It is an unfortunate fact of the writer’s life that we tend to age publicly. Several names come to mind, people who, on the page, became a shadow of their former selves before they finally signed off. I hope someone glues my fingers together before it happens to me.
I tried to read ‘The Goliath Stone,’ by Larry Niven and Matthew Joseph Harrington. I used to be a huge Niven fan, I loved the Ringworld books and the Tales of Known Space, I was intrigued by the way Niven played in the realms of what might be possible. Hard science fiction used to be Niven’s home turf, but if ‘The Goliath Stone’ is any indication, science only counts these days if it happens to agree with his lunatic political views, which seem to be, ahh, out there. In Niven’s somewhat Randian universe, industry will always be virtuous (this opinion could only be held by someone who never worked in industry), technology will always deliver us from the consequences of our blatant disregard for things like the ecology, and everyone who disagrees with him wears a giant bull’s eye. And just as an aside, I’d like to make the point that the earth is in little danger from humans. It is our own future we’re playing with, not the planet’s. The planet will be fine, the only question, really, is if homo sapiens has much part in its future.
Sorry, Larry. You used to be the ish, but I’m crossing you off my list.