Starborn and Godsons by Larry Niven,Jerry Pournelle, Steven Barnes (Heorot #3)
English | 2020 | Sci – Fi | ePUB | 3.8 MB
Larry Niven is the award-winning of the Ringworld series, along with many other science fiction masterpieces and fantasy including the Magic Goes Away series. His Beowulf’s Children, co-ed with Jerry Pournelle and Steven Barnes, was a New York Times bestseller. He has received the Nebula Award, five Hugos, four Locus Awards, two Ditmars, the Prometheus, and the Robert A. Heinlein Award, among other honors. He lives in Chatsworth, California.
Avalon was thriving. The cold sleep colonists from Earth had settled on a verdant, livable world. The fast and cunning predators humans named grendels were under control, and the mainland outposts well established. Avalon’s new mainland hydroelectric power station was nearly complete, and when on-line would compensate for the nuclear power systems lost in the Grendel Wars. Humans would have power, and with power came the ability to make all the necessities for life. They would survive.
They would not survive as a spacefaring people.
What they were losing faster than they knew was the ability to get to space. But unbeknownst to the planet-bound humans, something was moving out there in the stars, decelerating at a rate impossible for a natural object. And its destination was Avalon. The most probable origin was Earth’s Solar System.
This is a novel of first contact-between the human Starborn and the self-named Godsons who followed on, between the first generation of Avalon born humans and their descendants, and between humans and the almost ineffably alien species native to their new world . . . .
I had written several novels with Larry Niven when he and his partner, Jerry Pournelle, asked me if I’d be interested in the idea of a novella. I listened, and thought it was appropriately brilliant, given the guys who had generated it. I also knew something else: they had just come off a run on the New York Times bestseller list, and this was one hell of an opportunity for me.
Multiple purposes, all dovetailing.
The most obvious career possibility was a chance to stand on their shoulders, use their lightning as my own. Another is that Jerry as an individual was, at that time, arguably the smartest human being I’d ever met, more than a little intimidating, and I wanted to see what it was like to interact with that mind more closely. And the third is that together, Larry and Jerry were an extraordinary team. I was dying to know what it was like to interact with the two of them at the same time.
So . . I dreamed and figured and came up with a reasonable way that a short idea could turn into a full novel, pitched it, and the game was afoot. A couple of times a week, for over a year, I would travel to Larry or Jerry’s house (usually Jerry, I recall—he had the better designed workspace for collaboration), take notes, discuss the story, and then go away and write. I brought the text back on disk or paper, and then the fun really began.
You see . . Jerry enjoyed teaching and lecturing, but also just a bit of terrorizing. And I was intimidated half to death. I’m not sure how many human beings have ever had the experience of having two world-class authors, one on either side of the room, tearing up their writing simultaneously. Larry would do it with relative compassion, but Jerry was having entirely too much fun.
“Ah, we’re murdering Barnes’ precious prose,” he’d cackle, bent over his typewriter. “Barnes, was your mother frightened by a gerund??”
Ah, memories. There were times it was so brutal I drove home crying. But I wouldn’t quit: I knew that if I could hang in there, I’d learn lessons no school in the world could teach me. I also knew Jerry suffered fools less gladly than anyone I’d ever met. His pressure wasn’t contempt. That was respect. If he hadn’t respected me, I wouldn’t have been in that room. He was lobbing balls at me, and expected that I’d eventually start lobbing them back.
I didn’t, until the second book. I just bit back my fear and frustration, soldiered on, and learned. And grew. And looking back, I was right: it was an extraordinary opportunity, and one of the smartest decisions I ever made.