This list of insights was compiled from postings to the Larry Niven-L Mailing List.
- To be damned reluctant
to get on any starship in his universe. There seem to be an awful lot
of mutinies, piracies, mechanical failures and altogether too much bad
luck for those of us lacking the Teela Brown gene. The message seems
to be: Stay at home wherever it may be, all transport elsewhere is unsafe
at any speed!
- Paranoid herbivores
who control economies are much more dangerous than the sporting creatures
who scream and leap.
- The universe is bigger
and badder and scaryer than you think (it does not matter how much you
think that allready).
- Shit happens.
- Deal with it calmly
and level-headedly or be destroyed.
- No matter what, or where,
or when you are, SOMETHING will get get you.
- Electricity, like women,
can feel bad OR good, depending on where you put it.
- Just when you thought
a thing was impossible, you find out not only is it possible, but it
happens at THE MOST inconvenient moment.
- There are minds out
there that can think as well, or better, than yours, but differently.
- There is no such thing
as paranoia. Ever.
- If there are ever birthright
lotteries and I win more than once, it is not cause for celebration
- If I am ever impressed
with the size of my spaceship, I should be more humble - there's always
somone with something bigger. (Usually a lot bigger)
- Should I ever decide
to form a government with the currency of 'stars' I should roll a sly
1 billion off the press and into a handy slush fund.
- Never follow an automated
waiter into an automated kitchen.
- When it starts getting
a little hot for no apparent reason, feeling the metal objects of a
room is a good precautionary first-step.
- Should teleportation
ever become widespread, following my birthday around the planet is a
real good way to draw attention to myself.
- a) If you see a guy
in a bar drinking orange juice, and calling himself Sync, leave.
b) Or spike his juice...
- The perpetrator will
nearly always be the non-essential character given an inordinate amount
of descriptive text. ;o)
- If you have enough time
to play with, chronology becomes less important.
- Dreaming about a hill
in the shape of a falling wave is almost exclusively a bad thing.
- Get on your depends
and Kamikaze underwear. You're going on a mission for the ARMS and or
- Watch out for entities
that try to give you what you think you want.
- It doesn't matter what
a phenomenon is called - what you need for survival is merely an understanding
of how the phenomon works.
- What's luck for me
might not be luck for you.
- Glass daggers can be
hidden in water.
- Curiosity can save your
- Have sex
whenever, wherever with pretty much whatever as long as you're not in
danger of being eaten. (The bad kind of "eaten", anyway.)
- Living for a really
long time has its benefits and its drawbacks.
- Don't mess around with
really dense objects like things made of neutronium and black holes.
It will only end in disaster.
- Despite the fact that
humans are barely evolved out of trees, and nowhere as intelligent,
cunning or strong as most other species out there, it's amazing what
we've been able to accomplish. (Whether what we have accomplished will
ultimately be considered "Good" remains to be seen.)
- Forget about the [Jews,
Greys, Illuminati, Trilateral Commission, etc crackpot conspiracy theories],
it's the Puppeteers who are running everything. But there really is
a conspiracy, and someone probably *is* out to get you. Your only advantage
is that, since you're just one of many billions, it might take some
time to get around to you
- It's good to know that,
as advanced as the Puppeteers are supposed to be as a species relative
to humans, we can screw things up just as bad as they can.
- In 20,000 years, we're
all going to be fried; see lesson #.
- If you want a good read,
read his books and his collaborations.
- Never freeze yourself
on an interstellar journey, you might find yourself subtley different
after the thaw.
- We have 20,000 years
to find a new home.
- Everything in an environment
is an integral part of the stability of that environment.
- Don't assume that the
universe isn't out to get you.
- Leave a copy of your
computer software and database in orbit and update it frequently.
- Two shuttles are not
- Become good friends
with a Senator in California.
- Anti-matter does not
get along well with General Products hull (I mean, who knew?)
- First contact with an
truly alien species is not only going to be strange, but stranger than
we can imagine.
- He who lives in a stone
house shouldn't throw glass daggers?
- Whatever the crime, the pretty girl *didn't* do
it. (Patchwork Girl,ARM)
- Never make assumptions (good or bad) about people
you haven't met yet (The Warriors) or places you haven't been very long
- Power has negative side effects. (Magic Goes Away,
- Don't build a self-sufficient starship unless
you're going to actually go somewhere in it. (Oath of Fealty)
- Psychic powers can both hurt and help your chances
of getting laid (AGFE,Death By Ecstacy)... They may even have other
(less important) effects.