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Larry Niven

Everything starts as somebody's daydream.
Larry Niven art
The dinosaurs became extinct because they didn't have a space program. And if we become extinct because we don't have a space program, it'll serve us right!
Larry Niven space
The Unexpected always comes at the most awkward times.
Larry Niven war
Anything you don't understand is dangerous until you do understand it.
Larry Niven anger
That's the thing about people who think they hate computers ... What they really hate are lousy programmers.
Larry Niven people
Think of it as evolution in action.
Larry Niven action
God was knocking, and he wanted in bad.
Larry Niven bad
Half of wisdom is learning what to unlearn.
Larry Niven wisdom
He was sick of having to be afraid. ... If he stopped being afraid, even for an instant, he could be killed!
Larry Niven being
A ramrobot had been the first to see Mount Lookitthat. Ramrobots had been first visitors to all the settled worlds. The interstellar ramscoop robots, with an unrestricted fuel supply culled from interstellar hydrogen, could travel between stars at speeds approaching that of light.
Larry Niven world
Matthew Leiah Keller sat beneath a watershed tree and brooded. Other children played all around him, but they ignored Matt. So did two teachers on monitor duty. People usually ignored Matt when he wanted to be alone. Uncle Matt was gone. Gone to a fate so horrible that the adults wouldn't even talk about it.
Larry Niven children
The medical revolution that began with the beginning of the twentieth century had warped all human society for five hundred years. America had adjusted to Eli Whitney's cotton gin in less than half that time. As with the gin, the effects would never quite die out. But already society was swinging back to what had once been normal. Slowly; but there was motion. In Brazil a small but growing, alliance agitated for the removal of the death penalty for habitual traffic offenders. They would be opposed, but they would win.
Larry Niven death
From the beginning there had been a revolutionary group. Its name had changed several times, and Matt had no idea what it was now. He had never known a revolutionary. He had no particular desire to be one. They accomplished nothing, except to fill the Hospital's organ banks. How could they, when the crew controlled every weapon and every watt of power on Mount Lookitthat? If this was a nest of rebels, then they had worked out a good cover. Many of the merrymakers had no hearing aids, and these seemed to be the ones who didn't know anyone here. Like Matt himself. In the midst of a reasonably genuine open-house brawl, certain people listened to voices only they could hear.
Larry Niven time
"You look like a girl with a secret," Matt said. "I think it must be the smile." She moved closer to him, which was very close, and lowered her voice. "Can you keep a secret?" Matt smiled with one side of his mouth to show that he knew what was coming. She said it anyway. "So can I."
Larry Niven smile
There were organ banks all over the world, inadequately supplied by people kind enough to will their bodies to medical science. How useful is the body of a man who dies of old age? How fast can you reach a car accident? And in 2043, Arkansas, which had never rescinded the death penalty, made the organ banks the official state method of execution.The idea had spread like wildfire .... like a moral plague, as one critic of the time had put it.
Larry Niven death
Jesus Pietro wasn't used to dealing with ghosts. It would require brand new techniques. Grimly he set out to evolve them.
Larry Niven ghosts
Jesus Pietro was worried. The Sons of Earth, if they got this far, would go straight to the vivarium to free their compatriots. But if Matthew Keller was his own agent... If the ghost of Alpha Plateau was not a rebel, but a thing with its own unpredictable purpose... Jesus Pietro worried.
Larry Niven art
"I'm no historian," said Harry. "But morals are morals. What's unethical here and now is unethical anywhere, anytime." "Kane, you're wrong. It is ethical to execute a man for theft?" "Of course." "Did you know that there was once a vastly detailed science of rehabilitation for criminals? It was a branch of psychology, naturally, but it was by far the largest such branch. By the middle of century twenty-one, nearly two-thirds of all criminals could eventually be released as cured." "That's silly. Why go to all that trouble when the organ banks must have been crying for — Oh. I see. No organ banks."
Larry Niven science
Parlette spoke slowly and evenly. "I am trying to prevent a bloodbath. Is that clear enough for you? I'm trying to prevent a civil war that could kill half the people in this world."
