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on 11 June 1999
All good stories, fast moving, with the true feel of Niven's "Known Space". Hal Colebatch, with stories in this and the preceding volume, is a bright new star in SF. His "Telepath's Dance" with its introduction of the Telepaths' War, marks a seminal development in the whole series. There is a lot of subtle humor as well as action. SF as it should be: hard science but an insight into the human condition that has a touch of poetry about it. The Kzin are neither too Alien to be convincing nor too human to be interesting, and the Man-Kzin interface is full of quirks and suspence.
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on 24 March 1999
Man-Kzin Wars VII was great, but this is the best so far! Fast moving action, good science. "Telepath's Dance", the longest story, is a classic retelling of "Beauty and the Beast", the Ripley-Alien situation but far stronger. Hints of a rebellion by Telepaths and a remnant of intelligent Kzinretts. Elderly Kzin Admiral almost understands the human secret but just misses the point about them. Good characterisation, laser-battles in space, hints of a developing Man-Kzin empathy. Who could ask for more? All the authors are good and all credit to Larry Niven's masterly control of the series.
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on 24 March 1999
Man-Kzin Wars VII was great, but this is the best so far! Fast moving action, good science. "Telepath's Dance", the longest story, is a classic retelling of "Beauty and the Beast", the Ripley-Alien situation but far stronger. Hints of a rebellion by Telepaths and a remnant of intelligent Kzinretts. Elderly Kzin Admiral almost understands the human secret but just misses the point about them. Good characterisation, laser-battles in space, hints of a developing Man-Kzin empathy. Who could ask for more? All the authors are good and all credit to Larry Niven's masterly control of the series.
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on 10 January 1999
I've been reading Larry Niven since I was a kid, and I still love his stories. Although many tales are now written by other authors, the universe he created is the focus of the stories, and these tales are true to that universe. This most recent collection is a prequel to the earlier books in the series. A human race, brainwashed by political correctness, finds itself defenseless and must "revert" to its older, more primitive ways of thinking in order to save itself. Very entertaining stories.
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on 13 December 1998
Choosing Names is a collection of stories covering the early days of the first Man-Kzin War. The stories mainly focus on humans learning to overcome their pacifism. Kzin telepaths are major figures in all but one story. This focus gives the collection a consistent tone, but doesn't provide that much variety. All of the stories are good but none of them match some of the best stories from earlier in the series.
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on 22 September 1998
Like most of the other reviewers, I felt this was one of the best of the Man-Kzin series. As mentioned, all of the stories involved telepaths. One of the stories, "Jotok," did not involve humans and the telepath connection was not obvious. Since it was not a Man-Kzin conflict, I wondered why it was in this anthology, although it was certainly a well-done story. I don't suppose there are enough Jotok-Kzin Wars stories to make up a book. This may sound like a complaint, but it isn't. In fact, the more I think about that story, it does serve as background to the Man-Kzin Wars. Another intersting thing about this book is the fact that all the stories involve either first contact between humans and Kzin, or are set early in the first war. That, combined with the Jotok story, which is set very early in the history of the Kzin empire, probably in prehistoric times on Earth, makes this book more of a prequel to the other books in the series. I enjoyed all five stories, and believe any Known Space fans will like it also.
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on 2 September 1998
The Man-Kzin Wars series of books is always a mixed bag. There are varied perspectives, varied narrators, and multiple authors. Unfortunately, often times quality is as varied as the plotlines. This is not so for _Choosing Names_, the first evenly wellwritten MKW title. Don't get me wrong, there was always enough excellence in any one book to make it worthwhile. But MKW8 is unusual in the series - it has a series maturity that, for once, has ensured a quality project. The characters are believable, the action is interesting, and the plotlines are enjoyable. The stories were all about telepaths, though (to be honest) they managed to never repeat the same plotline. Thoroughly enjoyable. It may well end up my favorite MKW collection!
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on 20 October 1998
All the Man-Kzin Wars stories are great, and No. VIII, "Choosing Names", is among the best. The longest story, "Telepath's Dance", is a gripping, knife-edged tale about a persecuted Telepath in a Kzin battleship and his human prisoners. Empathy gradually grows between him and Selina Guthlac, the last surviving human in the "live-meat storage" and they plan to escape together. Humans that are really human, aliens that are really alien, and space-battles with lasers, violent action plus a delicate human-Kzin interface. The old Kzin admiral a fine portrait of one who nearly understands and meets an ironic fate. New light on Kzin telepath society. Keep these stories coming!
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on 20 October 1998
All the Man-Kzin Wars stories are great, and No. VIII, "Choosing Names", is among the best. The longest story, "Telepath's Dance", is a gripping, knife-edged tale about a persecuted Telepath in a Kzin battleship and this human prisoners. Empathy gradually grows between him and Selina Guthlac, the last surviving human in the "live-meat storage" and they plan to escape together. Humans that are real human, aliens that are really alien, and space-battles with lasers, violent action plus a delicate human-Kzin interface. The old Kzin admiral a fine portrait of one who nearly understands and meets an ironic fate. New light on Kzin telepath society. Keep these stories coming!
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on 23 August 1998
The latest book in the Man-Kzin War series Choosing Names: Man-Kzin 8 is a great book. This book is a collection of short stories, showing th difficult, and intriging life of a Kzinti Telepath. The book also involves humans trying to escape from the Kzin and how they deal with the Telepaths. I found this novel to be exciting, full of neat info on the early days of the first Man-Kzin war and the life of Kzin Telepaths. I also found that I couldn't put the book down, I had to keep reading it to see what happened to the characters next.
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