(Laurence Van Cott Niven)
(1938 - )
Born in Los Angeles in 1938, Larry Niven has been a full-time writer since leaving UCLA in 1963. A worldwide bestseller, he is best known for the legendary RINGWORLD series, which THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF SCIENCE FICTION called "the most energetic future history series ever written". A multiple winner of both Hugo and Nebula awards, Niven was once named by Arthur C Clarke as his favourite author, and his rigorous scientific consistency has earned a reputation as the premier modern author of "hard" SF.
Series contributed to
1. The Man-Kzin Wars (1988)
2. The Man-Kzin Wars II (1989)
3. Man Kzin Wars III (1990)
4. Man-kzin Wars IV (1991)
5. Man-Kzin Wars V (1992)
6. Man-Kzin Wars VI (1994) (with Gregory Benford)
7. Man-Kzin Wars VII (1995)
8. Choosing Names (1998)
9. Man-Kzin Wars IX (2002)
10. Wunder War (2003) (with Hal Colebatch)
11. Man-Kzin Wars XI (2005)
12. Man-Kzin Wars XII (2009)
13. Man-Kzin Wars XIII (2012)
14. Man-Kzin Wars XIV (2013)
The Best of All Possible Wars (1998)
Destiny's Forge (2005) (with Paul Chafe)
Stellar Guild (with Matthew Joseph Harrington and Brad R Torgersen)
Red Tide (2014)
Ad Astra and Beyond (2016) (with Forrest J Ackerman, John DeChancie, David Gerrold, Charles Lee Jackson II, Len Moffatt, Catherine Lucille Moore and Fred Patten)
Anthologies containing stories by Larry Niven
Nebula Award Stories 1 (1966)
Dangerous Visions 2 (1967)
The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction 190 (1967)
Seven Trips Through Time and Space (1968)
World's Best Science Fiction 1968 (1968)
Nebula Award Stories 5 (1970)
The Best Science Fiction of the Year (1972)
The Hugo Winners 1963-1967 (1973)
The Golden Road (1974)
The Best Science Fiction of the Year 4 (1975)
The Best from Galaxy, Volume IV (1976)
The Best from If, Volume III (1976)
Galaxy Science Fiction Vol. 37 No. 8 (1976)
The Best Science Fiction Stories (1977)
The Hugo Winners 1971-1975 (1977)
The Hugo Winners Volume 3, Part 3: 1974-1975 (1977)
100 Great Science Fiction Short Short Stories (1978)
The Best of Analog (1979)
The Science Fictional Solar System (1979)
Best Science Fiction Stories of the Year 1980 (1981)
Sci-Fi Private Eye (1984)
Top Science Fiction (1985)
Great Science Fiction of the 20th Century (1987)
The Man-Kzin Wars (1988)
A Century of Fantasy 1980-1989 (1990)
The Oxford Book of Science Fiction Stories (1992)
Aliens and UFO's (1993)
Isaac Asimov's War (1993)
The Ascent of Wonder (1994)
Science Fiction, Science Fact, and You (1995)
How to Save the World (1995)
Tomorrow Bites (1995)
Sisters of the Night (1995)
The Wizards of Odd (1996)
The Way It Wasn't (1996)
Supernatural Sleuths (1996)
Time Machines (1997)
The Playboy Book of Science Fiction (1998)
A Magic-Lover's Treasury of the Fantastic (1998)
|Bordered in Black|
|Convergent Series [short story]|
|The Deadlier Weapon|
|Like Banquo's Ghost|
|Night on Mispec Moor|
|The Schumann Computer|
|Singularities Make Me Nervous|
|Transfer of Power|
|Becalmed In Hell (1965)||Nebula Awards(nominee)|
|Wrong Way Street (1965)||Nebula Awards(nominee)|
|At the Core (1966)|
|Neutron Star [short story] (1966)||Hugo|
|A Relic of the Empire (1966)|
|The Ethics of Madness (1967)|
|Flatlander [short story] (1967)||Nebula Awards(nominee)|
|The Handicapped (1967)|
|The Jigsaw Man (1967)||Hugo(nominee)|
|The Long Night (1967)|
|Safe at Any Speed (1967)|
|The Soft Weapon (1967)|
|All the Myriad Ways [short story] (1968)||Hugo(nominee)|
|Wait It Out (1968)|
|Death by Ecstasy [short story] (1969)|
|The Flight of the Horse [short story] (1969)|
|Not Long Before the End (1969)||Hugo(nominee)|
|The Fourth Profession (1971)||Hugo(nominee)|
|Inconstant Moon [short story] (1971)||Hugo|
|Rammer [short story] (1971)|
|There's a Wolf in My Time Machine (1971)|