Larry Niven war
Someone or something was in this room, something or someone with the power to make people forget. ... He was reaching for the stunner on his desk when something caught his eye. It was the dossier for Matthew Keller, senior. A crude drawing defaced its yellow cover. Two open arcs, joined, in black ink. Three small closed loops beneath.The bleeding heart. It certainly hadn't been there before. Jesus Pietro opened the folder. He could smell his own fear, and feel it, in the cool perspiration that soaked his shirt. As if he'd been afraid for hours.
Larry Niven fear
The bleeding-heart symbol does not represent any known revolutionary organization. ... Yes, the bleeding heart was something else again. A gruesome symbol on a vivarium floor. Fingers that broke without their owner noticing. An ink drawing appearing from nowhere on a dossier cover, like a signature. A signature.
Larry Niven art
He was sick of having to be afraid. It was a situation to drive a man right out of his skull. If he stopped being afraid, even for an instant, he could be killed! But now, at least for the moment, he could stop listening for footsteps, stop trying to look in all directions at once. A sonic stunner was a surer bet than a hypothetical, undependable psi power. It was real, cold and hard in his hand.
Larry Niven power
I have a kind of psychic invisibility. As long as I can stay scared, I can keep people from seeing me. That's what we have to count on.
Larry Niven people
Millard Parlette was near exhaustion. ... Sometimes it seemed to him, that he was at the end of his life, that he'd waited just long enough to meet this — the crisis he'd foreseen a hundred years ago. ... Known rebels moved freely through the Hospital, and no one could touch them. Their attitude toward the police was rude and contemptuous. Rumor had it that Millard Parlette was drafting new laws to further restrict police power. It didn't help that the rumors were true.
Larry Niven life
Theis too complicated afor a sensibly cautious being to play with.
Larry Niven wit
Page numbers from the Del Rey mass market paperback
Larry Niven age
Louis knew a few xenophobes, and regarded them as dolts.
Larry Niven
is the brother of .
Larry Niven
Thedo not protect . Fools are protected by more capable fools.
Larry Niven
To witness titanic events is always , usually , and often .
Larry Niven wit
The perversity of thetends towards a maximum. The universe is hostile.
Larry Niven war
One mark of a good officer, he remembered, was the ability to make quick . If they happen to be right, so much the better.
Larry Niven good
Seen through the glow of a building orgasm, aseems to blaze with.
Larry Niven wit
The majority is always sane.
Larry Niven
Tell them theis too complicated afor a sensibly cautious being to play with.
Larry Niven wit
There is never noleft. .
Larry Niven
We learn only to ask more questions.
Larry Niven learn
Forget the : Concentrate on detail.
Larry Niven
Sometimes there’s no point in giving up.
Larry Niven time
is always a capital .
Larry Niven
I knew it long ago: I'm a compulsive , but I can't teach. The godawful state of today's isn't what's stopping me. I lack at least two of the essential qualifications. I cannot "suffergladly." The smartest of my pupils would get all my attention, and the rest would have to fend for themselves. And I can't handle being interrupted. is the answer. Whatever I have to teach, my students will select themselves by buying the . And nobody interrupts a printed page.
Larry Niven god
Theof theis all over your head...
Larry Niven you
We follow the scientists around and look over their shoulders. They're watching their feet: provable mistakes are bad for them. We're looking as far ahead as we can, and we don't get penalized for mistakes.
Larry Niven mistakes
Theof theis all over your head. We need to take command of the solar system to gain that wealth, and to escape theof paper ouris becoming, and for some decent chance of stopping a Dinosaur Killer asteroid.
Larry Niven man
We've fallen way behind. Building one space station for everyone was and is : we should have built a dozen.
Larry Niven zen
Cheap superconductors imply maglev trains everywhere.could get big again, with RAM/ROM rising by powers of forty and fifty, if superconductors shed the heat. Laser handguns against superconducting armor. I'm not predicting; I justplaying with superconductors.
Larry Niven power
Here is where the predictions failed: We didn't takementality into account: "if somebody has something I don't, he must have stolen it." We didn't understand howwe could get at— when you have something that someone else doesn't, the whole damn planetit.
Larry Niven men
, and the , of "how the Universe works" written 29 January 2002, published in Analog Magazine (November 2002)
Larry Niven work
It is easier to destroy than create.
