After more than two hundred years as a corpsicle, Jaybee Corbell awoke in someone else’s body and under threat of instant annihilation if he made a wrong move while they were training him for a one-way mission to the stars.
But Corbell bided his time and made his own move. Once he was outbound, where the society that ruled Earth could not reach him, he headed his starship toward the galactic core, where the unimaginable energies of the universe wrenched the fabric of time and space and promised final escape from his captors.
Then he returned to an Earth eons older than the one he’d left, a planet that had had three million years to develop perils he had never dreamed of - perils that became nightmares that he had to escape... somehow.
Larry Niven is the multiple Hugo and Nebula award–winning author of the Ringworld series, as well as many other science fiction masterpieces. His Beowulf’s Children, coauthored with Jerry Pournelle and Steven Barnes, was a New York Times best seller. He lives in Chatsworth, California.
©1976 Larry Niven (P)2012 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
“This fantastic novel is a mix of Niven hard science and a time-travel concept to boggle the mind.…Even after the last line the feeling remains of the story still rushing on into the magic distance of the universe.” (A. E. van Vogt, winner of the SFWA Grand Master Award)
“Niven rams this fantastic tale at the reader with taut authority, mixing hard science with mind-boggling concepts of time and space to give us a whole new kind of trip.” (Publishers Weekly)
“Niven’s intoxicating concepts, ideas, scientific extrapolations, and exotic hardware bubble up from every page. Rich in imagination and astonishing in breadth…Will challenge the most sophisticated readers.” (Booklist)
My taste vary. I love a good, blood stained horror, but also a well written kids story. Lots of Sci-Fi, but also Hist. Fiction. No boring!!!
The first chapter of this book was a short story called Rammer. It was an excellent story and I would give 5 stars to it alone.
The rest of the book deviates from the first chapter in content, style and imagination. Niven has a great imagination as demonstrated in his books, Ringworld, Protector, The Integral Trees and Limits. The second half of this book sounds as if it was written by Philip Jose Farmer.
The question: Do you know how people get old? is asked a couple of times. For me it was listening to the second half of this book.
A better narrator would have gotten it to at least a 3 star review. I don't think there is anything that could have me commit to a 4 star or higher though.
It depends on the friend. If it were a friend that enjoys wildly imaginative worlds and characters and philosophies, I probably would recommend this one. A friend that enjoys a more structured story with character depth I would advise to skip it.
He had a repetitive tone. I have listened to narrators before that had inflection and feeling to their reading based on the situation. I never found that here. It even took me out of the story sometimes as I was listening to the same sentence pattern after same sentence pattern. I would just listen to the da da da da daaa. It varied of course based on sentence length obviously, but was clearly evident.
I should clarify that it wasn't horrible. I have listened to many worse narrators. It was just monotonous for long stretches which is not suitable to my attention span.
Sadly, no reaction.
This was my 2nd Niven book; my 1st being Ringworld. If you are a fan of the Larry Niven style and imagination I do think you will enjoy this book regardless of narration. Had I not known it was the same author as Ringworld, I would have noticed the similarity in styles. That said, however, Ringworld was a much better book and while it may not be fair to compare this book to one as acclaimed as that, you should at least be cognizant so as to have lessened expectations.
Smoke me a kipper; I'll be back for breakfast.
This is my third Niven book and I just can't get enough. My favorite book so far as been Ringworld but I also found this one to be very interesting. It involves plenty of space travel, some AI, and plenty of dystopia. I loved how the novel technically takes place over a huge time period because the main character goes into cryo so often. This book encompasses so many theories of how the world could go in the future: What if girls ruled the sky and boys ruled the earth? What if adults were just used to make children? What if there was immortality? What if you could move planets? Plus there's a whole Les Mis kinda part where a government official is obsessed with bringing to justice the main character. Lots of action and plenty of interesting science.
I am 36 years old. Married with 3 kids - 2, 4, 13. I work at night, my wife during the day. I don't have time to read, so I listen at work.
I actually loved that this wasn't just a time travel book. There is a good chunk of it that takes place in interstellar space. That learning is done by memory shots. That even in millions of years cars will still be an accepted form of transportation. I love Peerssa for some reason. I love the cat tails. I loved that despite this book being written in the 70s, it is still a brilliant piece of fiction.
I have only listened to 3 other time travel books, "The Time Travelers Wife", and "Times Eye", both of which are nothing like this book. If I had to make a comparison to anything, it would be the Blockbuster movie, "The Time Machine".
Everything, every voice was distinct and separate. Mirelly-Lyra even had that old crony sound. Tom was awesome!
I didn't laugh or cry but I had an acute interest in getting to the next chapter.
Got to ask yourself...would you ever take a one way trip 3 million years into the future?
Doctor of misanthropy
This book struck me as something to listen to if you're in the mood for some Larry Niven. It pretty solidly delivers on that, albeit not exceptionally so.
Semi-thought provoking, but feels rather dated (anything more recent that concerns life extension always seems to trot out telomeres, and this doesn't). Doesn't detract at all from the story, though.
I wouldn't mind some sort of sequel, which is to say that it seems to leave itself open to one, but I honestly don't know Nivens' bibliography well enough to say whether there is one.
The narrator is the same who's narrated the last few Niven books I've listened to. Does a decent job, and has more or less taken up residence in my mind as the "Voice of Nivens."
I got through the book, and thought the story was fun, but I doubt I will ever buy another Tom Weiner narrative. There is just something about his cadence and inflection that bugs me.
Lover of sci-fi, fantasy, horror, mystery, and westerns in all media, including old-time radio dramatizations.
This story is based around that idea of time dilation due to relativistic effects. If you are interested in fiction based on this concept, you might also try 'Tau Zero' by Poul Anderson. For those not familiar with this, the idea is that you could effectively time-travel forward by approaching the speed of light, causing your time to pass more slowly, for you, than normal.
Niven's story was entertaining, but felt logically inconsistent to me. There were no major flaws - just things that weren't explained or didn't feel probable. Worth the credit. Weiner's narration was well done, but short of impressive. Hence the four stars.
The journey of several lives, an implausible situation, ridiculous over the top characters, but I still really enjoyed it. The state has all the makings of a catastrophic future.
And Buffalo George
A fantastic theme: time traveler is pressed into service by the "state" and shifted 3 million years into the future to find an alien civilization. Larry Niven has a strange mind and his view of the "future", engaging. The science is fun and the characters are fleshed out well enough to understand. However, there's really a couple of books/plots in this one. Either one would make a good Star Trek episode.
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