I finished Man-Kzin Wars IX, another collection of stories set in Larry Niven's Known Space 'verse. It's always fun to revisit Known Space. Three of the four novellas were pretty good. Niven wrote one of them, "Fly by Night,"so I read that first, and was pleased to figure out early on that it was a new Beowulf Schaeffer story. As usual, Bey is up to his very tall neck in trouble, this time from Kzinti pirates. There's almost no new ground covered (the plot is pretty much stolen from "Borderland of Sol"), but it's still good to seem him working his way out of another fine mess. There's a war story, "His Sergeant's Hour" by Hal Colebatch, about the last days of the Kzinti occupation of Wunderland that's pretty good. "Windows of the Soul" is a murder mystery by Paul Chafe with a human as the good cop and a kzin as the bad cop that I liked a lot, even though one can see the big plot twist coming a mile away.
However, the fourth story, Poul Anderson's "Pele," was awful. The dialog was especially bad. I was shocked at how bad it was, because I have alwys liked Anderson's stuff before. I read several of his Flandry novels a few years ago, and don't remember anything so bad as this. This was the last story Anderson ever published, so I'm almost wondering if maybe the story wasn't quite ready when he passed away, and someone less talented tried to finish it.