History Creator / LarryNiven

17th Nov '17 3:44:55 AM Kalaong
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* XanatosGambit: In ''Beowulf's Children'' by Creator/LarryNiven, Jerry Pournelle and Steven Barnes, Aaron Tragon's theft of the transport ship ''Robo'' was a XanatosGambit. Aaron Tragon's primary goal is to force everyone to leave the island and colonize the mainland. If the theft was successful, good. If one of the adults died in the conflict, then it's hardball and Aaron gets a war -- also good. If one of Aaron's friends is killed, then he gets sympathy from the other colonists and he has the leverage he needs to start colonizing the mainland -- ''very'' good. Justin is horrified when he realizes this, because it meant Aaron took into account the possibility of a friend being killed and that he already planned how to take advantage of it. Even his "friends" are just pawns in Aaron's mind.

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* XanatosGambit: In ''Beowulf's Children'' by Creator/LarryNiven, Jerry Pournelle and Steven Barnes, Aaron Tragon's theft of the transport ship ''Robo'' was a XanatosGambit. Aaron Tragon's primary goal is to force everyone to leave establish a colony on the island and colonize mainland which he will rule. However, he saw all the mainland. angles;
##
If the theft was successful, good. It's more than enough to get the ball rolling, and once he's ''there'''... See option #3.
##
If one of the adults died in the conflict, then it's hardball and Aaron gets a war -- also good. If even better, as most of Aaron's age group -- already antagonised at having to follow the adults' orders despite all of them having varying amounts of intelligence-crippling ''brain damage'' -- would support such a war.
##If
one of Aaron's friends is killed, then he gets sympathy from the other colonists and he has the leverage he needs to start colonizing the mainland with their support, that's the "have your cake and eat it too" scenario, as he has evidence that the planet is about to undergo catastrophic climate change and a mainland colony is ''essential'' to the survival of humanity -- ''very'' good. Justin and he already ''tried'' to share that evidence but was ''[[NotNowKiddo waved off]]''. Especially since he waits to show this evidence until ''after'' the adults hold a show trial and legitimize the killing. The adults are humiliated as insular and senile, Aaron's generation lionizes him, and best of all, a wedge is driven between them, leaving Aaron's peers under Aaron's control.
**Cadmann Wayland -- the man who prevented the theft by making the kill --
is horrified when he realizes this, because it meant Aaron took into account the possibility of a friend being killed and that he already planned how to take advantage of it. Even his "friends" are just pawns in Aaron's mind. Other adults point out that won't stop Aaron's peers from adoring him; he rose to power in ''his'' generation through similar means -- an IgnoredExpert who is accused of murder rather than acknowledging a threat -- and he's still an authority decades later.
9th Nov '17 12:11:58 PM Kalaong
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* TooDumbToLive: In ''Oath of Fealty'', the plot is initiated by a group of teenagers who, as a prank, try to sneak into a heavily surveillance filled arcology while carrying a box labeled "bomb". They take ''just enough'' precautions to defeat all of the ''non''lethal methods of stopping them. The abject stupidity of this act is very heavily {{lampshade|Hanging}}d, and spawns the repeated phrase "Think of it as evolution in action." At one point they even break through a door which has a sign that warns, "If you enter here YOU WILL DIE!" Among other skull and crossbones-type warnings.

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* TooDumbToLive: TooCleverByHalf: In ''Oath of Fealty'', the plot is initiated by a group of teenagers who, as a prank, try to sneak into a heavily surveillance filled arcology {{Arcology}} while carrying a box labeled "bomb". They take ''just enough'' precautions to defeat all of the ''non''lethal methods of stopping them. The abject stupidity of this act is very heavily {{lampshade|Hanging}}d, and spawns the repeated phrase "Think of it as evolution in action." At one Just to rub it in, their chosen point they even break through of entry is a door which has with a sign that warns, "If you enter here skull-and-crossbones over the words, "IF YOU GO THROUGH THIS DOOR, YOU WILL DIE!" Among other skull and crossbones-type warnings.BE KILLED." In English, Spanish, Japanese, Chinese, ''and'' Korean.
** [[spoiler:Justified in that they're the ''decoys''. Their AnimalWrongsGroup backers wanted to start a media brouhaha about the restricted community killing kids with the lethal defenses they have protecting the most vital systems; for example, the hydrogen lines -- y'known, the stuff that could very possibly blow up like a fuel-air explosive -- were protected with Sarin gas sprayers. As a result of the decoy attack, the outside government forces the arcology to dismantle their best defenses, clearing the way for the AWG to make a ''real'' attack]].
27th Oct '17 5:29:11 PM dlchen145
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A prolific writer of SpeculativeFiction, Larry Niven is best known for TheVerse of Literature/KnownSpace, a very vast and detailed universe, which includes ''Literature/{{Ringworld}}'' and its sequels (which were one of the inspirations for [[VideoGame/{{Halo}} a certain Xbox Launch title which was an FPS...]]) ; the mysteries of Gil the ARM; the Man-Kzin Wars, which ended up a professional RoundRobin; the voyages of Beowulf Shaeffer; the adventures of Louis Wu; the human-ancestral Pak Protectors and the {{Precursors}} known as the Slavers. Known Space is notable for the many biologically plausible StarfishAliens which neither look nor ''think'' like humans.

