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World Of Ptavvs [Paperback]

Larry Niven
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

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Book Description

April 6 2000 Tales of Known Space
Larry Greenberg's telepathic tendencies had been trained and developed to a critical level. The trouble was that if these psychic interchanges were strong enough, a man could end up not knowing who he really was. But when Larry's mind is taken over by an alien force, he has to fight to retain his sanity - and divert a disaster that threatens all mankind. And when Larry's mind is taken over by a sinister alien force, he has to fight to retain his sanity - and divert a disaster that threatens all mankind...

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Review

'Larry Niven has ideas the size of planets' TIME OUT

About the Author

Larry Niven is one of the best-known names in science fiction. He is the Hugo and Nebula award-winning author of many classics in the genre, including most recently DESTINY'S ROAD and RAINBOW MARS.

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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars And whatever became of the dolphins? March 20 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I first read World of Ptavvs when I was about 16, and remembered nothing of it other than the title when I came across a copy last week. That surprised me a bit since I'd felt fairly strongly about most of Larry Niven's other works--loved Ringworld, hated Footfall. So I grabbed it up and since it's really just a novella, thought I'd finish it rather quickly. World of Ptavvs didn't hold my interest, though, and so I put it aside in favor of other more substantial books and took more than a week to complete it. If this were not the first of Niven's Known Space books, honestly there would be no particular reason to spend time with it. Other reviewers will cover the plot--suffice it to say that this is a real sci-fi gadget-driven-"technology and its consequences" story with cardboard characters--I couldn't even say, afterward, who I thought the main protagonist was. Characters have never been Niven's strong suit, ideas have, and in Ringworld that was no bad thing. But World of Ptavvs lacks the alien environment of Ringworld to a great extent, and so Niven's explorations are less compelling. There were moments of interest, and the idea of a superwar that destroys almost all sentient life in the universe is horrifying, but the method Niven postulates given his own premises is so obviously flawed that it took me a mere 20 seconds to think, "Wait, that doesn't make sense, couldn't they...?" One plot point, the exploration of space by dolphins (!) was completely dropped and seemed almost entirely irrelevant to the story. Completist fans of Known Space will surely want to read World of Ptavvs. Other sci-fi fans might prefer The Apocalypse Troll by David Weber, a work indebted to Niven but in some respects better written; or the Peter F. Hamilton Night's Dawn series.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Feat of the Niven Universe! Oct. 1 2000
Format:Mass Market Paperback
By far my favorite Larry Niven book of all time, this book explains HOW WE GOT HERE!!! Larry Greenberg, a telepath, touches minds with an alien frozen for billions of years! However, an "incident" occurs, and Larry thinks he is Kzanol (weird name for an alien, huh?). the book is about how he and the real alien race to find an object that can allow you to control the entire population of Earth! I won't say more than that, so you'll have to read it yourself (I really encourage you to!).
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4.0 out of 5 stars First "Known space" novel-chronologically. June 8 2000
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The foundations for the basic backround of "Known-space" are laid here.
The story itself is of Larry Grinberg and Kzanol the thrint-an "enslaver" bilion years old who crashed into earth and got stuck in his stasis-suit protection system.
Since objects in stasis are perfect mirors , when Kzanol is found he's treated as the "sea-statue".
Larry , a human telepath who works with dolphins , agrees to try and read the sea-statue's thoughts when a friend suggests he's an alien in stasis.
Kzanol , who's powerfull psionic powers allow him to enslave (allmost!) any intelligent being , is awakend into the connection with the human telepath. As a result , Larry thinks he's Kzanol and starts a race against the real Kzanol towards neptun inorder to reach Kzanol's spare space-suit which is also in stasis , and has in it a kind of telepatic-enhancer that will allow whoever finds it first to overcome the other and control earth ( a common thrint aspiration ).
The end I will leave untold. It is a good book , nothing more , and I recommend it particularlly to those avid sci-fi and Niven fans as myself , that have to read every Known-space story , if only to the purpose of saying-"I've read'em all!"
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