Inconstant Star

Inconstant Star Inconstant Star is a science fiction novel by Poul Anderson. The stories Iron and Inconstant Star were first published in The Man-Kzin Wars and Man-Kzin Wars III, respectively.

In “Iron”, Saxtorph and the Rover, hired by the wealthy Crashlander Laurinda Brozik, set out to explore a newly discovered red dwarf star. When they arrive, they are challenged by a Kzinti warship. Separating the crew onto the shuttles, the Rover is captured and landed on one of the moons. The first shuttle sets on Prima, the first planet, and is held fast by a planet-sized organism that begins dissolving the shuttle. They broadcast for rescue, and are refused help by the Kzin.

Meanwhile, helpless to rescue their friends, Robert, Dorcas, and Laurinda make a plan to steal a tug and escape back to friendly space with the news of the Kzin base. Dorcas pilots the tug, and takes out the ship guarding the ‘’Rover’’. Robert and Laurinda land, fight off a Kzinti shuttle, and recover the Rover. They are able to rescue Juan and Carita, and destroy the base with a guided asteroid.

In “Inconstant Star”, Saxtorph and crew are hired by Tyra Nordbo to redeem her father’s honor, as he was accused of collaboration with the Kzin during their occupation of Wunderland. To do so, they must use notes he had left behind and follow a ship that had left 30 years prior to investigate a concentration of gamma rays. They travel to the coordinates, and find a massive artifact made of an unknown metal. A hole in the spherical artifact is pouring out lethal radiation. As the study it, they learn it is a weapon of the Tnuctip. It is a shell around a “captured” black hole, one that had been holed by a meteorite and is thus releasing the Hawking radiation. They then deduce the route of the original Kzin ship, and head off to the Father Sun?, the star of the Kzin homeworld. En route, they locate the Sherrek?, where Tyra’s father Peter had worked free of his Kzin captors. They rescue him and head back to the artifact. Another Kzin ship, Swordbeak, also finds the old ship. They, too, head to the artifact, and catch the Rover by surprise. Just when all looks lost, Robert and Dorcas conceive a plan to use the artifact's radiation against the Kzin warship. In a last act of defiance, a dying Weoch-Captain activates the artifact’s hyperdrive and heads out into unknown space.

Man-Kzin anthologies

The Man-Kzin Wars (1988, Larry Niven, Poul Anderson, Dean Ing)
Man-Kzin Wars II (1989, Dean Ing, Jerry Pournelle and S.M. Stirling)
Man-Kzin Wars III (1990, Larry Niven, Poul Anderson, Jerry Pournelle and S.M. Stirling)
Man-Kzin Wars IV (1991, Donald Kingsbury, Greg Bear and S.M. Stirling)
Man-Kzin Wars V (1992, Thomas T. Thomas, Jerry Pournelle and S.M. Stirling)
Man-Kzin Wars VI (1994, Donald Kingsbury, Mark O. Martin and Gregory Benford)
Man-Kzin Wars VII (1995, Hal Colebatch, Paul Chafe, Mark O. Martin and Gregory Benford)
Man-Kzin Wars VIII: Choosing Names (1998, Larry Niven, Hal Colebatch, Jean Lamb, Paul Chafe and Warren W. James?)
The Best of All Possible Wars: The Best of the Man-Kzin Wars (1998)
Man-Kzin Wars IX (2002, Larry Niven, Poul Anderson, Hal Colebatch, Paul Chafe)
Man-Kzin Wars X: The Wunder War (2003, Hal Colebatch)
Man-Kzin Wars XI (2005, Larry Niven, Hal Colebatch and Matthew Joseph Harrington)
Man-Kzin Wars XII (2009, Paul Chafe, Hal Colebatch and Matthew Joseph Harrington)
Man-Kzin Wars XIII (2012, Hal Colebatch, Matthew Joseph Harrington, Paul Chafe, Jessica Q. Fox?, Jane Lindskold, Charles E. Gannon?, Alex Hernandez and David Bartell)

Man-Kzin novels

Cathouse: A Novel of the Man Kzin-Wars (1990 Dean Ing)
The Children's Hour: A Novel of the Man-Kzin Wars (1991, Jerry Pournelle and S. M. Stirling)
Inconstant Star (1991, Poul Anderson)
A Darker Geometry (1996, Mark O. Martin? and Gregory Benford)
The Houses of the Kzinti (2002, Dean Ing, Jerry Pournelle, S. M. Stirling)
Destiny's Forge: A Man-Kzin Wars Novel (2007, Paul Chafe)

Other books

Annals of the Man-Kzin-Wars: An Unofficial Companion Guide (Alan Michaud?, 2001)

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