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Jaybee Corbell Awoke After Than Years As A Corpsicle In Someone Else S Body, And Under Sentence Of Instant Annihilation If He Made A Wrong Move While They Were Training Him For A One Way Mission To The StarsBut Corbell Picked His Time And Made His Own Move Once He Was Outbound, Where The Society That Ruled Earth Could Not Reach Him, He Headed His Starship Toward The Galactic Core, Where The Unimaginable Energies Of The Universe Wrenched The Fabric Of Time And Space And Promised Final Escape From His CaptorsThen He Returned To An Earth Eons Older Than The One He D Lefta Planet That Had Had ,, Years To Develop Perils He Had Never Dreamed Of Perils That Became Nightmares That He Had To Escapesomehow


10 thoughts on “A World Out of Time

  1. says:

    First he flies around a huge black hole and narrowly escapes being sucked into it Later on in the book, they stick a giant tube into Uranus, turning it into some kind of planet sized rocket, and use it to rearrange the Solar System s architecture.I know so little about Freudian psychology that I imagine these scenes tell us something about the state of Mr Niven s psyche Marvel at my na vet if you will


  2. says:

    Too much of Brave New World to start off with and too similar to The Time Machine with the master and slave races thread for the rest of the book It is tough to keep a book together with only one interesting character, especially when it is not the main character, and sticks around for less than a third of the story All in all, the book had me bored out of my senses waiting for something new to happen.Maybe it was a mistake to not read Ringworld first It is going to be hard for me to come back to Niven after this drudge fest And no I did not get enough Future Shock to kill a whole city of Alvin Tofflers.


  3. says:

    Re read this as part of summer long nostalgia trip of Larry Niven s Known Space books Although A World Out of Time, takes place in a different fictional universe, I had good memories of the book and this felt like the right time to revisit

    There is one major difference between this book and any of the Known Space series that you should know about no FTL hence no hyperspace, no Outsider drive, no instantaneous communication What we have is the lightspeed observing Buzzard ramjet on a trip to the core of the galaxy With this key limitation, Niven s narrative has to work with centuries of transit time, long stretches crossing the empty gulfs of space, and all the arcane physics dealing with astrogation, cosmology and time dilation Is the master up to the challenge In A World Out of Time, the protagonist, Jerome Corbell, travels to the core of the galaxy and back, over an external elapsed time of 3 million years and Corbell s body clock of about a century and a half He returns to a solar system that is drastically changed, with the sun cooler and red, and Earth in orbit around a warmed up Jupiter Then the action shifts groundside as Corbell explores the plate shifted continents Niven sprinkles this with antagonists allies, including the digital entity, Peerssa, the aging dowager, Mirelly, and a troop of the human post genitors, the immortal Boys.The narrative is sequential each change in time and setting is essentially a stand alone story The first half of the book is fast paced and unpredictable all about the physics, with vintage hard SF story telling from Niven The second half, taking place on Earth, is tourist y with some emotional impetus from Corbell chasers Though the tale still moves fast, it is oddly thin without the heavy science It can only end one way, and does.The expected Niven themes are here immortality, highly intelligent, rational characters, logical development and framework, sexual motives If I stopped halfway, this would have been 5 stars, but the balance of the book really didn t work as well and so my updated rating I think Niven used what he learned from this book to write better books later in his career He also learned to avoid the slower than light backstory and embrace hyperspace He must have liked FTL so much because he later made up Hyperspace II Post script Notwithstanding the challenges, writers still try galactic space opera without FTL One such is Alastair Reynolds with his Revelation Space series and the recent House of Suns It does require a real nerdy writer though.


  4. says:

    As always Larry Niven is better at coming up with great story ideas than actually writing them This one starts out feeling like a short story, and as such it is fantastic Without giving away too much of the plot, the first part of the story is a grand adventure of galactic proportions Then the reader, along with the protagonist, comes back to a well worn Niven cliche of blazing fast scene changes, obscure science and an ultimate adherence to the law of Chekhov s gun.Some parts are fun, action scene chase movie fun The hard science gets in the way of the writing at times it would be better if the story followed the rules of hard science, and had less plot driven by pounding the math into our heads A great deal of it feels like The Pak Protectors reversed And the characters might as well be lifted from any number of other Niven novels, they speak with the same voice, they have the same sudden insights into math stellar mechanics population genetics electro chemical theory deus es machina to move the plot along or back to where ever it is supposed to be going.If you enjoyed The Ringworld novels this won t disappoint, but it also won t amaze.


