Ringworld Audio Cassette – Jan 1996
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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 the Paperback edition.
About the Author
Larry Niven has won the prestigious Hugo Award five times. He is known to millions as the premier modern author of rigorous, scientifically consistent hard SF, the champion of 'SF without a net'. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
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."
Niven is a master of ideas: this novel alone touches on solutions to overpopulation, the possibility that luck is an inherited trait and a solid ring the size of Earth's orbit around another star. All his works tend to feature grand or unusual concepts: he also writes about the use of organ banks as capital punishment, a habitable ring of gas around a neutron star, and the effects of other worlds' environments on the human form itself. These ideas are always wonderful and fascinating, and they are always the focus of his stories.
This, unfortunately, results in a decided lack of depth in most of his characters. This can especially be seen in "Ringworld": while his characters are evolved further in the sequels (which I emphatically recommend reading!), none of them are particularly interesting in this work. Granted, Teela (the genetically-lucky woman) is <em>supposed</em> to be shallow, but the other characters aren't much better, despite the fact that Louis is two hundred years old and the alien Nessus is older and more intelligent than any living human.
Niven's treatment of his characters is not a fatal flaw: this work is fun and the concepts will stagger you, and many of his other stories are much better. He does extremely well with short stories (check out Crashlander and Flatlander, among many others), and his collaborations with Jerry Pournelle are outstanding. Pournelle's work, generally uninspiring (at least to me) benefit from Niven's grand ideas; and Niven does very well leaving many of the character interactions to his colleagues.
I do recommend this book to any science-fiction fan, or anyone who finds the title concept fascinating; but it is most definitely not literary in any sense of the word.
Most recent customer reviews
One of those timeless books that is as relevant in its message then as it still is today... couldn't put it downPublished on April 6 2013 by vicky fanjoy
I enjoyed this book very much even though there were many parts where I found myself not quite understanding what the author was saying. Read morePublished on May 27 2011 by B. Went
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... Read morePublished on June 16 2004 by Eric
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... Read morePublished on June 15 2004 by Christopher
I heard all kinds of good things about this book, so I decided to give it a try. Wow. The characters are somewhat thinner than cardboard, the writing is childlike, and very, very... Read morePublished on June 2 2004 by barbre