History Literature / KnownSpace

18th Jan '16 7:49:13 PM SuddenFrost
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* ''Man-Kzin Wars'' (short story collections by various authors; 13 volumes as of 2012)
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* ''Man-Kzin Wars'' (short story collections by various authors; 13 14 volumes as of 2012) 2015)
18th Jan '16 12:22:21 AM SuddenFrost
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* DepopulationBomb: What happens to the planet Home when protector-stage-humans Jack Brennan and Roy Truesdale get there. But it's for a good purpose. Causal references set chronologically later also indicate that the planet is resettled somehow.
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* DepopulationBomb: What happens In order to raise an army to fight the planet Home when protector-stage-humans impending Pak protector invasion of Human Space, human protectors Jack Brennan and Roy Truesdale get there. But it's for infect the colony world Home with a good purpose. Causal references set chronologically later also indicate that contagious version of the Tree-of-life virus. Much of the population become protectors, but those too young or old to be successfully transformed die. The new protectors strip the Home system of its resources to build a fleet, then abandon the planet is resettled somehow.to wage war against the Pak. The virus remaining in the biosphere renders Home uninhabitable for the next few centuries, but it does eventually get resettled.
4th Jan '16 10:20:53 PM jormis29
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* MultistageTeleport: The puppeteer homeworld features a network of "stepping discs" (freestanding teleport pads) in pairs spanning a block or two, placed end-to-end one pace apart. The result is a sort of seven-league-boot effect, allowing a traveler to circumnavigate the planet on foot in an afternoon.
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* MultistageTeleport: The puppeteer homeworld features a network of "stepping discs" (freestanding teleport pads) in pairs spanning a block or two, placed end-to-end one pace apart. The result is a sort of seven-league-boot {{seven league boot|s}} effect, allowing a traveler to circumnavigate the planet on foot in an afternoon.
29th Dec '15 10:02:21 AM SteveMB
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* PsychoactivePowers: Gil Hamilton's telekinetic arm works this way. It's limited to the range of his real arm, because that's how he visualizes the power -- except that he can [[PortalPicture reach into sufficiently realistic projected images]] and touch objects that ''appear'' to be within arm's reach.
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* PsychoactivePowers: Gil Hamilton's telekinetic arm works this way. It's limited to the range of his real arm, because that's how he visualizes the power -- except that he can [[PortalPicture reach into sufficiently realistic projected images]] and touch objects that ''appear'' ''[[DepthDeception appear]]'' to be within arm's reach.
1st Nov '15 10:27:57 AM Kalaong
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* BroadStrokes: Niven is pretty darn good at high-concept hard sci-fi. He is ''not'' good at continuity. His final verdict on the timeline is "Known Space should be seen as a possible future history told by people that may or may not have all their facts right." In other words, people lie to the characters, who lie to the media, who lie to everyone, and future characters believe it's all true until they SpotTheThread.
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* BroadStrokes: Niven is pretty darn good at high-concept hard sci-fi. He is ''not'' good at continuity. His final verdict on the timeline is "Known Space should be seen as a possible future history told by people that may or may not have all their facts right." In other words, people everyone tends to lie to the characters, who lie to the cops, who lie to the media, who lie to everyone, and future characters believe it's all true until they SpotTheThread.
1st Nov '15 6:38:18 AM Kalaong
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* CanonDiscontinuity: Creator/GregoryBenford's ''Man-Kzin Wars'' story "A Darker Geometry". [[WordOfGod Niven]] said its depiction of the Puppeteers and Outsiders was non-canon shortly after it was published, and subsequently {{Jossed}} it in the ''Fleet of Worlds'' trilogy. Also see RetCon below.