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A prolific writer of SpeculativeFiction, Larry Laurence van Cott Niven is (born April 30, 1938)is best known for TheVerse of Literature/KnownSpace, a very vast and detailed universe, which includes ''Literature/{{Ringworld}}'' and its sequels (which were one of the inspirations for [[VideoGame/{{Halo}} a certain Xbox Launch title which was an FPS...]]) ; the mysteries of Gil the ARM; the Man-Kzin Wars, which ended up a professional RoundRobin; the voyages of Beowulf Shaeffer; the adventures of Louis Wu; the human-ancestral Pak Protectors and the {{Precursors}} known as the Slavers. Known Space is notable for the many biologically plausible StarfishAliens which neither look nor ''think'' like humans.
25th Oct '17 1:35:29 AM PaulA
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* ''Literature/TheFlyingSorcerers'' (with David Gerrold)



* AlienSky: ''The Flying Sorcerers'' is set on a planet with two suns (a big red one and small blue one that orbits it) and no less than ''eleven'' moons ("...three body formation makes capture easy..."), as a plot point. The system also has no other planets and is inside a giant dust cloud, so there are no visible stars, although the formations of the moons are observed in a similar way to how we observe constellations.



* CurseOfTheAncients: In ''The Flying Sorcerers'', we get to hear the traveller's translator-recorder's version of what he is really saying when he discovers the locals have sabotaged his spaceship.



* FasterThanLightTravel: In ''The Flying Sorcerers'', the astronaut's attempt to explain to the stone age natives how he got to their planet implies some kind of warp drive: "I went around... the distance".



* HumansThroughAlienEyes: ''The Flying Sorcerers'' has a human on an alien planet. The story is told from an alien's point of view and the cultural differences are PlayedForLaughs.



* OhMyGods: ''The Flying Sorcerers'' is a comedy in which most of the names are shoutouts to creators in the science fiction world. The two suns are [[Creator/HGWells Ouells]] and [[Creator/JulesVerne Virn]], there's [[Literature/DragonridersOfPern Caff the goddess of dragons]], [[Franchise/StarTrek Rot'n'bair]] the God of Sheep and his arch-enemy [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nielsen_ratings Nilsn]], [[Film/TheBirds Hitch the god of birds]], and [[Creator/HarlanEllison Elcin]], the "great and tiny god of thunder, lightning and loud noises."



* PlanetOfSteves: In ''The Flying Sorcerers'', the native women originally did not have names. When the wizard Purple started giving them names, this raised a furor among the men (because having names made the women vulnerable to sorcery), but the women did not want to go back to being nameless. The solution was to give all the women the same name: Missa.
25th Oct '17 12:38:29 AM PaulA
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Niven's other notable work includes ''The Integral Trees'' and its sequels, ''Literature/AWorldOutOfTime'' which examines the implications of slower-than-light relativistic travel used as a form of TimeTravel, and the {{Fantasy}} series of ''Literature/TheMagicGoesAway'' ([[TropeNamer Namer]] of [[TheMagicGoesAway that trope]]). He also wrote the influential ''[[http://www.rawbw.com/~svw/superman.html Man Of Steel, Woman Of Kleenex]]'', referenced often in geek culture, and some of the backstory for the post-ComicBook/CrisisOnInfiniteEarths GreenLantern [[TheChosenMany Corps]] origins.

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Niven's other notable work includes ''The Integral Trees'' ''Literature/TheIntegralTrees'' and its sequels, ''Literature/AWorldOutOfTime'' which examines the implications of slower-than-light relativistic travel used as a form of TimeTravel, and the {{Fantasy}} series of ''Literature/TheMagicGoesAway'' ([[TropeNamer Namer]] of [[TheMagicGoesAway that trope]]). He also wrote the influential ''[[http://www.rawbw.com/~svw/superman.html Man Of Steel, Woman Of Kleenex]]'', referenced often in geek culture, and some of the backstory for the post-ComicBook/CrisisOnInfiniteEarths GreenLantern [[TheChosenMany Corps]] origins.



* ''Literature/TheIntegralTrees'' series



* AlienSky:
** ''The Flying Sorcerers'' is set on a planet with two suns (a big red one and small blue one that orbits it) and no less than ''eleven'' moons ("...three body formation makes capture easy..."), as a plot point. The system also has no other planets and is inside a giant dust cloud, so there are no visible stars, although the formations of the moons are observed in a similar way to how we observe constellations.
** ''The Integral Trees'' is, if anything, more bizarre. The "planet" ''is'' the sky. The Ring is a (mostly) gas torus from a supermassive gas giant in close orbit around a neutron star, which is a binary with a yellow dwarf.

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* AlienSky:
**
AlienSky: ''The Flying Sorcerers'' is set on a planet with two suns (a big red one and small blue one that orbits it) and no less than ''eleven'' moons ("...three body formation makes capture easy..."), as a plot point. The system also has no other planets and is inside a giant dust cloud, so there are no visible stars, although the formations of the moons are observed in a similar way to how we observe constellations.
** ''The Integral Trees'' is, if anything, more bizarre. The "planet" ''is'' the sky. The Ring is a (mostly) gas torus from a supermassive gas giant in close orbit around a neutron star, which is a binary with a yellow dwarf.
constellations.



