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What's wrong with Niven?

Discussion in 'Larry Niven' started by Shrug, Dec 27, 2010.


    Shrug New Member

    Dec 27, 2010
    Hey is it just me or do the last few Niven novels have none of his flavor? It is like somebody is just writing using his name!

    Dave Wherever I Am, I'm There Staff Member

    Jan 5, 2001
    Way on Down South, London Town
    Which novels do you mean?

    He has been doing collaborations with other authors for years, though I think you can usually see his input. In his 'Known Space Universe' and most especially in the 'Man-Kzin Wars' books he has allowed other authors to play around quite freely.

    The Ringworld sequels are not that good, though they are written by Niven, and while they do tie up loose ends/ answer fans questions/ explain away inconsistencies, they are not great stories.

    But I have been reading the '... of Worlds' series (Fleet, Juggler, Destroyer) and waiting for 'Betrayer of Worlds' out in paperback in May 2011. Those are exceptionally good books with page-turning stories. The covers say they are written by Larry Niven & Edward M Lerner, but apart from parts of 'Fleet' and 'Juggler' lifted straight from Niven short stories, I expect they are mostly the work of Edward M Lerner. I expect Niven gives them the okay but is really in semi-retirement.

    sffmdw45 New Member

    Feb 6, 2011
    Perhaps or perhaps not, but if so he has a writing style quite similar to Niven's. I definitely get Nivenesque vibes from the dialogue, for example.

    IMHO, Niven is best in collaboration. He supplies the wacky ideas and technological extrapolation, but often needs someone else to supply sympathetic characters and interesting plot. /Protector/ is a notable exception of course: Jack Brennan is one of my favorite characters of all time and he's pure Niven.


    P.S. I was disappointed that the Home protectors didn't feature more in /Destroyer of Worlds/. It's too early to count them out of the game entirely though.

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