neutron star by larry niven (published in 1968)
if you dont read back covers of books - like for this series of lucky dip classic sci fi stories - then the first thing you need to know is that this is a series of short sci fi stories - all based in the same galaxy with some interlinking/development/explanations throughout the stories.
the first story and writing style was a bit of a struggle - perhaps also as it was trying to predict future space findings? but then the numerous ideas that the author larry niven has start to shine through.
its an old science fiction book packed with imagination that he allows himself to runaway with. with some of the best bits a 1 line throwaway that slips through into your deep conscienceness and then a few moments later whacks you into realisation of just what it implies.
none of the short sci fi stories are similar and some are a real surprise. the stories and the galaxy he has created get better with each one and one of them is so out there left field on the galaxy rim that you dont know it is coming.
these stories seem to be a series that would have been published individual then put together to form the neutron star book. with these mainly space science fiction stories - planet earth are part of some of the stories and life forms
having been written in the middle and late 60's it is on the edge of the space age - which can help/hinder as some of the then future technology/ideas are in the process of being invented but niven still has to use his imagination as to how society will progress in the future and in other solar systems.
larry nivens neutron star book has to be a classic for its age - depending on your tastes its not the greatest written but the gems you can mine from it will stay with you forever. if you like alien life form sci fi and lots of variation/ideas then this book is for you.
another mind and galaxy expanding book in the classic science fiction books lucky dip series!