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Niven & Pournelle - The Best Sci-Fi Writers Ever?

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posted on Jul, 5 2007 @ 02:27 AM

In fact, I've inspired myself to reread my copy of Neuromancer. It's been a few years now.

I shoulda posted this earlier but here goes..

If you like Neuromancer you should check out Snow Crash.
The story takes place in the former United States during the early 21st century. In this hypothetical future reality, the United States Federal Government has ceded most of its power to private organizations and entrepreneurs[1]. Mercenary armies compete for national defense contracts, and private security guards preserve the peace in gated, sovereign housing developments. Highway companies compete to attract drivers to their roads rather than the competitors', and all mail deliveries are done by hired couriers. The remnants of the government maintain authority only in isolated compounds, where it transacts business that is by and large irrelevant to the booming, dynamic society around it.

Much of the territory ceded by the government has been carved up into a huge number of sovereign enclaves, each run by its own big business franchise (such as "Mr. Lee's Greater Hong Kong") or the various residential burbclaves (suburb enclaves). This arrangement bears a similarity to anarcho-capitalism, a theme Stephenson carries over to his next novel The Diamond Age. Hyperinflation has devalued the dollar to the extent that trillion dollar bills, Ed Meeses, are little regarded and the quadrillion dollar note, a Gipper, is the standard 'small' bill. For physical transactions, people resort to alternative, non-hyperinflated currencies like yen or "Kongbucks" (the official currency of Mr. Lee's Greater Hong Kong).

The Metaverse, a phrase coined by Stephenson as a successor to the Internet, constitutes Stephenson's vision of how a virtual reality-based Internet might evolve in the near future. Although there are public-access Metaverse terminals in Reality, using them carries a social stigma among Metaverse denizens, in part because of the poor visual representations of themselves via low-quality avatars. In the Metaverse, status is a function of two things: access to restricted environments such as the Black Sun, an exclusive Metaverse club, and technical acumen, which is often demonstrated by the sophistication of one's avatar.

As for why I love this novel so much well, lets just say I have my...

Version 1.0B7
Gatling type 3 mm hypervelocity railgun system
Ng Security Industries, Inc.

posted on Aug, 21 2007 @ 07:39 AM
Well, I've now read 2 of the ringworld books, and I have to say they are fantastic! even though I read them in the wrong order, I did read the first one first.
Also got Destiny's forge on the go - a Man-Kzin novel.

Great reading all round!

posted on Aug, 21 2007 @ 11:34 AM
reply to post by budski

Not sure which 2 you have read. This is a list of the current books from wikipedia:


Ringworld (1970)
The Ringworld Engineers (1979)
The Ringworld Throne (1996)
Ringworld's Children (2004)

So the good news is two more to read

posted on Dec, 30 2007 @ 01:47 PM
I think Philip K. Dick will always be my favorite SF writer, so I'm biased towards him. William S. Burroughs also counts -- a number of his books were SF-oriented. I'd also say that of the writers mentioned thus far, he is the most difficult to read (but probably the most innovative).

William Gibson and Neal Stephenson are great too.

Gotta love Arthur C. Clarke. Do SF short stories get any better than The Nine Billion Names of God? Well, perhaps. There's Harlan Ellison's I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream.


posted on Jan, 10 2008 @ 06:33 AM
The two authors you mention are pretty good. Another science fiction/horror writer who was pretty good and under appreciated was H.P. Lovecraft. Most of his stories were on the short side, but he was very prolific.
And many of his stories, like The Dunwhich Horroe, Reanimator, The Outsider, etc., were made into movies.

posted on Jan, 10 2008 @ 06:40 AM
reply to post by Freedom ERP

I've just managed to get hold of ringworld engineers, and then I'll have completed the set.

I read them out of order, but it doesn't really matter to me - they have been fabulous reads.

Only read one of the man-kzin wars so far - they are difficult to get hold of as well, if you don't have the money to order them from a bookshop, but I'm hoping I can order them at the library.

I've also recently read Alistair Reynolds "Revelation Space" - another excellent hard sci fi book, and I hope I can read some more of his in future.

posted on Sep, 11 2008 @ 09:45 AM
Sorry to open up a slightly silent thread, but i must agree. Joint-works between Niven and Pournelle are magnificent.

