Book of the Week: Starborn and Godsons.

Starborn and Godsons is the long-awaited (at least by me) third and probably final book in the Heorot SF series by Larry Niven, Jerry Pournelle, and Steven Barnes. Check out The Legacy of Heorot and Beowulf’s Children first, if you like. You might as well: this last book isn’t out until next April anyway.

Book of the Week: The Moon Maze Game (A Dream Park Novel).

Dunno what’s more depressing: that I only this week discovered that Larry Niven’s and Steven Barnes’ The Moon Maze Game: A Dream Park Novel came out in 2011, or that I saw ‘2011’ and thought ‘five years ago.’  Probably the latter.  After all, at least I got to read the book — but I feel that I lost those two years of lifespan, somehow, and I wouldn’t mind getting them back.

Still, hey: Dream Park novel.




Book of the Week: The Magic Goes Away.

Larry Niven’s The Magic Goes Away is an extended metaphor for resource depletion, seen through the lens of 1970s-1980s environmental pessimism, of course.  This much is known. But it will still be taught in literature classes a hundred years from now, while other suchlike metaphors have been justly exiled to the dusty hells of graduate thesis footnotes, because Larry Niven can in fact write.  Not to be impolite, but there are authors out there who seem to favor other qualities above the ability to write well.  Not as many as I might like*, but they’re out there. Continue reading Book of the Week: The Magic Goes Away.




Book of the Week: Dream Park.

I’m surprised that Larry Niven and Steven Barnes’ Dream Park hasn’t made the list yet.  It pushes the right buttons: near-future, filk singing, and LARPing as a competitive sport.  Good stuff, good stuff.  And the sequels don’t suck, either.

And so, adieu to The Deed of Paksenarrion. Continue reading Book of the Week: Dream Park.




Arrival/Needful Things production team 21 Laps to do Larry Niven’s Inconstant Moon.

Oh, 2017. How much nicer you are to me than that last, horrid year was. From Hollywood Reporter:

After nabbing a spaceship’s worth of Oscar nominations for Arrival, Shawn Levy and his 21 Laps banner are jumping back into the elevated sci-fi drama genre.

Fox 2000 has preemptively picked up an untitled pitch that is based on Inconstant Moon, a short story written by Larry Niven, the author behind the sci-fi literary classic Ringworld.

Continue reading Arrival/Needful Things production team 21 Laps to do Larry Niven’s Inconstant Moon.




Book of the Week: Ringworld.

I’m a little surprised that Ringworld hasn’t come up, yet. Maybe I’m assuming that those of you who are science fiction fans are all Niven fans already.  Anyway, it’s the best damn pastiche of the Wizard of Oz you’ll ever read.  No, seriously, Larry Niven himself has had this insight (WARNING: TV TROPES LINK).

And so, adieu to The High Crusade.




#rsrh Online Left, meet Niven’s Fifth Law.

It has long been my private contention that the intellectual Left’s stranglehold on academia has been a boon for the science fiction community: if you’re a lyric poet, an economist who takes Hayek seriously, and/or a historian who spits at the sight of any book with ‘People’s History’ in it, and you can write, there’s a place for you somewhere in the speculative fiction field.  I mention this not for any real reason except as an intro to the aforementioned Law by Larry Niven:

Psi and/or magical powers, if real, are nearly useless.

More specifically: this One Nation thing will not work for the same reason that the Brownbaggers didn’t work, or the Coffee Party didn’t work, or any of the other cargo-cult projects that the Left have embarked on to ‘counter’ the Tea Parties didn’t work.  It will not work because it is a cargo cult project: which is to say, it is an attempt to use the Law of Similarity by creating as many trappings of a populist movement as can be arranged, in the hopes that it will somehow attract actual populists.  In short, it is efffectively a magic spell.

And as Niven noted: if magic worked that well, society would be already using it to do things.

Moe Lane

PS: Yes, I understand that they have no choice in the matter: if they tried actually building a populist movement, the Left would rapidly run up against the problem that populist sentiment right now is pretty heavily anti-government interference – which is to say, anti-Left.  So what?  It’s not my fault that there are people out there who are emotionally invested in the big-government fallacy.




Book of the Week: Take Back Your Government.

This one via Instapundit, and I’ve heard of it in the past:Take Back Your Government, by Bob Heinlein. I’d say “Yes, the Bob Heinlein” – except that nobody would dare write under the same name. It’s a practical treatise on local electoral politics that I suspect a bunch of people would like to read right now.

And, it being Sunday, we say goodbye to Destroyer of Worlds.




Book of the Week: Destroyer of Worlds.

I was originally going to go with Going Rogue: An American Life, solely on the basis that I actually bought it (I typically ignore partisan political books); except that I’ve already slapped it up there on the sidebar and a nontrivial percentage of my readership doesn’t really give a damn.

So… Larry Niven’s Destroyer of Worlds, which replaces Lovecraft Unbound.

Moe Lane