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Ringworld [School & Library Binding]

Larry Niven
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (134 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Nov. 1 1990 0785773789 978-0785773788
Pierson's puppeteers, strange, three-legged, two-headed aliens, have discovered an immense structure in a hitherto unexplored part of the universe. Frightened of meeting the builders of such a structure, the puppeteers set about assembling a team consisting of two humans, a puppeteer and a kzin, an alien not unlike an eight-foot-tall, red-furred cat, to explore it. The artefact is a vast circular ribbon of matter, some 180 million miles across, with a sun at its centre - the Ringworld. But the expedition goes disastrously wrong when the ship crashlands and its motley crew faces a trek across thousands of miles of the Ringworld's surface.
--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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In Ringworld and Ringworld Engineers Larry Niven created Known Space, a universe in the distant future with a distinctive and complicated history. The centre of this universe is Ringworld, an expansive hoop-shaped relic 1 million miles across and 600 million miles in circumference that is home to some 30 trillion diverse inhabitants. As in his past novels, Niven's characters in The Ringworld Throne spend their time unravelling the complex problems posed by their society. AMAZON.CO.UK REVIEW --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Larry Niven was born in California in 1938 and studied mathematics at Washburn University, Kansas. His first published science-fiction story was 'The Coldest Place' in 1964 and he immediately established himself as a significant figure in the science-fiction world, winning four Hugos for short fiction. Ringworld is the most important novel in his future history, Tales of Known Space sequence. He has also collaborated, most notably with Jerry Pournelle on The Mote in God's Eye, Oath of Fealty, Inferno, Lucifer's Hammer and Footfall. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A true science-fiction masterpiece and series Feb. 17 2004
By Anthony
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The first time I read "Ringworld" was when I was in high school and I still own it and have read it, along with the rest of the series, several times. It is definitely that enthralling! I have placed it alongside other works of this type such as "Cryptonomicon", "Snow Crash", "Neuromancer", "Foundation", "Darkeye: Cyber Hunter", etc. Each as intriguing and gripping in their own rights.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Ringworld April 6 2013
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
One of those timeless books that is as relevant in its message then as it still is today... couldn't put it down
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Things that make you go hmm.... Jan. 31 2004
Some sci-fi stories make psychological and social exploration their dominant them, others focus on scientific/technological themes. "Ringworld" has both elements, but it is unquestionably the scientific/technological that gives this story its strength. The heart this work is the presentation of the "Ringworld" itself, a manufactured world millions of times bigger than Earth, a technological accomplishment truly mind-boggling in its sheer size and audacity.
A huge part of any sci-fi stories' strength is what I call the "what if?" factor, the introduction of a new, or freshly presented, idea that really gives you food for thought. Niven's development of Ringworld itself and his idea of luck as a sort of psychic power has succeeded in this respect.
I give "Ringworld" 4 stars: it's good, but not THAT good---it's the concept of the Ringworld itself that gives the story its real strength. I think the character development, though adequate for the book's purpose, could have been stronger. I was also a little non-plussed with the powerful sphere of influence finally attributed to "luck."
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good, but I wanted more. Dec 22 2003
By foneman
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I liked this book a lot. Niven's aliens are some of the most creative I have ever encountered in s.f., particularly Nessus. However the story should have been much longer and more fleshed out. I hope I'm not over "Tolkienized", but I like background and explanations. Also, the author needed to make me care more about the characters. Still, it was a lot of fun and I plan to read Ringworld Engineers.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great classic Nov. 24 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Ringworld is a marvellously inventive story - two humans and two Aliens, a cariverous, Cat-like kzin and a herbiverous puppeteer - set out to explore a vast world built in a ring around a sun, with a surface area of billions of square miles on which all kinds of societies can flourish. Niven is a trained mathematician, and it makes the story more satisfying that the maths are worked out plausibly. It deserves its many awards for sheer non-stop inventiveness and action. The characters are plausible and fascinating, too. There is a website "Known space", devoted to Niven's works, if anybody doesn't know, and a brilliant new book of the wars of humans and Kzin, The Wunder War, set in the same universe, published recently. There have been two sequels to "Ringworld" published and another due out soon.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Confusing but Good May 27 2011
By B. Went
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I enjoyed this book very much even though there were many parts where I found myself not quite understanding what the author was saying. At these times I would backtrack and make sure I hadn't missed any pages because suddenly there would be a sequence that did not seem to fit into the book or make much sense to me. Perhaps this is because I don't read many science fictions or its simply how the author writes his novels. But, all-in-all it is a very good book which was interesting to read. Larry Niven creates an amazing world and really interesting characters. (I have since read the next two books in this series)
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By Eric
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Just the pure scientific thought that went behind the so-called construction of this massive ring about a lesser-magnitude star is absolutely incredible, even without the storyline and characters! I definitely place this series up there with many other sci-fi works, both old and new: "Stranger in a Strange Land", "Puppet Masters", "Foundation", "2001", "2010", "Rendezvous with Rama", all the "Star Trek" and "Star Wars" books, as well as books as new to the genre as "Advent of the Corps" and others.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Absolute genius! June 15 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I rank Larry Niven up there with the other great science-fiction authors. His "Ringworld" books adding themselves to works by other such sci-fi masters: "Childhood's End", "Rendezvous with Rama", "Stranger in a Strange Land" as well as the more modern cyberpunk works like "Neuromancer", "Mona Lisa Overdrive", "Snow Crash", "Prey", and "Cyber Hunter". All are must-reads for any hardcore science-fiction and cyberpunk collector.
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