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Science concepts in fiction Larry Niven

Lawrence Van Cott Niven was born on April 30, 1938, and now lives and lives in Los Angeles. One of the most titled American science fiction writers, winner of the Hugo, Locus, Dietmar, Nebula and many others awards.
Briefly about the writer
His work is distinguished precisely by “scientific” – they offer serious scientific concepts, theoretical physics. Plus, detective elements. In the field of fantasy, he noted the cycle “Magic is leaving”, within the framework of which he proposed a world where magical energy is a non-renewable resource. He began to write at a time when the science fiction community was seized by the idea of ​​avoiding traditional science fiction (the so-called “New Wave”). However, the trends had little effect on Niven, who began to bend his line, relying on traditional science fiction, which he read from childhood, and paying great attention to the scientific side of his works.
Birth name – Lawrence Van Cott Niven; father – Waldemar Van Cott Niven, mother – Lucy Estelle Doenyborn. Born April 30, 1938 in Los Angeles, California. He was the great-grandson of oil tycoon Edward Doheny.

Childhood and youth
Niven spent most of his childhood in Beverly Hills, where he attended Hawthorne State School, and then Kate School in Carpentery, California. Niven was read by the works of Frank Baum (author of The Wizard of Oz) and the early works of Robert Heinlein.

He met with them and many others in 1957, enrolling at the California Institute of Technology.

He dropped out of college in California in February 1958, and changed several professions before entering the University of Washington in Kansas, which he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics.

Creative activity and the path to fame
After studying, Niven turned to writing, living on the funds of his family’s trust fund. The first story was The Coolest Place, published in Frederik Pohl’s If magazine in December 1964. In it, a couple of researchers went to the planet Mercury in search of life.

Already in 1966, he received a nomination for the Nebula Prize “The Road to the Wrong Way”, after which his authority among colleagues grew faster and faster. American science fiction writer Algis Budris called him a promising writer, despite the growing “New Wave”, noting that “the trend is only for second-rate authors.” The “New Wave” is conventionally called the trend in science fiction of the 60s and 70s, which is characterized by a large number of experiments and a departure from traditional themes and methods of storytelling.

Further awards went one after another – the Nebula Prize in 1970, the Hugo in 1971, 1972, 1975 and 1976. By 1976, Niven had written seven novels, one of which was Mir-Ring, one of his most famous works.

Larry wrote scripts for TV shows and animated series (had a hand in the animated adaptation of Star Trek); He wrote comics about the Green Lantern, which was richly enriched with a more believable description of the Universe and the forces of the Lanterns. In several of his works, he predicted the emergence of a black market selling organs.

Niven also wrote a series of short stories, “The Magic Goes Away,” in which Mana, the magical energy used by magicians for witchcraft, is an exhaustible resource. And in this world, magic is more like science.

Niven writes so far – The Seascape Tattoo (not published in Russia), released in 2016, became the last published novel.

Personal life
September 6, 1969 married Marilyn Joyce Visovat. He is an agnostic.
Titles, awards and prizes

Hugo / Hugo Award, 1967 // Story
Neutron Star (1966)


Forry / Forry Award, 1969


Hugo / Hugo Award, 1971 // Roman
→ World-Ring / Ringworld (1970)

Nebula / Nebula Award, 1965 // Story
Calm in Hell / Becalmed In Hell (1965)


Hugo / Hugo Award, 1968 // Story
The Jigsaw Man (1967)


Hugo / Hugo Award, 1970 // Story
Not Long Before the End (1969)
What I wrote about, features
Niven’s most famous novel is Mir-Ring, in which he describes a world located in an orbit several million miles in diameter, revolving around a star. Niven himself said that the idea of ​​this world came to him while reflecting on the Dyson sphere – a hypothetical astroengineering project proposed by Freeman Dyson. This object is a relatively thin spherical shell of large radius (of the order of the radius of planetary orbits) with a star in the center.

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