Literacy week, month, whatever — Book 6

I don’t follow a lot of what goes on, so when I got tagged for a Literacy Month challenge, I thought nothing of it, rolled up my make-believe sleeves, and responded to the challenge. Except, Literacy Month is November.

. . . you can’t trust anyone these days . . .

So I’m supposed to “. . . post seven books I love; one book per day, no exceptions, no reviews – just covers . . .” which I’m doing on Facebook.

I wrote posts about the first three books because they were in Italian and wanted to expand/explain my choice. This book is in English and the reason I’m writing a post is . . . because I want to.

Speaking of literacy, how about reading and voting on the three “C” stories recently published on this blog? You can vote for them HERE as well as find links to them so that — you know — you can read them before you vote.

The books I posted on Facebook were arranged in chronological order. Had I chosen to present them in order of preference, I’d have had a tough time deciding between a few authors and books . . . but Larry Niven‘s Ringworld would’ve place near the top, if not the top.

In fact, I’ll go out on a limb and flat out say I liked more books by Larry Niven than by any other author . . . well, maybe Zelazny . . . and Butcher . . . and Saberhagen . . . OK, OK . . . let me backtrack . . . Larry Niven wrote Tales of Known Space that introduced concepts, characters, civilizations, and technologies that — in my humble opinion — smoked other authors and left them in the dust.

The Puppeteers, the Kzin, the Ptaws, stasis fields, transfer discs, transfer booths, hyperdrives, invulnerable hulls, all tools in crafting engaging stories. You can read specifics about Known Space HERE. I liked that he created a chronology for the stories he wrote and set them in a common universe.

I don’t remember with certainty if Ringworld was the first of Niven’s books I read, but it’s likely so.

I could list all the books of his I read, but instead, I’ll give you links (HERE and HERE) to his bibliography. The second is probably easier to navigate because it’s grouped a bit better.

I’m sure I’ve read all of these:

Tales of Known Space

And the first two of these:


  1. Ringworld (1970)—Nebula Award, 1970[2] Hugo and Locus SF Awards winner, 1971[3]
  2. The Ringworld Engineers (1979)—Hugo and Locus SF Awards nominee, 1981[4]
  3. The Ringworld Throne (1996)
  4. Ringworld’s Children (2004)

Why only two? In the 90s, I owned a business that occupied a lot of my time. I owned the other two books but never got around to reading them. Perhaps I will, but I’m happy where the first two books ended.

He wrote (or collaborated, or licensed) a series of books titled the Man-Kzin Wars (I through XV) with other stories about our struggles with the Kzin. Or rather, their struggles with us.

I read most of the Kzin stories but I probably missed a few, again because my life is seldom focused on just one thing.

I mentioned he collaborated with other writers (one of the things I like about the man). Jerry Pournelle and Steven Barnes were two of his frequent collaborators. Yes, I read their stories as well.

Some of Nive’s collaboration with Jerry Pournelle

with Steven Barnes

One thing the reader might find interesting . . . both Niven and Pournelle served in US administrations as advisers on matters of National Security.

Really, I can keep on writing about Niven’s books and it won’t mean anything to most people who read this. However, if you are at all interested in science fiction (what is known as “hard science fiction“), you owe it to yourself to give Niven a try.

I should mention that “hard science fiction” is not necessarily scientifically accurate. But, it is logical and self-consistent.

BUT WAIT . . . Niven also wrote about magic; specifically, he wrote The Magic Goes Away which spawned a series. If you are an M:TG player, then you might know which card is named after him. I sold all my cards in 2018 but here’s the card in question:

Nevinyrral's Disk

Magic Goes Away

  1. Not Long before the End (1969)
  2. What Good Is a Glass Dagger? (1972)
  3. The Magic Goes Away (1978)
  4. The Magic May Return (1981)
  5. More Magic (1984)
  6. The Time of the Warlock (1984)

There’s more I could mention . . . but I’m going to end with a strong recommendation:

. . . read “Man of Steel, Woman of Kleenex“. Seriously, if you do nothing else with all I wrote about here, you need to read this piece explaining what would happen to LL (Lois Lane, or Lana Lang, or Lori Lemaris) if she were to actually make love to Superman (and conceive). If you don’t want to read the piece, at least read about it.

The piece appeared in Niven’s All the Myriad Ways.

Sadly, I only have a small portion of what used to be a vast SF library. Still, I kept a few.

