Editorís Note: Many stories about the Man-Kzin Wars have been published in the series entitled Man-Kzin Wars. However, many statements and purported events in those stories are incompatible with the canon of Known Space, which for purposes of this Concordance is confined to accounts written by Larry Niven (author or co-author). Ye Editor therefore regards nearly all Man-Kzin War stories by other authors as fictional, rather than historical, accounts of Known Space*. Contrariwise, Niven himself used information regarding the Man-Kzin Wars from the Ringworld Roleplaying Game as part of the "bible" for the Man-Kzin War series. Therefore, a limited amount of information has been taken from that game, where it does not contradict published canon. Other than the exceptions specified here, all information in this Concordance (including the entry below) is based strictly on the canon of Known Space.
*An exception is "Telepathís Dance" by Hal Colebatch. The events of that story were referred to and summarized in Larry Nivenís "Fly-By-Night", so we regard "Telepathís Dance" as historical and at least semi-canonical.
Humans fought several interstellar wars with the Kzinti Empire, starting in 2367 and continuing for centuries. Each of four "official" wars ended with the punitive confiscation of two worlds of the Kzinti Empire Ringworld ch. 2, p. 18, and the death of approximately two-thirds of the Kzinti adult males "Six times you were defeated, having lost approximately two-thirds of your male population in each war" (Ringworld ch. 2, p. 19).. In addition to these "official" wars, there were Kzinti "incidents" both major and minor, and some count six wars, apparently including two "unofficial" wars. Kzinti tend to attack before they are ready, and have no concept of limited war. "Kzinti fight gallantly, ferociously, and with no concept of mercy; and they always take on several times as much as they can handle" "The Soft Weapon", Neutron Star p. 73. They steadily lost an empire they had built up over thousands of years. Even long after the wars, in 2850, the Kzinti population was less than one-eighth what it had been before Kzinti encountered Humans "We know what happens when we fight. Today our numbers are less than an eighth of what they were when kzin first met man" (Ringworld ch. 1, p. 13).. However, they were never in danger of extermination, as their non-sentient females were largely untouched by the wars; so the next generation helped replace their losses. Puppeteers, and perhaps others, claim this repeated culling of the most warlike Kzinti resulted in an evolutionary change, producing a less aggressive and/or more intelligent species Nessus stated "For several hundred kzin years, the fittest of your species were those members of your species were those members with the wit or forbearance to avoid fighting human beings... All kzinti alive today are descended from those who avoided death in the Man-Kzin Wars. Some among us now speculate that now the kzinti have the intelligence or the empathy or the self-restraint necessary to with races alien to them" (Ringworld ch. 2, p. 20).. However, the change may have been partly (or perhaps even mostly) cultural, not just genetic. After the wars, Kzinti fathers began teaching their sons that Humans are not good to eat The Ringworld Engineers ch. 28, pp. 284-5.
First War (2367-2420?): The first war was the worst for Humans. In 2367 Wunderland was conquered and occupied by the Kzinti, and in following years Sol System was invaded repeatedly, starting with an unorganized fleet known as Gutfootís Horde circa 2384 "Choosing Names", Man-Kzin Wars VIII p. 4The Ringworld Engineers ch 28, pp. 284-5. Sol held off the invaders using safe ramscoop ships, giant giant laser cannon in the outer asteroids (used to launch the ramscoops with light-sails) which chopped at the Kzinti ships, and smaller mobile cannon which darted in and out, using their own beams as photon drives, while Kzinti telepaths continued to report that the Human worlds had no weapons at all. Slowed by unexpected Human resistance and limited by the lightspeed barrier, the war dragged on for decades instead of years. But the huge Kzinti Empire, with its heavily armed, gravity polarizer driven starships, would have eventually won the war Ringworld ch. 6, pp. 81-2, interstitial notes in Tales of Known Space pp. 153-4. Then, in 2409 the Outsiders sold hyperdrive technology to the Human colony of We Made It. When a Human-built hyperdrive ship arrived at Sol System two years later, the crew hadnít known of the war and were amazed at their heroesí welcome ibid. It was the strategic advantage of the hyperdrive which turned the tide of the war and gave victory to Humans. According to an unofficial source, Human hyperdrive armadas ended the war by 2420 "The hyperdrive armadas of 2410-2420 finally drive the Kzinti invaders from Human Space, ending the war in a grinding defeat for Kzinís ruling Patriarchy" (Ringworld Roleplaying Gameó Explorer Book p. 30). See also Editorial Note: Continuity (f). [Spoiler alert: Ringworld] During the First Ringworld Expedition in 2850-1, Nessus revealed that at the time of the First War, Puppeteers were studying the Kzinti to see if they could be safely exterminated, but instead they covertly intervened in the war in favor of the humans. It appears that the Puppeteers used a starseed lure to indirectly lead Outsiders to make contact with Humans, thus giving Humans the ability to win the war and reversing the expansion of the Kzinti Empire. [End of Spoiler alert]
Second War (2449?-2475?): The second and subsequent wars were hardly worth discussing, at least by comparison with the first. The Kzinti always tended to attack before they were ready interstitial notes in Tales of Known Space pp. 153-4. During the Second War, the Kzinti were barred by treaty from owning hyperdrive motors, but had a few anyway. Gravity generators were coming into use in Human Space "Canon for the Man-Kzin Wars", Scatterbrain pb p. 294.
Fourth War (?-2505): Officially the last Man-Kzin War, the Fourth was a desperation move, with Kzinti suicide attacks ibid. It was highly unequal in Earthís favor and ended in 2505 with the Covenants of Shasht. This treaty made it illegal for Kzinti to use any but police weapons, either individually or on their starships; to eat human meat; or to kill a "legal entity", which is defined more narrowly than in most Human law "Fly-By-Night", Man-Kzin Wars IX pb pp. 308-9.
Unofficial wars: The difference between an "official" and "unofficial" war is not addressed in any official account, but since there was apparently no formal treaty ending any unofficial war following the Fourth War, it appears that these wars were not officially sanctioned by the Patriarchy, who rule the Kzinti Empire. (The unofficial wars may or may not have been unofficially sanctioned). Beowulf Shaeffer mentioned a war "in Kzin" circa 2615, long after the 2505 Covenants of Shasht "...he wore a hellflare tattoo on his shoulder, which meant he had been in Kzin in the war thirty years back, which meant he had been trained to kill adult Kzinti..." ("Flatlander", Neutron Star p. 129). No account indicates the date of the other unofficial war, but according to Puppeteers there were six wars before 2650 Achilles (a Puppeteer) thinks "How odd it was that the timidity of Kzinti had brought him to this [...] Six disastrous wars had rendered the ĎHeroesí impotent..." (Juggler of Worlds ch. 26, p. 131). This appears consistent with Nessusí statement in Ringworld (see Note #2, above); apparently the Puppeteers count six Man-Kzin Wars..
End of the wars: The idea of a permanent, official peace is foreign to the Kzinti. They think of the end of the Fourth War as the "Fourth Truce with Man" Speaker-To-Animals said "In the dark days that followed the Fourth Truce with Man..." (Ringworld ch. 17, p. 237). Also: "To the Patriarchy, the last disastrous interstellar war is still officially the ĎFourth Truce with Maní..." (Ringworld Role-Playing Gameó Explorer Book p. 50).. The Man-Kzin Wars did not end because the Kzinti came to desire peace. Rather, according to Speaker-To-Animals, because "...there would be no point! We could not win a war!" Ringworld ch. 2, p. 20. There was peace, or at least relative peace, between Humans and the Kzinti Empire after sometime between 2662 According to Nessus, "For nearly 200 kzin years there has been peace between man and kzin" (Ringworld ch. 2, p. 20). Speaker-To-Animals later gives a conversion rate: 217 Kzin years for 204 Earth years (p. 77), giving a ratio of 0.94 Kzin years to one Human year, or "nearly" 188 years. Nessusí statement was made in 2850, indicating there had been peace since not long after 2662. and 2699 "Kzinti forces never managed to invade Earth, not in any of the four interstellar wars (plus "incidents") that ended more than two hundred years ago" ("The Hunting Park", Man-Kzin Wars pb p. 474. The story is dated 2899, so the end of the Wars was prior to 2699.. The Covenants of Shasht, which prohibited the Kzinti from arming themselves or their starships with weapons of war, officially remained permanently in force after the end of the Fourth War; it was interstellar law even as late as 2656 "Fly-By-Night", Man-Kzin Wars IX pb p. 309. Yet at least a few Kzinti long afterward continued in a sort of low-level guerilla conflict, what they thought of as a clandestine "war", officially condemned by the Patriarchy but unofficially sanctioned From the viewpoint of Chuft-Captain, a Kzin: "It had been a strange, waiting kind of war. Legally it was no war at all. The Traitorís Claw showed in the Kzinti records as a stolen ship. If she had been captured at any time, all the Kzinti worlds would have screamed loudly for Chuft-Captainís head as a pirate. Even the shipís name had been chosen for that eventuality... A strange war, in which the rules were flexible and the dictates of personal honor were often hard to define and to satisfy... A strange war. But better than no war at all." ("The Soft Weapon", Neutron Star p. 81.
Reference: "Choosing Names"; "At the Core"; "The Soft Weapon"; Ringworld chs. 1-2, 6, 13-14; The Ringworld Engineers ch. 28; "The Hunting Park"; interstitial notes in Tales of Known Space; "Canon for the Man-Kzin Wars"
[Spoiler alert: Ringworld] A circular room, about 120 feet in diameter, located at the top of the dream-castle Heaven, discovered by the First Ringworld Expedition in 2851. It contained a large holographic projection, a three-dimensional map of the Ringworld, almost as large as the room. The plane of the Ring was parallel to the floor, and three feet above it. The mega-structure was shown to scale, eight inches wide, with bands of day and night in baby blue and midnight blue. High on the walls were ten turning globes, showing ten Earth-like worlds of varied sizes. During the First Ringworld Expedition, Louis Wu thought these ten planets were City Builder colony worlds, but the account of the Second Ringworld Expedition suggests otherwise. In the center of the room was a large rectangular projection screen, with controls for viewing any part of the ring and selection of magnification level. The view appeared to be from the shadow squares, looking down on the Ringworld floor. The views were not live, but stored data from the period when the City Builder civilization thrived, before the Fall of Cities.
Reference:Ringworld chs. 16, 24
[Spoiler alert: Ringworld, Ringworld Engineers] Located on the Ringworld in the Great Ocean and the Other Ocean, widely spaced clusters of continent-sized "islands" are shaped as full-sized flat projections of the continents of an entire world. These areas are called Maps. In the Great Ocean are numerous Maps, including Map of Earth, the Map of Kzin, the Map of Mars, and Maps of Down, Jinx, Trinoc, Kdat, and Pierin. The Maps were first seen as projections in the map room during the First Ringworld Expedition in 2851. At that time, Louis Wu suggested some of the Maps represented the City Builder colony worlds, and that the Maps were smaller than full size. During the Second Ringworld Expedition in 2880, he discovered otherwise.
Reference:Ringworld chs. 13, 16; The Ringworld Engineers
The distance from a large mass at which it is safe to travel via hyperdrive. This varies by the size and density of the mass. In Sol System, the distance is beyond the orbit of Neptune; but at the neutron star BVS-1, the limit was only a million miles. This suggests that, for astronomical bodies of a given mass: The denser the body, the closer the mass limit. It is not safe to engage a hyperdrive if very near even a relatively small mass, such as another ship nearby "There was a ship," said Margo. "A big one. I noticed... it was inside the mass limit. I couldnít go into hyperspace until it left" ("Grendel", Neutron Star p. 245).. However, the danger may not be to the ship engaging its hyperdrive, but rather a danger to nearby objects When the Gwíoth Olítíro engaged the hyperdrive he built to escape from the starship Sancho Panza, it sliced away a large part of the larger ship, including part of its nearly indestructible GP hull, while the section of the ship containing Olítíro and his hyperdrive escaped unharmed (Destroyer of Worlds ch. 64-5, pp. 356-7).. For more information, see "Hyperspace Theory & Practice" in the Articles section.
Reference: "Grendel", "The Borderland of Sol"
A mass pointer resembles an oversized crystal ball.
(also called mass indicator or mass sensor) A device used for navigation in hyperspace. The mass pointer is a big transparent sphere of doped crystal, with a number of green (or blue) lines radiating from the center. The direction of a line shows a starís direction, and the length indicates the starís mass. It is a psionic device, requiring a living mind to operate. However, see autopilot. See also "Hyperspace Theory & Practice" (section E) in the Articles section.
Reference: "At the Core", "The Soft Weapon", "Flatlander", Ringworld chs. 4-5, Ringworldís Children
Reference: "The Coldest Place", "Madness Has Its Place"
A rifle firing "mercy needles", inch-long slivers of anesthetic chemical which dissolve instantly in blood, putting a target to sleep instead of killing it. A mercy rifle used by a hunter on Gummidgy in 2647 could fire individual rounds or a second-long burst of 20. One type of sliver usually affected all the lifeforms on a given world.
The Ringworld habitat has no horizon, other than local irregularities in the terrain. To spinward and antispinward, the land gradually curves up. Details of the landscape merge at the vanishing point, at infinity, with the blue of the sky. To port and starboard the land does not curve up, it is flat; but otherwise the appearance is the same.
Reference: (d) "Grendel", (e) "Neutron Star", (f) "There Is a Tide"
A manufacturer of spacecraft systems. In 2324 they built the first safe ramscoop field generator, and also the most advanced autodoc of the era.
Reference: "The Ethics of Madness"
Louis Wu theorized that the Ringworld Engineers omitted dangerous or harmful animals, such as tigers and mosquitoes, when they transplanted species from other worlds to establish the Ringworldís ecosystem.
The 40 mile high, straight-sided mountain on which the Human colony Plateau resides. It was named when the pilot of the first colony slowboat to reach the world, looking for a safe landing place, spotted the mountain and exclaimed "Lookitthat!" The mountain has fluted sides, perhaps resembling Devils Tower in the Wyoming region of North America, on Earth.
Reference: "The Ethics of Madness", Ringworld ch. 12