* AmazonBrigade: In ''The Integral Trees'', the Triune Squads are made up of [[CelibateHero women who refuse to marry]], women who [[HideYourLesbians love women]], or those who are [[GenderBender "women" by courtesy only]]. They are sent to patrol the Trunk, a hazardous and seemingly pointless duty, to make up for not doing their "real" duty to the tribe [[StayInTheKitchen by providing children]].



* FloatingWater: In ''The Integral Trees'' and ''The Smoke Ring'', "Ponds" are spheres of water floating in midair, due to the near-complete lack of gravity.



* HoldYourHippogriffs: In ''The Integral Trees'', several characters use the expression "feed the tree," which means, "The words you are saying are a commonly used form of natural fertilizer."



* ImprovisedMicrogravityManeuvering: In ''The Integral Trees'', the tree-dwellers occasionally use high pressure "spitter" seedpods (that shoot seeds out once they are broken open on one end) as rocket motors.



* {{Lightworlder}}: In the setting of ''The Integral Trees'' and ''The Smoke Ring'', the inhabitants of Integral Trees are somewhat taller and slimmer than Earth people, but they are strong, tough Heavyworlders compared to people from the rest of the Smoke Ring. The tidal forces acting on the trees provides at least a little simulated gravity, but everyone else grows up in zero-G. One character, often referred to as a "dwarf", actually has an Earth-normal build; he's described as "monstrously strong" and is the only person who can wear one of the original spacesuits.
* LostColony: ''The Integral Trees'' series has a lost colony without a planet.
* MamasBabyPapasMaybe: Becomes an issue for two characters in ''The Integral Trees'' and ''The Smoke Ring''. After one female character is used as a SexSlave, her husband can't accept her child as his [[spoiler:until learning that the child inherited a respiratory problem from Mom's husband/his true father]].
* MetalPoorPlanet: In ''The Integral Trees'', there is effectively no metal whatsoever in the Gas Torus where a LostColony of humanity is located; as such, all materials are made from local wood from the [[WorldInTheSky kilometer-long trees in the gas torus]] spinning around the neutron star. What little metal there is has been recycled endlessly from what the colonists brought with them.



* SapientShip: A sapient ship with an AI based on Peersa the Checker (a character in ''Literature/AWorldOutOfTime'') is a character in the ''Smoke Ring'' novels.



* TheSkyIsAnOcean: ''The Integral Trees'' is set in a thin, orbiting band of breathable air; the sky literally is an ocean, since there is no actual planet one can set foot on.



* SpacePeople: ''The Integral Trees'' and ''The Smoke Ring'' feature the descendants of stranded astronauts who live in a cloud surrounding a star. They are extremely tall (around 3m) and slim and have elongated toes, as well as a high infant mortality rate due to the lack of gravity.
* SpaceWhale: ''The Integral Trees'' has the Moby, a whalish giant creature that lives within the breatheable Smoke Ring gas torus orbiting a dead neutron star.



* WorldInTheSky: An unusual, real-physics variation occurs in ''The Integral Trees'', set in the "smoke ring": The smoke ring is a toroidal cloud of gas and matter which orbits a very low-output neutron star, which in turn orbits a sun-like star in a binary configuration. It includes a ring of breathable atmosphere, in which reside a number of flying plants and animals, including some humans who've "gone native".
* WorldShapes: ''The Integral Trees'' takes place in the "Smoke Ring", a 'world' which is just a breathable ring of gas around a neutron star.
24th Oct '17 7:46:31 PM PaulA
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Niven's other notable work includes ''The Integral Trees'' and its sequels, ''A World Out Of Time'' which examines the implications of slower-than-light relativistic travel used as a form of TimeTravel, and the {{Fantasy}} series of ''Literature/TheMagicGoesAway'' ([[TropeNamer Namer]] of [[TheMagicGoesAway that trope]]). He also wrote the influential ''[[http://www.rawbw.com/~svw/superman.html Man Of Steel, Woman Of Kleenex]]'', referenced often in geek culture, and some of the backstory for the post-ComicBook/CrisisOnInfiniteEarths GreenLantern [[TheChosenMany Corps]] origins.

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Niven's other notable work includes ''The Integral Trees'' and its sequels, ''A World Out Of Time'' ''Literature/AWorldOutOfTime'' which examines the implications of slower-than-light relativistic travel used as a form of TimeTravel, and the {{Fantasy}} series of ''Literature/TheMagicGoesAway'' ([[TropeNamer Namer]] of [[TheMagicGoesAway that trope]]). He also wrote the influential ''[[http://www.rawbw.com/~svw/superman.html Man Of Steel, Woman Of Kleenex]]'', referenced often in geek culture, and some of the backstory for the post-ComicBook/CrisisOnInfiniteEarths GreenLantern [[TheChosenMany Corps]] origins.




