43

Oddly enough, you might be right. I ran a search on the Corpus of Contemporary American English (COCA) and it turns out that the word sardonic does indeed appear more in sci-fi than in "straight" fiction: As you can see in the image above, sardonic occurs at a frequency of 3.86 per million in sci-fi/fantasy compared to 2.74 per million in general fiction. ...


36

The words sardonic and sardonically were most frequently used just before the period when Asimov began writing. So I'd say he was just using the popular language of the time. Here's a Google Ngram graph of the word uses.


25

No. The mountain was there long before Louis Wu had discovered the Ringworld. Fist of God was created by a moon-sized asteroid crashing into the surface of the Ringworld deforming it and penetrating through the surface of the material into a mountain that stretches into space, above the atmosphere. Fortunately for the residents of the Ringworld, because ...


21

There is ample evidence that the Ringworld is very old (millions of years); the evidence includes, for example, the level of divergence of the humanoids populating the Ringworld from Earthly humanity. However, there is also evidence of decay that cannot have been going on for nearly that long. Louis cites two specific elements of the decay that seem to be ...


19

Note: This answer is written in the form of a fictional, in-universe briefing document. I've done my best to keep the "facts" correct and sourced from the Ringworld novels, but this "document" is my own invention. The format of this answer is currently under discussion in meta. Navigating the Ringworld NOTE: THIS DOCUMENT IS CONFIDENTIAL,...


18

I wrote to Niven and he kindly responded. The story never got written. It was just a bit of background.


15

Try the following sequence of novels (some are collections of short stories): Neutron Star (introduces many key ideas like Known Space, Outsider Hyperdrive, and the Puppeteers). World of Ptavv (reveals more about the ancient Slavers that ruled the Galaxy). Protector (the backstory of the Pak, which is crucial to many key points in Ringworld). Ringworld (...


15

I am slightly hesitant about answering a question like this, as most answers are likely to be subjective unless we can find an interview from a movie industry insider who says that Larry Niven stories are hated - which is very unlikely even if it were true. I think that the problem is that Niven's stories are just not that easily adapted for the screen. I ...


15

I've removed the spoiler markup since the OP has read the series. Fair warning. In chapter 15 of Ringworld's Children, the Pak protector Proserpina described how the Ringworld came to be. Of the flattened maps of various worlds she had this to say: "Stars that can generate extensive planetary systems form in clusters. There were stars with planets ...


14

Or they could have given the Ringwall a distinctive, irregular, zigzag rim, like mountain peaks, […] Well … they did, in fact. Have you forgotten the spill mountains? Lots of mountains, a lot higher than the Map of Mars (at least in Ringworld — They magically shrink in the later books.), with no indentations on the outside of the ...


12

There's one by Lee MacLeod on the cover of the 1993 Simon & Schuster / SFBC edition (ISFDB-10: 1-56865-054-X, ISFDB-13: 978-1-56865-054-8), but maybe that's what you meant by "around 2000". This Pocket Books edition (ISBN-10: 0-671-66054-3, ISBN-13: 978-0-671-66054-3) seems to be earlier; "Cover artwork copyright 1986 by David Eigge" says ISFDB.


10

Larry Niven wrote The Slaver Weapon. At the time, Roddenberry thought The Animated Series would essentially be Star Trek's last hurrah. He has said that he did it with Filmation because he thought it was the only chance he'd ever have to do another series. And they allowed some well known SF authors like Niven to come and work with them (as they did in ...


10

The key piece of information was the view from the map room the expedition discovered. The room displayed tapes from telescopes that offered an aerial view of the ringworld in the past. Fist-of-God mountain was not on the tapes, so the huge mountain must have appeared long after the ringworld was constructed and populated. There are no plate tectonics on ...


9

As I recall, there were a number of things. Roy was a descendant of Brennan and ultimately Brennan felt compelled to protect his blood line By allowing Roy to put on muscle mass, observe the Pak fleet and train in fighting Protectors; he was ensuring that there was the required transfer of knowledge in order to destroy the incoming Pak fleets in the event ...


