THOSE KZIN DON'T KNOW WHEN THEY'RE LICKED (AND MAYBE THEY AREN'T . . . .) It was so unfair! Here the Kzin were, warcats supreme, bringing the galaxy piece by piece under feline dominion, carving out satrapies for the home planet like the lords of creation that they were-and then they ran into those pesky humans. Mere apes! Contemptible salad-eaters! Taking pride in sneaking up on a leaf! Obviously fit only to be lunch, not even a speed bump in the Kzinti's imperial career. Hardly worth screaming-and-leaping about.But when the feline Kzin moved in to take over the monkey-occupied worlds-they got clobbered. The humans, with their underhanded monkey cunning, turned communications equipment and space drives into weapons that cut the dauntless Heroes into ribbons. When the humans gained a faster-than-light drive, it `vas all over but the, uh, howling. The Kzin had lost their first war ever in centuries of conquest. Still, you can't keep a good warcat down, and the Kzin have by no means given up. New weapons, new strategies, and new leaders-the humans had better keep their powder dry. Once again, it's howling time in Known Space! At the publisher's request, this title is sold without DRM (Digital Rights Management).
The ninth shared-world anthology laid in Niven's Known Space universe during the wars against those fighting felinoids, the alien Kzin, offers four notably readable long stories. In the late Poul Anderson's "Pele," a human couple on a research expedition rescue a Kzin with more courage than sense. Hal Colebatch's "His Sergeant's Honor," probably the book's strongest entry, features a Kzin who backs up his race's fanatical concept of honor with keen tactical sense. In Paul Chafe's "Windows of the World," a member of the UN police, ARM captain Joel K. Allson, and Allson's Kzin partner confront a mysterious murder aboard an orbital habitat, along with several conspiracies and a beautiful suspect. Niven's own "Fly-By-Night" features Beowulf Shaeffer rescuing the title character from another Kzin with vaulting ambitions and a keen eye for legal loopholes. For action and military SF fans, these four tales intelligently develop the Kzin, who still have all the ferocity of their carnivorous, predatory ancestors but have assumed more complexity as they carry their civilization into space. At a time when mindless brutality may strike a somewhat negative note with many readers, more sophisticated Kzin will add to the audience for these well-wrought aliens and their human friends and foes. Stephen Hickman's menacing, prosthetically enhanced catlike hero from "His Sergeant's Honor" almost jumps off the jacket.