pull it off.

Larry Niven is one of the few. "The Long Arm of Gil Hamilton" is composed of

three novellas about Gil "the Arm" Hamilton, a detective operating the 22nd century Los Angeles. The stories are strong and, with the exception of the third story, the characters are believable. All of the clues needed to solve each mystery are in place long before the story ends, but solving the puzzle requires thinking outside the box.

The problems with these stories are the same as the problems with most of Niven's pre-Pournelle writings: the writing is bad and the society that he describes is a 1960s version of southern Californian university life transported into the future. It does not feel dated as much as it feels immature. The bad writing, however, is more than made up for by the steady flow of interesting ideas that Niven gives the reader. There are better mysteries, and there is better science fiction, but "The Long Arm of Gil Hamilton" is one of the best fusions of these two genres in print.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 7, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Gil "the arm" Hamilton, named so because of his prosthetic arm, and the strange telekinetic ability he has that was developed after he lost his real arm and before the replacement, is a detective for ARM, the United Nations police force. The Long Arm of Gil Hamilton is a few stories of deduction and logic involving weird technologies, monstrous crimes as well as equally monstrous punishments in a world obsessed with staying young at the expense of everyone else. Very cool addendum to the Known Space Series.
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