It deviates a little from the describtion in the books, but it is the most realistic looking version of a Puppeteer I found so far. I would love to see you draw more aliens from good sci-fi books like some of the Ousters from the Hyperion Saga or the Biots from Rama.
Strangely enough there are few good artists who bother to put their imagination of such described creatures on paper, or it's just hard to find them.
In any case... thumbs up for all your work. Looking forward to any new addition, no matter where the source of inspiration lies
I like your version. I always felt Barlowe got the rear anatomy a bit wrong with the hind leg. The hips he drew looked too bovine even though there was only a single leg. This is a nice treatment although from memory the "mouthparts" were described more finger like.
You should send a copy of this to Niven, he shows up at sci-fi cons etc. A friend of mine gave him a copy of my Kzin portrayal, and he was happy with it (also, I portrayed the Kzin as a reasonable theromorph para-tetrapod alien, not as a furry, thank goodness). Tell me if you want to see my Kzin.
I wanted to stay true to the rat-cat side of it, but also how Niven describes them as "bipedal tigers" as opposed to cat-men. The big mistake most people make drawing them, is making them look like furries or anthros, even the book covers are guilty of this. I like the fact that they have retractable ears that are like bat wings, no earth mammal has ears which retract into a hole in the skull. All in all, I think Niven did a good job at making it "mammaloid alien" but not "mammal". The text mentions that a zygote in a reproducing Kzin is actually formed from two ovum, one from each parent, and no sperm, Kzin don't have them. Also, there was reference to "belly struts" instead of ribs, which has been drawn as a lattice instead of a ribcage, also that they have a mouth full of similar sharp teeth, instead of heterodont molars, canines, incisors, etc.