Larry Niven

Larry Niven was born April 30, 1938, in Los Angeles, California, USA, to Waldemar Van Cott Niven and Lucy Estelle Doheny Niven (later Washington). He was raised in Beverly Hills, California, where he went to the Hawthorne Public School, then Cate School (Carpinteria.), followed by the California Institute of Technology from September 1956 to February 1958. Niven flunked out after discovering a bookstore jammed with used science fiction magazines.  His attempt at honest employment: gas station attendant, summer 1960.

Later, Niven graduated Washburn University, Kansas, June 1962: BA in Mathematics with a Minor in Psychology. They later gave him a D. Litt., an honorary doctorate in Letters.

He met Marilyn Joyce Wisowaty at the Nycon World Science Fiction Convention, 1967 and the two married September 6, 1969. They reside in Chatsworth, California.

Niven is the author of numerous science fiction short stories and novels, beginning with his 1964 story "The Coldest Place." In this story, the coldest place concerned is the dark side of Mercury, which at the time the story was written was thought to be tidally locked with the Sun (it was found to rotate in a 2:3 resonance after Niven received payment for the story, but before it was published).

In addition to the Nebula award in 1970 and the Hugo and Locus awards in 1971 for Ringworld, Niven won the Hugo Award for Best Short Story for "Neutron Star" in 1967. He won the same award in 1972, for "Inconstant Moon," and in 1975 for "The Hole Man." In 1976, he won the Hugo Award for Best Novelette for "The Borderland of Sol."

Niven has written scripts for various science fiction television shows, including the original Land of the Lost series and Star Trek: The Animated Series, for which he adapted his early story "The Soft Weapon." He adapted his story "Inconstant Moon" for an episode of the television series The Outer Limits in 1996.

Niven has also written for the DC Comics character Green Lantern including in his stories hard science fiction concepts such as universal entropy and the redshift effect.

Many of Niven's stories take place in his Known Space universe, in which humanity shares the several habitable solar systems nearest to the Sun with over a dozen alien species, including the aggressive feline Kzinti and the very intelligent but cowardly Pierson's Puppeteers, which are frequently central characters. The Ringworld series is set in the Known Space universe.

Niven has also written a logical fantasy series The Magic Goes Away, which utilizes an exhaustible resource called Mana to power a rule-based "technological" magic. The Draco Tavern series of short stories take place in a more light-hearted science fiction universe, and are told from the point of view of the proprietor of an omni-species bar. The whimsical Svetz series consists of a collection of short stories, The Flight of the Horse, and a novel, Rainbow Mars, which involve a nominal time machine sent back to retrieve long-extinct animals, but which travels, in fact, into alternative realities and brings back mythical creatures such as a Roc and a Unicorn. Much of his writing since the 1970s has been in collaboration, particularly with Jerry Pournelle and Steven Barnes, but also Brenda Cooper and Edward M. Lerner.

The creation of thoroughly worked-out alien species, which are very different from humans both physically and mentally, is recognized as one of Niven's main strengths.

Niven's personal interests include: science fiction conventions, role playing games, live and computer, AAAS meetings and other gatherings of people at the cutting edges of science, comics, filk singing, yoga and other approaches to longevity, and hiking and racquetball. Other interests include: saving civilization and making a little money, the defense of Earth against incoming giant meteoroid impacts, moving mankind into space by any means, but particularly by making space endeavors attractive to commercial interests.