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Extended Audio Sample The Draco Tavern Audiobook, by Larry Niven Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.69 out of 53.69 out of 53.69 out of 53.69 out of 53.69 out of 5 3.69 (32 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Larry Niven Narrator: Tom Weiner Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: January 2006 ISBN: 9781455187102
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When a tremendous spacecraft took orbit around Earth’s moon and began sending smaller landers down toward the North Pole, the newly arrived visitors quickly set up a permanent spaceport in Siberia. Their presence attracted many, and a few grew conspicuously rich from secrets they learned from talking to the aliens. One of these men, Rick Schumann, established a tavern catering to all the various species of visiting aliens, a place he named the Draco Tavern.

From the mind of bestselling author Larry Niven come twenty-seven tales and vignettes from this interplanetary gathering place, collected for the first time in one volume. Join Rick and his staff as they chronicle the seemingly infinite alien species that spend a few moments pondering life and all its questions within the Draco Tavern.

The stories include “The Subject Is Closed,” in which a priest visits the tavern and goes one-on-one with a chirpsithra alien on the subject of God and life after death; “Table Mannners: A Folk Tale,” in which Rick Schumann is invited to hunt with five folk aliens, but he’s not quite sure what their hunt entails—or if he will be the hunted; “Losing Mars,” a previously unpublished tale in which a group of aliens who call Mars and its moon home arrive at the tavern only to find that humans have mostly forgotten about their neighboring planet; and many more.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “[Niven] showcases his ability to use SF to explore mind-boggling, universal questions…taken altogether, [the stories] radiate Niven’s wit and technological inventiveness.”

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  • “The stories are full of the unique perspectives of these travelers and their accounts of their home planets. Rick Schumann is characterized as the classic bartender by narrator Tom Weiner. He is inventive in his characterizations of the visitors who engage Schumann over the bar. Weiner gives the same attention to short pieces that he does to full stories and provides continuity without being overbearing.”

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Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jeremy | 2/13/2014

    " Transcends "Sci-Fi". If you are a fan of short stories and the art of pulling that genre off then read this book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 José Paulo | 2/10/2014

    " It felt like a very long time that I have waited for the collected Draco Tavern tales. I love this volume, SF at its best. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Donald | 1/24/2014

    " This was more like a collection of short stories of stuff that could happen at an interspecies bar in an extremely remote location on Earth. It included otherworldly ways of getting a buzz, interspecies translator devices, and various ways of providing the proper atmosphere. I barely hung on for the ride, and I'm still having a hard time with Terminator Beavers.... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 S.R. Dantzler | 1/17/2014

    " This is a great read for writers interested in interactions between humans and xenos. Draco tavern is a multi species establishment in Siberia, near the intergalactic space station. The human proprietor takes on an antropologic role in catering to the many different species that come to his tavern. His views and stories are a fantastic source of inspiration as well as offer an open minded view of Aliens. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Leons1701 | 1/13/2014

    " If you've read any Niven short story collections, you've probably read one or more of the Draco Tavern tales. This book collects almost every story Niven has done to date about Rick Schumann, including some not published elsewhere. Everything comes to Rick's (and yes I'm pretty sure the reference was deliberate), the only multi-species tavern on Earth. These are short shorts for the most part, a few pages at most, though a few are a bit longer. In those few pages, Niven tackles some mighty big subjects; eternal life, death, love, justice, wisdom, knowledge, cosmology and more. Some stories are lighter than others, some of the more recent ones are rather bleak, but the overall tone of the collection is upbeat and slightly humorous. I doubt I'll be adding this one to my collection, the stories I don't already have in other collections are among the weaker ones, but it makes a solid read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Karen | 1/12/2014

    " It's amazing how much a good writer can convey in short stories. Considering how many pages some authors need to tell a story, it's refreshing to read very brief stories that are nevertheless extremely rich. And he does a good job of re-describing the necessary details, so the reader can easily pick up any story at any time. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 James | 1/6/2014

    " One of my favorite collections of short stories. Wish there were more. I enjoyed the interstellar bar stories, and Larry Niven really make you think about how one might react to something alien. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Naomi | 11/5/2013