9

Although not from his "Known Space" future history, Niven's "Inconstant Moon" was made into an episode of The Outer Limits in 1996: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0667911/


9

According to the actual story itself, as it originally appeared in If, October 1966, it was just visible light. You can read the whole story at the Internet Archive. The following quotation is from pages 11-12: "Two humans named Peter Laskin and Sonya Laskin wished to use the ship. They intended to come within one mile of the surface in a hyperbolic orbit....


9

Your question reminds me of Niven's novel "World of Ptavvs". Disastrous effects due to collision of a NAFAL ship and inhabited planets is a theme in the early part of the book. If he had hit Awtprun at more than nine-tenths light, he could have killed upwards of a million people. That was assuming he hit an ocean! The shock wave would knock every ...


9

Protectors are psychologically "hardwired" to protect all their offspring at all costs. They make this decision by smell (pheromones). The other inhabitants of the Ringworld would count for Teela's human personality, but not for the protector instincts. Teela lived with Seeker for two decades in the 5% part of the Ringworld that had to be torched and had a ...


8

Short answer? We don't really get an explanation. From World of Ptavvs: Winston Doheny, our biologist, took one look at these monsters and dubbed them frumious bandersnatch. This species name is now in the goddam log. The biologist picked the name and it stuck. The implication to me was that the biologist picked the name simply as an example of a "...


7

Do you mean Brennan or Truesdale? Brennan's fate is described in Protector: What happens to Truesdale... is not covered in any of the Ringworld novels. (This could probably just be a comment, and given how old Protector is, probably doesn't need the spoiler markup, but just in case...)


7

We aren't really given the complete lifecycle of the Gw'oth. But the explanation given in the wiki is a bit of a misnomer. The time period mentioned for the Gw'oth going from discovering fire to mastering nuclear fusion was just under 200 Earth years. This time period would have been maybe three generations in human years, two if the humans lived an ...


7

With respect to Niven, I don't think this is a valid claim. There's too much technology in Known Space for dumping planetary waste heat to be a serious problem. In one of the Peace Corben stories, "War and Peace", the kzin Buckminster suggests using transfer booths to take hot gases from the surface of Plateau and dump them into local space for ...


7

The puppeteers know about tides - we learn that in "Ghost" , the framing story for the "Crashlander" collection when Ander Smittarasheed tells Shaeffer. It's just that they are rather pleased that Shaeffer comes to a wrong conclusion about their home planet, because from there paranoid point of view having humans misinformed beats humans being not informed ...


7

According to larryniven.net, General Products hulls are transparent to visible light and UV rays. http://www.larryniven.net/puppeteer/puptech.shtml


7

I've been in touch with Larry Niven by email. I'm sure he won't mind me sharing that the book had several continuity errors simply because there were multiple errors in the first draft and that he and Benford simply didn't catch them all, I presume because of pressure to meet submission dates. On the plus side, he seems confident that the upcoming sequel, ...


7

The Outer Limits season 2, episode 12 (h/t Alith), aired April 12, 1996. A Season 2 DVD is available in the usual online sales outlets.


7

Remember the "warrior rat" Moties? The planet has an entire ecosystem with the various subtypes of Motie, and it goes through frequent cycles of population growth and collapse. They keep each other in check. The ship had no balancing species, so technical measures were necessary.


6

Who was Larry Niven? Larry Niven, one of the most prominent writers of the New Wave of Science Fiction in the 1960's and 70's, was very good at making stories self-contained while still part of a larger whole. Known Space was his first, best series of tales, and all of the stories in it are reasonably self-contained. While there are some story cycles within ...


6

Turns out it's Baedecker - "Fate of Worlds" p. 130 finally confirms this, after dropping lots of hints. a Conservative government is running the Fleet by this time so we don't know those Hindmosts. But at times during the "Fleet of Worlds" series, Nike, Achilles, and Baedecker all serve as Hindmost.


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible