A World Out Of Time

Discussion in 'Larry Niven' started by AE35Unit, Dec 9, 2007.

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    AE35Unit

    AE35Unit ]==[]===O °

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    I have a hardback copy of this book(first UK edition 1977) and its an interesting story of a man waking up in the future,but what universe does the book belong in,or is it truly standalone? Did Niven ever revisit the world of this book? And might my book be worth something? ;)
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    EmperorClobbersaurus

    EmperorClobbersaurus New Member

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    It's in "The State" universe, or WOOT (World Out Of Time) Universe.
    Anyway, (Legacy of Heorot, Beouwulf's Children), (Integral Trees, Smoke Ring), and (Destiny's Road)
    Each two or one series of books, noted by parathesis, are pretty much stand alone and dont influence each other
    But they are in the same universe
    Any others that i have missed..like short stories, please let me know
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    AE35Unit

    AE35Unit ]==[]===O °

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    Hmmm don't think I've heard of Destiny's Road,
    must have a google
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    Dave

    Dave Wherever I Am, I'm There Staff Member

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    I think Destiny's Road is his best book. Not everyone likes it mind you.

    I have a paperback copy of A World Out Of Time. I don't know if there is any market for his old collections, but I do know that a few of my eighties Niven collections are out of print. Most of those short stories are available in new collections like N-Space though.
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    EmperorClobbersaurus

    EmperorClobbersaurus New Member

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    i like how niven switches his universe around with WOOT
    in Known Space, once u go to the stars you still are a part of humanity as defined by the Earth, UN, ARM, etc
    But with WOOT, the colonist are seperated, each and of themselves worlds out of time/tune with one another
    even those returning to the Earth are still cut off
    i wonder if Niven's collaborations with Pournelle and his CoDom Universe have had any affect
    still ur right Dave, this universe rocks
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    Lensman

    Lensman Space Opera Lover

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    Correction: The Legacy of Heorot and Beowulf's Children are not set in the universe of "The State". The other three novels mentioned are.

    Generally speaking, Niven keeps his collaboration and solo-author universes separate from each other. Fleet of Worlds is the first time he's worked with a collaborator on a story in a universe (Known Space) created by Niven alone. Legacy and Beowulf's are both collaborations, so that's a good rule-of-thumb indication they're not set in "The State" universe, quite aside from any other indications.
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    chrispenycate

    chrispenycate resident pedantissimo Staff Member

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    Just have to mention "Rammer", the short story that was expanded into "World out of time"
    But the Kzinsi exist in known space, and there is a huge number of stories written in that universe by a wide selection of authors (the man-kzin wars, volumes 1- n, where n is larger than ten, but without a bibliography I can't define)
    Some of the stories are quite good.
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    Lensman

    Lensman Space Opera Lover

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    MKW bibliography at my website here:

    http://www.freewebs.com/knownspace/biblio.htm#MKW

    Of course critical opinion differs, but in general I think many fans agree the first three volumes contain some very good stories, but the series runs downhill thereafter.
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    Roadkiller

    Roadkiller New Member

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    I have always felt there was another "WOOT" story.

    It involves a "rammer" telling his story in a park. His star ship was broken down when he was rescued by some sort of ethereal being. There is a scene where he picks up a caterpillar off the sidewalk and puts it back on a tree. The name of the story escapes me. Anyone?
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    chrispenycate

    chrispenycate resident pedantissimo Staff Member

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    I believe it was Passer by" from "All the myriad ways", and since I know I have the book in my shelves, should be able to check that out (assuming I can find it; my classification logic has got a bit relaxed recently).

    But I don't think it's in the WooT universe; Mr Niven just likes Buzzard ramjets. He uses them in known space, too, and I think in Footfall.

    On the other hand, "The Integral Trees" and "The Smoke Ring" originate from the state, so could be considered to fall in between the two halves of World out of Time…
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    Nik

    Nik Speaker to Cats

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    Roadkiller

    Roadkiller New Member

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    Chris, I believe you are correct, Passerby does ring a bell as the name. I don't think it's ever been explicitly made part of the WOOT universe, I just felt it belonged :)
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    daveac

    daveac Science fiction fantasy

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    Just finished re-reading this book.

    I did enjoy it but still not sure of the source of rejuvenation.

    Cheers, daveac
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    revelshade

    revelshade New Member

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    SPOILERS! Re: rejuvenation - been a long while but as I recall our hero is on the run at some point, gets into what he thinks is a teleportation booth and presses the button. He doesn't go anywhere but a cloud of tiny particles appears in a booth next to him. The idea is the machine uses teleport tech to remove inert matter from cells (especially metals? don't remember).

    My favorite Niven singleton. Love the catsnakes, immortal boys, planet-moving. Hope he never goes back for a sequel. Let it be, etc.
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    revelshade

    revelshade New Member

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    I'm under the impression that the Léshy Circuit stories are set in the State universe. Or am I just mixing up two different "no-FTL" series?
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    Anthony G Williams

    Anthony G Williams Greybeard

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    A treat for Niven fans - two helpings in consecutive weeks! It's a long time since I read this 1976 book and I had forgotten what it was about, so when several members of the Classic Science Fiction discussion group (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ClassicScienceFiction/) said they were reading it I decided to join in.

    Set in a different and grimmer future from his famous Known Space milieu, A World Out Of Time starts with the reawakening after 200 years of a "corpsicle" - a terminally ill man who had voluntarily been frozen in 1970 in the hope that a cure for his cancer would be found later. Only he hasn't awakened in his own body - ironically, while his cancer was now curable, the cell damage caused by the freezing process was not - but has had his personality and memories reconstituted in the body of a young criminal whose own personality had been wiped from his brain as a punishment.

    The man (called Jerome Branch Corbell - a reference to the cult fantasy writer James Branch Cabell?) soon discovers that his survival hangs by a thread. If he does not demonstrate his usefulness, he will also be wiped from his host body and replaced by another corpsicle: the planet-wide State is ruthlessly utilitarian. He tests favourably for the post of a rammer - a Bussard ramjet pilot - and is duly dispatched on a solo mission to seed promising planets with the elements of Earth-like life. He has his own agenda, however, and decides to visit the galactic core.

    I can't say much more about the plot without spoilers, so at this stage I'll just say that the novel is vintage Niven and I really enjoyed reading it again. If you want to find out about it for yourself then stop reading NOW!

    -----------------------------

    Corbell's journey is plagued by a downloaded version of Peersa, his new "mentor", in his computer, constantly nagging him to do what the State wants. Corbell remains in control, however, and decides to circle the huge Black Hole in the galactic core before returning to earth. Due to a time-dilation effect three million years have passed for the Earth, but only a small fraction of that for Corbell. Nonetheless, even spending most of the time in cold-sleep, Corbell is an old man before his journey is over.

    What he then discovers is a Solar System drastically changed. The Sun is bloated and very hot, and the Earth has been moved into orbit around Jupiter. On landing, Corbell discovers the remnants of a strange civilisation ruled by immortal Boys, whose immortality is achieved by freezing their physical development before puberty. There are also some adult humans kept as breeding stock, and one other traveller who captures Corbell - an old woman who is desperate to find the secret of an earlier form of immortality. The race is on to evade the Boys and find the ancient immortality secret.

    This is a fast-paced thriller packed with interesting ideas, typical of the author in this period. Also typical is that the characterisation is not strong, but it's good enough to carry the story. I like the casual way in which Niven introduces unusual elements in the background, for example the way in which people paid little attention to hygiene in the crowded future world, washing and deodorants apparently having gone out of fashion. I remain dubious, however, that anything resembling humanity will still be around in three million years: I suspect that we will either have become extinct or evolved ourselves into something entirely different by then.

    To sum up, a novel which all Niven fans will enjoy, and it can also be recommended to readers new to SF who want a fast, entertaining read, as it will painlessly stretch their imaginations .

    (An extract from my SFF blog)
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    philiprambo

    philiprambo Science fiction fantasy

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    Re:

    Good one.Thanks for sharing.
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    neopeius

    neopeius New Member

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    WOOT is perhaps my favorite Niven novel of all time, and there is much competition for that title.

    In the bibliography of Tales of Known Space, the Leshy Circuit universe is the State universe, and Passerby belongs to it.

    Fourth Profession and Night on Mispec Moor are, too, though I don't see how...

    The Draco's Tavern stories are in their own universe as well.

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