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Publisher's Summary

This Hugo-nominated work is a classic of Niven's Known Space saga.

Phssthpok the Pak had been traveling for most of his thirty-two thousand years. His mission was to save, develop, and protect the group of Pak breeders sent out into space some two and a half million years before.

Brennan was a Belter, the product of a fiercely independent, somewhat anarchic society living in, on, and around an outer asteroid belt. The Belters were rebels, one and all, and Brennan was a smuggler. The Belt worlds had been tracking the Pak ship for days, and Brennan figured to meet that ship first.

He was never seen again - at least not by those alive at the time.

©1973 Larry Niven (P)2013 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

WHAT THE FINAGLE

THE ROMANCE OF SPACE
As mentioned by several others the concept is fairly cool. The telling not so much. The first hour goes over pretty good, but goes down hill from there. This comes from the age when science fiction was a lot slower. I lost patience in the sixth hour.
MINATURE GOLF
I must also admit that Weiner has never been one of my favorite narrators. He is not terrible, just not inspiring.

22 of 24 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

My all time favorite

Read this all night in my twenties. Very smart. All Niven, the all time best SF writer.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • I miss W
  • United States of America
  • 02-12-16

Brilliant concept, wonderfully carried out

Would you consider the audio edition of Protector to be better than the print version?

Yes. Tom Weiner does a fine job of adding emotion to much of the dialog.

What other book might you compare Protector to and why?

Nothing comes to mind. Like Niven's Ringworld, Protector has a unique concept that captures imaginations, and never lets go.

Which character – as performed by Tom Weiner – was your favorite?

The Pak character and Brennan-Monster were both highly entertaining.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Oh yes. I'm a pretty fast reader, so I'd have finished a real book in one sitting. But I savored Weiner's narration too much to hurry it by speeding up the playback.

Any additional comments?

Protector is yet one more in the superlative Known Space collection of books by Larry Niven that were written last century. It has all the qualities that make those books so special: sense of wonder, optimism, humor, and unpredictability (as opposed to, say, John Scalzi's works that have become increasingly predictable).

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Nice Reading

Was fun to listen to during commute. Novel was pure Niven, Enjoyed story again.
Very descriptive and romantic version of interstellar flight and war.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Ckassic So Fi

Interesting idea to characterize Belters as Aussies or perhaps the biggest group of fans are from the Land Down Under.

I wish there was a way to technically update the story without thinking it but I'm ok with it no matter its age.

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Grewt book

A very exciting book in the know pun space works. I enjoyed learning more about the Pak.

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How can you not like a Niven book.

Reader did a good job with inflection and separating out the charecters. you could hear where edits were made though. Still a good listen.

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Put It on The Backburner

This isn't Ringworld. Protector it has its charm but the story is not as well fleshed out. I think if you are looking for some classic sci-fi you could do better and while it's not a bad book I would recommend you stick it on the back burner. Go read some Heinlein or at least wait till you have exhausted the ringworld series.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Great thought experiment good narrator so-so plot

What if the normal effects of human aging (hair loss, arthritis, tooth loss, supposed loss of sex drive) were really part of a design to create a superhuman "adult" to protect the earlier, more vulnerable stages of humanity? And what if we could discover how to make it work?

These stories (there are really 2 stories combined into a single narrative) were the first time Larry Niven played with his idea of the Pak---an ancestor species to early hominids---and the Protectors who transform into ideal thinking and fighting machines who guard their bloodline. What happens if, in the future, space-faring humans encounter the Pak? What if humans could turn into Protectors?

It was an interesting thought experiment, and it turned into a powerful idea, one that Niven revisits multiple times in some of his later "known space" novels (e.g. Ringworld Engineers and Destroyer of Worlds). If you plan to read these books (or you have and are puzzled by the Pak backstory, this is the place for answers).

While the idea of the Protectors are an interesting one, the story around it is relatively bland. There is a lot of exposition on the nature of the Protectors but the actual action is rather thin.

So, if you like an interesting thought experiment or want more backstory on the Pak, this is worth picking up.

Tom Weiner is a very good narrator and he does a very good job here.

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great

loved this story, read destroyer of world's and betrayed of world's the oak are coming.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful