The Human crew of the first attempt of a flyby survey of neutron star BVS-1, in 2641. They did not survive.
Reference: "Neutron Star"
The starship Lying Bastard’s landing spot on the Ringworld in 2851 was surrounded by lava, created from rock melted by the heat of the crash landing.
Reference:Ringworld ch. 10
Lazy Eight II
The name of two starships mentioned in the accounts. Note the name "Lazy Eight" is a reference to the infinity symbol (∞).
(a) A slowboat colony vessel which by 2097 had reached Jinx and had been stripped of anything salvageable by the colonists. It was not described, but perhaps had the same flying wing design as the Lazy Eight III, which was being built on Earth in 2106 World of Ptavvs p. 63.
(b) In 2645, Beowulf Shaeffer (aka Bey) told Gregory Pelton that he had negotiated with the Outsiders for the location of a lost starship with this name. According to Bey's tale, it was a safe ramscoop colony vessel, intended destination Sirius (Jinx). It was shaped like a circular flying wing. It had a crew of four and 50 passengers in suspended animation. It never slowed on approaching Sirius. The date of Bey’s claimed encounter with the Outsiders is unclear, but probably would have been before 2641 Beowulf Shaeffer says "I was almost to Wunderland, and I caught the offer. When I dropped my passengers, I went back" ("Flatlander", Neutron Star p. 145). It appears this would have happened when Bey was piloting a commercial passenger starship, as he did for Nakamura Lines until sometime in 2640-1. There is no indication he ever piloted a commercial passenger starship after that.. In 2645 Bey claimed the lost starship was more than 500 years on its way, and had reached a distance of more than 500 light-years. However, to reach that distance the lost Lazy Eight III would have had to have been launched more than 500 years earlier, before circa 2145, and the first safe ramscoop colony ship was not launched until circa 2355. Since no other account mentions this purported lost ship, the truth about Bey’s claim is unknown.
Reference: (a) World of Ptavvs pp. 52, (b) "Flatlander"
(also leuco) Short for leucotomized, literally meaning lobotomized. In 2851, Louis Wu used this term as slang for "idiot".
Reference:Ringworld chs. 10, 23
lifespan & aging
In the 21st through 24th centuries, medical treatments and organ transplants (see organ banks) gradually but significantly extended Human lifespan. In 2341, Earth's oldest woman died at age 210 "She was the oldest woman in the world... How many people die at two hundred and ten?" (Protector p. 112).. But although lifespan was greatly extended, youth was not. In 2375, it was typical for an 80 year old woman to show visible signs of aging "Phoebe had fine legs, as I'd anticipated, though both knees were teflon and plastic. Her face was lovely even in morning sunlight. Wrinkled, of course. She was two weeks short of eighty and wincing in anticipation" ("Madness Has Its Place", Man-Kzin Wars III p. 7).. In one account, an experimental autodoc in a starship launched circa 2353 extended the life of one man to a subjective age of tens of thousands of years, but failed to keep him mentally healthy "He had not had an original thought in centuries... He looked more like an aged robot than an aged man. From a distance he would have looked twenty. The doc had taken good care of him, but there were things the doc could not do... [The manufacturer] had had no way of knowing what a man would need when his life could be measured in tens of thousands of years" ("The Ethics of Madness", Neutron Star p. 206).. Significant extension of youth and good health finally came from boosterspice, which would keep a Human youthful for centuries if used regularly. Boosterspice apparently came into widespread use after 2375 but before 2400 "Madness Has Its Place", the first part of which is dated 2375, deals extensively with the health issues of aging, but never mentions boosterspice. Therefore it was not in common use at that time, at least not as a treatment for the elderly. And by 2882, "Boosterspice had kept some humans hale and sapient for half a thousand years, sometimes more" (The Ringworld Throne, Prologue p. 16). 500 years prior to 2882 would be 2382.. By 2878, visible signs of aging were so rare as to be almost unknown in Human Space"The City Builder woman climbed briskly... But her hands and face were wrinkled as if worn too long. [paragraph] An unsettling sight. Louis wasn't used to that. Intellectually he knew what it was: the sign of age..." (Ringworld Engineers ch. 19, p. 187).. By 2830 a regular user of boosterspice had the potential of living a thousand years, and by 2882 it had kept some healthy and sapient for 500 years, sometimes more.
Reference: "The Ethics of Madness", Protector p. 112, "Madness Has Its Place", "The Color of Sunfire", The Ringworld Throne Prologue
A device which allowed Humans to "fly", in use by 2641. The lift motor was worn on the back, with controls mounted on the chest. Lift motors had a standardized power output. Presumably lift is provided by antigravity, although this is undocumented. Thrust is felt by the user. See also flycycle.
Reference: "Neutron Star", "A Relic of the Empire", "Flatlander"
A device which, by 2647, was used on human-built cars, allowing them to "fly". Presumably antigravity provides the lift, but this is undocumented. See also lift belt.
A method of space propulsion using light pressure on a very large, very thin parachute-like "sail" to gently propel a spaceship. Light-sails may be driven by natural sunlight/ starlight, or with laser cannon. Starseeds are propelled by light-sail, and in Human Space in the pre-hyperdrive era, before 2411, technology, ramscoops were accelerated to minimum operating velocity using light-sails driven by laser cannon "...giant laser cannon in the outer asteroids. These had been used to launch light-sail craft to Bussard ramjet speeds..." (interstitial notes, Tales of Known Space p. 153).
A famous Kdatlynotouch-sculpture artist. [Spoiler alert: "Grendel"] In 2647 he was kidnapped from the starship Argos, and later freed by negotiation with his kidnappers. In 2649 the Institute of Knowledge on Jinx displayed a series of normal sculptures (not touch-sculptures) by Lloobee, relating to his kidnapping. See "Grendel" (story summary).
Human male Flatlander, designer of the first safe ramscoop starship, completed 2326. An employee of Skyhook Enterprises and an associate of Douglas Hooker. [Spoiler alert: "The Ethics of Madness"] In 2354 he left Earth with his wife Joanna, his daughter Marcia and her husband Tom, moving to Plateau. Later his family was murdered by Hooker, whom he afterward engaged in a deadly chase using safe ramscoop ships, moving at near-lightspeed into the far future.
Human female Downer, with whom Garvey had dinner circa 2646.
Reference: "The Handicapped"
Long Fall River
The Long Fall River on Plateau
A river on Plateau which ends in the tallest waterfall in Known Space, running off the edge and disappearing into the mists below. When Louis Wu saw this sight, long before 2850, he vowed to live forever.
A prototype Quantum II hyperdrive starship completed in 2645. As late as 2893 it remained the only such ship known. It was packed with green-and-bronze machinery, an experimental hyperdrive so large that even inside its enormous No. 4 General Products hull, a thousand feet in diameter, the living quarters were cramped and spartan. With room for only a single pilot, it lacked cabin gravity generators. The crew area was just two tiny rooms, with a control room just big enough to hold a crash couch, an oversized mass pointer, and a horseshoe-shaped bank of instruments. The second room originally contained exercise machinery and a reading screen. A Puppeteer executive of General Products said it cost seven billion stars and centuries of research to complete. The ship was named Long Shot, a gambler's term, by Beowulf Shaeffer, who in 2645 piloted it on a mission to survey the galactic core. See "At the Core" (story summary). [Spoiler alert: Ringworld] In 2850 Louis Wu piloted it to the Fleet of Worlds at the start of the First Ringworld Expedition. For that trip, the equipment in the exercise/reading room was replaced with three crash couches equipped with stasis fields, to carry the other three explorers.
In 2645 this city had a population of 64 million, and was one of Earth's three spaceports. Beowulf Shaeffer landed there after traveling from Jinx.
Human male Flatlander, a UN agent who in 2367 investigated an apparent theft of a safe ramscoop starship, which turned out to be Douglas Hooker's unauthorized takeoff and journey to Plateau. He later moved to Plateau, arriving in 2386.
(nicknamed Liar) The Puppeteer-built starship which carried the First Ringworld Expedition from Hearth to the Ringworld. It was built on a No. 2 General Products hull, which typically carried only a single pilot. But the Liar had only the control cabin, living space, life-support system and hyperdrive inside the hull, leaving room for four explorers. All other ship systems, including advanced Puppeteer thrusters (see thruster), fusion drive motors, landing gear, and large pods containing communications equipment, were on a large external delta wing. This design allowed the ship to have only two openings in the hull: the airlock, and a small hatch for a wiring conduit to connect systems on the wing to the ship's interior. The inside of the hull was coated with a transparent conductor. In an emergency, the openings could be sealed, creating an unbroken conducting surface which allowed the creation of a stasis field protecting everything inside the hull. It had four fusion drive motors, with one pair pointing ahead and the other astern; the smaller, forward facing pair were designed for braking, and all could be used as weapons. The ship could accelerate at nearly 200 gees. The roomy lifesystem included three cabins, a lounge, control cabin with controls arranged and labeled for a Kzin, lockers, an autokitchen, and autodocs. The lockers held a variety of exploration equipment, including flycycles, flying backpacks, food testers, phials of dietary additives, first aid kits, air sensors and filters, flashlight-lasers, and dueling sonic stunners. Louis Wu named the ship the Lying Bastard because although it was equipped with a variety of weapons, each was something a Puppeteer could point to and claim it had some other purpose. [Spoiler alert: Ringworld] Approaching the Ringworld, the Liar had its wing vaporized by the superthermal laser. The naked GP hull crashed on the Ringworld in 2851. Later, the wrecked ship was hauled up to the peak of Fist-of-God mountain by the flying building Improbable, using the shadow square wire as a tow rope, through the hole in the mountain's top and out into space.
See also:cabin gravity