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THREE BOOKS OF KNOWN SPACE
Design: David Stevenson
VG+ to near-Fine
Closer to "2.85 books of Known Space" - the version of Tales of Known Space in this book is abridged and revised, containing 10/13 stories from the original 1975 edition - and adding 1 story. Highly recommended for the 2 novels and several great stories.
While this claims to be an omnibus of 3 "Known Space" books by Larry Niven, it doesn't mention that one of the books is abridged and revised. This version of TALES OF KNOWN SPACE contains 10 of 13 stories from the original 1976 version. "Madness Has Its Place" is added; the 3 missing stories all appear in Playgrounds of the Mind (1991.) The novels (his first 2) are embedded by chronology in the stories that make up TALES OF KNOWN SPACE. I strongly recommend the novels, and include plot summaries at the end. I also recommend "The Warriors."
TALES OF KNOWN SPACE: About half of these had appeared in earler collections by Niven - but they make better sense when collected or read together. Most of the stories appeared from 1964 to 1972, in IF (2), Galaxy (5), Dangerous Visions, Analog, and Magazine of F&SF. "Madness Has Its Place" is from Asimov's August 1990, and also appeared in N-Space.
World of Ptavvs (copyright 1966): Expanded from a shorter version in Worlds of Tomorrow March 1965. The Thrintun (a.k.a. "Slavers") dominated the galaxy through mental control long ago until brought down by a revolt of the races they enslaved. That war laid waste to solar systems, and none survived. Larry Greenberg is a psi-sensitive, working to communicate with dolphins. A physicist friend wanted to try an experiment with an artifact called the "Sea Statue." The experiment works, and the stasis field is unlocked to reveal a living Thrintum - Kzanol - and Larry finds himself inside the mind of a naturally telepathic Slaver with murderous inclinations toward all inferior organisms (such as Larry.)
A Gift from Earth (copyright 1968): this was serialized as "Slowboat Cargo" in IF February, March & April 1968. The colony on Mount Lookiththat was a mistake: the only inhabitable area on the planet was a small plateau on the highest mountains. The interstellar ramscoop robot scouts had not been well-programmed: if they found part of a planet was habitable- they reported back with success. When the colony ship found the true state of the planet, the Crew set up a carefully balanced society, with themselves in charge. The Colonists served the near-immortal Crew, and contributed to the organ banks at the Hospital, enforced by the Implementation Police. Earth kept sending out technology improvements - this time the Rebels wanted to seize the shipment from Ramrobot #143 first. Matthew Keller was the nephew of a notorious rebel, who had kept his body from the organ banks by diving over the edge of the Plateau. Matt gets involved with the rebels, and is captured in a raid. That's when he finds he has a limited psi ability, and how best to use it. His escape makes him the prime target of the Implementation Police, and brings matters to a head.