this is the 80th of my series of forgotten books
Playgrounds of the Mind by Larry Niven, some contents co-authored, July 1992 mass market paperback, science fiction and fantasy
I bought this used copy for the car. If you’re like me, you like to have a book at hand pretty much all of the time, and I find it handy to have one that mostly stays in the car. When I finish it, and that can take a while, I get another “car book”.
My criteria for such a book: a slightly beat-up paperback short story collection. I find short stories are faster to read, I don’t have to keep track of characters and plot over a long period of time. These are books I can just pick up and read without a lot of figuring out where I was and what was happening. This books fits the criteria.
This has mostly short stories and in this case excerpts from longer works, all but one I’d read. For that matter, I’d read most of the short stories too, but it had been a long time ago.
I really like Niven, especially his short stories, so I knew I’d like these and I did. The only problem was some I enjoyed so much now I want to read the longer pieces in their entirety.
The contents of Larry Niven’s Playgrounds of the Mind collection as follows
Thraxisp: A Memoir
“A Teardrop Falls”
From Inferno (with Jerry Pournelle)
From A World Out of Time
From The Ethics of Madness
“Becalmed in Hell”
“Wait It Out”
“A Relic of the Empire”
From Lucifer’s Hammer (with Jerry Pournelle)
“The Soft Weapon”
“The Borderland of Sol”
From The Ringworld Engineers
“What Good Is a Glass Dagger?”
From The Magic Goes Away
“The Defenseless Dead”
From The Patchwork Girl
From Oath of Fealty (with Jerry Pournelle)
“The Dreadful White Page”
From Dream Park (with Steven Barnes)
“The Green Marauder”
Assimilating Our Culture, That’s What They’re Doing!
The Lost Ideas
Bigger Than Worlds
Ghetto? But I Thought…
Adrienne and Irish Coffee
“One Night at the Draco Tavern”
Why Men Fight Wars, and What You Can Do About It!
From Green Lantern Bible
From The Legacy of Heorot (with Jerry Pournelle and Steven Barnes)
“The Portrait of Daryanree the King”
“The Wishing Game”
“The Lion In His Attic”
From Footfall (with Jerry Pournelle)
Works in Progress
From The Moat Around Murcheson’s Eye
From Fallen Angels
[from] The California Voodoo Game
That’s about a s broad a look at Niven’s writing as you’re likely to find inside one set of covers, and between the short stories, excerpts from novels and articles, there’s a lot to enjoy. Don’t misunderstand, I normally will have noting to do with excerpts, the Reader’s Digest version of books, but in this case, since it’s a book for the car, I’m okay with it.
I wonder, does anyone else keep a book in the car?
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links to all of this weeks Forgotten Book posts can be found
on Patti Abbott’s blog, Pattinase