Larry Niven
Laurence van Cott Niven / ˈlæri ˈnɪvən/ (born April 30, 1938 in Los Angeles, California) is an American science fiction author. His best-known work is Ringworld
Ringworld is a Hugo, Nebula, and Locus award-winning 1970 science fiction novel by Larry Niven, set in his Known Space universe and considered a classic of science fiction literature. It is followed by three sequels, and preceded by four prequels, and ties into numerous other books set in Known Space...

 (1970), which received Hugo
Hugo Award for Best Novel
The Hugo Awards are given every year by the World Science Fiction Society for the best science fiction or fantasy works and achievements of the previous year. The award is named after Hugo Gernsback, the founder of the pioneering science fiction magazine Amazing Stories, and was once officially...

, Locus
Locus Award
The Locus Award is a literary award established in 1971 and presented to winners of Locus magazine's annual readers' poll. Currently, the Locus Awards are presented at an annual banquet...

, Ditmar
Ditmar Award
The Ditmar Award has been awarded annually since 1969 at the Australian National Science Fiction Convention to recognise achievement in Australian science fiction and science fiction fandom...

, and Nebula
Nebula Award for Best Novel
Winners of the Nebula Award for Best Novel, awarded by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. The stated year is that of publication; awards are given in the following year.- Winners and other nominees :...

 awards. His work is primarily hard science fiction
Hard science fiction
Hard science fiction is a category of science fiction characterized by an emphasis on scientific or technical detail, or on scientific accuracy, or on both. The term was first used in print in 1957 by P. Schuyler Miller in a review of John W. Campbell, Jr.'s Islands of Space in Astounding Science...

, using big science
Big Science
Big Science is a term used by scientists and historians of science to describe a series of changes in science which occurred in industrial nations during and after World War II, as scientific progress increasingly came to rely on large-scale projects usually funded by national governments or groups...

 concepts and theoretical physics. It also often includes elements of detective fiction
Detective fiction
Detective fiction is a sub-genre of crime fiction and mystery fiction in which an investigator , either professional or amateur, investigates a crime, often murder.-In ancient literature:...

 and adventure stories
Adventure novel
The adventure novel is a genre of novels that has adventure, an exciting undertaking involving risk and physical danger, as its main theme.-History:...

. His fantasy
Fantasy is a genre of fiction that commonly uses magic and other supernatural phenomena as a primary element of plot, theme, or setting. Many works within the genre take place in imaginary worlds where magic is common...

 includes the series The Magic Goes Away
The Magic Goes Away
The Magic Goes Away is a fantasy short story written by Larry Niven in 1976, and later expanded to a novella of the same name which was published in 1978...

, rational fantasy dealing with magic as a non-renewable resource
Non-renewable resource
A non-renewable resource is a natural resource which cannot be produced, grown, generated, or used on a scale which can sustain its consumption rate, once depleted there is no more available for future needs. Also considered non-renewable are resources that are consumed much faster than nature...


Anything you don't understand is dangerous until you do understand it.

"Flatlander" (1967), first published in If (March 1967)

That's the thing about people who think they hate computers ... What they really hate are lousy programmers.

Oath of Fealty (1982) (co-written with Jerry Pournelle)

Think of it as evolution in action.

Oath of Fealty (1982) (co-written with Jerry Pournelle)

God was knocking, and he wanted in bad.

Describing the sound inside a spacecraft nuclear pulse propulsion|propelled by nuclear explosions, in Footfall (1986)

Half of wisdom is learning what to unlearn.

The Ringworld Throne|The Ringworld Throne (1996)

Everything starts as somebody's daydream.

As quoted in Reader's Digest Quotable Quotes : Wit and Wisdom for All Occasions from America's Most Popular Magazine (1997) by Reader's Digest Association, p. 27

The Unexpected always comes at the most awkward times.

Scatterbrain (2003), p. 26

A ramrobot had been the first to see Mount Lookitthat. Ramrobots had been first visitors to all the settled worlds. The interstellar ramscoop robots, with an unrestricted fuel supply culled from interstellar hydrogen, could travel between stars at speeds approaching that of light.

First lines, Ch. 1 : The Ramrobot

Matthew Leiah Keller sat beneath a watershed tree and brooded. Other children played all around him, but they ignored Matt. So did two teachers on monitor duty. People usually ignored Matt when he wanted to be alone. Uncle Matt was gone. Gone to a fate so horrible that the adults wouldn't even talk about it.

Ch. 1 : The Ramrobot