This is a photo I just took of some of the books that I still own. Recognize any?

I have a number of hard-cover books, but none from Niven.

OK, I’ll end here. But, Larry Niven . . . worth a look-see, methinks.

That’s it. This post has ended . . . except for the stuff below.


Note: if you are not reading this blog post at, know that it’s copied without permission, and likely is being used by someone with nefarious intentions, like attracting you to a malware-infested website.  Could be they also torture small mammals.


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About disperser

Odd guy with odd views living an odd life during odd times.
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8 Responses to Literacy week, month, whatever — Book 6

  1. kshai1715 says:


    Omg… Man of Steel, Woman of Kleenex! Way tooooo damned funny.
    And probably not wrong either.

    I do recall one episode of Smallville when Kent does mention to someone his fear of injuring Lana Lang if he ever did get to be with her, so he was definitely aware of that… which also implies that the idea about holes in the walls of his bedroom are probably not far from accurate!

    Thanks for the laugh this morning.

    Maybe you would enjoy my fan fiction after all.


    • disperser says:

      You are welcome, and I wish I’d written it.

      Humor writing is a tricky thing. I write humor whenever I can but I learned early on (when I was working) that it’s something some people will just miss. I used to inject humor into presentations I would give to GM management and I’d say only about a third would realize it was humor (despite clearly being so).

      I didn’t see any fan fiction on your blog (I had perused it a few months back and checked your last few posts). It sounds like you’re enjoying the P900. They have a P950 coming out that will take RAW but loses some features I like. There’s also the P1000, but that’s a huge camera to casually carry around. I split my time between the D7500 with the 70-300mm lens and the P900, depending on where I’m going and what I’m doing. But, I am thinking of selling a few of my lenses and buying the 200-500mm for those long shots.

      By the way, that’s a heck of a costume you wear. That has to be hot walking around the con. I went to a con while in Hawaii and one guy was dressed as Deadpool . . . it was close to 90 out and the venue was mostly not air-conditioned. One other guy had an all-black-leather outfit on (some character from a game he mentioned but that I didn’t recognize since I’m not a gamer) and he admitted it was getting uncomfortable.

      Anyway, thanks for reading.


      • kshai1715 says:

        My fan fiction is on I don’t post it on my WP blog nor do I reference it there due to the nature of the work, it is not for general audiences.

        Here is the link to my works on that website.

        I definitely don’t write humor, lol. You’re right – it’s tough to do.

        I think the P900 is O.K. I bought it as a downgrade from my D7100 & 500 mm lens set up. I wanted to have that zoom for birds, the only problem is that the camera really isn’t that great at birds, lol. Oh well.

        The P1000 is so big, and there’s such a minimal difference between the 2, it just isn’t worth it to me. I don’t think I’ll look at the P950 either, I’ll just stick with the 900, it’s fair enough for me.

        I looooove my costuming, and my Predator suit has a surprising amount of ventilation. So long as I don’t have to potty, I’m OK wearing it for 5-10 hours… but that also means I can’t eat or drink in it. My feet do hurt in it, the boots aren’t the best support.

        By the way – have you ever seen the movie Brightburn?


      • disperser says:

        I’ll look at but you’re hinting that it’s probably not something I might like. we’ll see.

        As for Brightburn . . . it’s horror. I stopped watching horror sometimes back in the 80s.

        I think the last horror I watched was The Frighteners, and that’s more comedy-horror.

        The genre has zero appeal to me (why I don’t read Stephen King) as there’s seldom something challenging. Alien was barely passable (in my book) and there’s no horror movie that I’ve seen that I would rewatch (unlike Hitman or Firefly or The Mummy . . . hey! that’s horror, right? Death is not the end!)


  2. AnnMarie says:

    I really am impressed with the time and effort you put into preparing a post like this! Besides looking very organized (that’s the office admin in me), it reads well. Which, unfortunately, I didn’t do to any of your above listed books. But you the important thing here is that you did and that you also took great pleasure in reading them.


    • disperser says:

      Some of it is cut-and-paste from Wikipedia, so that saves a bit of time, but yes, it takes a little bit to put this together. Because I have other stuff I’m doing (painting and other maintenance), I write these posts in spurts, grabbing time here and there and then finishing up late at night and schedule them to go live in the morning.


  3. Thanks for the links! I shall click and read!
    He sounds like a man with an amazing mind!
    HUGS and I’m really enjoying these book posts you are writing and sharing!


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