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Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Living A Well-Sculpted Life

“Treat your life like something to be sculpted.” – Larry Niven

Born in Los Angeles on this date in 1938, Laurence van Cott Niven has been a full-time writer since the early 1960s, starting with a well-received short story “The Coldest Place.” Since then he has built a reputation as the world’s leading “Hard Sci-Fi” writer, especially for his worldwide bestselling series Ringworld.  Called by The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction “The most energetic future history series ever written,” Ringworld won the Hugo, Locus, Ditmar, and Nebula awards.

He has written 54 novels, several screenplays and television scripts, and dozens of short stories, novellas and stories for comics, winning numerous awards in the process.  Named by Arthur C Clarke as his favorite author, Niven likes using big science concepts and theoretical physics.   He also created several alien species, one of the best-known being The Kzin, featured in a series of 12 books collectively called “The Man-Kzin Wars.”  In addition to Sci-Fi and Fantasy, Niven often includes elements of the Detective Fiction and Adventure genres’ in his stories. 
                                        Over the course of his career Niven has put together a list of “Niven's Laws,” which he describes as “how the Universe works” as far as he can tell.   About the possibility of time travel, he said, “I'd  visit the near future, close enough that someone might want to talk to Larry Niven and can figure out the language; distant enough to get me decent medical techniques and a ticket to the Moon.”

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