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* BroadStrokes: Niven is pretty darn good at high-concept hard sci-fi. He is ''not'' good at continuity. His final verdict on the timeline is "Known Space should be seen as a possible future history told by people that may or may not have all their facts right." In other words, people lie to the characters, who lie to the media, who lie to everyone, and future characters believe it's all true until they SpotTheThread. ** In ''Ringworld's Children'', it is discovered that the reason you can't go too close to a gravity well in Hyperspace is not because the gravity well will cause the hyperspace engine to wrap up on itself into a singularity and take the ship with it, it's because of monsters. Hyperspace monsters. *** The existence of hyperspace monsters is re-retconned by being completely ignored in ''Fate of Worlds''; see SequelNonEntity. ** In the original ''Ringworld'', the natives can't understand what "disease" is, as the yet-unnamed builders hadn't included pathogens when they stocked the biosphere. Someone must've later told Niven that bacteria in the soil would evolve even faster than the hominids, producing new pathogenic strains, because later books do acknowledge that plagues occur on the Ringworld. ** ''The Ringworld Throne'' also retcons ''The Ringworld Engineers'' by having the Hindmost reveal that his ship has a quantum computer capable of controlling the solar flare providing thrust to the Ringworld attitude jets precisely enough to avoid exposing the population to radiation, and also has Carlos Wu's nanotech autodoc in storage, without having mentioned them to Louis before. *** It also changes the rules for the limitations of the stepping disks the Hindmost brought with him. The limitations are integral to the plot of each book, and swapping the rule sets breaks the plots irrevocably. ** And the ARM is an entire government agency that very nearly ''got the entire human race exterminated'' because they kept Retconning human history to erase warfare. In ''The Colonel's Tiger'', they receive a report as to FirstContact with the Kzin (Niven's first published story, ''The Warriors'') -- they not only immediately suppress the message, [[spoiler:they go about destroying evidence as to its veracity, including a journal written by an English officer who encountered a Kzin in the late 1800s along with the alien's ''pelt.'' '''And his ultra-tech computer.''' '''''Which has a record of the message he sent home by laser; "There are food animals here! They shot me, and I'm dying, but it was only with little lumps of metal! I lasered down a couple dozen of them and they taste G-R-R-REAT!"''''']] *** OTOH, Niven is fairly defensive of what he accepts as canon at any given time, describing the setting as "playground equipment". In other words, any author can have characters hop through it -- and crack their skulls on it -- they just can't change anything of notice. *** Creator/GregoryBenford wrote the rather mind-warping "A Darker Geometry", in which the ineffable Outsiders are described as the three-dimensional puppets of a higher-dimensional species. Non-canon. *** Matthew Joseph Harrington's stories put forth the idea that Pak protectors were actually genetically engineered by the tnuctipun 2 billion years ago during the Slaver wars. He also attributed most of Known Space and Puppeteer cultural and technological development after the second Man-Kzin War to a single human protector, Peace Corben. Non-canon. ** In 1969, Niven wrote an [[http://www.larryniven.net/stories/downinflames.shtml outline]] for a novel, "Down in Flames", that would have retconned the entire Known Space universe, but was itself retconned by ''{{Ringworld}}''; see TorchTheFranchiseAndRun. ** ''Fate of Worlds'' retcons the ending of ''Ringworld's Children'' in which the Hindmost tells Louis to go to Home, by saying that the Hindmost meant ''his'' home, the Fleet of Worlds, rather than the human colony planet of Home. *** ''Fate of Worlds'' also reconned Nessus and Hindmost's motivations for investigating the Ringworld: their claims that they needed advanced technology and discoveries to earn the right to be together was actually a coverup selected because most other species are obsessed enough with sex that it would seem plausible; they were actually [[spoiler: looking for something to help free the Fleet of Worlds from Ol't'ro]]. ** Authors can't seem to decide if Female Kzin are sapient or not. There are stories where there are female Kzin that are fully sapient, but it's said that they are rare, there are stories where they are sapient but have the genetic equivalent of ADHD so that they can't think about things for long enough to act on them, there are stories where they're purely animalistic and nonsapient, it's honestly all over the place. *** From the Ringworld stories by Niven himself, we know that the Kzinti females on the Ringworld ''are'' sentient, and that this comes as a surprise to Chmee, implying that they are ''not'' sapient in the Patriarchy. It's also implied that either they're either outright smarter than the males, or that they're able and willing to use whatever passes for "feminine wiles" among Kzinti to the disadvantage of males during negotiations. * CanonDiscontinuity: Creator/GregoryBenford's ''Man-Kzin Wars'' story "A Darker Geometry". [[WordOfGod Niven]] said its depiction of the Puppeteers and Outsiders was non-canon shortly after it was published, and subsequently {{Jossed}} it in the ''Fleet of Worlds'' trilogy. Also see RetCon below.BroadStrokes.

