Come to Larry Niven’s Universe and meet all the natives: Thrints, Bandersnatchi, Puppeteers — and a host of other wonderfully created characters. Larry Niven – Neutron Star – (Short Story Collection) Niven, Larry – Neutron Star (SS Coll) Niven, Larry – Tales of Known Space – Neutron Star (b). What’s more, Larry Niven made it big and won a Hugo with his excellent story, “ Neutron Star.” The only trouble with the victory was that when I read his story I.

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The human colony on the planet Argo has long explored and exploited the technology left behind by an extinct alien race. But then an archaeology team accidentally activates a terrible weapon His complex characters take you lrry a voyage that is both fiercely credible and astonishingly imaginative. This is Science Fiction. Brotherton, author of many scientific articles in refereed journals, has written a dramatic, provocative, utterly convincing hard science sf novel that includes an ironic twist that fans will love.

In this, his debut novel, those twin talents unite to produce a work that is involving on any number of levels. It’s just about all you could ask for in a hardcore SF adventure. If you want to download and read the story neutroj under a dollar, check it out on fictionwise.

The Puppeteers want to determine why two previous researchers, Peter and Sonya Laskinwere killed during the previous attempt on a similar mission. He has the Puppeteers construct what he dubs the Skydiver to his precise ,arry, supposedly to ensure he survives to return with the relevant data: It is thus the only warship ever constructed by the cowardly and paranoid alien race — a prize beyond value and a perfect means of escape. However, he is forced into compliance nivwn an operative of the U.

Shaeffer, realizing he is trapped, agrees to fly the mission. During the descent Schaeffer notices many larrh things: The nose of the ship is pulled towards the neutron star even when he tries to move the ship to view his surroundings. As the mysterious pull exceeds one Earth gravity, Shaeffer accelerates the Skydiver to compensate for the unknown X-force until he is in free fall though the accelerometer only registers 1.


Shaeffer eventually realizes what the X-force is: The strong nigen pull of the neutron star is trying to force the ends of the ship and Shaeffer himself into two separate orbits.

Shaeffer programs the autopilot in a thrust pattern that allows him to reach the center of mass of the ship in effective freefall, though he nearly fails to do noven. While explaining tidal forces to the Puppeteer, Schaeffer realizes the alien had no knowledge of tides, something that would be elementary for a sentient species living on a world with a moon.

The Puppeteers are extremely cautious when dealing with other races, and keep all details about their homeworld secret. Shaeffer asks the alien how he likes being blackmailed for a change. First, let me say I first jeutron this story when I was in high school and loved it, and have read it a number of times since. Conceptually, this is a great story to me. I got my first introduction to tidal forces from this story, which is cool.

Gravitational force depends on distance, and tidal forces describe how an object pulls more strongly on one side of an object than the other. Tidal forces are neutronn subtle thing to most readers who are not physics or astronomy majors, and neutron stars extreme objects that really exist and have large miven forces.

It turns out that his ship leaves the star spinning, and keeps the spin. So, some plot holes and holes in his physics. Niven was able to come back and write a sequal to RingworldThe Ringworld Engineersin which the stability issue suddenly becomes a plot point for an entire novel.

I did that with Spider Lagry.

Larry Niven – Neutron Star – (Short Story Collection)

There was atar way to make a human-breathable atmosphere for my dark matter planet over the range neutrln alitutdes I wanted — not a natural way, in any event. Sufficiently advanced alien engineering could do it, however, and the reasons why aliens would do this became plot elements. Now, Niven brings up the spin issue and the return flight issue. OK, minimum alititude is only one mile above the surface, which is somewhat signficant compared to the radius of a neutron star.


This is not so hard to compute.

The direction is axial. The delta r term is the size of the body a couple of meters for a tall human stretched out along the direction toward the neutron star, maybe half a meter curled up in a ball. Watching the units, we can get an answer based on the values of M and R above.

Val’s Random Comments: Short Fiction Month: Neutron Star – Larry Niven

I mean, a neutron star is about the size of a small town like Laramie, which is pretty far out. Anyway, any pilot this close to a neutron star gets pulped, with no hope for survival, regardless of ship spin issues. The only way to fix this would be to change the perigee altitude, or do something very science fictional like make the pilot microscopic or shield the tidal force somehow. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.

You can leave a responseor trackback from your own site. See my interview on Tor. Projects Diamonds in the Sky Launchpad Astronomy Workshop Living in Brazil Spider Star The human colony on the planet Argo has long explored and exploited the technology left behind by an extinct alien race.

Science and Science Fiction: Profile cancel Sign in with Twitter Sign in with Facebook. View April 11, An excellent story, as Mike says. View May 5,