Larry Niven

Literary Birthday – 30 April – Larry Niven

Happy Birthday, Larry Niven, born 30 April 1938.

Larry Niven Quotes

  1. The reader has certain rights. He bought your story. Think of this as an implicit contract. He’s entitled to be entertained, instructed, amused; maybe all three. If he quits in the middle, or puts the book down feeling his time has been wasted, you’re in violation.
  2. The dinosaurs became extinct because they didn’t have a space program. And if we become extinct because we don’t have a space program, it’ll serve us right!
  3. Ethics change with technology.
  4. There is a technical, literary term for those who mistake the opinions and beliefs of characters in a novel for those of the author. The term is ‘idiot’.
  5. Fear is the brother of hate.
  6. You learn by writing short stories. Keep writing short stories. The money’s in novels, but writing short stories keeps your writing lean and pointed.
  7. Everything starts as somebody’s dream.
  8. In the world of words the imagination is one of the forces of nature.
  9. Writers who write for other writers should write letters.
  10. Never be embarrassed or ashamed about anything you choose to write. (Think of this before you send it to a market)
  11. If what you have to say is important and/or difficult to follow, use the simplest language possible. If the reader doesn’t get it then, let it not be your fault.
  12. It is a cardinal sin to bore the reader.

Larry Niven, born Laurence van Cott Niven, is an American science fiction writer. He is the author of Ringworld, the co-author of The Mote in God’s Eye  and Lucifer’s Hammer, the editor of the Man-Kzin War series, and has written or co-authored over 50 books. He is a five-time winner of the Hugo Award, along with a Nebula and numerous others. The Science Fiction Writers of America named him the 2015 recipient of the Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master Award.

Source for photograph

Ceridwen, CC BY 3.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons

by Amanda Patterson

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Posted on: 30th April 2015