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N-Space Paperback – August 21, 2007
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
“A writer of supreme talent.” ―Tom Clancy
“Niven lifts the reader far from the conventional world--and does it with a dash.” ―Los Angeles Times
“Great storytelling is still alive in science fiction because of Larry Niven.” ―Orson Scott Card
“A must for sci-fi fans.” ―Publishers Weekly on N-Space
“Outstanding . . . Hours of entertainment to be had here.” ―Houston Post on N-Space
Top Customer Reviews
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).
What's unique about this collection isn't that it includes a foreward with comments by other authors and fans, or that the author comments on each piece within the collection. Those are commonplace. But in Niven's world, he likes to let you into his world in a special way, perhaps by dishing some dirt on an SF mag who rejected a story that turned out to win a Hugo, etc. He openly questions his finished product, saying that "Today I'd write this story differently," etc. As if we could lift the lid on his cranium and step inside for a moment, seeing how the stories are crafted. Very interesting.
Not as interesting as the work, however, another unique thing about this collection: Not only short stories are collected here, many of which only appeared in one issue of some now-defunct SF mag or other, dating back to the mid 1960s upward to 1990 when this book was first published. He also includes essays, such as an unforgettable commentary on the problems Superman would have if he tried to mate with Lois Lane, as well as excerpts from his published novels at the time.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I am, I'm not sure why, I am not about to apologize for that. I wouldn't expect to have this adoration for this guy, this style of fiction or these themes. But I love them. Read morePublished 21 months ago by Don From Indiana
Larry Niven's first collection of book excerpts, short stories and essays is full of Big Ideas, interesting aliens, and scientific puzzles disguised in story form. Read morePublished on March 20, 2010 by John M. Ford
This book is okay at the start, then just seems to not live up to Larry's other work..Published on December 6, 2009 by Sherman A. Stebbins
Anyone who likes Larry Niven's work at all should be happy with this book.
From Tom Clancy's introduction, along with others by co-authors and editors, through all the... Read more
I am a lapsed Niven fan having discovered him in the late '70s as a kid. Something spurred me to buy N-Space as a way to rediscover what I cherished about his unique mix of hard... Read morePublished on May 18, 2003 by Rob Banzai
I purchased "N-Space" and its sequel "Playgrounds Of The Mind" in summer of 1992, totally unaware of who Larry Niven was, or that he already had such a lengthy... Read morePublished on February 14, 2003 by Brad Torgersen