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The Flying Sorcerers is a novel by David Gerrold, who wrote the Star Trek episode, "The Trouble with Tribbles", and Larry Niven. It is Niven's first published collaborative work. Since then, Niven has gone on to right a number of successful books and series in collaboration with an array of his contemporaries.

The Flying Sorcerers is a story about the magic of a primitive people coming into conflict with modern technology.

This summary is from larryniven.net[1]

"A human explorer/anthropologist discovers indigenous bronze-age hominids on a planet he is surveying. He treats them with indulgent bemusement, until one of them manages to blow up his shuttlecraft. Now he must arrange for pickup by his orbital craft, but he is thousands of miles from the pickup point. So he enlists their aid.

The humor which made "Tribbles" such a successful episode of Star Trek is very apparent with violations of the Star Trek Prime Directive abounding frequently, as Purple teaches the backward but very bright natives advanced principles, like electricity and assembly-lines. Along the way, a great deal of fun is had with the literal nature of the human's translator, and great puns occur. (Two of the bright, inventive native characters, for example, are named Wilville and Orbur. Get it?) In fact, the human is called "Purple" by the natives because that's how his translator rendered it. His real name turns out to be very familiar to most science fiction readers."

  1. http://news.larryniven.net/biblio/display.asp?key=57

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