Feb 18, 2011

Limits, by Larry Niven

Once again, I turn to my trusted favorite science fiction author, Larry Niven, and am not disappointed. Limits is an interesting collection of short stories; some are fantasy and some are science fiction. I quite enjoyed reading the fantasy stories because I have never read any fantasy by Niven. In fact, I didn't even know he'd written any. I was a little surprised when I started reading the first story and realized it wasn't actually sci fi, since one of my favorite parts of Niven's writing is how scientifically and mathematically sound it is. He was a professor of mathematics, so all his sci fi is firmly grounded in science. It adds a distinct note of realism to what would otherwise seem fantastical.

The lack of science or math in his fantasy does not seem to hinder his writing at all. The worlds he creates in fantasy are, as are his sci fi worlds, palpably real. They are thought out, complete, with histories and cultures. Reading Niven is so easy for me, I can fall right into his writing, despite its often technical subject matter. Once again, another Niven book to keep on my shelf.

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