Aug 31, 2015

A Gift From Earth, by Larry Niven

It's been a while since I've picked up my favorite sci fi author, and it's good to be back in his universe. Niven represents and exemplifies the best aspect of science fiction: believable, feasible worlds built on hard science and the realities of human naturei - different enough to be alien, yet familiar enough to recognize and cause some mental discomfort at what we might become.

On Mount Lookitthat, the descendants of the crew who manned the ship that landed on the planet are an untouchable elite class, ruling over the colonist descendants by way of capital punishment for all crimes, leading directly to the organ banks, as well as a monopoly on machinery, mobility, and electrical power. When a ship from Earth comes bearing a great technological advance, it threatens to upset the entire social and political structure of Mount Lookitthat. Caught in the middle of all this is Matt Keller, 21-year-old virgin with a knack for making people forget he exists... Fascinating and funny and fun, Niven remains simply the best in the genre.

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