[[caption-width-right:206:[[FanNickname Speaker-To-Seafood]]]]

->''"If I had a time machine, I'd visit the near future... a time close enough that someone might want to talk to Larry Niven, and can figure out the language, but distant enough to get me miraculous medical treatments and a ticket to the Moon."''
-->-- '''Larry Niven'''

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.

Also responsible for numerous works with Creator/JerryPournelle, including ''Literature/TheMoteInGodsEye'' (from which the term for a third hand -- the "gripping hand" -- comes. The phrase is used in the context of there being three options from which to choose, the dominant concern being the gripping hand[[note]] the motie's strongest arm[[/note]]) and ''Literature/LucifersHammer''. He's also worked with Steven Barnes on the ''Literature/DreamPark'' series.

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.

Niven's story "The Jigsaw Man" was originally published in Creator/HarlanEllison's groundbreaking anthology ''Literature/DangerousVisions''.

Niven is known among his fans as "[[FanNickname Speaker-to-Seafood]]" because of a long and very public argument he once had with a lobster during the Guest of Honor dinner/Hugo Awards ceremony at the World Science Fiction Convention. (He was bored, the awards ceremony was going long... you do the math.) The name is a play on "Speaker-to-Animals", one of the heroes of ''Ringworld''.

There is more than one ShoutOut to him in ''TabletopGame/MagicTheGathering''. A very powerful necromancer, [[SdrawkcabName Nevinyrral]] shows up, on the very powerful [[http://gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details.aspx?multiverseid=212637 Nevinyrral's Disk]], and also wrote the "Necromancer's Handbook", a field guide for aspiring necromancers.

Niven often has [[ShownTheirWork Shown His Work]].

!!Works by Larry Niven with pages on this Wiki:


* ''Literature/{{Footfall}}''
* ''Literature/DreamPark''
* ''Literature/KnownSpace''
** ''Literature/{{Crashlander}}''
** ''Literature/{{Ringworld}}''
** ''Literature/{{Protector}}''
* ''Literature/LucifersHammer''
* ''Literature/TheMagicGoesAway''
* ''Literature/TheMoteInGodsEye''

!! Tropes in other Larry Niven works:
* {{Autodoc}}: A portable medical resource, these are virtually omnipresent, helping to drive stories with easily accessed health. They range in size from portable units to provide medicines or induce comas to coffin-sized units that can replace limbs. They also become more technologically advanced, starting with pill-pushing units and ending with {{Nanomachines}} that can rebuild anything given time, resources, and programming.
* BackgroundMagicField: Niven's take on Creator/RobertEHoward's Literature/ConanTheBarbarian series, his 'The Magic Goes Away' stories treat magic as a non-renewable resource that drives civilizational advance, then causes collapse when it is consumed, as an {{anvilicious}} allegory for modern civilization's reliance on fixed resources. Later less [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malthusian_catastrophe Malthusian]] stories in the series have humans smoothly making the transition from mystical resources to biological and technological resources.
* BorrowedBiometricBypass: In the ''Known Space'' universe, [[OrganTheft organleggers were known to harvest people for their organs]]. In one "Gil the ARM" story, it's noted that eyes are particularly in demand by criminals, to get past retina scanners with transplanted eyes taken from organlegger victims.
* ButWhatAboutTheAstronauts: Kind of used in ''Fallen Angels'' - a radical environmentalist regime rules the Earth and the only people left with freedom and high technology are those living on a moon base or in an orbital habitat made by combining the Mir and (never actually built) Freedom space stations. However, as another ice age is fast descending upon the Earth, it looks like it could become a straight example.
* ColonyDrop: Niven appears to visualize celestial mechanics and has a taste for things going badly wrong.
** Literature/TheMoteInGodsEye: The Moties are cursed with eternally reoccurring war. After an ancient asteroid war nearly wiped out the planet, the race was motivated (terrified) into moving every single comet and meteor in the system into more stable circular orbits, making it too fuel-intensive for future war-makers to use them to bomb the planet again.
** Literature/{{Footfall}}: Elephant-mentality invading alients "stomp" the Earth with a handy meteor to force surrender.
** Literature/LucifersHammer: A disaster story about a comet hitting the Earth and all its consequences.
** Literature/TheMagicGoesAway: The last god tries to smash the Moon into the Earth to restore magic.
** {{Ringworld}}'s Fist of God: A moon-sized asteroid collides with the Ringworld, massively deforming it.
** [[Literature/KnownSpace World of Ptavvs]]: A stasis field moving at relativistic speed slams into Pluto, punching it into a new orbit.
** ''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.
* 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).
** In "The Lion In His Attic", a sorceress infiltrates a partially submerged castle by using magic to make the water withdraw. A man breaks her concentration and causes her spell to lapse, resulting in the water flooding back in and drowning her. The man doesn't care because he's a were-sea lion - he just changes to sea lion form and swims back to the surface.
* HyperspaceIsAScaryPlace: Unlike the friendly story-writing tool that most authors envision, Niven's hyperspace is a place of death where any ship too deep in a gravity well will vanish forever. As well, the mere unsight of hyperspace's unseeability tends to rattle incautious viewers and can leave many insane. The Outsiders, who sell access to the realm, refuse to use it themselves. The Puppeteers, a race of cowards, would rather face relativistic radiation threatening their worlds than use hyperspace.
* IfJesusThenAliens: Also used in ''Fallen Angels'' - the novel's "ruling coalition of proxmires, falwells, rifkins and maclaines" is composed of groups currently regard each other, sometimes literally, as minions of the Devil. Niven(and [[Literature/StateOfFear later]], Creator/MichaelCrichton) noticed that if those four blocs ever realized that they are NotSoDifferent - that they all yearn for YeGoodeOldeDays - they could easily gain bipartisan support (Green liberals and fundie conservatives) and pretty much TakeOverTheWorld.
* 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.
* OrganTheft: Niven's early Literature/KnownSpace work ''thoroughly'' explored the dangers of transplant technology outstripping organ synthesis, to the point where lawmakers would obsessively change laws to make all crimes into death sentences just to keep up with the demand for organs. With the price of organs being so high due to demand, it's almost inevitable that illegal organ harvesting becomes a frequent concern, enough so that the process becomes known as "organlegging", a {{Portmanteau}} of "organ" and "bootlegging".
* ZeroGSpot: The problems of low gravity sex are discussed in ''The Patchwork Girl''.