    " Loved it. A collection of very short stories asking questions about life the universe and everything, but written as, "an alien walked into a bar and..." I read it a little tasty bit at a time, to make it last. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Barry Vandenburgh | 4/23/2013

    " One of my all time favorites. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jef | 4/3/2013

    " The idea that a civilization or an intelligence would cease to exist if it became too sentient. A sentient being that is comprised of cells of interstellar modules separated by about 5 light minutes of space. An alien race that eats people, cloned people. All lots of fun. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cary Enlow | 3/14/2013

    " Fun book. My kid complained the stories were too short without development. I saw it more as a collection of vignettes. Sort of like talking to your favorite bartender between him serving other customers. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Edelhart Kempeneers | 2/13/2013

    " Reeks kortverhalen... kon me niet echt bekoren, veel betere Nivens gelezen. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Donna Jo Atwood | 1/14/2013

    " Rick owns a tavern at the North Pole that caters to aliens. These short stories all center around the tavern in one way or another. Most of the stories are very short. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lauren | 1/14/2013

    " An entertaining collection of all the Draco Tavern short stories. If I'm not mistaken, one of them is presented out of order. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 tarise | 1/5/2013

    " It was ok. Nice idea, storytelling a bit rough and schizophrenic. Nice cover art.. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kenneth Flusche | 1/4/2013

    " Verry short stories and while ment to be thought provoking are not really "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Michael Hirsch | 10/4/2012

    " I've always liked these stories by Niven. They are short, to the point, and, best of all, they make you think. They always have a concept behind them that is worth thinking about, at least a little. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lysergius | 9/16/2012

    " Short stories not normally my thing, but Larry Niven spins off ideas in this collection that go some way to explaining how he could conceive of Ringworld. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Noah Stacy | 8/18/2012

    " Short, sharp little vignettes that often were the best of science fiction and the short story. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Bonnie Gayle | 8/15/2012

    " Didn't finish this one. Not going to. The short stories were very short. Very very short. And after awhile, they began to wear. There is one long story thrown into the bunch, but since I am not interested in listening to a story about a hunting expedition at all, I ended up skipping it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Benjamin | 5/14/2012

    " Not my favorite of his, but pretty good nonetheless. I'm not a huge fan of short story collections. I think it took me a good month to read this though, so that says something. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 1brotherbill | 10/19/2011

    " Great book of short stories. Niven delivers like always. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Richard | 9/25/2011

    " Good collection of short stories. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Barry | 1/14/2011

    " One of my all time favorites. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Noah | 10/17/2010

    " Short, sharp little vignettes that often were the best of science fiction and the short story. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Benjamin | 10/14/2010

    " Not my favorite of his, but pretty good nonetheless. I'm not a huge fan of short story collections. I think it took me a good month to read this though, so that says something. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Victoria | 10/5/2010

    " It was good writing, but the structure of the short stories didn't allow for any character or plot development. Probably would have been better read in serial format as originally published. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Donna Jo | 4/14/2010

    " Rick owns a tavern at the North Pole that caters to aliens. These short stories all center around the tavern in one way or another. Most of the stories are very short. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mia | 8/18/2009

    " Interesting collection of interconnected short stories. Focuses on aliens. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jef | 7/6/2009

    " The idea that a civilization or an intelligence would cease to exist if it became too sentient. A sentient being that is comprised of cells of interstellar modules separated by about 5 light minutes of space. An alien race that eats people, cloned people. All lots of fun. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Katherine | 6/24/2009

    " David Warner gave this to me to read... vignettes...i enjoyed and have returned "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nick | 4/4/2009

    " I am a sucker for short stories about weird and quirky aliens. Larry Niven is a great author and many of the stories and vignettes in this book are great. A couple were not so entertaining, but on the whole I enjoyed it a lot. "

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About the Author
Author Larry Niven

Larry Niven is the multiple Hugo and Nebula Award–winning author of the Ringworld series, as well as many other science fiction masterpieces. His Footfall, coauthored with Jerry Pournelle, was a New York Times bestseller. He lives in Chatsworth, California.

About the Narrator

Tom Weiner, a dialogue director and voice artist best known for his roles in video games and television shows such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Transformers, is an Earphones Award winner and Audie Award finalist. He is a former member of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.