* {{Retcon}}: Niven is pretty darn good at high-concept hard sci-fi. He is ''not'' good at continuity. His final verdict on the timeline is "Known Space should be seen as a possible future history told by people that may or may not have all their facts right." In other words, people lie to the characters, who lie to the media, who lie to everyone, and future characters believe it's all true until they SpotTheThread. ** In ''Ringworld's Children'', it is discovered that the reason you can't go too close to a gravity well in Hyperspace is not because the gravity well will cause the hyperspace engine to wrap up on itself into a singularity and take the ship with it, it's because of monsters. Hyperspace monsters. *** The existence of hyperspace monsters is re-retconned by being completely ignored in ''Fate of Worlds''; see SequelNonEntity. ** In the original ''Ringworld'', the natives can't understand what "disease" is, as the yet-unnamed builders hadn't included pathogens when they stocked the biosphere. Someone must've later told Niven that bacteria in the soil would evolve even faster than the hominids, producing new pathogenic strains, because later books do acknowledge that plagues occur on the Ringworld. ** ''The Ringworld Throne'' also retcons ''The Ringworld Engineers'' by having the Hindmost reveal that his ship has a quantum computer capable of controlling the solar flare providing thrust to the Ringworld attitude jets precisely enough to avoid exposing the population to radiation, and also has Carlos Wu's nanotech autodoc in storage, without having mentioned them to Louis before. *** It also changes the rules for the limitations of the stepping disks the Hindmost brought with him. The limitations are integral to the plot of each book, and swapping the rule sets breaks the plots irrevocably. ** And the ARM is an entire government agency that very nearly ''got the entire human race exterminated'' because they kept Retconning human history to erase warfare. In ''The Colonel's Tiger'', they receive a report as to FirstContact with the Kzin (Niven's first published story, ''The Warriors'') -- they not only immediately suppress the message, [[spoiler:they go about destroying evidence as to its veracity, including a journal written by an English officer who encountered a Kzin in the late 1800s along with the alien's ''pelt.'' '''And his ultra-tech computer.''' '''''Which has a record of the message he sent home by laser; "There are food animals here! They shot me, and I'm dying, but it was only with little lumps of metal! I lasered down a couple dozen of them and they taste G-R-R-REAT!"''''']] *** OTOH, Niven is fairly defensive of what he accepts as canon at any given time, describing the setting as "playground equipment". In other words, any author can have characters hop through it -- and crack their skulls on it -- they just can't change anything of notice. *** Creator/GregoryBenford wrote the rather mind-warping "A Darker Geometry", in which the ineffable Outsiders are described as the three-dimensional puppets of a higher-dimensional species. Non-canon. *** Matthew Joseph Harrington's stories put forth the idea that Pak protectors were actually genetically engineered by the tnuctipun 2 billion years ago during the Slaver wars. He also attributed most of Known Space and Puppeteer cultural and technological development after the second Man-Kzin War to a single human protector, Peace Corben. Non-canon. ** In 1969, Niven wrote an [[http://www.larryniven.net/stories/downinflames.shtml outline]] for a novel, "Down in Flames", that would have retconned the entire Known Space universe, but was itself retconned by ''{{Ringworld}}''; see TorchTheFranchiseAndRun. ** ''Fate of Worlds'' retcons the ending of ''Ringworld's Children'' in which the Hindmost tells Louis to go to Home, by saying that the Hindmost meant ''his'' home, the Fleet of Worlds, rather than the human colony planet of Home. *** ''Fate of Worlds'' also reconned Nessus and Hindmost's motivations for investigating the Ringworld: their claims that they needed advanced technology and discoveries to earn the right to be together was actually a coverup selected because most other species are obsessed enough with sex that it would seem plausible; they were actually [[spoiler: looking for something to help free the Fleet of Worlds from Ol't'ro]]. ** Authors can't seem to decide if Female Kzin are sapient or not. There are stories where there are female Kzin that are fully sapient, but it's said that they are rare, there are stories where they are sapient but have the genetic equivalent of ADHD so that they can't think about things for long enough to act on them, there are stories where they're purely animalistic and nonsapient, it's honestly all over the place. *** From the Ringworld stories by Niven himself, we know that the Kzinti females on the Ringworld ''are'' sentient, and that this comes as a surprise to Chmee, implying that they are ''not'' sapient in the Patriarchy. It's also implied that either they're either outright smarter than the males, or that they're able and willing to use whatever passes for "feminine wiles" among Kzinti to the disadvantage of males during negotiations.
30th Aug '15 9:25:31 AM BillWoods
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* AbusivePrecursors: The Thrint from ''World of Ptavvs''. When their empire was threatened by a successful slave revolt, they went out in a blaze of spite, sending a telepathic blast that killed almost every intelligent being in the entire galaxy - including themselves, but excepting the telepathically blind bandersnatchii. It took a billion years for sentient life to evolve again (while the bandersnatchii, engineered with mutation-proof genetics, stayed exactly the same).
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* AbusivePrecursors: The Thrint from ''World of Ptavvs''. When their empire was threatened by a successful slave revolt, they went out in a blaze of spite, sending a telepathic blast that killed almost every intelligent being in the entire galaxy - -- including themselves, but excepting the telepathically blind bandersnatchii. It took a billion years for sentient life to evolve again (while the bandersnatchii, engineered with mutation-proof genetics, stayed exactly the same).