  5. says:

    Charting humanity s future history20 January 2014 There are a number of science fiction books around where the author attempts to chart the future history, in a speculative manner of course, of humanity Isaac Asimov does that in his Foundation universe which begins with the Robot stories and ends with Foundation and Earth and Larry Niven does the same thing with A World Out of Time The theme that I see in this idealistic setting is how humanity can create the perfect society in the perfect world This is the ultimate goal of the Asimov books, however it seems to have turned out differently with Niven What we have is the development of humanity to three million years in the future, and with every step forward they take at least two steps backwards The story is based around a man named Corbell He died of cancer in the 70s and before he died he had his body frozen in the belief that in the future, when they found a way to cure him, they could unfreeze him Unfortunately the technology of the 70s and even now meant that that was never going to happen because as soon as you unfreeze the body the cells are irrevocably destroyed actually the act of freezing the body inevitably destroys them What they have managed to do is to extract his personality and implant it into the body of a criminal, whose mind has been wiped, and then send him on a mission to seed potential worlds with the anticipation of colonising them in the future However, Corbell has different ideas, and deciding that he doesn t like the world in which he has awoken, turns the ship around and flies into the centre of the galaxy The scene where he travels through the centre of the galaxy is by far my favourite, even though it is highly speculative The descriptions of the flattened stars caused by a massive black hole, and a ring of fire light years in diameter is extraordinary However, Corbell then turns around and heads back to Earth to discover that everything has changed which is not surprising because he has travelled three million years in the future When he arrives he discovers that Earth now orbits Jupiter which has become a star and there are planets missing Also Earth is mostly a barren desert, with the exception of the Antarctic, which is a lush rain forest The inhabitants of the Earth have also changed, which I will get too However, when he arrives, he meets a woman who captures him, tells him of an immortality that had been developed by the dictators and sends him on a quest to find this immortality Anyway, I want to talk about the future that Niven has developed, because through the book we gradually learn how Earth arrived at this situation Basically after Corbell died Earth descended into chaos in what is known as the Brush Wars From what I gathered civilisation collapsed and the various countries ended up warring with each other in limited wars In the aftermath a technocracy known as the state developed It was seen that the democratic states that we have at the moment do not lead to order, and thus the concepts of freedom and liberty where shelved to be replaced with a totalitarian state which created a form of order This state will dictate people s lives, and to rebel against the state is the highest crime, punishable by death I see this developing at the moment, which is the danger of what I call the technocracy Where I work is a classic example of the technocracy as the computer decides when we start, when we finish, and when we take our break In many cases we are chained to our desk Why Because the corporation knows that it cannot trust its employees Even my managers are chained to their desks What happened after is that a ruling class developed, when became to be known as the dictators, and the dictators developed a form of immortality which is the subject of the quest, that he ends up discovering As the dictatorship entrenches itself, a two class system develops, and as the classes become ever separate remember, in our world today we can still move between classes, but as the ruling class becomes ever entrenched, it becomes ever harder to move between it the dictators become like gods, especially since the have immortality and the lower classes do not All the while, the state is sending out ships and colonising worlds During the story they discuss the idea of the water empire that is that the state that controls the water is indestructible However, as the state grows stronger, it becomes ever decadent, to the point where a single push from an outside force can topple it, but it can never be toppled from within because the state controls the water which is like where we are because the state, which includes our corporate masters, control the electricity production and water collection and distribution, among other things, which means that they provide us with the means of life and to overthrow the state means that we will destroy the means of our survival and thus we will perish Yet things did not go well for the state because it turns out that this idea did not work As they colonised the worlds, and as the colonies became strong, they were able to fight back against the state which meant that the water empire was actually not all that powerful We saw that with Britain who had the United States rebel and declare independence, and has in turn become the powerful state with Britain a shadow of its former glory Niven goes further though because as technology progresses, the means of reproduction increases to the point that one does not need sex As such humanity does not need to grow to puberty, and thus humanity remain as children, and while they may grow in wisdom, they do not grow in age, which ends up creating another division a division between the boys and the girls When the sexes no longer need each other, the sexes end up becoming tribes in themselves and, surprise, surprise, end up going to war with each other because, well, they are different So, what we see in this book is that technology does not necessarily offer us hope, or freedom, or even peace Humanity, at its heart, will desire to war against that which is different Humanity, at its heart, will also sacrifice order for freedom In fact the struggle between order and freedom is one that is deep within our modern conscience We seek to live in an ordered society, free from fear and from hurt, but to have that freedom we must sacrifice our freedom of thought, which we do not want to do, thus conflict will arise In the end, three million years will not bring peace, happiness, and a heavenly existence, it will simply return us to a barbaric state where we are still at war with one another.


  6. says:

    I have always enjoyed a good Niven story IMHO this is no exception I ll get to the 3 star rating.I ve often said nobody does aliens like Niven Well this story takes a different turn He shows us an alien earth after millions of years of evolution and genetic engineering I think his use of relativistic time and it s effect on deep space travel is fascinating He can take hard science and big ideas and write a story that is easy and enjoyable to follow.Reasons for 3 star and not 4 or 5This unique plot turns into typical Niven While enjoyable I couldn t help but think it could have developed into something different, something better Everything got wrapped up in a nice package in the end but with such a great concept he could have really blown our minds Maybe I m being too critical Ok, something that s not pleasant for me, that I kind of feel compelled to mention Niven is accused from time to time as being sexist Now in past stories I have always given him the benefit of the doubt I ve read the Fleet of Worlds series and never got the idea However, in this story it seems to come across boldly Don t know how else to say it but it s there Anyways, I m still a fan and believe he has plenty of material wherein this is not an issue.


