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Protector Paperback – 31 Dec 1981


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Paperback, 31 Dec 1981
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Product details

  • Paperback: 218 pages
  • Publisher: Orbit; Later printing edition (31 Dec 1981)
  • ISBN-10: 0860078485
  • ISBN-13: 978-0860078487
  • Product Dimensions: 17.2 x 10.4 x 1.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 925,216 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Larry Niven has won the prestigious Hugo Award five times. He is known to millions as the premier modern author of rigorous, scientifically consistent hard SF, the champion of 'SF without a net'.

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He sat before an eight-foot circle of clear twing, looking endlessly out on a view that was less than exciting. Read the first page
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer VINE VOICE on 30 Dec 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
What if the human adult were actually just the child stage of a more advanced creature, accidentally lost in space millions of years ago and eternally prevented from reaching adulthood by a quirk of food biology? And what if one of our true "adults" managed to find us and tried to make us like him? This is the interesting premise. Unlike Arthur C Clarke's "Childhood's End", it is not so clear that we earth-humans should go along with our "daddy's" wishes. And the final decision falls to the fate of the only human to be thus mutated. A particularly solid, thought-provoking and enjoyable piece of work from Niven, with plenty of his characteristic scientific angles.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Andy on 22 Oct 2002
Format: Paperback
It's odd that this book is out of print given the success of Niven's 'Ringworld' books, since this is pretty much a prequel to them.
For those that know 'Ringworld', we learned in 'Ringworld Engineers' that the Ringworld was built by Pak Protectors, and that Pak are tough, super-intelligent and dedicated to protecting their species, whatever it takes. In 'Protector' we learn more about the Pak and their links with humanity, and how one human - the prospector Jack Brennan - became a protector to our species and our planet...
Even if you haven't read any of the 'Ringworld' books, I'd rate this as an enjoyable read. The relationship between the Pak and humankind is a shockingly plausible bit of science fiction (I won't spoil it by revealing too much) and the story, which takes place across a timespan of several decades, romps along without getting bogged down in background detail. If you are able to get hold of this book and you enjoy SF, I'd thoroughly recommend it.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 28 May 2001
OK; fair enough. Nobody who doesn't at least like science fiction should go any where within spitting distance of this book. But for those who do like SF, it's quintessential Niven, with the logic of an albiet unlikely permise worked out with thoroughness and intelligence, and pace. It's full of sensawunder technological coups, and memorable future goodies as well, cumulating in one of the literatures most rigorously imagined space sequences. Niven is scrupulous in the science, less so in the characterisation and prose, but this comes with the territory. The plotting is good though, with shocks and twists a-plenty, and assumes greater significance when slotted into its rightful place in the Known Space mythos, like most of Niven's early work. To quote Thomas Disch on Hal Clement, 'it may be dense, but so's pecan pie.'
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 27 May 2001
Man has pretty much conquered inner space. The Moon, Mars, Mercury, asteroid mining, spaceships, fusion drives, human hibernation to cope with long journeys and boredom...the hard sci-fi fan has plenty to enjoy here. Niven is good at picking up realistic science, across the disciplines, particularly physics and biology, and taking the ideas to the next stage, and the next, and the next. By and large it hangs together well. But the real reason I like this one is the entertaining alien species, the Pak. The pinnacle of evolutionary success for this race is the Protector, the full-adult warrior class member who lives to fight and further his genetic blood line by winning territory and destroying all competition. It is as if Mr Niven anticipated Dawkin's 'Selfish Gene' hypothesis and 'Independence Day' in a leap of the imagination one day in the early 1970's. The nearest thing on earth to the Pak was probably the militaristic Spartan civilisation of ancient Greece. And now the Pak are coming. Earth is a failed Pak colony, a two-and-a-half million year old experiment gone awry. Man was never meant to evolve under his own steam. They want their territory back...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Paul J Duncan on 6 April 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I first read this tale 30 years ago. Despite faults seen by a rather more sophisticated reader It remains a cracking story and great fun. To my mind Protector would make a good TV series if carefully rewritten (ie not half arsed moments of exposition) to explain a few of the more SF elements to a general audience.
A happy reunion for me and thoroughly recommended to the "hard" SF fan or the general reader who can see past the SF elements.
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