|Cloak of Anarchy (1972)|
|What Good Is a Glass Dagger? (1972)|
|The Alibi Machine (1973)|
|The Hole Man (1974)||Hugo|
|A Kind of Murder (1974)|
|The Borderland of Sol (1975)||Hugo|
|The Children of the State (part 3) (1976)|
|Down and Out (1976)|
|Cruel and Unusual (1977)|
|Grammar Lesson (1977)|
|Rotating Cylinders and the Possibility of Global Causality Violation (1977)|
|The Subject is Closed (1977)|
|The Magic Goes Away [short story] (1978)||World Fantasy(nominee)|
|The Locusts (1979) (with Steven Barnes)||Hugo(nominee)|
|The Green Marauder (1980)|
|The Real Thing (1982)|
|The Integral Trees (part 3 of 4) (1983)|
|The Integral Trees (part 4 of 4) (1984)|
|The Warriors (1988)|
|Assimilating Our Culture, That's What They're Doing (1989)|
|The Return of William Proxmire (1989)||Hugo(nominee)|
|The Wishing Game (1989)|
|Madness Has Its Place (1990)|
|The South Los Angeles Broadcasting System (1993)|
|Song of the Night People (1995)|
Books about Larry Niven
A Larry Niven Checklist (1994) by Chris Drumm
Laurence van Cott Niven (; born April 30, 1938) is an American science fiction writer. His best-known work is Ringworld (1970), which received Hugo, Locus, Ditmar, and Nebula awards. The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America named him the 2015 recipient of the Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master Award. His work is primarily hard science fiction, using big science concepts and theoretical physics. It also often includes elements of detective fiction and adventure stories. His fantasy includes the series The Magic Goes Away, rational fantasy dealing with magic as a non-renewable resource.
Niven was born in Los Angeles. He briefly attended the California Institute of Technology and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in mathematics (with a minor in psychology) from Washburn University, Topeka, Kansas, in 1962. He did a year of graduate work in mathematics at the University of California at Los Angeles. On September 6, 1969, he married Marilyn Joyce "Fuzzy Pink" Wisowaty, a science fiction and Regency literature fan. He is an agnostic.
Niven is the author of numerous science fiction short stories and novels, beginning with his 1964 story "The Coldest Place". In this story, the coldest place concerned is the dark side of Mercury, which at the time the story was written was thought to be tidally locked with the Sun (it was found to rotate in a 2:3 resonance after Niven received payment for the story, but before it was published).
Algis Budrys said in 1968 that Niven becoming a top writer despite the New Wave was evidence that "trends are for second-raters". In addition to the Nebula award in 1970 and the Hugo and Locus awards in 1971 for Ringworld, Niven won the Hugo Award for Best Short Story for "Neutron Star" in 1967. He won the same award in 1972, for "Inconstant Moon", and in 1975 for "The Hole Man". In 1976, he won the Hugo Award for Best Novelette for "The Borderland of Sol".
Niven has written scripts for three science fiction television series: the original Land of the Lost series; Star Trek: The Animated Series, for which he adapted his early story "The Soft Weapon"; and The Outer Limits, for which he adapted his story "Inconstant Moon" into an episode of the same name.
Niven has also written for the DC Comics character Green Lantern including in his stories hard science fiction concepts such as universal entropy and the redshift effect.
He has included limited psi gifts (mind over matter) in some characters in his stories; like Gil Hamilton's psychic arm which can only reach as far as a corporeal arm could, though it can, for example, reach through solid materials and manipulate objects on the other side, and through videophone screens, or Matt Keller's ability to make people not notice him.