Larry Niven create
never repeats itself.
Larry Niven self
to end all stories on a given topic, don't.
Larry Niven stories
No technique works if it isn't used.
Larry Niven work
If what you have to say is important and/or difficult to follow, use the simplestpossible. If the reader doesn't get it then, let it not be your fault.
Larry Niven you
1a) Never throw shit at an armed man. 1b) Never stand next to someone who is throwing shit at an armed man.
Larry Niven man
2) Never fire a laser at a mirror.
Larry Niven fire
3) Motherdoesn't care if you're having fun.
Larry Niven you
4) Giving upfor security has begun to look naive. Even to me. Many of you were ahead of me on this — Three out of four hijacked airplanes destroyed the World Trade Center and a piece of the Pentagon in 2001. How is it possible that those planes were taken using only five perps armed with knives? It was possible because all those hundreds of passengers had been carefully stripped of every possible weapon. We may want to reconsider this approach. It doesn't work in high schools either.
Larry Niven work
5) Psi and/or, if real, are nearly useless.
Larry Niven real
6) It is easier to destroy than create. tore down the World Trade Center? Let's see him build one. If human beings didn't have a strong preference for creation, nothing would get built, ever.
Larry Niven man
7) Any damn fool can predict the past.
Larry Niven past
8)never repeats itself.
Larry Niven self
9)change with .
Larry Niven change
10)is the least stable of social structures.
Larry Niven
11) There is aand place for tact. And there are times when tact is entirely misplaced.
Larry Niven time
16) There is no cause so right that one cannot find afollowing it. To prove a point, one may seek out a foolish Socialist, thirteenth century Liberal, Scientologist, High Frontier advocate, Mensa member, science fiction fan, Jim Bakker acolyte, Christian, witch, or fanatical devotee of Special Interest Lib. It doesn't really reflect on the cause itself. Ad hominem argument saves time, but it's still a .
Larry Niven science
17) No technique works if it isn't used.
Larry Niven work
19) Think before you make the coward's choice. Old age is not for sissies.
Larry Niven war
1) Writers who write for other writers should write letters.
Larry Niven writers
2) Never be embarrased or ashamed about anything you choose to write. (Think of this before you send it to a market)
Larry Niven you
3) Stories to end all stories on a given topic, don't.
Larry Niven stories
4) It is a sin to waste the reader's time.
Larry Niven time
5) If you've nothing to say, say it any way you like. Stylistic innovations, contorted story lines or none, exotic or genderless pronouns, internal inconsistencies, the recipe for preparing your lover as a cannibal banquet: feel free. If what you have to say is important and/or difficult to follow, use the simplest language possible. If the reader doesn't get it then, let it not be your fault.
Larry Niven love
6) Everybody talks first draft.
Larry Niven body
I am trying to prevent a bloodbath. Is that clear enough for you? Im trying to prevent a civil war that could kill half the people in this world.
Larry Niven war
Here is where the predictions failed: We didnt take Cargo Cult mentality into account: if somebody has something I dont, he must have stolen it. We didnt understand how good we could get at communication — when you have something that someone else doesnt, the whole damn planet knows it.
Larry Niven men
Matthew Leiah Keller sat beneath a watershed tree and brooded. Other children played all around him, but they ignored Matt. So did two teachers on monitor duty. People usually ignored Matt when he wanted to be alone. Uncle Matt was gone. Gone to a fate so horrible that the adults wouldnt even talk about it.Ch. 1 : The Ramrobot
Larry Niven people
From the beginning there had been a revolutionary group. Its name had changed several times, and Matt had no idea what it was now. He had never known a revolutionary. He had no particular desire to be one. They accomplished nothing, except to fill the Hospitals organ banks. How could they, when the crew controlled every weapon and every watt of power on Mount Lookitthat? If this was a nest of rebels, then they had worked out a good cover. Many of the merrymakers had no hearing aids, and these seemed to be the ones who didnt know anyone here. Like Matt himself. In the midst of a reasonably genuine open-house brawl, certain people listened to voices only they could hear.Ch. 2 : The Sons Of Earth
Larry Niven time

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