*** A particularly notable one was once named "Warhead" - a Mars-like rock used by the Kzin as a military outpost during the Third Man-Kzin War. Humans used a not-quite-Death Star-level disintegrator beam to wipe out the bases - which were in a line on the equator - in the process digging a ''twelve mile deep trench the length and breadth of the Baja peninsula'', ending the Third Man-Kzin War, nicknaming the beam the "Wunderland Treatymaker", and renaming the planet "Canyon", as it turns out a Mars-like world's atmosphere is an Earth-like atmosphere if it all falls into a Baja-sized canyon. Oh, and there was enough water vapor in the atmosphere to create a fairly deep ocean at the bottom, so the cities had to be built into the cliff-faces.
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*** A particularly notable one was once named "Warhead" - -- a Mars-like rock used by the Kzin as a military outpost during the Third Man-Kzin War. Humans used a not-quite-Death Star-level disintegrator beam to wipe out the bases - -- which were in a line on the equator - -- in the process digging a ''twelve mile deep trench the length and breadth of the Baja peninsula'', ending the Third Man-Kzin War, nicknaming the beam the "Wunderland Treatymaker", and renaming the planet "Canyon", as it turns out a Mars-like world's atmosphere is an Earth-like atmosphere if it all falls into a Baja-sized canyon. Oh, and there was enough water vapor in the atmosphere to create a fairly deep ocean at the bottom, so the cities had to be built into the cliff-faces.

* AndIMustScream: A variation - Bandersnatchi are intelligent beings, engineered by the Tnuctipun to be immune to the Thrint mind-control power. They were also engineered without hands and to be unaffected by random mutation. Two billion years ago. In the meanwhile they have slouched around, eating food yeast - the only thing they ''can'' eat and practically the only thing they can ''do'' without hands - and waited for someone other than Bandersnatchi to show up. At least one character is ''horrified'' to think about how lonely they must have been.
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* AndIMustScream: A variation - -- Bandersnatchi are intelligent beings, engineered by the Tnuctipun to be immune to the Thrint mind-control power. They were also engineered without hands and to be unaffected by random mutation. Two billion years ago. In the meanwhile they have slouched around, eating food yeast - -- the only thing they ''can'' eat and practically the only thing they can ''do'' without hands - -- and waited for someone other than Bandersnatchi to show up. At least one character is ''horrified'' to think about how lonely they must have been.