Many of Niven's stories—sometimes called the Tales of Known Space—take place in his Known Space universe, in which humanity shares the several habitable star systems nearest to the Sun with over a dozen alien species, including the aggressive feline Kzinti and the very intelligent but cowardly Pierson's Puppeteers, which are frequently central characters. The Ringworld series is part of the Tales of Known Space, and Niven has shared the setting with other writers since a 1988 anthology, The Man-Kzin Wars (Baen Books, jointly edited with Jerry Pournelle and Dean Ing). There have been several volumes of short stories and novellas.
Niven has also written a logical fantasy series The Magic Goes Away, which utilizes an exhaustible resource called mana to power a rule-based "technological" magic. The Draco Tavern series of short stories take place in a more light-hearted science fiction universe, and are told from the point of view of the proprietor of an omni-species bar. The whimsical Svetz series consists of a collection of short stories, The Flight of the Horse, and a novel, Rainbow Mars, which involve a nominal time machine sent back to retrieve long-extinct animals, but which travels, in fact, into alternative realities and brings back mythical creatures such as a Roc and a Unicorn. Much of his writing since the 1970s has been in collaboration, particularly with Jerry Pournelle and Steven Barnes, but also Brenda Cooper and Edward M. Lerner.
Niven's most famous contribution to the SF genre comes from his novel Ringworld, in which he envisions a Ringworld: a band of material, roughly a million miles wide, of approximately the same diameter as Earth's orbit, rotating around a star. The idea's genesis came from Niven's attempts to imagine a more efficient version of a Dyson sphere, which could produce the effect of surface gravity through rotation. Given that spinning a Dyson Sphere would result in the atmosphere pooling around the equator, the Ringworld removes all the extraneous parts of the structure, leaving a spinning band landscaped on the sun-facing side, with the atmosphere and inhabitants kept in place through centrifugal force and 1,000 mi (1,600 km) high perimeter walls (rim walls). After publication of Ringworld, Dan Alderson and Ctein, two fannish friends of Niven, analyzed the structure and told Niven that the Ringworld was dynamically unstable such that if the center of rotation drifts away from the central sun, gravitational forces will not 're-center' it, thus allowing the ring to eventually contact the sun and be destroyed. Niven used this as a core plot element in the sequel novel, The Ringworld Engineers.
This idea proved influential, serving as an alternative to a full Dyson sphere that required fewer assumptions (such as artificial gravity) and allowed a day/night cycle to be introduced (through the use of a smaller ring of "shadow squares", rotating between the ring and its sun). This was further developed by Iain M. Banks in his Culture series, which features about 1/100th ringworld–size megastructures called Orbitals that orbit a star rather than encircling it entirely (actual "Rings" and Dyson "Spheres" are also mentioned but are much rarer). Alastair Reynolds also uses ringworlds in his 2008 novel House of Suns. The Ringworld-like namesake of the Halo video game series is the eponymousHalo megastructure/superweapon.
The original release of Magic: The Gathering paid homage to Larry Niven on a card called "Nevinyrral's Disk", with Nevinyrral being "Larry Niven" spelled backwards. Subsequent sets have featured no new cards featuring Nevinyrral, although the character is sporadically quoted on the flavor text of various cards. Netrunner paid a similar homage to Larry Niven with the card "Nevinyrral".
According to author Michael Moorcock, in 1967 Niven was among those Science Fiction Writers of America members who voiced opposition to the Vietnam War. However, in 1968 Niven's name appeared in a pro-war ad in Galaxy Science Fiction.
Niven was an adviser to Ronald Reagan on the creation of the Strategic Defense Initiative antimissile policy, as part of the Citizens' Advisory Council on National Space Policy – as covered in the BBC documentary Pandora's Box by Adam Curtis. The council also convinced Vice President Dan Quayle to support the Single-stage-to-orbit (SSTO) concept for a reusable space ship that led to the building of the DC-X.
