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World Of Ptavvs Paperback

4.0 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
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Product Details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Orbit
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1857239970
  • ISBN-13: 978-1857239973
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 1.5 x 20.2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 100 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,109,436 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
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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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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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By A Customer on April 11 1997
Format: Mass Market Paperback
In this book, Larry Greenberg, earthly telepath,
arranges to touch the mind of the Sea Statue -
the enigmatic sculpture found at the bottom of
a marine trench years before only recently
identified as an alien being in temporal stasis.
Greenberg contrives to break the stasis field long
enough to read the being's mind - only to discover
that the creature is a Thrint, a being who
enslaves other beings through its overwhelming
psionic power.

Greenberg becomes convinced he _is_ the thrint,
and begins a trek across space to find his other
equipment left behind billions of years ago but
still pristine and new in stasis, equipment that
will help him enslave the entire human race. This
soon becomes a race, when the stasis field of the
Sea Statue, destabilized by Greenberg's meddling,
releases the Thrint itself, with precisely the
same ideas.

With this story, Niven lays the foundation for his
Known Space novels, introducing the idea of the
stasis box, the Slavers, their favorite slaves
the Tnuctipun, and the great war they waged that
wiped out every intelligent being in the galaxy
a billion years ago.
Not a bad read, but not
a great one either, it fits well with the rest of
the Known Space stories and as a member in good
standing of that arc, well worth reading, and far
superior to Niven's later efforts.
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