A World Out of Time : The State

  • by Larry Niven
  • Narrated by Tom Weiner
  • Series: The State
  • 7 hrs and 59 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

After more than two hundred years as a corpsicle, Jaybee Corbell awoke in someone else’s body and under threat of instant annihilation if he made a wrong move while they were training him for a one-way mission to the stars.
But Corbell bided his time and made his own move. Once he was outbound, where the society that ruled Earth could not reach him, he headed his starship toward the galactic core, where the unimaginable energies of the universe wrenched the fabric of time and space and promised final escape from his captors.
Then he returned to an Earth eons older than the one he’d left, a planet that had had three million years to develop perils he had never dreamed of - perils that became nightmares that he had to escape... somehow.
Larry Niven is the multiple Hugo and Nebula award–winning author of the Ringworld series, as well as many other science fiction masterpieces. His Beowulf’s Children, coauthored with Jerry Pournelle and Steven Barnes, was a New York Times best seller. He lives in Chatsworth, California.


What the Critics Say

“This fantastic novel is a mix of Niven hard science and a time-travel concept to boggle the mind.…Even after the last line the feeling remains of the story still rushing on into the magic distance of the universe.” (A. E. van Vogt, winner of the SFWA Grand Master Award)
“Niven rams this fantastic tale at the reader with taut authority, mixing hard science with mind-boggling concepts of time and space to give us a whole new kind of trip.” (Publishers Weekly)
“Niven’s intoxicating concepts, ideas, scientific extrapolations, and exotic hardware bubble up from every page. Rich in imagination and astonishing in breadth…Will challenge the most sophisticated readers.” (Booklist)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Do you know how people get old?

The first chapter of this book was a short story called Rammer. It was an excellent story and I would give 5 stars to it alone.

The rest of the book deviates from the first chapter in content, style and imagination. Niven has a great imagination as demonstrated in his books, Ringworld, Protector, The Integral Trees and Limits. The second half of this book sounds as if it was written by Philip Jose Farmer.

The question: Do you know how people get old? is asked a couple of times. For me it was listening to the second half of this book.
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- Jim "The Impatient" "My taste differs from kid books to gory horror books."

Got through it

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

A better narrator would have gotten it to at least a 3 star review. I don't think there is anything that could have me commit to a 4 star or higher though.

Would you recommend A World Out of Time to your friends? Why or why not?

It depends on the friend. If it were a friend that enjoys wildly imaginative worlds and characters and philosophies, I probably would recommend this one. A friend that enjoys a more structured story with character depth I would advise to skip it.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

He had a repetitive tone. I have listened to narrators before that had inflection and feeling to their reading based on the situation. I never found that here. It even took me out of the story sometimes as I was listening to the same sentence pattern after same sentence pattern. I would just listen to the da da da da daaa. It varied of course based on sentence length obviously, but was clearly evident.

I should clarify that it wasn't horrible. I have listened to many worse narrators. It was just monotonous for long stretches which is not suitable to my attention span.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Sadly, no reaction.

Any additional comments?

This was my 2nd Niven book; my 1st being Ringworld. If you are a fan of the Larry Niven style and imagination I do think you will enjoy this book regardless of narration. Had I not known it was the same author as Ringworld, I would have noticed the similarity in styles. That said, however, Ringworld was a much better book and while it may not be fair to compare this book to one as acclaimed as that, you should at least be cognizant so as to have lessened expectations.

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- Wil

Book Details

  • Release Date: 02-21-2012
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.