Known Space Reading Order

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Larry Niven is best known for his Ringworld series, but that science fiction universe is far larger, including dozens of short stories and more from multiple authors writing in Niven’s universe.

Whats on the Known Space Reading Order?

Known Space consists of several series by Larry Niven that he stitched together into one cohesive universe. One of those series, Man-Kzin Wars, is a collection of short stories written by various authors, and compiled/edited by Larry Niven. The end of the Man-Kzin Wars also includes the book Treasure Planet, which is a modernized version of Treasure Island, and was itself adapted as an animated film by Disney.

So here is the comprehensive Known Space reading order. Let us know if you see anything that needs changing, adding, or otherwise modified. Thank you, and we hope you enjoy. If you do, be sure to check out some of our other timelines, such as Asimov’s Foundation Universe.

Where to Start?

While you could start with the Man-Kzin Wars, one of the better places to start is with the original Ringworld. It’s the one that got all of this started, even though there are multiple entry points.

#Get ItNameMediaAuthor/DirectorDateSeriesNotes
1RingworldNovelLarry NivenRingworld1970-10-01
2The Ringworld EngineersNovelLarry NivenRingworld1980-01-014 parts
3The Ringworld ThroneNovelLarry NivenRingworld1996-01-01
4Ringworld's ChildrenNovelLarry NivenRingworld2004-01-01
5The Coldest PlaceShort StoryLarry NivenKnown Space1964-12-01Collected in Tales of Known Space
6World of PtavvsNovelLarry NivenKnown Space1966-01-01
7Becalmed in HellShort StoryLarry NivenKnown Space1973-01-01Collected in Tales of Known Space
8Eye of an OctopusShort StoryLarry NivenKnown Space1966-01-01Collected in Tales of Known Space
9The WarriorsShort StoryLarry NivenKnown Space1966-01-01Collected in Tales of Known Space
10How the Heroes DieShort StoryLarry NivenKnown Space1973-01-01Collected in Tales of Known Space
11Neutron StarShort StoryLarry NivenKnown Space1966-10-01Collected in Neutron Star
12At the CoreShort StoryLarry NivenKnown Space1966-11-01Collected in Neutron Star
13At the Bottom of a HoleShort StoryLarry NivenKnown Space1973-01-01Collected in Tales of Known Space
14A Relic of the EmpireShort StoryLarry NivenKnown Space1966-01-01Collected in Neutron Star
15The Jigsaw ManShort StoryLarry NivenKnown Space1967-01-01Collected in Tales of Known Space
16The HandicappedShort StoryLarry NivenKnown Space1967-12-01Collected in Neutron Star
17The Soft WeaponShort StoryLarry NivenKnown Space1967-02-01Collected in Neutron Star
18FlatlanderShort StoryLarry NivenKnown Space1967-03-01Collected in Neutron Star
19The Ethics of MadnessShort StoryLarry NivenKnown Space1967-01-01Collected in Neutron Star
20Safe at Any SpeedShort StoryLarry NivenKnown Space1967-01-01Collected in Tales of Known Space
21The AdultsShort StoryLarry NivenKnown Space1967-01-01
22Wait it OutShort StoryLarry NivenKnown Space1968-01-01Collected in Tales of Known Space
23GrendelShort StoryLarry NivenKnown Space1968-01-01Collected in Neutron Star
24The DeceiversShort StoryLarry NivenKnown Space1968-01-01Collected in Tales of Known Space
25Tere is a TideShort StoryLarry NivenKnown Space1968-01-01Collected in Tales of Known Space
26A Gift from EarthNovelLarry NivenKnown Space1968-01-013 parts
27Cloak of AnarchyShort StoryLarry NivenKnown Space1972-01-01Collected in Tales of Known Space
28ProtectorNovelLarry NivenKnown Space1974-01-01
29The Borderland of SolShort StoryLarry NivenKnown Space1975-01-01Collected in Tales of Known Space
30ProcrustesShort StoryLarry NivenKnown Space1994-01-01Collected in Crashlander
31GhostShort StoryLarry NivenKnown Space1994-01-01Collected in Crashlander
32Death by EcstasyShort StoryLarry NivenKnown Space1969-01-01Collected in Flatlander
33The Defenseless DeadShort StoryLarry NivenKnown Space1973-01-01Collected in Flatlander
34ARMShort StoryLarry NivenKnown Space1975-01-01Collected in Flatlander
35The Patchword GirlNovelLarry NivenKnown Space1980-01-01Collected in Flatlander
36The Woman in Del Rey CraterShort StoryLarry NivenKnown Space1995-01-01Collected in Flatlander
37The Man-Kzin WarsAnthologyLarry NivenMan-Kzin Wars1988-01-01The Man-Kzin Wars are a series of short stories collected into several anthologies. They are roughly in order, so they are presented here as anthologies, not individual short stories.
38Man-Kzin Wars IIAnthologyLarry NivenMan-Kzin Wars1989-07-01
39Man-Kzin Wars IIIAnthologyLarry NivenMan-Kzin Wars1990-07-01
40Man-Kzin Wars IVAnthologyLarry NivenMan-Kzin Wars1991-07-01
41Man-Kzin Wars VAnthologyLarry NivenMan-Kzin Wars1992-07-01
42Man-Kzin Wars VIAnthologyLarry NivenMan-Kzin Wars1994-07-01
43Man-Kzin Wars VIIAnthologyLarry NivenMan-Kzin Wars1995-01-01
44Choosing NamesAnthologyLarry NivenMan-Kzin Wars2002-01-02
45Man-Kzin Wars IXAnthologyLarry NivenMan-Kzin Wars2002-01-02
46Man-Kzin Wars X: The Wunder WarAnthologyLarry NivenMan-Kzin Wars2003-07-22
47Man-Kzin Wars XIAnthologyLarry NivenMan-Kzin Wars2005-10-04
48Destiny's ForgeNovelLarry Niven, Paul ChafeMan-Kzin Wars2006-07-04
49Man-Kzin Wars XIIAnthologyLarry NivenMan-Kzin Wars2009-02-03
50Man-Kzin Wars XIIIAnthologyLarry NivenMan-Kzin Wars2012-04-03
51Man-Kzin Wars XIVAnthologyLarry NivenMan-Kzin Wars2013-12-31
52Treasure PlanetNovelJessica Q. Fox, Hal ColebatchMan-Kzin Wars2014-05-06
53Fleet of WorldsNovelLarry Niven, Edward M. LernerFleet of Worlds2007-10-16
54Juggler of WorldsNovelLarry Niven, Edward M. LernerFleet of Worlds2008-09-16
55Destroyer of WorldsNovelLarry Niven, Edward M. LernerFleet of Worlds2009-11-10
56Betrayer of WorldsNovelLarry Niven, Edward M. LernerFleet of Worlds2010-10-01
57Fate of Worlds: Return from the RingworldNovelLarry Niven, Edward M. LernerFleet of Worlds2012-01-01
58Man-Kzin Wars XVAnthologyLarry NivenMan-Kzin Wars2019-02-05