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Are there any works set in Known Space Universe that should be read before Man-Kzin wars series?

Please note the "should" - I am including works that aren't strictly speaking necessary to "get" the Man-Kzin Wars, but - if read previously - would enhance the understanding or enjoyment of them.

If the answer is specific to individual Man-Kzin Wars books/stories, even better.

5

I highly recommend reading the first two Ringworld novels prior to beginning the Man-Kzin Wars series. Although Ringworld and Ringworld Engineers take place after the Man-Kzin wars, they introduce you to the interspecies conflict between Man and Kzin in such a way that the Man-Kzin Wars series becomes a "must read".

(I also suggest reading the Ringworld prequel Protector, but it isn't an absolutely necessary read in order for you to to enjoy M-K W)

4

Caveat: I've only read the first M-K Wars book and maybe a few stories from the 2nd one.

Assuming you mean "If I haven't read any Known Space works..." then I'd start with the older Known Space short story collections, "Tales of Known Space" and "Neutron Star." Although Ringworld and Ringworld Engineers give a retrospective overview of the M-K Wars, I'd start with the older short stories because they include the first 3 Kzinti stories (as I recall... I'd have to double-check) and they set the scene: they give a feel for how Niven had originally envisioned Known Space.

3

To get a feeling for the pre-war pacifist Earth culture, you might want to check out Flatlander. You don't really need it to appreciate the MKW series though.

Flatlander

There are recurring characters and sequels within the series, so read the MKW books in publication order.

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