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Man-Kzin Wars IX af Larry Niven

Man-Kzin Wars IX (original 2003; udgave 2003)

af Larry Niven (Creator)

Serier: Man-Kzin Wars (9), Known Space (6.09)

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingSamtaler
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New weapons, new strategies and new leaders - the Kzin (warcats supreme) are on the march again and those contemptible humans had better watch out. Once again, it's howling time in Known Space.
Titel:Man-Kzin Wars IX
Forfattere:Larry Niven (Creator)
Info:Baen (2003), 375 pages
Samlinger:Dit bibliotek

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Man-Kzin Wars IX af Larry Niven (Editor) (2003)


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Larry Niven has written numerous stories in the Known Space universe. The series can be broadly split into two groups: those that take place before mankind met the Kzin such as A Gift from Earth, and The Long ARM of Gil Hamilton (featuring, naturally, ARM agent Gil Hamilton), and those that take place afterwards, such as Crashlander (featuring Beowulf Schaeffer) and Ringworld.

Before humans met the Kzin, warfare had been purged - through rewriting history and complete control over the implements of war, an improbably powerful U.N. had pacified mankind to such an extent that those who would even consider punching someone in a bar are treated as being mentally ill. Having no contact with alien species, humanity adopted the theory that any race advanced enough to achieve interstellar space flight would, by necessity, have become pacifistic.

Then humans on a deep space mission on board the Angel's Pencil met the Kzin, a tiger-like race of violent predatory conquerors whose philosophy is summed up best as "scream and leap". The Kzin, assessing their opponents by means of a telepath who determined the humans had no weapons, expected an easy victory. Instead, one of the humans thought to use the ship's fusion drive to burn the Kzinti ship (the Kzinti use a super science reactionless "gravity planar" as their drive for their ships).

The Kzinti invaded Earth, expecting to quickly conquer the hairless monkeys who were timid enough to eat vegetables. They lost. Several Man-Kzin wars were fought, and although the Kzinti temporarily conquered some human colonies (most notably Wunderland), the Kzinti lost a series of increasingly lopsided conflicts.

Niven, in the first collection of the Man-Kzin Wars series, said he never felt up to the task of detailing the wars themselves. Hence, a shared world series of books in which multiple science-fiction authors were given the chance to flesh out this period of Known Space history.

This is the ninth book in the series. I've read seven of the previous eight. This one consists of four stories that are probably novella length each. I'll take each in turn:

Pele by Poul Anderson: This is part of a longer series of stories relating to the travails of the Saxtorphs, a Wunderlander family during and after the occupation of that world in the first Man-Kzin War who drew the attention of the Kzinti overlords due to the astronomical observations of a member of the family who was taken on a long term survey of an astronomical anomaly he found. This story takes place after the war, during a follow-up mission to the anomaly where a gas giant is falling into its sun. The Kzinti send a survey too, on the premise that the humans might figure out a way to make this into a weapon. The writing is pretty good, but the plot is weak, and the captain of the Kzinti survey ship does something suicidal and dies for no apparent reason. I'd say this is the weakest of the three stories.

His Sergeant's Honor by Hal Colebatch: This story follows the events immediately after the humans liberated Wunderland during the first Man-Kzin War. A Kzinti sergeant must adapt to the new reality that his people have been beaten and accept surrender, something so alien to the Kzinti that they don't even have a word for it that applies to themselves. To preserve his honor, the sergeant is faced with a number of choices: how to protect the offspring of the dead Kzinti admiral, how to protect human collaborators who swore oaths to serve his kind, and how to obey the order he is given not to die a hero's death, but instead survive. He has to contend with the lack of ability of his own remaining forces, the newly ascendant Wunderlander resistance out for blood, and of course, the U.N. fleet. I liked it.

Windows of the World by Paul Chafe: Another good story, set during the latter stages of the first Man-Kzin War during the U.N. administration of Wunderland and its asteroid belt the Serpent Swarm when the system was used as a forward base for attacking the Kzin Empire. The investigation of the grisly murder of a young woman leads ARM Captain Joel Allson to uncover a ring of criminals killing people for their body parts - a crime called "organlegging". The crime had almost died out due to advances in medical technology, but shortages caused by corruption, indifference, and war preparations drive a group of Wunderlander Isolationist terrorists to revive the practice. It is basically a "Gil the ARM" story set a couple hundred years later and moved to the Swarm. It is the best story in the volume.

Fly-By-Night by Larry Niven: This is a Beowulf Schaeffer story set after the fourth Man-Kzin War involving a Kzin telepath named Fly-By-Night who is supposed to be descended from a Kzin telepath who threw in with the Angel's Pencil crew and helped settle an out of the way world. A Kzinti warship overhauls the transport and takes Beowulf and Fly-By-Night prisoner, with the intent of forcing the telepath to work for the Kzin Empire (Kzin telepaths are not generally well-treated by the other Kzin, who addict them to drugs to improve their abilities). Beowulf and Fly-By-Night must free themselves and get help for the damaged transport.

Overall, this is a decent addition to the Man-Kzin Wars series. In a series this extensive (and in which the later history is constrained by previously published works), there isn't really a lot new that can be added, but it gives some good stories that don't cause contradictions, so I liked it. ( )
  StormRaven | Oct 6, 2008 |
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Forfatter navnRolleHvilken slags forfatterVærk?Status
Niven, LarryRedaktørprimær forfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Anderson, PoulBidragydermedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Chafe, PaulBidragydermedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Colebatch, HalBidragydermedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Hickman, StephenOmslagsfotograf/tegner/...medforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet

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New weapons, new strategies and new leaders - the Kzin (warcats supreme) are on the march again and those contemptible humans had better watch out. Once again, it's howling time in Known Space.

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