I've personally got hold of:

The Mote in God's Eye


Lucifer's Hammer

I really enjoyed Lucifer's Hammer and Footfall... Excellent reads.

posted on Jan, 6 2013 @ 04:06 AM
Footfall is one of my favourite novels I have read.
I am waiting for someone in Hollywood to make the Footfall movie. You can't beat a good alien invasion movie.

posted on Feb, 15 2013 @ 10:35 PM
reply to post by Lucas73

I was hoping to find some new scifi to read, but alas....

No one mentioned Mike Resnick - for characters and pure fun you can't beat him. Santiago is an all time favorite (the sequel sucks).

Issac Asimov's - Foundation, Robot stories. He ties his whole bibliography together very nicely .....

Heinlein, Dick, Herbert... ah Blish's "Cities in Flight" is a long time favorite.

Julian May.

Never could get into anything by Neal Stephenson, his writing is so wordy and random. I have tried, and tried, to no avail.

Currently reading "Juggler of Worlds" from the Fleet of Worlds by Larry Niven and Edward M. Lerner. Nice piece to Known Space that I hadn't read. Big Niven fan here.

It just doesn't seem to me that there is much science fiction worth reading these days.... Fantasy is the big ticket and as someone posted earlier it's mostly soap opera.....

Oh, oh, there are the Trader Tales by Nathan Lowell - very like Heinlein's early work - better written perhaps.

posted on Mar, 9 2013 @ 08:12 AM
I think I've Read every Niven in print...Huge fan !!

However I just found Michael R. Hicks and I Love the work so far.

In Her Name: The Last War

First Contact (In Her Name) Book #1 (Free on Kindle)
Legend Of The Sword (In Her Name) Book #2
Dead Soul (In Her Name) Book #3
The Last War Trilogy Collection (all of above)
In Her Name: Redemption

Empire #1 (In Her Name: Redemption) (Free on Kindle)
Confederation #2 (In Her Name: Redemption)
Final Battle #3 (In Her Name: Redemption)
RedemptionTrilogy Collection (all of above)

In Her Name: The First Empress

From Chaos Born Book #1

I don't know if there are more books in this third series but I'm telling you guys this writter is great.
I can barely put it down.

Been looking for a new writer to enjoy.
All of the reviews I read, had not one bad thing to say about any of these books.

I like lots of Military in my Si Fi and this stuff is jam packed.

Try it you'll like it

That is if you haven't all ready

posted on Jul, 10 2014 @ 04:55 AM
Aleistair Reynolds has some pretty interesting far future books that are really interesting and unique. Niven and Pournell are really good because they mix adventure into their books and make them more fun to read. The Prefect and Revelation Space are pretty good and his Chasm City novels about mars colonization in the future I've heard good things about but havent read. Verner Vinge has some good books as well.

posted on Jul, 10 2014 @ 07:39 AM
a reply to: budski
I read the first two Ringworld books some 25 years or more ago as a teen, and a couple of unrecalled others and loved them - i really should have another crack at Niven and have no idea why i have not so far. Pournelle i have never read so thanks for a prod in the right direction.

Greg Bear's earlier works are great, particularly Blood Music (again, i only read it as a teen) and Eon, which i have read many times (it's a bit like ACC's Rendezvous with Rama, but with answers). From what i gather from others he went fairly spectacularly off the boil though.

Ian M Banks though is just phenomenal in my eyes though.. his last 3 books are a bit patchy, most likely due to him rushing things as he knew he was terminally ill, but they still have parts that are utterly spectacular and quite visionary. "The Player of Games" is awesome, and "Look to Windward" simply blew my mind; beautiful and quite crazy at times - plus it's great to have a book where most of the protagonists are non human. I still laugh when i am bewildered by something and go "Ummmmm?" as a self indulgent private joke. IMO it just has to be read. Banks is (was) the saviour contemporary Sci-Fi and i must find out more recent authors who are influenced by him. The Culture is a literary creation that i so far have never tired of.

What about Jack Vance though? He seems criminally forgotten by many readers nowadays.

edit on 10-7-2014 by skalla because: typos

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