Synopses & Reviews
When a tremendous spacecraft took orbit around the Earths moon and began sending smaller landers down toward the North Pole, the newly arrived visitors quickly set up a permanent spaceport at Mount Forel in Siberia. Their presence attracted many, and a few people grew conspicuously rich from secrets they learned from talking to the aliens. One of these men, Rick Schumann established a tavern catering to all of various species of visiting aliens, a place he named the Draco Tavern.
From the mind of #1 New York Times bestselling author Larry Niven, come twenty-six tales and vignettes from this interplanetary gathering place, collected for the first time in one volume, including:
“The Subject Is Closed”: A priest visits the tavern and goes one-on-one with a chirpsithra alien on the subject of God and life after death.
“Table Mannners: A Folk Tale”: Rick Schumann is invited to hunt with five folk aliens, but hes not quite sure what their hunt entails, or if he will be the hunted.
“Wisdom of Demons”: The age-old question of wisdom vs. knowledge is asked when Rick is confronted by a human who has been granted the wisdom of an individual gligstith(click)optok alien.
“Losing Mars” in this unpublished tale, a group of aliens who call Mars and its moon home, arrive at the Tavern only to find that humans have mostly forgotten about their neighboring planet.
Join Rick Schummann and his staff as they explore the alien passersby and attempt to chronicle the seemingly infinite alien species that spend a few moments pondering life and all its questions within the Draco Tavern.
"The cantina scene in Star Wars, as Niven (Ringworld) points out in his introduction, partakes of 'a hoary old tradition,' as do the 27 Draco Tavern stories in this solid SF collection. Most of the tales, set in the 2030s, are short-shorts, often reading like brilliant, half-whimsical notebook jottings. The inverted city carved out of the ice by ocean-dwelling creatures on Europa in 'Playground Earth' could be the basis for a novel. Niven tosses it off in a sentence. Many of the best moments are similar hints: an overheard conversation about how an alien species casually denied humans immortality because the perception of death flavors human poetry ('Limits'). The most startling perspective of all comes from 'The Green Marauder,' in which a two-billion-year-old creature explains how the Earth was 'ruined' by 'pollution' long ago. These stories are best taken a few at a time, to savor their inventiveness without noticing the undeveloped characters or that, even for bar stories, there's sometimes too much chatter and not enough action." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"A writer of supreme talent."--Tom Clancy "Niven lifts the reader far from the conventional world--and does it with a dash."--Los Angeles Times
"Great storytelling is still alive in science fiction because of Larry Niven."--Orson Scott Card on Ringworld's Childen
"A must for Nivenites and just plain good reading for everyone else."--Booklist
on The Draco Tavern
"There are wise elder races and there are scamsters and folks who raise interesting questions. In some ways, the object-lesson stories remind one of pundits' political columns.... Thought provoking.--San Diego Union-Tribune
on The Draco Tavern
"Brilliant . . . These stories are best taken a few at a time to savor their inventiveness."--Publishers Weekly on The Draco Tavern
"Reads more like an episodic novel.... There's joy and sadness and everything in between in these stories--which seem to have devised as vehicles for Niven to explore a wide variety of ideas and also happen to be about what it means to be human. One of the ways in which we learn about who we are is to see what we are not, and in this book there are many examples of what humans are not."--Romantic Times Bookclub on The Draco Tavern
From the mind of "New York Times" bestselling author Niven, come 26 tales and vignettes from this interplanetary gathering place called Draco Tavern, collected for the first time in one volume.
About the Author
Larry Niven is the multiple Hugo and Nebula Award-winning author of the Ringworld series, along with many other science fiction masterpieces. His Beowulf's Children, co-authored with Jerry Pournelle and Steven Barnes was a New York Times bestseller. He lives in Chatsworth, California.