Larry Niven

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Larry Niven

See all quotes from Larry Niven

14 First Quotations from Larry Niven

autodoc n. 1966 L. Niven Warriors in Worlds of If Feb. 155/2 To each patient Doctor Davis handed a tiny pink pill from the dispenser slot of the huge autodoc which covered the back wall of the infirmary.
Belter n. 1965 L. Niven World of Ptavvs in Worlds of Tomorrow Mar. 56/1 They’ll be armed for us, and a weapon is a weapon…. Belters, they’re always waiting for the first ET. They’ll be armed for bear.
Dyson sphere n. 1970 L. Niven Ringworld 106 But there’s more to a Dyson sphere than collecting solar power. Say you make the sphere one astronomical unit in radius. You've got to clear out the solar system anyway, so you use all the solar planets in the construction. That gives you a shell of, say, chrome steel a few yards thick. Now you put gravity generators all over the shell. You'd have a surface area a billion times as big as the Earth’s surface. A trillion people could wander all their lives without ever meeting one another.
Dyson sphere n. 1970 L. Niven Ringworld 105 The Ringworld is a compromise, an engineering compromise between a Dyson sphere and a normal planet. Dyson was one of the ancient natural philosophers, pre-Belt, almost pre-atomic. He pointed out that a civilization is limited by the energy available to it. The way for the human race to use all the energy within its reach, he said, is to build a spherical shell around the sun and trap every ray of sunlight.
gripping hand n. [1974 L. Niven & J. Pournelle Mote in God’s Eye 167 It left the Motie standing comically on vacuum, its big left hand gripping a ring that jutted out from the hull.]
holo n. 1970 L. Niven Ringworld 31 You may examine the holo Louis Wu is carrying. That is the only information I can give you at this time.
in-system adj. 1968 L. Niven Slowboat Cargo in World of If Feb. 10/1 The ship began to drag a little, a very little, as the cone scooped up interstellar dust and hydrogen. She was still accelerating. Her insystem tank was idle now, and would be for the next twelve years. Her food would be the thin stuff she scooped out between the stars.
launching laser n. 1971 L. Niven Fourth Profession in Quark Aug. 209 ‘Jerome Finney…showed that the spectrum was the light of our own sun, drastically blue-shifted. Some kind of mirror was coming at us, moving at a hell of a clip, but slowing as it came.’ ‘That would mean a light-sail! ’ ‘Why the big deal, Frazer? I thought you already knew. ’ ‘No. This is the first I've heard of it. I don’t read the Sunday supplements. ’ Morris was exasperated. ‘But you knew enough to call a laser cannon a launching laser! ’
organlegger n. 1967 L. Niven Jigsaw Man in H. Ellison Dangerous Visions 220 If the odds broke right, if the right people came down with the right diseases at the right time, the organlegger might save more lives than he had taken.
organlegging n. 1969 L. Niven Organleggers in Galaxy Jan. 118/1 It involved an organlegging gang, apparently run by a single man, yet big enough to cover half the North American west coast.
organlegging n. 1969 L. Niven Organleggers in Galaxy Jan. 140/2 The crime of organlegging was the result of thousands of years of medical progress, of millions of lives selflessly dedicated to the ideals of healing the sick.
ramscoop n. 1965 L. Niven World of Ptavvs in Worlds of Tomorrow Mar. 33/1 The interstellar ramscoop robots had been searching out man-habitable systems for nearly a century.
Singularity n. 1970 L. Niven Ringworld 106 There wasn’t even a theoretical basis for faster-than-light travel. We never did invent hyperdrive, if you'll recall. We'd never have discovered it by accident, either, because we'd never have thought to do our experiments out beyond the singularity.
torch drive n. 1976 L. Niven Words in Science Fiction in Craft of Science Fiction 182 Simple description. Torch drive, duplicator, flying belt. Dolphins’ hands and telepathically operated tools on tractor treads.