- World of Ptavvs
infobox Book |
name = World of Ptavvs
image_caption = Cover of first edition (paperback)
language = English
series = Known Space Universe
Science fiction novel
release_date = 1966
media_type = Print (
pages = 188 pp
isbn = NA
"World of Ptavvs" is a
science fictionnovel by Larry Niven, first published in 1966 and set in his Known Spaceuniverse. It was Niven's first published novel and is based on a 1965 short story of the same name.
A reflective statue is found at the bottom of one of Earth’s oceans, having lain there for 1.5 billion years. Humans have recently developed a time-slowing field, and found that one such field cannot function within another. It is suspected that the "Sea Statue" is in fact a space traveler within a time field. Larry Greenberg, a telepath, agrees to participate in an experiment. A time-slowing field is generated around both Greenberg and the statue, shutting off the stasis field and revealing Kzanol, a living
Thrint, a member of a telepathic race which once ruled the galaxythrough mind control.
Eons ago, Kzanol's spaceship had suffered a catastrophic failure. It could still reach a Thrintun-controlled star system, but not safely decelerate. Kzanol aimed his ship at an uninhabited planet used to grow food, put on his spacesuit and turned on its emergency stasis field to survive the impact. The resident thrint overseer, living on the moon, would then be able to rescue him. However, Kzanol's timing was bad. While he was in stasis on the way to the planet, the slave races revolted against the Thrint. Facing extinction, the Thrint decided to take their enemies with them, constructing a telepathic amplifier powerful enough to command all sentient species in the galaxy to commit suicide, and set it to repeat for centuries. Every sentient being in the galaxy perished. The planet Kzanol crashed onto was Earth; after hundreds of millions of years, the yeast food mutated and evolved into, among other things, humans.
After his telepathic encounter with the Thrint, Greenberg is confused by having two sets of memories, his own and Kzanol's. He instinctively assumes he is the Thrint (as those memories remember reading thoughts of other species, second nature for the Thrint). Both Greenberg (or Kzanol-Greenberg) and the real Kzanol steal spaceships and race to reclaim the remains of Kzanol’s ship on
Pluto, which contains a thought-amplifying machine (in another stasis field) that is powerful enough to enable him control every thinking being in the Solar System.
A major element of the story is the
Cold Warexisting between Earth and the Asteroid Belt"Belters," which threatens to burst into a highly destructive war over control of the same device.
Eventually Greenberg's personality reasserts itself and, armed with the knowledge of how to resist the Power, Greenberg traps Kzanol again in a stasis field.
Thrintun had been mentioned in the earlier Known Spacestory " The Handicapped". "World of Ptavvs" reveals a number of new aspects to them, including that they were not a particularly intelligent species and only built their empire through the control of more intelligent species.
*A Ptavv is a Thrint who lacks telepathic powers. Thrintun consider it a matter of great shame to have a Ptavv in their family and usually tattoo them pink and sell them as slaves.
*Bandersnatchi are enormous intelligent creatures, consisting of one gigantic cell, and resembling a mountain-sized white slug. They were supposedly created as food animals for, and were found delectable by, the Thrint, but were actually spies for their designers, the
Tnuctipun, a highly intelligent slave species that led the revolt against the Thrintun. Only the Bandersnatchi survived the war, as they were specially designed to be immune to Thrintun mind control. Humans encountered the Bandersnatchi when they colonized the planet Jinx, and were able to deduce that they were intelligent.
*Larry Greenberg, the protagonist of "World of Ptavvs," had volunteered to emigrate with his wife to
Jinxto help the colonists communicate with the Bandersnatchi.
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
Thrint — The Thrintun (singular Thrint), in Larry Niven s fictional Known Space universe, were a long extinct species which ruled the galaxy through telepathic mind control. Humans knew them as Slavers . They debuted in Niven s The Handicapped , published … Wikipedia
Known Space — is the fictional setting of several science fiction novels and short stories written by author Larry Niven. It has also in part been used as a shared universe in the Man Kzin Wars spin off anthologies sub series.The epithet Known Space is an in… … Wikipedia
Larry Niven — Infobox Writer name = Larry Niven imagesize = 250px caption = Larry Niven at Stanford University in May 2006 pseudonym = birthname = Laurence van Cott Niven birthdate = Birth date and age|1938|04|30 birthplace = Los Angeles, California deathdate … Wikipedia
Мир Птаввов — У этого термина существуют и другие значения, см. Мир Птаввов (значения). Мир Птаввов World of Ptavvs Автор: Ларри Нивен Жанр … Википедия
List of science fiction novels — This page lists a broad variety of science fiction novels (and novel series) some old, some new; some famous, some obscure; some well written, some ill written and so may be considered a representative slice of the field. The books appear in… … Wikipedia
Asteroids in fiction — Asteroids and asteroid belts are a staple of science fiction stories.Asteroids play several potential roles in science fiction: as places which human beings might colonize; as resources for extracting minerals; as a hazard encountered by… … Wikipedia
Kzin — Kzinti on the cover of Man Kzin Wars III. The Kzinti (singular Kzin) are a fictional, very warlike and bloodthirsty race of cat like aliens in Larry Niven s Known Space series. The Kzin were initially introduced in Niven s story The Warriors… … Wikipedia
The Magic Goes Away — is a fantasy short story written by Larry Niven in 1976, and later expanded to a novella of the same name which was published in 1978. While these works were not the first in the Magic Universe or Warlock series, they marked a turning point after … Wikipedia
Neutron Star (short story) — Neutron Star is an English language science fiction short story written by Larry Niven. It was originally published in the August 1966 issue (Issue 107, Vol 16, No 10) of Worlds of If. It was later reprinted in Neutron Star, (New York: Ballantine … Wikipedia
Man-Kzin Wars — Cover of Man Kzin Wars III. The Man Kzin Wars is a series of military science fiction short story collections (and is the name of the first collection), as well as the eponymous conflicts between mankind and the Kzinti that they detail. They are… … Wikipedia