I finally realized why the one timeline I was following had very few Man-Kzin wars stories in it... it's because most of them weren't written by Larry Niven! I could go all out and read all of them in order, or stick to the Larry Niven stories. I haven't quite decided. This one was rather short, so it was easy to read, and it seemed to fit into the timeline pretty well (even if it's a little annoying... more on that later). The next one is a full-fledged 240-page novel, so it's decision time.
Onto this story. The main premise is that Earth and the space program has become so peaceful that war is not only abolished, but the common 'knowledge' is that no aggressive species can make it into space. History has been rewritten to remove all traces of war, and anyone who even so much as has an interest in reading about war (or heck, even competitive games where someone might lose) is essentially brain-wiped, and sent to mines on another planet. So when reports of a colony ship being attacked by the catlike Kzin reaches Earth, investigators naturally assume either the crew has gone mad, or an elaborate hoax is being played. However, Occam's Razor applies, and when the conspiracy becomes too complex, the simplest solution is the correct one: the crew has been attacked, there are aggressive aliens out there, and we have to re-learn war.
Sci-fi is scary sometimes.
Also, it's interesting to note how no one knows that wars actually occurred in the 20th century due to the rewriting of history. Sort of how no one knows the Christian-based history of America due to rewriting of history. Again... scary stuff.
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