Read it now : "Neutron Star"
By Larry Niven
Genre: Science Fiction
Word Count: 7,000 approx.
Larry Niven is famous for his stories of adventure in hard SF. Indeed, before there were computer games like Halo, there were books about a place called Ringworld. Larry Niven wrote them. He also co-wrote The Mote In God's Eye and Lucifer's Hammer with Jerry Pournelle. Lucifer's Hammer was a post-apocolyptic tale that included a postman who climbs out of his van and continues with his work in his new world. Niven also wrote an episode for the animated series of Star Trek in which he included Kzin, from his own universe.
In this story we see the Puppeteers again, the two headed, three legged race who prefer to run and hide from their enemies rather than stand and fight. This time, they have discovered a neutron star and sent a pair of humans in to investigate it. Those humans died, so they turn to another who is down on his luck.
People who love hard science may enjoy the encounter with the neutron star and its gravity. I preferred the first part of the story, particularly the part where the Puppeteers made their entrance in a shopping mall.
Read it here.