Crashlander Beowulf Shaeffer has long been one of the most popular characters in Known Space. Now, for the first time ever, Larry Niven brings together all the Beowulf Shaeffer stories - including a brand-new one - in one long tale of exploration and adventure! Plus - an all-new framing story that pulls together all of Beowulf Shaeffer's adventures and allows Shaeffer and his family to make a clean start at life once and for all!
©1994 Larry Niven (P)2012 Audible, Inc.
I've always loved the stories involving Shaeffer. They're usually as far out as you can get and span so many other characters and plot points. Very fun.
Christopher Prince was fine whenever he was reading a character's dialogue, but whenever he narrates it ends up sounding like a sports announcer. He needs to relax a little, it's all too consistent.
It takes a little effort getting through this one but it's worth it. Pick up the printed book if you have too much trouble with the narrator.
If you're re thinking about buying this book, you should. The first three stories were really good. However the fourth story was just ok. And, finally the fifth story was bad. The framework of all the stories was excellent. If you enjoy sci-fi you will definitely enjoy the concepts and ideas that Larry introduces.
The problem here is that Larry gives you an excessive amount of details about persons places or things BEFORE he gives you a reason to care about them. This makes for some boring listening at certain parts. Worse than that, at times he blindsides you with a stream of adjectives that do not seem to connect to what you were previously hearing. I literally thought I had lost my place a few times. Further, I think a lot of the complaints about the narration are linked to this. I got the impression, from the narrator's vocal inflections, that he did not understand what he was reading. I can see why, but that's no excuse. (Do some research before hand guy)
All said though this was some excellent scifi. Some of the ideas about hyper space travel, indestructible hulls, auto docs and so forth were intriguing. I don't think you'll regret getting this book, especially at the price.
Not as an audiobook. "Neutron Star" and "At the Core" are good, solid, classic SF stories, and it was incredibly enjoyable listening to them again, but the rest of the collection is very disappointing.
"Neutron Star," in particular, has the kind of twist ending based on hard science that appeals to so many of us SF fans. The character of Beowulf has certainly gone down in SF lore; whether that character would ever be considered literary is doubtful, but the characterization certainly appeals strongly to this genre.
The narrator's voice was okay, but there were clearly many areas where the studio dubbed and spliced the narration, which was very jarring.
No, what Niven and the publisher *need* to do is re-release the original "Neutron Star" collection both in print and as an audiobook.
I used to love Larry Niven books but have come to realize that Niven is woefully out of date and and out of touch with reality.
Essential backstory for other Known Space stories, but the narrator made it very hard to lose myself in it.
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