Larry Niven's early writing is notable for his characters' witty dialogue and narration even in the face of mortal danger. His Crowning Moment of Funny from this period is the banter between Beowulf Shaeffer and Elephant in "Flatlander". However, in the 1980s, after The Ringworld Engineers, Cerebus Syndrome seemed to have set into Niven's style and it never quite recovered.
Beowulf Schaeffer: We looked at each other, waiting. But there was nothing to say. Except, Elephant, look! We don't have a hull no more! Isn't that remarkable?