* ArtisticLicenseBiology: The whole Pak thing. It's one of Niven's mental exercises - why don't our bodies just give out immediately once we are no longer capable of reproduction? The idea of a third stage of life and the build of the protectors is a JustSoStory to explain menopause, heart failure, arthritis, baldness and other signs of aging very neatly, but Niven freely admits that a distant origin for humanity when we clearly developed from Earth life doesn't really fly. ''Protector'' [[LampshadeHanging hangs a lampshade]] on it by bringing up the question, then pretty much shrugging and moving on.
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* ArtisticLicenseBiology: The whole Pak thing. It's one of Niven's mental exercises - -- why don't our bodies just give out immediately once we are no longer capable of reproduction? The idea of a third stage of life and the build of the protectors is a JustSoStory to explain menopause, heart failure, arthritis, baldness and other signs of aging very neatly, but Niven freely admits that a distant origin for humanity when we clearly developed from Earth life doesn't really fly. ''Protector'' [[LampshadeHanging hangs a lampshade]] on it by bringing up the question, then pretty much shrugging and moving on.

* AtonementDetective: Gil Hamilton. He lost an arm in an accident in space. However, only prosthetics are available in space, as accidents in space tend to quickly ruin transplant stock and the minarchist Belters ''don't'' [[OrganTheft regularly execute "criminals" for their organs]]. He thus immigrates to Earth to take advantage of the UN-sponsored organ harvesting programme, justifying it to himself that his new arm would most likely come from an executed murderer(forgetting that an earlier Niven story had people broken up for ''running traffic lights''). Surprise - his brand-new limb came not from a villain, but from the ''seized stockpile'' of a criminal who [[NotSoDifferent killed people for their organs]]. Lacking the moral composure to have the arm removed, he joined the Amalgamated Regional Militia ([[MeaningfulName aka ARM]]), the agency which polices illegal body harvesting... but spends more time [[EnforcedTechnologyLevels suppressing inconvenient technologies]] and [[PopulationControl hunting illegal pregnancies]].
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* AtonementDetective: Gil Hamilton. He lost an arm in an accident in space. However, only prosthetics are available in space, as accidents in space tend to quickly ruin transplant stock and the minarchist Belters ''don't'' [[OrganTheft regularly execute "criminals" for their organs]]. He thus immigrates to Earth to take advantage of the UN-sponsored organ harvesting programme, justifying it to himself that his new arm would most likely come from an executed murderer(forgetting that an earlier Niven story had people broken up for ''running traffic lights''). Surprise - -- his brand-new limb came not from a villain, but from the ''seized stockpile'' of a criminal who [[NotSoDifferent killed people for their organs]]. Lacking the moral composure to have the arm removed, he joined the Amalgamated Regional Militia ([[MeaningfulName aka ARM]]), the agency which polices illegal body harvesting... but spends more time [[EnforcedTechnologyLevels suppressing inconvenient technologies]] and [[PopulationControl hunting illegal pregnancies]].

* AuthorAppeal: Rishathra (sex between different humanoid/hominid species), from ''{{Ringworld}}''.
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* AuthorAppeal: Rishathra (sex between different humanoid/hominid species), from ''{{Ringworld}}''.''Literature/{{Ringworld}}''.

* DirtyCoward: The puppeteers, although this is apparently a misremembered instinct - not to turn their backs and run away, but to turn their backs and attack with their powerful hind leg.
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* DirtyCoward: The puppeteers, although this is apparently a misremembered instinct - -- not to turn their backs and run away, but to turn their backs and attack with their powerful hind leg.

* EverybodySmokes: Particularly jarring to a modern audience in the first Kzinti story, ''The Warriors'': the story emphasises that this is the far future and humans at this point have changed enormously, developing a peaceful society to the point that even a minor act of violence is seen as a sign of mental illness - yet the characters discuss this while smoking.
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* EverybodySmokes: Particularly jarring to a modern audience in the first Kzinti story, ''The Warriors'': the story emphasises that this is the far future and humans at this point have changed enormously, developing a peaceful society to the point that even a minor act of violence is seen as a sign of mental illness - -- yet the characters discuss this while smoking.

