Happy Birthday, Larry Niven, born 30 April 1938
- 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.
- 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!
- Ethics change with technology.
- 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’.
- Fear is the brother of hate.
- 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.
- Everything starts as somebody’s dream.
- In the world of words the imagination is one of the forces of nature.
- Writers who write for other writers should write letters.
- Never be embarrassed or ashamed about anything you choose to write. (Think of this before you send it to a market)
- 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.
- It is a cardinal sin to bore the reader.
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 andLucifer’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
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