Reviews of Hole in Space, a (1974)
Review by clong (2007-08-04)
This is a reasonably entertaining collection of Niven short stories primarily from the early 1970s (plus a Louis Wu story from 1968). The stories all deal with unintended consequences, with several of them focusing on the impact of the teleportation technology that inhabits Niven's known space universe. These are stories driven by ideas and the clever working out of consequences of these ideas.
My favorite story in the collection was the last one, "The Fourth Profession," in which a member of an intersteller trading mission trades knowledge with a bartender. This was a nice combination of mystery, first contact, and even a touch of a love story (handled here better than you might expect from Niven).
"The Alibi Machine," "A Kind of Murder," and "The Last Days of the Permanent Floating Riot Club" were three similar takes on the subject of how technology creates new opportunities for criminals, too. "$16,940.00" is a very short little crime story with nary a hint of scifi or fantasy, again on the theme of unintended consequences.