* EveryoneCallsHimBarkeep: The Kzinti are referred to by their job - Flyer, Engineer, Telepath, - until they reach a sufficient rank in their society. Speaker-To-Animals is a diplomat on Earth whose trials on the Ringworld earn him his name, Chmeee. * EvilutionaryBiologist / InTheBlood: Inherent to the series is the concept that personality is as much a product of heredity as physiology - [[GeneticEngineeringIsTheNewNuke genetic engineering]] or just plain old controlled breeding can be used to give species [[PlanetOfHats universal traits]].
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* EveryoneCallsHimBarkeep: The Kzinti are referred to by their job - -- Flyer, Engineer, Telepath, - -- until they reach a sufficient rank in their society. Speaker-To-Animals is a diplomat on Earth whose trials on the Ringworld earn him his name, Chmeee. * EvilutionaryBiologist / InTheBlood: Inherent to the series is the concept that personality is as much a product of heredity as physiology - -- [[GeneticEngineeringIsTheNewNuke genetic engineering]] or just plain old controlled breeding can be used to give species [[PlanetOfHats universal traits]].

** Humanity did an amazing amount of damage to themselves in this manner ''completely by accident''; in the early 21st century, advances in organ transplant technology enabled transplants to be preserved indefinitely. As a result, all forms of burial save organ harvest became illegal, governments started using executed criminals for organ transplants, and Earth started SlidingDownTheSlipperySlope to AllCrimesAreEqual in pursuit of transplant stock. However, it turned out that criminal behavior such as violence, deception and greed have a genetic basis that organ harvesting weeded out of the population, along with a great deal of humanity's self-preservation, self-motivation and self-interest. After a few generations of this, "flatlanders" are [[ActualPacifist pacifistic]], [[ExtremeDoormat completely obedient to authority]], and [[AntiIntellectualism rather stupid]]; a century later, "sane" humans can only be violent or disobedient if threatened within an inch of their lives, and even then it's chancy (cops can usher most convicted criminals off to have their organs harvested without a struggle), and even if its a justified situation TheGovernment then starts treating them as psychotic because most of the time it is the result of a psychotic break. One such psychotic had to go off his meds in order to fend off the Kzin - and ended up organ stock for his trouble.
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** Humanity did an amazing amount of damage to themselves in this manner ''completely by accident''; in the early 21st century, advances in organ transplant technology enabled transplants to be preserved indefinitely. As a result, all forms of burial save organ harvest became illegal, governments started using executed criminals for organ transplants, and Earth started SlidingDownTheSlipperySlope to AllCrimesAreEqual in pursuit of transplant stock. However, it turned out that criminal behavior such as violence, deception and greed have a genetic basis that organ harvesting weeded out of the population, along with a great deal of humanity's self-preservation, self-motivation and self-interest. After a few generations of this, "flatlanders" are [[ActualPacifist pacifistic]], [[ExtremeDoormat completely obedient to authority]], and [[AntiIntellectualism rather stupid]]; a century later, "sane" humans can only be violent or disobedient if threatened within an inch of their lives, and even then it's chancy (cops can usher most convicted criminals off to have their organs harvested without a struggle), and even if its a justified situation TheGovernment then starts treating them as psychotic because most of the time it is the result of a psychotic break. One such psychotic had to go off his meds in order to fend off the Kzin - Kzinti -- and ended up organ stock for his trouble.

* GeniusBreedingAct: The Earth is so overpopulated that in order to have more than two children, one has to be extraordinarily talented (high intelligence, good teeth, superior eyesight, cancer resistance, etc.). A very few Einstein-level geniuses, such as Louis Wu's biological father Carlos, get Unlimited Breeding Licenses that basically allow them to have all the kids they want - a very necessary thing, as Earth culled a ''lot'' of intelligence out of the human race with the [[AllCrimesAreEqual organ bank laws]].
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* GeniusBreedingAct: The Earth is so overpopulated that in order to have more than two children, one has to be extraordinarily talented (high intelligence, good teeth, superior eyesight, cancer resistance, etc.). A very few Einstein-level geniuses, such as Louis Wu's biological father Carlos, get Unlimited Breeding Licenses that basically allow them to have all the kids they want - -- a very necessary thing, as Earth culled a ''lot'' of intelligence out of the human race with the [[AllCrimesAreEqual organ bank laws]].

