Known Space/YMMV

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.

  • Canon Discontinuity: Gregory Benford's Man-Kzin Wars story "A Darker Geometry". Niven said its depiction of the Puppeteers and Outsiders was non-canon shortly after it was published, and subsequently Jossed it in the Fleet of Worlds trilogy. Also see Retcon below.
      • The Peace Corben stories likewise, mostly due to having the Outsiders and Pak be Tnuctipun bioweapons, among numerous lesser continuity gaffes and issues.
  • Idiot Plot: The plot of "Neutron Star" depends on pretty much every named character not expecting tidal forces around neutron stars, despite such forces being clearly understood in the 1960s, when the story was written.
    • Although "Neutron Star" was retconned later in Crashlander and Juggler of Worlds to be a limited perspective on a deeper Puppeteer/ARM game where the only person not truly aware of the tidal force was Beowulf. It's still' pretty dumb of a pilot not to know this.
  • Magnificent Bastard: Ol't'ro.
  • Mary Sue: Peace Corben from the Man-Kzin Wars stories, in spades.
  • Unfortunate Implications: There are an awful lot of species with non-sentient females.
    • Justified in most cases, though. The Puppeteer "females" are actually a separate species that the puppeteers use to incubate fertilized eggs (in the same manner that predatory wasps will use a paralyzed caterpillar to incubate their eggs), and the Kzinti had selectively bred for non-sentient females for several thousand years using genetic technology they stole from a more advance race.
      • Also, this comes back to bite the Kzin in the ass on more than one occasion, when they underestimate both Kzin and human females. So...Fortunate Implications?
    • On the other hand, the Grog are a sentient alien species whose males are non-sentient.