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* ''Literature/AWorldOutOfTime''



* AfraidOfNeedles: The protagonist of ''A World out of Time'' died of cancer before the book begins ([[HumanPopsicle he got better]]). He reflects on how that experience cured him of any fear of needles.
* AgonyBeam: In ''A World Out Of Time'', there is Mirelly-Lyra Zeelashisthar's silver cane, which can inflict crippling ''emotional'' pain. It was designed by a world-conquering State as a [[TwoPlusTortureMakesFive conditioning]] tool for recalcitrant slaves. A highly effective one, too; the protagonist is so traumatized by the experience that just ''looking'' at Mirelly terrifies him.
-->It wasn’t physical, this agony. It was sorrow and helpless rage and guilt. He wanted to die.



** In ''A World Out of Time'', Niven gives us an Earth that has been moved to orbit Jupiter, because [[spoiler:a planet was dropped into the Sun during an interstellar war, making Earth's former orbit uninhabitably hot]].



* ColdSleepColdFuture: In ''A World Out of Time'', the protagonist is revived into an authoritarian world. He's expected to earn his new lease on life by piloting a sublight interstellar mission. If he fails to qualify, they'll erase his brain pattern from the body (of a condemned criminal, executed by brainwipe) he's using and try again with the next HumanPopsicle.
* ColonyDrop: In ''A World Out of Time'', Earth develops extra-solar colonies, and they eventually go to war. By throwing planets at each other. Earth's colonies drop a gas giant into the sun, which causes it to heat up and kill most life on Earth and eventually become a red giant star. Lots of moving planets around follows, with the Earth eventually ending up as a satellite of Jupiter.
* CompoundInterestTimeTravelGambit: An unlucky HumanPopsicle in ''A World Out of Time'' attempts this but finds out the hard way that the courts of his time ruled those like him could not own property and thus the assets he set up for himself were long gone.



* GeneticMemory: Before the "RNA memory" theory was discredited, Niven used it as a teaching device in his short story "Rammer" and its novel expansion, ''A World Out of Time''.



* HumanPopsicle:
** ''World Out of Time'', and other short stories and novels in the same setting, involve "corpsicles" revived in an unfriendly future. Most of the time their legal rights are severely curtailed, since they usually have run out of the money that was paying to keep them frozen and lack any kind of relevant work skills.
** ''The Legacy of Heorot'' and ''Beowulf's Children'' features a crew of interstellar colonists who discover too late the drawbacks of the freezing process they used.

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* HumanPopsicle:
** ''World Out of Time'', and other short stories and novels in the same setting, involve "corpsicles" revived in an unfriendly future. Most of the time their legal rights are severely curtailed, since they usually have run out of the money that was paying to keep them frozen and lack any kind of relevant work skills.
**
HumanPopsicle: ''The Legacy of Heorot'' and ''Beowulf's Children'' features a crew of interstellar colonists who discover too late the drawbacks of the freezing process they used.



* LadyLand: In ''A World Out of Time'', an immortality treatment that only worked on the prepubescent results in a population of immortals who, biologically arrested and not needing each other for the continuance of the species, split into Boys and Girls and form two entirely separate and occasionally warring societies (both implied to be screwed up equally, but in different ways).



* LongevityTreatment: ''A World Out of Time'' has an immortality treatment for adults that involves removing impurities from the body.



* NeverLand: ''A World Out of Time'' features an immortality treatment that only works on pre-pubescents. The far future Earth is ruled by the Boys, who exterminated the Girls, and then seem to enjoy living a tribal hunter-gatherer existence with stone-age technology, though they fully understand and routinely repair more complicated devices. Adults are basically slaves kept to breed more Boys.



* OneWorldOrder:
** In the stories of Svetz the time traveler. The "[=SecGen=]" is apparently the absolute monarch of humanity, but the current [=SecGen=] (the product of centuries of inbreeding) is a grown man with the mind of a small child. The actual control of the government rests with those who are most successful at bureaucratic infighting and at cajoling the [=SecGen=] into approving their decisions.
** The State in ''A World Out of Time''.

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* OneWorldOrder:
**
OneWorldOrder: In the stories of Svetz the time traveler. The "[=SecGen=]" is apparently the absolute monarch of humanity, but the current [=SecGen=] (the product of centuries of inbreeding) is a grown man with the mind of a small child. The actual control of the government rests with those who are most successful at bureaucratic infighting and at cajoling the [=SecGen=] into approving their decisions.
** The State in ''A World Out of Time''.
decisions.



* PopulationControl:
** In ''A World Out of Time'', the State has become a OneWorldOrder where IndividualityIsIllegal, and only massive fusion-powered desalinators on every shoreline can provide enough fresh water for the massive population. A few generations back, the State instituted compulsory sterilization for all those with harmful genes, both for eugenic reasons, to save money on heath care, and to slow the rapid population growth.
** In ''Saturn's Race'', the world discovered that a vaccine distributed throughout the third world nations twenty years prior had the deliberate side-effect of causing sterility in the children born to the inoculated.
* RagnarokProofing: ''A World Out Of Time'' has high-tech devices, including a network of [[TeleportersAndTransporters teleport booths]], {{Flying Car}}s, automated house-manufacturing units, and medical technology still functioning after ''three million'' years. The setting does have [[TimeStandsStill temporal stasis]] technology, so may be Justified.

