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Protector [Mass Market Paperback]

4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

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Book Description

1 Nov 1984
Phssthpok the Pak had been traveling for most of his thirty-two thousand years. His mission: save, develop, and protect the group of Pak breeders sent out into space some two and a half million years before...

Brennan was a Belter, the product of a fiercely independent, somewhat anarchic society living in, on, and around an outer asteroid belt. The Belters were rebels, one and all, and Brennan was a smuggler. The Belt worlds had been tracking the Pak ship for days -- Brennan figured to meet that ship first...

He was never seen again -- at least not by those alive at the time.
--This text refers to an alternate Mass Market Paperback edition.

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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345319125
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345319128
  • Product Dimensions: 17.1 x 10.8 x 2.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,951,663 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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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'. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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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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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
4.1 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A haunting idea and a well-told yarn 30 Dec 2003
By Amazon Customer VINE VOICE
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
4.0 out of 5 stars Very readable prequel to the 'Ringworld' series 22 Oct 2002
By Andy
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
4.0 out of 5 stars Classic Niven 28 May 2001
By A Customer
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
4.0 out of 5 stars This tale holds up well 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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
Larry Niven's novel Protector is good, solid, science fiction like they don't write anymore. It depicts man's first contacts with extraterrestrials about two and four centuries hence. It is a novel of ideas: some futurology, some philosophy, some fantasy anthropology. It presents a consistent world that we can easily understand. It makes us think about where the human race came from and for what purpose. There are also one or two nice twists in the book.

Of course, the book cannot help but reflect the time in which it was written, the late sixties and early seventies. It's still a man's world: the only woman character in the book is feisty and tomboyish but succumbs to the hero's muscular charms; the police are men: helpful, but too busy to be effective; hippyish middle aged men go through crises and backpack round the world; a crepuscular statesman lingers contentedly in his establishment club. It's reassuring to know that books are still read and that sometimes they even take computers on trickier deep space missions. This is a book of its time, but the story and the ideas keep it fresh and divert from the threadbare certainties of four decades ago.

Like all good science fiction, it resonates. As I finished the book, a company called Planetary Resources, backed, apparently, by billionaires, announced their intention to begin a programme of space travel in order to exploit the mineral wealth of "near Earth asteroids". Niven's first "belters" are near. Much of the von Daniken speculation and the biological catalysts found in Prometheus, the new Ridley Scott film, are in Niven's novel too; the "ancient astronaut" being a fashionable theory of the late sixties and early seventies.

If all Niven's speculation from the first golden age of space exploration were not enough, we can marvel at Alice Jordan, Protector's lone woman, who becomes "Sally" from time to time as the book progresses. Teleportation? Mutation? Poor copy editing, more likely.
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