Regular price: $20.97

Free with 30-day trial
Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free
  • 1 credit/month after trial – good for any book, any price
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel
  • After your trial, Audible is just $14.95/month
OR
In Cart

Publisher's Summary

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.

Critic Reviews

“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)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 3.9 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    295
  • 4 Stars
    345
  • 3 Stars
    210
  • 2 Stars
    49
  • 1 Stars
    14

Performance

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    357
  • 4 Stars
    305
  • 3 Stars
    129
  • 2 Stars
    20
  • 1 Stars
    10

Story

  • 3.9 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    280
  • 4 Stars
    290
  • 3 Stars
    197
  • 2 Stars
    48
  • 1 Stars
    19
Sort by:
  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Grand scale story. Strangely unengaging.

The scope of the story is immense. Some really thought provoking ideas presented by Larry Niven. Method of population growth control in a world of immortals most of all. A ton of grand ideas, but sadly I felt disconnected from the story the whole time. Like I was an observer the whole time. An intellectual experience more than a literary one.

Narration is good.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Brought back great memories

I first read this book as a teenager in the 70s. Some books and/or characters stick with you, and this far-ranging story has been one that has come to mind often over the years. The audiobook was a nice journey down memory lane. I enjoyed every minute.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Howard
  • San Diego, CA United States
  • 09-07-16

What was Niven Thinking?

I am a huge Niven fan, but this book was dreadful. The plot makes no sense, and we lurch from one ridiculous situation to the next. Two thumbs way down.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Excellent tale of of future past.

Great story and story teller. Would recommend to all readers / listeners. Larry creates a vivid world which comes to life through the telling

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Dated and a bit confusing at times

I really liked larry Niven in general, but this book just didn't do it for me. It was definitely a product of the 70s and I felt not only the main character, but all the rest of the characters come from that time.
Perhaps it reads better, but I listened to the complete book on a plane ride and I just didn't get it. The characters were not that engaging or sympathetic, the scientific explanations were a bit long and whether they hold up to modern science or not they were just not fun too listen to.
After awhile i sped up the playback just to get it over with. I was hoping for a great ending, but it didn't come. The only good news is that I did get so tired of listening to it that I did sleep for a bit on the plane.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Epic sci-fi journey.

This was a classic sci-fi story and I enjoyed the completeness of it.
The performance was exactly what the story needed.
There is a little sex in it, otherwise it fine for older children/young adults.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

It's an older book, but hey I liked it.

it was well thought out and written story. The narrator spoke and played the characters in a very believable manner. Overall I enjoyed this story.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

decent story, iffy narration that slowly improved

Narrator was initially extremely monotone. perhaps that's the wrong word, it was binary. "soft soft hard soft hard". no emotion though, no intonation of the sentence being spoken. the narration improved over the course of the book, but it was still a stark contrast to the narration of ringworld and ringworld engineer.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

A Story lost in complexity

This story starts very strong, an interesting turn of events that casts the main character abroad in space and time. unfortunately it only uses this idea as a spring board to get to the real story which is far more complex, but less coherent. an interesting world, which is explored only in passing while debating theories with less interesting results.

I liked the story overall, and the narrator does a good job of capturing the characters constant disgruntled demeanor. I just wish the ending was a bit stronger.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Not bad for a solitary story

I will say first and foremost that this is my opinion. I enjoyed the story as it has a plotline very similar to the time machine but without all the back and forth. I enjoyed how the author detailed just enough of the scifi technologies without boring me to death with all the technicalities of it. The story really takes off but seems to reel back on itself a few times. Like the author wanted to explain some things and then doubled back to reiterate the timeline.

The plot unfolds fast and is quite predictable, but still not an unpleasant story telling.