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* PopulationControl:
** In ''A World Out of Time'', the State has become a OneWorldOrder where IndividualityIsIllegal, and only massive fusion-powered desalinators on every shoreline can provide enough fresh water for the massive population. A few generations back, the State instituted compulsory sterilization for all those with harmful genes, both for eugenic reasons, to save money on heath care, and to slow the rapid population growth.
**
PopulationControl: In ''Saturn's Race'', the world discovered that a vaccine distributed throughout the third world nations twenty years prior had the deliberate side-effect of causing sterility in the children born to the inoculated.
* RagnarokProofing: ''A World Out Of Time'' has high-tech devices, including a network of [[TeleportersAndTransporters teleport booths]], {{Flying Car}}s, automated house-manufacturing units, and medical technology still functioning after ''three million'' years. The setting does have [[TimeStandsStill temporal stasis]] technology, so may be Justified.
inoculated.



* RamScoop: The starship in "Rammer" and its novel expansion ''A World Out of Time''.



* ReallySevenHundredYearsOld: Jerome Corbell, the hero of ''A World Out of Time'', starts the story waking up after spending 220 years in suspended animation. By the end of the novel, because of time-dilation caused by a close encounter with a black hole, he's at least five billion years old.



* SapientShip: The "State" future history has two separate instances of a sapient ship with an AI based on Peersa the Checker. First, in ''A World out of Time'' [[spoiler:an escaping corpsicle's ramship is taken over by beaming a recording of the mind of his jailer at the ship over and over again]]. Later, another ship carrying the mind of Peersa is a character in the ''Smoke Ring'' novels.

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* SapientShip: The "State" future history has two separate instances of a A sapient ship with an AI based on Peersa the Checker. First, Checker (a character in ''A World out of Time'' [[spoiler:an escaping corpsicle's ramship is taken over by beaming a recording of the mind of his jailer at the ship over and over again]]. Later, another ship carrying the mind of Peersa ''Literature/AWorldOutOfTime'') is a character in the ''Smoke Ring'' novels.



* SpaceAmish: In ''A World Out Of Time'', the far-future immortal Boys spend the antarctic summer living as nomadic Stone Age hunters, but return to their high-tech cities during the unending darkness of the polar winter.



* TeenageWasteland: In the latter part of ''A World Out Of Time'', most of the Earth is ruled by immortal boy-children who keep a supply of grown-ups around as breeding stock. (The immortal girl-children were wiped out by a gender war and environmental changes making their territory uninhabitable.) All new boy-children are taken from the adults and join troupes of the immortal boys; the ones that demonstrate "superior qualities" are sent back to the adults to become new breeding adults, while the rest become immortal and stay boys forever. Girls remain with the adults and grow into new breeding adults. Both the boys and girls are depicted as cruel despots, but not because of their "youth"; most are far older than the adults and have the mentalities to match. They're cruel because they're powerful, ancient immortals, and cruelty is how they alleviate their boredom.
* {{Teleportation}}:
** The practical ramifications of easy teleportation are explored in the essay "The Theory and Practice of Teleportation" and a series of short stories including "Flash Crowd" and "The Alibi Machine", some of which are collected in ''A Hole in Space''.
** The otherwise hard-science ''A World out of Time'' includes teleporting booths; they are innately short-range and require a long, unbroken string of booths to travel long distances.

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* TeenageWasteland: In the latter part of ''A World Out Of Time'', most of the Earth is ruled by immortal boy-children who keep a supply of grown-ups around as breeding stock. (The immortal girl-children were wiped out by a gender war and environmental changes making their territory uninhabitable.) All new boy-children are taken from the adults and join troupes of the immortal boys; the ones that demonstrate "superior qualities" are sent back to the adults to become new breeding adults, while the rest become immortal and stay boys forever. Girls remain with the adults and grow into new breeding adults. Both the boys and girls are depicted as cruel despots, but not because of their "youth"; most are far older than the adults and have the mentalities to match. They're cruel because they're powerful, ancient immortals, and cruelty is how they alleviate their boredom.
* {{Teleportation}}:
**
{{Teleportation}}: The practical ramifications of easy teleportation are explored in the essay "The Theory and Practice of Teleportation" and a series of short stories including "Flash Crowd" and "The Alibi Machine", some of which are collected in ''A Hole in Space''.
** The otherwise hard-science ''A World out of Time'' includes teleporting booths; they are innately short-range and require a long, unbroken string of booths to travel long distances.
Space''.



* {{Terraform}}: In ''A World Out Of Time'', delivering biological terraforming packages to suitable extrasolar planets is the job given to the corpsicle Corbell.



* TheWarOfEarthlyAggression: In ''A World Out of Time'', Earth tries to assert its influence on the extrasolar colonies it has seeded. They then go to war by firing relativistic projectiles at each other.
23rd Oct '17 8:36:56 PM PaulA
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* ''Literature/TheDracoTavern'' series



* AIIsACrapshoot: Played with in "The Schumann Computer", one of the Draco Tavern stories. Schumann asks an alien if their (much older) species ever developed an AI. She returns the next day with the plans for the most sophisticated computer their species ever developed. Schumann gets some investors together and builds the computer on the Moon so it will be isolated, but the trope appears to be played straight as the MasterComputer manipulates them into granting it more and more power and sensors... [[spoiler:then one day it just shuts down. Schumann is commiserating over the loss of his investment with some aliens in his tavern; they say the alien who gave him the plans is a notorious practical joker. Apparently the reason AI doesn't work is that the computer advances so fast it solves every question in the universe and, having no further purpose, shuts down.]]