In 2007, Niven, in conjunction with a group of science fiction writers known as SIGMA, led by Pournelle, began advising the U.S. Department of Homeland Security as to future trends affecting terror policy and other topics. 
One of Niven's best known humorous works is "Man of Steel, Woman of Kleenex", in which he uses real-world physics to underline the difficulties of Superman and a human woman (Lois Lane or Lana Lang) mating.
Niven appeared in the 1980 science documentary film Target... Earth?
Larry Niven is also known in science fiction fandom for "Niven's Law": There is no cause so right that one cannot find a fool following it. Over the course of his career Niven has added to this first law a list of Niven's Laws which he describes as "how the Universe works" as far as he can tell.
Main article: Larry Niven bibliography
- ^ ab"Niven, Larry". Revised June 14, 2014. The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction (sf-encyclopedia.com). Retrieved August 15, 2014. Entry by 'JC', John Clute.
- ^"Larry Niven Named SFWA Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master". sfwa.org. March 2, 2015. Retrieved April 16, 2015.
- ^ ab"Larry Niven's Ringworld and Known Space Stories - Kirkus Reviews". kirkusreviews.com. Retrieved October 29, 2017.
- ^"The religion of Larry Niven, science fiction author". Adherents.com. July 28, 2005. Retrieved September 27, 2011.
- ^"the Planet Mercury. Tidally locked?". www.kidsnewsroom.org. Archived from the original on June 24, 2012. Retrieved 2012-06-24.
- ^Budrys, Algis (December 1968). "Galaxy Bookshelf". Galaxy Science Fiction. pp. 149–155.
- ^"1970 Award Winners & Nominees | Science Fiction & Fantasy Books by Award | WWEnd". Worldswithoutend.com. Retrieved September 27, 2011.
- ^"1971 Award Winners & Nominees | Science Fiction & Fantasy Books by Award | WWEnd". Worldswithoutend.com. Retrieved September 27, 2011.
- ^ ab"Tales of Known Space – Series Bibliography". Internet Speculative Fiction Database (ISFDB). Retrieved August 15, 2014. Select a title to see its linked publication history and general information. Select a particular edition (title) for more data at that level, such as a front cover image or linked contents.
- ^Macro Structures at Larryniven.net
- ^Nevinyrral's Disk at Wizards.com
- ^Starship StormtroopersArchived December 24, 2002, at the Wayback Machine.
- ^"Nat Tilander Writer, Author, Articles, Non-Fiction, Galaxy Magazine and the Viet Nam War". Natsmusic.net. Retrieved September 27, 2011.
- ^Among the 72 who agreed that "the United States must remain in Vietnam" were Poul Anderson, Leigh Brackett, Marion Zimmer Bradley, Fredric Brown, John W. Campbell, Hal Clement, L. Sprague de Camp, Robert Heinlein, R. A. Lafferty, P. Schuyler Miller, Larry Niven, Jerry Pournelle, Fred Saberhagen, G. Harry Stine, and Jack Vance. Among the 82 who said they "oppose the participation of the United States in the war" were Forrest J. Ackerman, Isaac Asimov, James Blish, Anthony Boucher, Ray Bradbury, Samuel R. Delany, Lester del Rey, Philip K. Dick, Thomas M. Disch, Harlan Ellison, Philip Jose Farmer, Harry Harrison, Damon Knight, Ursula K. LeGuin, Fritz Leiber, Barry Malzberg, Judith Merril, Gene Roddenberry, Robert Silverberg, Norman Spinrad, and Donald A. Wollheim. Frederik Pohl discussed the ads in an editorial following them, and announced a contest offering the cost of the ads as prizes to the five readers with the best ideas for what the US should do in the war. "Paid Advertisement". Galaxy Science Fiction. June 1968. pp. 4–11.
- ^Pandora's Box (television documentary series)#To The Brink of Eternity
- ^Hall, Mimi (May 31, 2007). "Sci-fi writers join war on terror". USA Today. Retrieved April 30, 2008.
- ^"Science Fiction Mavens Offer Far Out Homeland Security Advice". National Defense Magazine.
- ^Man of Steel, Woman of Kleenex on larryniven.net