Larry's Letters

Sent: December 31, 2001

This was a year I might have preferred to skip. Or maybe I could do it over right. In any case, this is my generic update.

My mother has had too many minor strokes. There are things you can't fix even with a time machine.

April: I tore up my knee. I was trying to stand up, after a yoga session in 106 degree heat. I was in Seattle at the time. I spend Norwescon in a wheelchair. Odd, how you start noticing handicapped after you're handicapped yourself. Everybody's got a story.

Getting home was a major nightmare. I want to thank everyone who made it less unpleasant, including Steve Barnes, Brenda Cooper, convention members, and some hotel and airline personnel.

The worst is, Marilyn strongly urged me not to try a new (to me) form of yoga. It's the last time, I swear. She took very good care of me during the next many months.

They told me my injury--a quadriceps tendon torn loose, reattached along a Dacron strip, two holes in the kneecap--is the same that President Clinton sustained in his first term. He was healed in six months. If Clinton can do that, so can I, I told myself, and it was true.

July 4: we missed Westercon, obviously. We threw our own party. I was still in wheelchair and walker and leg brace; guests had to move the wheelchair around for me.

For all the friends who came to visit me when I couldn't get to them, profound thanks. Thanks to Jerry Pournelle and Eric Pobirs, who set up the library so I could work there instead of in my office, which is upstairs. I spent more than two months camping out in the den, unable to deal with stairs.

I don't have anything intelligent to say about September 11. It hit everybody hard, and everyone had something to say, but man, I was suffering from emotional whiplash. In retrospect...the passengers aboard four big airplanes had been stripped of all weapons. Even the hijackers seem to have had their knives waiting in place. Maybe security folk should start being less careful.

The stock market: Everyone tells the same tale, of deciding to sell something and then not quite doing it fast enough.

My leg is now working fine. I didn't hurry, but I never stopped exercising. By now I've tested it hard, hiking and rock climbing with agile friends, and I'm back to yoga.

It's a bright, sunny day, probably cold: I haven't been out today. The winds have been ferocious. I need a way to anchor our wire-sculpture fi', Harpanet; we haven't lost him yet, but he's not displayed well. I'm working on RINGWORLD'S CHILDREN (sold as RINGWORLD'S CHILD) and at least two collaboration novels, and on Tomb Raider III...playing it, not novelizing it. Our pool cover is shot, needs replacing.

Marilyn and I have done some ferocious shopping. Yes, I shopped with my wife this year, but we may have to give it up. It provokes arguments. I'm not skilled enough, maybe.

I got tired of killing trees a couple of years ago. We use an artificial one, and it's time to put it up. Happy holidays to you all, and to all a better year to come.

Larry Niven

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