* ArtificialMeat: The Draco Tavern story "Assimilating Our Culture, That's What They're Doing!" not only features meat cultures grown from humans, but the aliens growing the human meat paid lavish royalties to the human cell donors -- who were ''still'' upset about it.



* TheBartender: The central character of the Draco Tavern stories is the bartender at the eponymous tavern, which caters to alien travelers at Earth's main spaceport. He gets to hear a lot of weird stories.



* BizarreAlienPsychology: Most of the alien races in the Draco Tavern stories are this, to varying degrees. The Chirps are either benign despots or monumental liars, and no-one has any real idea which; the Gligstithoptok breed human meat in hydroponic tanks for food, but have a strict taboo against actual killing; the Folk lease areas for hunting and are good company afterwards, but too dangerous to approach beforehand; Bazin either has a profound philosophy or is basically an inter-galactic stuntman; and so it goes on.
* BizarreSexualDimorphism: In the ''Draco Tavern'' stories, all the Chirpsithra were female. There are males, but the Chirpsithra won't talk about them. In one of the stories, the Chirp males are revealed. [[spoiler:They're the "red demons", essentially mindless beasts.]]



* BlueAndOrangeMorality: In the Draco Tavern story "Assimilating Our Culture, That's What They're Doing!", a crewman from the first embassy ship to an alien homeworld reveals that when the aliens took DNA samples it wasn't for pure scientific purposes: they grow brainless human clones as a food delicacy. The UN quietly accepts royalties, and some of the crew members later kill themselves.



* EarthAllAlong: In one of the Draco Tavern stories, the chirpsithtra remember a civilization they met millions of years ago, whose planet was undergoing geological upheaval, and a green blight was taking over the oceans, converting much of their atmosphere into oxygen. This killed them off in the end, but created the conditions necessary for us and (almost) everything else we know.



* EndlessDaytime: In the Draco Tavern series, the home planet of the alien Chirpscithra is tidally locked. The species evolved in the "twilight region" around the planet's terminator zone.



* ExploitedImmunity: In one ''Draco Tavern'' story, the bartender is infected with a PuppeteerParasite sentient virus. It warns his friends that there's no way to get rid of it without killing the bartender too, only to be [[ShuttingUpNow told that it's treatable with sulfa drugs]] (which would destroy the virus without harming the bartender).



* GoMadFromTheRevelation: In the Draco Tavern story "The Subject Is Closed", one of the tavern's visitors describes how one alien race claimed to have discovered the truth about the afterlife. This is the last that was heard from them, and visitors to their world discovered that they had systematically committed mass suicide. It was later decided to destroy the detailed records of what was found, because those who studied them too closely also committed suicide.



* InnBetweenTheWorlds: The Draco Tavern is a pub in Earth's main spaceport, equipped for a very diverse range of customers.



* InterspeciesRomance: The Draco Tavern series contributes to the subject in the short story "Breeding Maze". Another story from that setting, "Smut Talk", also counts, as it explores the possibility of a sexually transmitted AlienInvasion.
* InYourNatureToDestroyYourselves: In the Draco Tavern story "War Movie", a ship full of alien explorers came across Earth and made recordings of several battles during UsefulNotes/WorldWarII. The recordings made them rich, so they came back to Earth to film more "war stories", knowing that such a warlike species as ours would eventually nuke ourselves back to the stone age. When we didn't, the alien film producers were forced into bankruptcy.



* NothingLeftToDoButDie: In the Draco Tavern story "The Schumann Computer", the title AI shuts itself down because it's solved every possible problem. The builders/investors are then told that this eventually happens to ''every'' AI.



* PeopleFarms: Played with in the Draco's Tavern short story "Assimilating Our Culture, That's What They're Doing". The alien race in that story enjoys eating humans and other sentient species, but is horrified at the very idea of taking sentient life. So they grow human bodies without functional brains in vats and then eat those.



* TimeAbyss: Several of the Draco Tavern stories deal with this:
** "Cautionary Tale" has an alien over ten thousand years old on a fruitless search for immortality.
** "The Death Addict"'s danger-seeking alien doesn't have a specific age given, but he's afraid of living long enough to be "the last cluster of protons in the universe".
** The Chirpsithra have immense lifespans: one in "The Green Plague" is almost two billion -- though relativistic Time Dilation makes her subjective age somewhat less -- and visited Earth before its atmosphere had oxygen.
* TheseAreThingsManWasNotMeantToKnow: A Draco Tavern story, "The Subject Is Closed", involves a priest asking one of the ubiquitous Chirpsithtra (who seem to know everything about anything) about the existence of God. The Chirp responds with a story of a race of beings who set about to prove the non/existence of an afterlife. The Chirps lost contact with them and the next time a trade ship visited, they found the entire race had calmly and orderly committed suicide. Whatever they had discovered, it was something that had convinced the entire race they were better off dead, and something the Chirps were not particularly interested in knowing. Rick later explained relating this particular story was the Chirp's way of politely saying "none of your business."
* TimeDissonance: In the Draco Tavern series, the different rates of different types of chemistry result in vastly different metabolisms and perceptions of time. Helium 3 lifeforms have such a slow chemistry that electronic communication is the only way to talk to them, and even a simple conversation takes decades. Their movement is just as slow. Meanwhile, lifeforms that evolved ''on'' stars are on the other end of the scale, living less than a year, and regard carbon based humans as equally slow. For non-chemistry forms of the trope, in the story "Limits", aliens advanced enough to have immortality discuss whether or not to give the secret to humans, one side arguing that our brief lives have resulted in humans advancing much faster than other longer lived lifeforms, and more importantly discovering things they have not.