  7. says:

    Okay boys and girls, are you ready for the ultimate water controlling state No Well tough, because other boys and girls have become immortal and have misplaced the Earth next to Jupiter and you re a corpsicle and you re a LONG way from home Or at least a short hop to the center of the galaxy and back can be considered a long way, if only in relativistic time.Sure, the characters are sometimes spotty, but as a fantastic idea generator, Niven excels I think I might enjoy the novels even because I like to use my own imagination while I read and fill in the blanks as I go, giving depth to the worlds I see There s plenty to add, and they re always a fun ride When I was younger I absolutely adored them, and as I am now, I m tempted to say I still adore them Don t get into these expecting a great artistic masterpiece, but if you don t mind coloring in a few lines yourself, you ll be richly rewarded.


  8. says:

    Larry Niven is one of the grandmasters of science fiction He knows how to weave hard science, characterization, and plot into an interesting and compelling tapestry A World Out Of Time is rich in hard science but a little light in the plot and characterization areas However, it is an entertaining blend of hard science and adventure story The Plot A man named Jaybee Corbell was frozen in the late 20th century due to incurable cancer Since the freezing process destroys cells, Corbell is revived by implanting his consciousness into the body of a felon convicted of a capital crime This takes place in the 25th century.Corbell is conscripted by the autocratic government into flying a seedship to other planets This ship would drop terraforming pods to the planets to prepare them for colonization by humanity Subjectively, only 30 years would pass for Corbell, while 40 thousand years would pass for earth Corbell agrees to this but ends up stealing the ship and taking it to the center of the galaxy a trip that will take him about 120 years subjectively, but over 3 million years according to earth s time.Corbell goes on this joyride and, through shipboard medical treatments and suspended animation, he makes the trip successfully, although he is an old man by the time he gets back to earth.Earth meanwhile, has changed drastically and Corbell has to adapt, as he and his ship can t make another trip The Good First of all, the physical science is sound in this book I really liked that The foolishness of cryonics is explained well water in the cells of the body will expand when in reaches 0 degrees C and cause the cells to bursttherefore irrevocably destroying the tissues of the body The relativistic consequences of interstellar travel are well addressed There s no convenient sci fi faster than light travel or communications in this book.Secondly, some of the speculative science was interesting The usage of teleportation devices was well thought out and the usage of specially tailored RNA imprinting to enhance the learning process was particularly intriguing.The political discussion of water governments totalitarian governments that possess total and complete control of all available natural resources was also interesting The physical environmental description of Earth 3 million years in the future was pretty cool I really enjoyed that part of the story The Not So Good The characters were not very well fleshed out They were all kind of two dimensional and throw away That s pretty much expected for an adventure tale, but I can t help but think that, with better characters, this novel would have perhaps appealed to a wider audience.Also, the political sociological description of the Earth 3 million years in the future was rather disappointing Perhaps that wasn t supposed to be part of the book I can t help but think, though, that, even if homo sapiens exists 3 million years in the future, the society, art, and architecture would be so different that it would be like meeting an alien race I freely admit I could be wrong about this Conclusion A World Out Of Time is worth a read if you re wanting a good old sci fi adventure with some hard science thrown into the mix If you re not a sci fi fanatic, then you ll want to give this one a pass, though.


  9. says:

    Jaybee Corbell, his cancer ridden body frozen in 1970, is revived 200 years later in a body that is not his own Stripped of his own free will, as well as his body, he is a servant to the all powerful State His one chance at remaining alive is to rise to the task set before him pilot a one way mission out into the universe to seed planets for future population A last ditch effort at rebellion propels Corbell on a journey through space that will eventually lead him back to Earth an Earth three million years older than when he left it It is there, on a world that has reverted to a primitive state, that Jaybee Corbell s true adventures begin.Characterization is not very deep This is hard SF science based adventure story with interesting characters, but not a deep character study with a few deus ex machina moments.Not part of Niven s Known Space universe, A World Out of Time shares a number of similar ideas devices that provide instantaneous between various locations, the knowledge of how to move planets, fountain of youth substances and deep sleep tanks for long space voyages Even though it s a good introduction to hard SF, at its heart there is a lot of Edgar Rice Burroughs adventure in it.


  10. says:

    I think I m going to have to give up on Niven I thought I d read one or two of his books that I really liked, but maybe I m thinking of some other writer.A World Out of Time started off pretty well, with the very intriguing concept of bringing cryogenically frozen patients back to life by transplanting their personalities into convicted felons whose punishment is essentially being turned into empty vessels for other personalities to take over.It continues to be an interesting read during the main character s journey into the future on a spaceship But when he returns to earth 3 million years in the future to a very changed Earth, that s when the story falls apart The two halves of the book really have nothing at all to do with each other, and I found myself just wanting to get through to the end so I could go on to something else.Didn t like the characters, the plot was disjointed, choppy and often felt like some kind of science fiction keystone cops with people racing around all over the place searching for something they weren t even sure really existed.Wouldn t recommend it.