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The Man-Kzin Wars refer to a series of interstellar conflicts between Humans and Kzinti, including four wars and many major incidents, spanning 300 years from the mid-24th to the mid-27th centuries.

With the help of Puppeteer intervention leading to the sale of a faster-than-light drive to humans by the Outsiders, all wars were won by the humans.[1][2]


There were four major conflicts between the Kzin and mankind, not to mention smaller skirmishes and clashes. The first war began in around 2360 C.E. with the attack on the human colony ship Angel's Pencil.[3] At the time of this incident humans on Earth had been effectively pacified by the A.R.M. All knowledge of warfare and violence had been banned and humans were heavily monitored and medicated to secure society's equilibrium.[4] These policies were mostly relegated to Earth where the U.N. was able to enforce its set of laws, however, there existed human colonies on several planets where these draconian measures were not in place. Among the established colones were the Asteroid BeltPlateau, We Made ItJinx, and Wunderland,which would see some of the worst of the action outside of the Sol System.[5]

The Kzin on the other hand, were well-armed, possessed weapon and spacefllight technology, and came from a warrior culture that had conquered and subjugated every other species they encountered. It is even rumored that the Kzin were genetically modified to make the more ferocious and prone to warfare.[6] Nonetheless, the humans were able to stun their foes with a variety of innovative strategies and tactics, or as the Kzin would call it "monkey cleverness". Utilizing hastily assembled flotillas of ships and defensive weapons spread liberally throughout the Sol system, the humans were able to beat back three successive waves of invaders over the next several decades, although just barely.[7]

While the victories raised the general moral of mankind, each one came at a heavy price. In addition, while the two sides fought over control of the Sol System, the human colony of Wunderland, which had fallen to the Kzin early on in the conflict, languished under Kzin occupation. It was here that the Kzin, under command of the brilliant strategist Chuut-Riit, assembled their fleets in preparation of the invasion of the Sol System.[8] In they used to invade human territory. In 2419 C.E. the U.N. launched a series of desperate strikes against the Kzin on Wunderland. Among these were a failed attempt to create Protectors on Wunderland using smuggled Tree-of-Life root, the brutal interstellar bombing of the planet using Bussard Ramjet technology, and the assassination of Chuut-Riit, an act which plunged the Kzin leadership into chaos and led to a bloody civil war.[9][10] The unlikely but overwhelming success of these last two missions gave the U.N. the respite it needed to regroup and assemble a strike-force, with the aim of liberating Wunderland from Kzin control. During this time, a ship of Outsiders landed on We Made It, made contact with the colonists there, and sold them the plans for a faster-than-light drive.[1] Coincidentally, Dimity Carmody was on We Made It, recovering from injuries she sustained while fleeing Wunderland during the initial invasion. It was her work in faster-than-light theory that enabled her to decode the instructions that the Outsiders had sold them, and come up with a workable design that could be produced.[11] The arrival of this new technology completely changed the course of the war. By the end of 2420 C.E. not only had Wunderland been liberated, but the human hyperdrive armada had begun striking at other Kzin colonies wherever they could be found The liberation of Wunderland and following subjugation of the Wunderkzin, marked the end of the first war, and the beginning of a quarter century of peace between the two enemies. While the Kzin living under human rule on Wunderland were the only ones who were truly defeated, in the rest of the Patriarchy life remained unchanged and the fervent dedication to militarism still defined the unknown millions of Heroes spread out across the far reaches of the Patriarch's dominion. However, the loss of multiple fleets of Kzin Heroes, in addition to the countless dead on Wunderland and its surrounding system, was a heavy blow to the military prowess of the Patriarch. In 2433 C.E. the MacDonald-Rishaii Peace Treatywas signed, marking the official end of the First Man-Kzin War.[8]


While the Kzin on Wunderland began to adapt to life under human rule, with those under the leadership of Chuut-Riit's son Vaemar actively working with their human counterparts, the rest of the Kzin in the Patriarchy licked their wounds and tried to come to terms with the sour taste of defeat for the first time.[2][6]


The original story dealing with the Kzin, The Warriors by Larry Niven, details the first encounter in space between humans and the felinoid aliens. This tale is collected in the first volume of the Man-Kzin Wars series along with the short stories Iron, by Poul Anderson, and Cathouse, by Dean Ing.[12] Since the publication of the first volume in 1988, the Man-Kzin Wars has grown to span fourteen collections of short stories and three stand alone novels. In addition several of the stories have been reworked and published together as a single novel length work.[13] Every book in the series has a cover designed by Stephen Hickman.

See Also[]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Larry Niven - A Gift From Earth
  2. 2.0 2.1 Hal Colebatch - Music Box (Man-Kzin Wars X: The Wunder War)
  3. Known Space Complete Story Timeline
  4. Hal Colebatch - The Colonel's Tiger (Man-Kzin Wars VII)
  5. Man-Kzin Wars X: The Wunder War edited by Larry Niven
  6. 6.0 6.1 Hal Colebatch & Jessica Q. Fox - Treasure Planet (novel)
  7. Larry Niven - Madness Has Its Place (N-Space)
  8. 8.0 8.1 Donald Kingsbury - The Survivor (Man-Kzin Wars IV)
  9. Jerry Pournelle & S.M. Stirling - The Children's Hour (Man-Kzin Wars II)
  10. Gregory Benford & Mark O. Martin - A Darker Geometry (Man-Kzin Wars VII)
  11. Hal Colebatch - One War for Wunderland (Man-Kzin Wars X: The Wunder War)
  12. The Man-Kzin Wars - edited by Larry Niven
  13. Poul Anderson - Inconstant Star