to:

* TimeAbyss: Several of the Draco Tavern stories deal with this:
**
"Cautionary Tale" has an alien over ten thousand years old on a fruitless search for immortality.
** "The Death Addict"'s danger-seeking alien doesn't have a specific age given, but he's afraid of living long enough to be "the last cluster of protons in the universe".
** The Chirpsithra have immense lifespans: one in "The Green Plague" is almost two billion -- though relativistic Time Dilation makes her subjective age somewhat less -- and visited Earth before its atmosphere had oxygen.
* TheseAreThingsManWasNotMeantToKnow: A Draco Tavern story, "The Subject Is Closed", involves a priest asking one of the ubiquitous Chirpsithtra (who seem to know everything about anything) about the existence of God. The Chirp responds with a story of a race of beings who set about to prove the non/existence of an afterlife. The Chirps lost contact with them and the next time a trade ship visited, they found the entire race had calmly and orderly committed suicide. Whatever they had discovered, it was something that had convinced the entire race they were better off dead, and something the Chirps were not particularly interested in knowing. Rick later explained relating this particular story was the Chirp's way of politely saying "none of your business."
* TimeDissonance: In the Draco Tavern series, the different rates of different types of chemistry result in vastly different metabolisms and perceptions of time. Helium 3 lifeforms have such a slow chemistry that electronic communication is the only way to talk to them, and even a simple conversation takes decades. Their movement is just as slow. Meanwhile, lifeforms that evolved ''on'' stars are on the other end of the scale, living less than a year, and regard carbon based humans as equally slow. For non-chemistry forms of the trope, in the story "Limits", aliens advanced enough to have immortality discuss whether or not to give the secret to humans, one side arguing that our brief lives have resulted in humans advancing much faster than other longer lived lifeforms, and more importantly discovering things they have not.
immortality.



* ToServeMan: The Draco Tavern story "Assimilating Our Culture, That's What They're Doing!" plays with this idea differently: Instead of eating the original people, the brilliant alien bioengineers that asked them to visit grow cloned tissue in tanks (up to a whole, headless body), and give a small percentage of the sale price to the Earth government to pay for marvelous new technologies. Some of the people thus cultivated take it better than others.



* WarForFunAndProfit: In "War Movie", one of the Draco Tavern stories, [[TheBartender Rick Schumann]] and a female soldier encounter an alien DrowningMySorrows before returning to his homeworld as a bankrupt failure. Apparently a spacecraft from his species came to Earth in the middle of UsefulNotes/WorldWarII. Amazed at what they were seeing, they filmed as much of the action as they could from orbit and returned to their world to sell it for a modest profit. They then raised capital to finance a FirstContact mission and returned to Earth, planting secret cameras on the ground to get even better footage when WorldWarIII broke out. It never did -- worse, the psychological and material changes caused by First Contact meant that humans no longer had any major conflicts other than an occasional riot or act of terrorism. Afterwards the soldier asks whether they should tell people about this. Schumann advises her to keep quiet, otherwise [[HumansAreBastards some unscrupulous dictatorship might get the idea of starting a war in exchange for a percentage of the profits]].
16th Oct '17 12:25:16 AM PaulA
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16th Oct '17 12:25:02 AM PaulA
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Added DiffLines:

* AgonyBeam: In ''A World Out Of Time'', there is Mirelly-Lyra Zeelashisthar's silver cane, which can inflict crippling ''emotional'' pain. It was designed by a world-conquering State as a [[TwoPlusTortureMakesFive conditioning]] tool for recalcitrant slaves. A highly effective one, too; the protagonist is so traumatized by the experience that just ''looking'' at Mirelly terrifies him.
-->It wasn’t physical, this agony. It was sorrow and helpless rage and guilt. He wanted to die.
12th Oct '17 11:46:49 PM PaulA
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* TheAirNotThere: One of the hazards discussed in the essay "Exercise in Speculation: The Theory and Practice of Teleportation" is the fact that 'thin air' is really swarming with molecules that could do some serious damage if you suddenly found yourself co-existing with them.
* TheAlibi: "The Alibi Machine": What happens to police investigations when quick and easy teleportation makes it possible to hop across the country and back in the same time it takes to step out to use the washroom? Suddenly there's no such thing as an alibi anymore.



* TheBartender: The central character of the Draco Tavern stories is the bartender at the eponymous tavern, which caters to alien travelers at Earth's main spaceport. He gets to hear a lot of weird stories.



