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Niven, Larry
book-date: 1977
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Rick Sternbach

Cover art is a hybrid: middle by Rick Sternbach (a scaled-down version of his original cover for the 1976 hardcover), and the "cat-snake" border is by Murray Tinkelman (who also supplied art for chapter headers (the same one for each.) All of the Del Rey paperbacks from 1977 through this one (and beyond?) have used this hybrid art combination.

A novel by Larry Niven: A World Out of Time. This is apart from his other series - an extension of the world first seen in "Rammer." It is a "fix-up" based on "Rammer" (Galaxy November 1971 - noticeably revised), "Down and Out" (Galaxy February 1976), and "Children of the State" (Galaxy September, October & November 1976.)

Jaybee Corbell is a "corpsicle." Corbell had terminal cancer, and had himself frozen - gambling that future advances in medicine would not only be able to cure cancer, but the damage caused by freezing as well. The future didn't turn out like he expected. The cure for cancer had never been found, and Corbell's consciousness had been implanted into the body of a criminal whose mind had been wiped clean, by a ruthlessly pragmatic State. Jaybee had 2 ways to earn citizenship: a demeaning series of menial jobs for 30 years, or the more dangerous occupation of starship pilot. After seeing the kind of life a laborer would have, the choice of pilot was easy. The State had fast ways of training for a man with the right temperment (a born tourist), and Jaybee was outward bound within a year, on Bussard-ramscoop starship that was to launch biological probes that would start terraforming on the target planets. The State thought in very long terms: the voyage was expected to take 300 years and the main value of Corbell was to bring the ship back. But Jaybee rebelled and hijacked the ship on a course to see the Galactic Core. With a huge Tau-factor, he figured the voyage would take 21 years ship-time. Unfortunately for him, the State had downloaded a copy of his trainer's personality into the ship's computer. Corbell does return to Earth - but only after 3 million years. He finds Earth is no longer between Venus and Mars, but now is orbiting Jupiter. In trying to find what has happened in his absence, Corbell meets a solitary, once-beautiful, ever-vindictive Norn named Mirelly-Lyra; her cat-snake pets and other curious animal mutants; and a colony of almost-immortal "Boys," survivors of a legendary war with the almost-immortal "Girls" - a war in which one side controlled the heavens and the other the Earth.