By John Hertz: (reprinted from Vanamonde 1445)
Here’s a poem I wrote for Larry Niven’s birthday last week.
Laughter and science
Are the left and the right hand
Reaching for the new,
Realizing the touch of truth
Yet unknown – what a great joke!
It’s an acrostic (read down the first letter of each line) in unrhymed 5-7-5-7-7-syllable lines, like Japanese tanka.
Once our field of speculative fiction seemed to have lots of science fiction and little fantasy; today we seem to have lots of fantasy and little science fiction. Niven has written both.
Also in The Flying Sorcerers (with David Gerrold) the characters – most of them – think they’re in fantasy, but they’re actually in science fiction; in Rainbow Mars the characters think they’re in science fiction, but they’re actually in fantasy.
Even I have collaborated with Niven; we interviewed the Rainbow Mars character Hanville Svetz, which you can see in Argentus 4 (PDF); we had fun with it, but you have to have read the book.
The most recent solo Niven work I know is “By the Red Giant’s Light”, The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction Nov-Dec 2017, which I recommend.
He’s a poet, and a comedian.