* InYourNatureToDestroyYourselves: In the Draco Tavern story "War Stories", a ship full of alien explorers came across Earth and made recordings of several battles during UsefulNotes/WorldWarII. The recordings made them rich, so they came back to Earth to film more "war stories", knowing that such a warlike species as ours would eventually nuke ourselves back to the stone age. When we didn't, the alien film producers were forced into bankruptcy.

to:

* InYourNatureToDestroyYourselves: In the Draco Tavern story "War Stories", Movie", a ship full of alien explorers came across Earth and made recordings of several battles during UsefulNotes/WorldWarII. The recordings made them rich, so they came back to Earth to film more "war stories", knowing that such a warlike species as ours would eventually nuke ourselves back to the stone age. When we didn't, the alien film producers were forced into bankruptcy.


Added DiffLines:

* TheSkyIsAnOcean: ''The Integral Trees'' is set in a thin, orbiting band of breathable air; the sky literally is an ocean, since there is no actual planet one can set foot on.
* TheSlowPath: The protagonists of ''Rainbow Mars'' travel back in time hundreds of years using instantaneous time travel but lose access to it for the return trip. Instead, they use a stasis device to return to their own time, popping into reality here and there to inadvertently spawn ancient legends, including that of Baba Yaga.


Added DiffLines:

* TheseAreThingsManWasNotMeantToKnow: A Draco Tavern story, "The Subject Is Closed", involves a priest asking one of the ubiquitous Chirpsithtra (who seem to know everything about anything) about the existence of God. The Chirp responds with a story of a race of beings who set about to prove the non/existence of an afterlife. The Chirps lost contact with them and the next time a trade ship visited, they found the entire race had calmly and orderly committed suicide. Whatever they had discovered, it was something that had convinced the entire race they were better off dead, and something the Chirps were not particularly interested in knowing. Rick later explained relating this particular story was the Chirp's way of politely saying "none of your business."


Added DiffLines:

* UterineReplicator: A key plot element in ''Beowulf's Children''. Tau Ceti is colonized mostly by Human Popsicles and their descendants, but artificial wombs were provided just in case the women had trouble conceiving on an alien world. The colonists produced a creche of "Bottle Babies" before settling into producing them the old-fashioned way; some of them grow up seriously disturbed due to issues with the biochemical stimulation in the bottles. One in particular is the major antagonist of the novel.
* VirginPower: In "The Flight of the Horse", time traveler Hanville Svetz is send to acquire a horse from the past, but can only find one with a horn, owned by a very young girl. (As a product of a FutureImperfect future, Svetz doesn't even know what a horse is, let alone a unicorn.) He buys the "horse" and takes it home where the only person who can handle it is "that frigid bitch Zera."
* WarForFunAndProfit: In "War Movie", one of the Draco Tavern stories, [[TheBartender Rick Schumann]] and a female soldier encounter an alien DrowningMySorrows before returning to his homeworld as a bankrupt failure. Apparently a spacecraft from his species came to Earth in the middle of UsefulNotes/WorldWarII. Amazed at what they were seeing, they filmed as much of the action as they could from orbit and returned to their world to sell it for a modest profit. They then raised capital to finance a FirstContact mission and returned to Earth, planting secret cameras on the ground to get even better footage when WorldWarIII broke out. It never did -- worse, the psychological and material changes caused by First Contact meant that humans no longer had any major conflicts other than an occasional riot or act of terrorism. Afterwards the soldier asks whether they should tell people about this. Schumann advises her to keep quiet, otherwise [[HumansAreBastards some unscrupulous dictatorship might get the idea of starting a war in exchange for a percentage of the profits]].
* TheWarOfEarthlyAggression: In ''A World Out of Time'', Earth tries to assert its influence on the extrasolar colonies it has seeded. They then go to war by firing relativistic projectiles at each other.
* WhatsAHenway: In ''Fallen Angels'', an astrophysicist goes to torturous lengths to include the abbreviation SNU (meaning "Solar Neutrino Unit", and pronounced "snew") into a conversation, just so the person he is talking to can ask "What's SNU?" The inevitable response is "Nothing much. What's new with you?"
* WorldInTheSky: An unusual, real-physics variation occurs in ''The Integral Trees'', set in the "smoke ring": The smoke ring is a toroidal cloud of gas and matter which orbits a very low-output neutron star, which in turn orbits a sun-like star in a binary configuration. It includes a ring of breathable atmosphere, in which reside a number of flying plants and animals, including some humans who've "gone native".
* WorldShapes: ''The Integral Trees'' takes place in the "Smoke Ring", a 'world' which is just a breathable ring of gas around a neutron star.
* WorldTree: ''Rainbow Mars'' had a tree that stuck up into space and drained entire planets of their water. It is explicitly compared to Yggdrasil.
* WrongTimeTravelSavvy: The Svetz series features time travel based on the premise that, since time travel is impossible, if you travel back in time you actually enter a fantasy world. Thus, when the hero goes back in time to bring back a horse, he finds a unicorn. When he goes back to bring back a whale, he finds Literature/MobyDick, and so on. No one in the series ever figures out that they aren't visiting the past, but rather are visiting fiction.
* YouthIsWastedOnTheDumb: The fake terrorists from ''Oath of Fealty'' are, in a word, idiots, and have almost no survival instinct whatsoever.
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