The integral trees

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Ballantine Books, 1984 - Fiction - 240 pages
65 Reviews
"Niven has come up with an idea about as far out as one can get. . . . This is certainly classic science fiction-the idea is truly the hero." -Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine When leaving Earth, the crew of the spaceship Discipline was prepared for a routine assignment. Dispatched by the all-powerful State on a mission of interstellar exploration and colonization, Discipline was aided (and secretly spied upon) by Sharls Davis Kendy, an emotionless computer intelligence programmed to monitor the loyalty and obedience of the crew. But what they weren't prepared for was the smoke ring-an immense gaseous envelope that had formed around a neutron star directly in their path. The Smoke Ring was home to a variety of plant and animal life-forms evolved to thrive in conditions of continual free-fall. When Discipline encountered it, something went wrong. The crew abandoned ship and fled to the unlikely space oasis. Five hundred years later, the descendants of the Discipline crew living on the Smoke Ring no longer remember their origins. Earth is more myth than memory, and no recollection of the State remains. But Kendy remembers. And just outside the Smoke Ring, Discipline waits patiently to make contact with its wayward children.

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Review: The Integral Trees (The State #2)

User Review  - fromcouchtomoon - Goodreads

A planet without ground, where the inhabitants are ruled by the whims of tide and wind. Not sure which is most fascinating: the unique setting, or the awkward delivery of the most mechanized sex scenes ever. Way to keep it systematic, Hard SF. Read full review

Review: The Integral Trees (The State #2)

User Review  - Tim - Goodreads

Kinda OK - great ideas (AI-driven seedship loses human cargo for generations) marred by an obtuse (if scientifically-rich) setting and generally unlikeable and paper-thin characters. Read full review


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About the author (1984)

Larry Niven received his B.A. in mathematics in 1962. His first novel, World of Ptavvs (1966), was a success and launched his career. Niven has won five Hugos and one Nebula award, testimony that his colleagues in the science fiction world respect his work. Perhaps Niven's most well-known creation is Ringworld, a distant planet that may be taken as a metaphor for Earth, as it was once great but has since fallen into decay.

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