19

Someone is gathering a crew with aliens from different planets (including humans), and between them there is a woman whose special skill is extreme luck.

Sorry, no more details except I picked up the book from a list of top classical sci-fi books.

  • @user14111 it may suit your needs to look at the posts timeline. While, yes, in my reading of the question when it came to my attention stuck out to me as not having any uniquely identifying and lacking significant detail, I have since seen the error of my ways and voted to reopen this question. If you’re going to call someone out at least do so to the people who voted to leave closed after an answer was accepted :) thanks. – Edlothiad Nov 19 '17 at 22:53
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Probably Ringworld, by Larry Niven.

As you can see from these Wikipedia excerpts, the crew is made up on humans and two different aliens, one a feline type, another an unusually shaped two-headed alien with an ethos of cowardice. One of the humans is Teela Brown, chosen because she was exceptionally lucky, and there was a genetic basis for that.

On planet Earth in 2850 AD, Louis Gridley Wu is celebrating his 200th birthday. Despite his age, Louis is in perfect physical condition (due to the longevity drug boosterspice). He has once again become bored with human society and is thinking about taking one of his periodic sabbaticals, alone in a spaceship far away from other people. He meets Nessus, a Pierson's puppeteer, who offers him a mysterious job with almost no details. Intrigued, Louis eventually accepts. Speaker-to-Animals (Speaker), who is a Kzin, and Teela Brown, a young human woman who becomes Louis' lover, also join the crew.

and

all of Teela's ancestors for six generations were born from winning the lottery.

It is often on lists of classic SF, both for the novel construction of the Ringworld itself, and also because it won both the Hugo and Nebula awards in 1970/71.

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  • 2
    Exactly, Thanks a lot. – FranGar Nov 18 '17 at 17:47
  • Of course in the sequel it turns out that the truly lucky humans were all lucky enough to not be selected. – Paul Sinclair Nov 20 '17 at 0:02
  • That's what Louis Wu says, but I disagree. Teela was the only Human out of 18 Billion on Earth to actually reach the "adult" stage of the species, which turns out to be a Pak "Protector". I think that's extreme luck (from an evolutionary perspective; it probably shot her dating potential to hell when her hair and teeth fell out and genitalia went away). – Bob Apr 21 '19 at 7:45
19

This is probably Larry Niven's Ringworld, and the lucky lady is Teela Brown, of the good ship Lying Bastard.

On planet Earth in 2850 AD, Louis Gridley Wu is celebrating his 200th birthday. Despite his age, Louis is in perfect physical condition (due to the longevity drug boosterspice). He has once again become bored with human society and is thinking about taking one of his periodic sabbaticals, alone in a spaceship far away from other people. He meets Nessus, a Pierson's puppeteer, who offers him a mysterious job with almost no details. Intrigued, Louis eventually accepts. Speaker-to-Animals (Speaker), who is a Kzin, and Teela Brown, a young human woman who becomes Louis' lover, also join the crew.

The Luck of Teela Brown

According to the story in Ringworld (expanded in the Known Space novel Juggler of Worlds), the Puppeteers intervened with human reproduction beginning several generations in the past, with the intention of breeding humans for luck. This would be possible because they believed luck to be an inheritable psionic ability. They suspected such an ability was latent in humans already, having come to regard humanity as an unusually lucky species.

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  • 4
    Right on the spot. sometimes you must push a little to get lucky – FranGar Nov 18 '17 at 17:47

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