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From the Inside Flap
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 out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
Larry Niven (left) is the Hugo and Nebula Award-winning author of such classics as "Ringworld, The Integral Trees", and "Destiny's Road". He has also collaborated with both Jerry Pournelle and Steven Barnes on "The Legacy of Heorot, Beowulf's Children", and the bestselling "Dream Park" series. He lives in Chatsworth, California.
Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle were the joint winners of the 2005 Robert A. Heinlein Award. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
A happy reunion for me and thoroughly recommended to the "hard" SF fan or the general reader who can see past the SF elements.
The book suffers structurally from being divided into two parts (the first began life as a short story) with different protagonists and set 200 years apart. Add to this that part two climaxes – if that’s the right word – with a protracted space skirmish spread over a decade or so, and you have a story which never really gets into top gear. This left me with too much time to chunter about Niven’s sub-GCSE take on evolutionary biology (even for 40 years ago). Still, it’s an interesting enough yarn to recommend to a wider readership than just Known Space completists, especially if you enjoy lovingly detailed descriptions of the nuts and bolts of space travel.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Good novel. Nice action, well written, good plot. Cool combat near the speed of light between bussard ramjets towards the end, and a surprising final twist. Well worth reading.Published 2 months ago by robert
Or not, as it happens. A believable tale of different biology and interstellar war at relativistic speeds. Motivation is the key.Published on 26 Dec. 2013 by Paul Laker
Benn meaning to read this for YEARS - never got round to it - Niven on top form.
Pak have 2 stages to their life. Breeder and Protector.
Breeders are stupid and concerned only with food and breeding. Read more