* NeglectfulPrecursors: [[JustifiedTrope Justified]]. When the Pak Protectors left breeder-stage Pak on a prehistoric colony world, they didn't mean to abandon them. Its just that by the time they realized the plant needed to produce and sustain Protector-stage Pak couldn't survive on earth, they didn't have enough fuel or resources to go find a place that could. This resulted in them dying, leaving their Breeder stage descendants unprotected and unguided, to mutate over generations into horrific abominations almost unrecognizable as Pak- us.
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* NeglectfulPrecursors: [[JustifiedTrope Justified]]. When the Pak Protectors left breeder-stage Pak on a prehistoric colony world, they didn't mean to abandon them. Its just that by the time they realized the plant needed to produce and sustain Protector-stage Pak couldn't survive on earth, they didn't have enough fuel or resources to go find a place that could. This resulted in them dying, leaving their Breeder stage descendants unprotected and unguided, to mutate over generations into horrific abominations almost unrecognizable as Pak- Pak -- us.

** And the ARM is an entire government agency that very nearly ''got the entire human race exterminated'' because they kept Retconning human history to erase warfare. In ''The Colonel's Tiger'', they receive a report as to FirstContact with the Kzin (Niven's first published story, ''The Warriors'') - they not only immediately suppress the message, [[spoiler:they go about destroying evidence as to its veracity, including a journal written by an English officer who encountered a Kzin in the late 1800's along with the alien's ''pelt.'' '''And his ultra-tech computer.''' '''''Which has a record of the message he sent home by laser; "There are food animals here! They shot me, and I'm dying, but it was only with little lumps of metal! I lasered down a couple dozen of them and they taste G-R-R-REAT!"''''']] *** OTOH, Niven is fairly defensive of what he accepts as canon at any given time, describing the setting as "playground equipment". In other words, any author can have characters hop through it - and crack their skulls on it - they just can't change anything of notice.
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** And the ARM is an entire government agency that very nearly ''got the entire human race exterminated'' because they kept Retconning human history to erase warfare. In ''The Colonel's Tiger'', they receive a report as to FirstContact with the Kzin (Niven's first published story, ''The Warriors'') - -- they not only immediately suppress the message, [[spoiler:they go about destroying evidence as to its veracity, including a journal written by an English officer who encountered a Kzin in the late 1800's 1800s along with the alien's ''pelt.'' '''And his ultra-tech computer.''' '''''Which has a record of the message he sent home by laser; "There are food animals here! They shot me, and I'm dying, but it was only with little lumps of metal! I lasered down a couple dozen of them and they taste G-R-R-REAT!"''''']] *** OTOH, Niven is fairly defensive of what he accepts as canon at any given time, describing the setting as "playground equipment". In other words, any author can have characters hop through it - -- and crack their skulls on it - -- they just can't change anything of notice.

