Questions tagged [known-space]

For questions about "Known Space" is the name given to the fictional universe and setting where many of Larry Niven's most popular novels take place, including his classic Ringworld.

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8
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2answers
232 views

How do stasis fields work in Larry Niven's Known Space?

In Known Space stasis fields are often used to protect the occupants of ships from harm. The hull may be an indestructible General Products model, but the occupants can still be subjected to extreme ...
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4answers
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What exactly makes a General Products hull nearly indestructible?

General Products hulls are almost indestructible, the only known weakness being antimatter or attacking the powerplant that re-enforces them. This is supposedly because the hull is a single giant ...
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1answer
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Can a Slaver Disintegrator destroy a General Products Hull?

The books say that the hull is indestructible (except to Antimatter) and that it is immune to all known weapons. But the books also say that the hull is a molecule, and that the Slaver Disintegrator ...
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2answers
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How did Louis guess the major reveal in Ringworld?

I've just finished the original Ringworld, but I'm slightly confused by the ending. Specifically, Louis Wu explains how Louis explains to Speaker What does he mean by this? How did he work it out? (...
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1answer
160 views

Can stepping discs transport a functioning stasis field?

In Larry Niven's Known Space universe, stepping discs teleport matter from a sending disc to a receiving disc. Teleportation occurs at the speed of light. The sending and receiving discs must have ...
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5answers
570 views

Why didn't Phssthpok use hyperdrive?

In Larry Niven's Known Space novel Protector, Phssthpok, a protector-stage Pak, traveled thirty-one thousand light years across the galaxy to rescue a failed Pak colony on Earth. Phssthpok used a ...
8
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3answers
955 views

Why did the Ringworld Engineers use flatten map as a way of forming maps of worlds?

Note: I don't ask here why did they created "maps of worlds" at all. That has been mainly answered in this question. My question is: why map exactly, as a way of (visually) forming "maps of worlds"? ...
4
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1answer
487 views

What did Peace Corben do to the Puppeteers?

In the short story "Peace and Freedom" Peace Corben sent a message to the Puppeteers by way of the Outsiders threatening the Puppeteers with extinction. “[...] Your interference is offensive, but ...
6
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1answer
339 views

Why are Thrintun-era stasis boxes not opened with remotely controlled or autonomous robots?

A number of Known Space stories involve the opening of stasis devices, an act which poses the serious risk of releasing one or more live Thrint (Slaver) or Tnuctip. If a Thrint is released, its ...
4
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1answer
719 views

Advise on Ringworld series [duplicate]

I just got finished reading the "Ringworld" series by Larry Niven (Ringworld, The Ringworld Engineers, The Ringworld Throne, Ringworld's Children). Should I now read the "Fleet of Worlds" series (...
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1answer
201 views

What was the white column?

In Man-Kzin Wars 14 there is a short story entitled "The White Column" by Hal Colebatch. The story describes the last clairvoyant vision of a "far-seer" who was asked to find "the most advanced ...
5
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1answer
315 views

Do the Gw'oth know that the galaxy is exploding?

In the *** of Worlds Known Space books by Lerner and Niven a species called the Gw'oth is introduced. They interact with humans and Puppeteers in the novels and eventually establish their own colony ...
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0answers
154 views

Louis Wu and Bey Shaeffer

In Ringworld Engineers, Louis wonders about the Long Shot's pilot. Why doesn't he know it was his own stepfather?
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1answer
2k views

Is there a full directed graph for suggested order of reading of all Known Space books/stories?

I know that there are a couple of web sites which list a full timeline of Known Space works. Is the timeline order the suggested reading order for the full Known Space universe? If not, what is and ...
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3answers
446 views

Are there any Known Space works I should read before Man-Kzin Wars?

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 ...
9
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1answer
937 views

Where did the escapees from Ringworld end up?

I don't recall that Larry Niven provided any clues as to the fate of the Ringworld denizens that fled the structure via the space vehicles they constructed out of the stabilizing rockets(rim jets) ...
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5answers
779 views

Why didn't Brennan turn Roy into a protector as soon as possible after Kobold?

In the book Protector, Brennan takes Roy on a voyage to intercept the Pak scouts and lead them away from Sol. Throughout the five to ten year voyage Brennan teaches and trains Roy how to handle the ...
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2answers
356 views

Is there a Known Space story about a field that catalyzes combustion?

In the Niven short story "Madness Has Its Place", there's this passage: The ARM suppresses dangerous technology. What the ARM buries is supposed to stay buried. I remembered a kind of time ...
4
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1answer
649 views

Which book, if any, describes the fate of the Brennan Monster in the Ringworld book series?

