Review: The World of Ptavvs

World of Ptavvs by Larry NivenWorld of Ptavvs by Larry Niven
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My Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars3 out of 5 stars
First Published: August 1966
Read from: July 23 to August 12, 2013

The World of Pshaw… I mean, Ptavvs [Niven Re-Read]

Reread this recently during one of my many “Niven binges”. This is one of Niven’s first novels (converted from a serial?) and it is NOT really one of his best.

The World Of Ptavvs is in Larry Niven’s “Known Space” universe but is a stand alone adventure. You get to see some aliens & alien tech from the “early days” of the galaxy. As usual with Niven, there are lots of cool scientific ideas for the most-part well developed. Lots of space travel, hi-tech gadgets, aliens, and a life and death plot… and characters that are very shallow even compared to the Niven standard.

Niven’s ideas on telepathy and mind-powers are particularly interesting. Unlike some of his later stuff there are also some plot and character motivation problems and the pacing seems weird in places. Overall though the story is still a fun and interesting bit of sci-fi.

A short list of spoiler-laden specifics of some “pshaw”-like issues I had with the book follow.

Spoiler: Top 6 'Pshaw Moments' Show


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