World Out Of Time, A  (#95) 

1976-12The State [all] Novelcloth, Holt, Rinehart and Winston; paper, Ballantine

0-8600-7963-5Larry Niven

as Buiten De Tijd, Deltos Elsevier, Amsterdam;
Italian, as Mondo Senze Tempo, 1977 from Editrice Nord, Milano;
Argentine, paper, as Un Mundo Fuera Del Tiempo, Buenos Aires, 1978;
Japanese, cloth, 1979, Hayakawa Publishing, inc.;
as Un Monde Hors Du Temps, Editions Albin Michel, 1978, Paris;
Israel, paper (data not in English letters);
British Edition: Orbit, paper, August 1986.
Jerome Corbell Ditmars winner "Fix-up" novel made up of:
Children of the State
Down and Out


You have to feel sorry for Jerome Branch Corbell. Dying of cancer in 1970, his only hope is to have his body frozen in against the possibility of a cure sometime in the future. But this is not the worst thing that happens to him. His personality is recovered by the technology of "The State" in the 22nd century, and inserted into the body of a brain-wiped criminal. His options are: become a starship pilot ("Rammer") or have his pesonality wiped (which equates to losing his life). But it gets still worse.

After stealing the ship he was trained to pilot he begins a lengthy trip to the centre of the galaxy with only a hostile-sounding ship's computer for company. His near-lightspeed trip, and the maneuvers he undertakes to return to Earth, take him far into the future, due to certain time dilation effects, and the solar system he finds when he returns is almost unrecognisable. He must return to Earth - but will the last fragment of the State finally exact its punishment on him?

Duncan Galloway rated it as "A fantastic read, second only to Ringworld in scope", and others have echoed the sentiment, citing this book as the one that "hooked" them on Larry Niven (Nesssus included). The first chapter of the book can also be found separately as the short story "Rammer" (#50), published in A Hole in Space.