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** And * ScienceMarchesOn: In the ARM is an entire government agency that very nearly ''got introduction to the entire human race exterminated'' because they kept Retconning human history to erase warfare. In ''The Colonel's Tiger'', they receive a report as to FirstContact with the Kzin (Niven's first published story, ''The Warriors'') - they not only immediately suppress the message, [[spoiler:they go about destroying evidence as to its veracity, including a journal written by an English officer who encountered a Kzin in the late 1800's along with the alien's ''pelt.'' '''And his ultra-tech computer.''' '''''Which has a record ''Tales of the message he sent home by laser; "There are food animals here! They shot me, and I'm dying, but it was only with little lumps of metal! I lasered down a couple dozen of them and they taste G-R-R-REAT!"''''']] *** OTOH, Known Space'' anthology, Niven notes that Science was Marching On while he was writing: --> You may feel that Mars itself is fairly defensive of what he accepts changing as canon at any given time, describing the setting as "playground equipment". In other words, any author can have characters hop you read through it - and crack their skulls on it - they just can't change anything of notice.the book. Right you are. ... If the space probes keep redesigning our planets, what can we do but write new stories?
28th Jul '15 12:06:52 PM hullflyer
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* BodyPaint: * Flatlanders (humans from Earth) use cosmetic drugs to change their skin, hair, and eye colors to the point that walking down a slidewalk in a big city can be like watching a rainbow walk by. Basic patterns are even possible. Combine this with an almost complete lack of a social nudity taboo (the earth is far too crowded by this point for a nudity taboo to be at all practical), and this trope is in full force. It was inverted in one story, Luis Wu shocked everyone at a party by showing up dressed in nothing but his natural coloration; it wasn't his nudity that was shocking... it was his lack of bodypaint.
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* BodyPaint: * Flatlanders (humans from Earth) use cosmetic drugs to change their skin, hair, and eye colors to the point that walking down a slidewalk in a big city can be like watching a rainbow walk by. Basic patterns are even possible. Combine this with an almost complete lack of a social nudity taboo (the earth is far too crowded by this point for a nudity taboo to be at all practical), and this trope is in full force. It was inverted in one story, Luis Wu shocked everyone at a party by showing up dressed in nothing but his natural coloration; it wasn't his nudity that was shocking... it was his lack of bodypaint.
7th Jul '15 12:54:55 AM Ptorquemada
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** In "Madness Has Its Place", the Terran solar system is defended from invaders by the Mercury Laser Array (a ring of solar-powered lasers all around the equator of Mercury), which was originally built as launching lasers for light-sail powered spacecraft. Of course, they are powerful enough to destroy ships as far out as the orbit of Neptune. There are also an array of magnetically powered mass-drivers that can fling metallic ore mined from asteroids across the solar system, spreading molten metal across the ships' paths. All of these tools were key in humanity's overwhelming victory over the Kzinti warfleet in the first Man-Kzin War, since Kzinti telepaths had reported that "humans have no weapons at all." It's all but WordOfGod that all these technologies were created with a dual-purpose in mind by the paranoids of ARM.
to:
** In "Madness Has Its Place", the Terran solar system is defended from invaders by the Mercury Laser Array (a ring of solar-powered lasers all around the equator of Mercury), which was originally built as launching lasers for light-sail powered spacecraft. Of course, they are powerful enough to destroy ships as far out as the orbit of Neptune. There are also an array of magnetically powered mass-drivers that can fling metallic ore mined from asteroids across the solar system, spreading molten metal across the ships' paths. All of these tools were key in humanity's overwhelming victory over the Kzinti warfleet in the first Man-Kzin War, since Kzinti telepaths had reported that "humans have no weapons at all." It's all but WordOfGod "Madness Has Its Place" makes it clear that all these technologies were created with a dual-purpose in mind by at least the paranoids of ARM.ARM have been fully aware of the dual-purpose nature of these devices for some time.
7th Jul '15 12:50:07 AM Ptorquemada
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*** Shasht/Fafnir (its Kzinti and Human names respectively) was similarly a planet taken from the Kzin and therefore can't be blamed on a stupid probe, but its surface is almost entirely covered by water except for one small continent and a bunch of islands. Most people do live on the single continent, but there are settlements on the islands and at least one domed underwater city.
to:
*** Shasht/Fafnir (its Kzinti and Human names respectively) Fafnir was similarly a planet taken from the Kzin and therefore can't be blamed on a stupid probe, but its surface is almost entirely covered by water except for one small continent and a bunch of islands. Most people do live on the single continent, but there are settlements on the islands and at least one domed underwater city.

** It's illegal (at least in Human-controlled space) for replicators to make human blood (Heroes' Tongue: ''Shasht'') for food purposes, but they're ''capable'' of it.
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** It's illegal (at least in Human-controlled space) for replicators to make human blood (Heroes' Tongue: ''Shasht'') for food purposes, but they're ''capable'' of it.
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