Larry Niven has co-authored almost a dozen new works, with a wide variety of collaborators. The most prolific partnership in his
long career has been with his friend Jerry Pournelle.
In addition to the writers mentioned above, Larry has also written stories and essays with
Mike Flynn, David Drake and even Isaac Asimov. Recently,
his short story collaborations with Brenda Cooper have appeared in Analog and elsewhere.
Future projects are underway with Pournelle,
Steven Barnes, Gregory Benford and
Edward M. Lerner. To explore reviews of Larry's collaborative works, click on the name of the book below.
Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle at a book signing for Escape from Hell at
Glendale Book Store
Photo by John King Tarpinian
How it began:
The story behind this long and productive writing partnership began
when Jerry Pournelle, an engineer with a military background, wanted a collaborator
to teach him how to write science fiction. Larry Niven lived nearby at the time. So,
Jerry Pournelle reports contacting Larry, telling him "I'll make you rich and
famous (if you'll write with me)."
To which Larry replied "I'm already rich."
Pournelle came back with "Ok, I'll make you famous and me rich."
And so was born the most accomplished writing team in science fiction, enjoying
great commercial successes, topping the New York Times best-seller list and
garnering multiple award nominations with Footfall, Lucifer's Hammer and The
Mote in God's Eye.
How it began:
Steven Barnes started early, writing to Larry in his final year of
high school. Larry was interested in his plots and writing samples
and corresponded back. They finally met when Steven attended a meeting
of the LASFS, of which Larry was a member. Steven approached Larry
and said "Hi, I'm Steven Barnes, we've corresponded." Larry
was pleased to meet him.
(Steven himself tells a slightly different version. In the
introduction to N-Space, he writes "I walked up to him and said:
"Hello, Mr. Niven, my name's Steven Barnes, and I'm a writer."
He took a puff on his pipe, looked at me and said: "Okay, tell me a
story." I just about died.")
The most successful set of stories to come from his
partnership are the stories set in the virtual reality gameworld of Dream
Larry and Steven also enjoyed great success when
they partnered with Jerry in The Legacy of Heorot and Beowulf's Children.
Brenda Cooper's solo stories have appeared in Analog, Nature, The Salal
Review, Strange Horizons, Oceans of the Mind, and in multiple anthologies.
She has a solo book, The Silver Ship and the Sea, coming out in March 2007
from Tor, with a sequel following in 2008.
Brenda recalls that the first time she asked Larry to collaborate with her,
he very politely said, "I don't collaborate with amateurs," and the
conversation turned to other things. Some time later, she showed him a
story, which he immediately found holes in and suggested ways to fix. It grew
from 8 pages to a novelette, and became their first published collaboration,
"Ice and Mirrors." Their novel started a lot like Steve Barnes mentions above -
with the command, "tell me a story." Talk about feeling on the spot!
Larry published an extensive look into this collaboration with Brenda
Cooper in "The Ice and Mirrors Papers," a lengthy e-mail
conversation between the two authors that appears in the Niven
Edward M. Lerner
...with Edward M. Lerner
Edward M. Lerner has degrees in physics and computer science (and, curiously enough, an MBA).
Now writing SF full time, Lerner worked in high tech for thirty years (including seven
years as a NASA contractor), in positions ranging from engineer to senior vice president.
That experience includes techie havens (such as Bell Labs, Hughes Aircraft, and Northrop
Grumman), an Internet company, and a software start-up. Sooner or later, it all shows up
in his fiction.
His books include Probe, Moonstruck, and the newly released collection Creative Destruction.
His short fiction has appeared in Analog, Artemis, and Jim Baen's Universe magazines, on
Amazon Shorts, and in the anthologies Year's Best SF 7 and Future Washington.
The novel Fleet of Worlds, Ed's first collaboration with Larry Niven,
was released in 2007.
Other Collaborative Novels:
Story and essay collaborations:
Works in Progress:
Note: With the exception of the collaborations with Ed Lerner, none of these collaborations feature stories written in the Known Space universe.
Jerry Pournelle, in particular, was uncomfortable writing in Known Space because of its in-depth universe and timeline. (Eventually, however, when Larry's lack of military
experience compelled him to throw the universe open to other authors to see what they could do with the Man-Kzin Wars, Pournelle accepted the invitation. Visit the
Man-Kzin War Reviews Page for more information.)
For more information on Niven's forthcoming collaborations and other scheduled releases, check out our
Work in Progress bibliography
search page. If you are searching for more Known Space stories, some good places to try include the
Bibliography, the list of
or the Man Kzin War Reviews Page.