First introduced in Larry Nivens Known Space novel Protector, was the fate of the Brennan Monster, Earth's first Human Protector, ever revealed in the Ringworld book series? If so, which book tells ...
7
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1answer
507 views

What is the lifespan of a Gw'oth?

Gw'oth are the super intelligent starfish-shaped beings featured in several Known Space novels by Larry Niven and Edward M. Lerner. Wikipedia states: "they first experimented with fire only two ...
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3answers
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Why is an episode of Star Trek: The Animated Series the only adaptation of Larry Niven's Known Space?

With dozens of short stories and novels written by scifi icon Larry Niven and an awarding winning group of visiting authors, I noticed that Star Trek TAS episode Slaver Weapon is the only TV show or ...
4
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1answer
506 views

Does the Carlos Wu redesigned Autodoc recycle dead crewmates during the process of healing injured crewmembers that are placed inside of it?

In the Larry Niven/Edward M. Lerner novel "Juggler of Worlds", Sigmund Ausfaller, ARM Agent, notes Beowulf Shaeffer was smaller in stature and now had the body mass of a missing crewmember after ...
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2answers
266 views

Are the Milky-Way solar systems depicted in Larry Niven's “Known Space” based on “real world” astonomy viewed from Earth?

Are the solar systems depicted in Larry Niven's fictional book series about "Known Space" based on observations from Earth? Or, once the story leaves our solar system, does his science fiction lean ...
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1answer
3k views

Recommended order for the Larry Niven “of Worlds” books?

I just finished Larry Niven's Destroyer of Worlds then picked up Betrayer of Worlds and Fleet of Worlds at the library. A quick check of the dust jacket synopsis doesn't clue me in as to which order I ...
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1answer
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What is the “Kzinti Lesson” from Larry Niven's Ringworld?

I am re-reading Ringworld now, and I came across this term; does anyone know where I can find the origin in Niven's canon of work?
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5answers
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What actually happens to ships using hyperdrive in gravity wells?

This post consists basically of spoilers, so you should stop reading now if you don't want to be spoiled :) In most Known Space stories we are told that you can't use hyperdrive inside gravity wells. ...
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1answer
710 views

What are Starseeds

I'm currently reading Juggler of Worlds by Niven & Lerner. I have read, a while ago, all the Ringworld books and a few other Known Space, so I remember that However, now that I ran into them ...
13
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1answer
742 views

Why is the indentation for Mars missing from the underside of the Ringworld?

I was reading Lary Niven's "The Ringworld Engineers" last night. In the last chapter I read, they were flying the Needle underneath the Ringworld, passing under The Great Ocean, looking at the ...
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2answers
1k views

How is equipment installed into a General Products hull?

In the Known Space universe, General Products hulls are supposed to be a single molecule manufactured in one go, then equipped afterwards. How is that supposed to work? Since they're indestructible,* ...
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1answer
333 views

How did Ol't'ro stop Achilles' attack?

During the climactic confrontation at the end of Betrayer of Worlds: We are told that Achilles saw a bright flash when the missiles were "taken care of", and then a fast moving object showed up close ...
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3answers
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Recommended order of Ringworld novels

Larry Niven's novel Ringworld is, according to wikipedia, "followed by three sequels, and preceded by four prequels". 1) Is it a good idea to read all of them (or is there another Star Warsgate ...
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692 views

If the Puppeteer worlds are traveling near light-speed, shouldn't their time be dilated?

If it were, the time that Louis Wu spent there would have seemed very short, but would have actually been years. Was this ever addressed?
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How close was the Puppeteer's homeworld to the Ringworld?

Specifically, I'm curious about 2 key points in time. When the Ringworld was first explored by Louis Wu (Ie, the book Ringworld) During the Fringe War (Ringworld's Children) And if you want a bonus ...
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4answers
857 views

In Niven's Known Space, what currency are the Outsiders interested in?

I seem to remember something a Puppeteer (Nessus?) said about paying them with "Stars". I couldn't find any mention of this in Wikipedia, so maybe I'm not remembering correctly.
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Puppeteers' homeworld heat a major problem?

I recently read the Ringworld series by Larry Niven, and I was most intrigued by the Puppeteers. In particular, was the claim that their homeworld could do just about anything, except for get rid of ...
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2answers
1k views

Instability of Niven's ringworld

I've read that the ringworld's design is actually unstable, and that it would drift and eventually collide with the star it was supposed to orbit. How is this flaw corrected in the subsequent stories?
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1answer
2k views

What were the “mistakes” in the first paperback edition of Ringworld?

The dedication of The Ringworld Engineers reads If you own a first paperback edition of Ringworld, it's the one with the mistakes in it. It's worth money. What are these mistakes that were ...