- Paperback: 208 pages
- Publisher: Orion Pub Co; New Ed edition (June 9, 2005)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9780575077027
- ISBN-13: 978-0575077027
- ASIN: 0575077026
- Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.9 x 7.7 inches
- Shipping Weight: 8.5 ounces
- Customer Reviews:
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #218,175 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Ringworld Paperback – June 9, 2005
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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.
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Ringworld stood out as inventive, exciting and a natural page turner. Decades past and I found myself returning to my mission of reading sci fi with a renewed interest. After reading a number of new books I found myself skimming through titles of my old favorites from days gone by. Ringworld was my first choice with the full intention of reading the entire series. I was not disappointed.
Once again I was swept away to deep space riding along with old, familiar friends. I quickly found myself immersed in the adventure with a appitite I hadn't felt for a long time.
Ringworld is one of the most original stories I have ever read. A beautiful balance between fascinating characters and adventurous challenges. True story telling at it's best by one of the genre's greats.
The story takes place sufficiently far enough in the future to allow anything to exist or happen. This includes technology, aliens, and lifestyles. We are introduced in the first chapters to our characters of the crew for this extraordinary journey. Next we travel in exotic spacecraft, several different ones in fact, to parts unknown. The third act takes place at the Ringworld itself.
I highly recommend Ringworld to anyone that enjoys sci fi adventure. You won't be disappointed!
Yeah, there's some serious science errors. Ok - it's well out there in the land of speculation.
And some plot problems. Why switch from Teela to Pril? Oh yeah, there 'that' about Pril.
And the ending begs for a sequel.
And the second chapter is clearly a left-over from serial publication. OK.
But, let's wander around on the ring. With a kzin and a puppeteer. What strange people we'll meet. Floating cities. Deadly sunflowers.
Fist of God! Whew.
Also the characters were interesting and likable, especially the Luck of Teela Brown is an interesting concept woven through the main story.
And yet I can't help but feel a bit disappointed after reading this. I think I had some unconscious expectations that weren't met. I can't put my finger on what exactly is so disappointing; perhaps it's because the origins of the Ringworlders could've been more explored, I don't know.
Bottom line; Even though I enjoyed bits & pieces, I won't be reading the rest of the series.
The problem with that adaptation was that it was really only the first half of the book, and just when some action started, then the book ended.
So I had to get the book, because I wanted to know what happened.
And I read and enjoyed the book There is a quest to a mysterious world, and there is an interesting if maybe two-dimensional cast of characters. The problem for me was that it didn’t really get going for me until about page 200 of my edition. You could chalk that up to me having read a good bit of it already in graphic form, but the reality is that there is a lot of exposition done through a sort of “we’re getting the band back together” sport of way. I suppose when this was written it was more like a magnificient seven sort of way, but I digress.
So it does get going, there is some loss of characters you grow to like, and then it ends.
Not in a satisfying way, but one that seems like it was set up for sequels. The problem was that though the book was good in itself, I’m not sure if it was good enough to make me want to read more in the world. At least the exposition is out of the way.
Nevertheless there is an iceberg for this titanic story: there is a talking cat >.> I don't care how rational that character is and how you can explain his existence, to me is ridiculous; the other character is at the end, a kind of Conan the barbarian. Details like those are so important in the story that risk it to sink from the realm of science fiction to fantasy, and not good fantasy.
About the sexual scenes instead I have not opposition. I believe sex in proximity of death can be more intense and from my own experience when you travel is inevitable to take advantage of the little shared time.
Top international reviews
The aliens were almost one-dimensional, but perhaps I am judging them too quickly, but they didn't really surprise me at any point. The human characters, though, were just not very interesting. A flighty young woman with no sense of self preservation (okay she is ridiculously lucky, but that doesn't mean she has to be oblivious to danger). The protagonist seemed more like a lens to experience the story through, rather than a character with flaws or drives of his own. Then we meet a character who is literally just there to be a sex object. Nothing more than a bored space prostitute born, bred, and trained to be the perfect "romantic" partner for the protagonist.
I think that super-science technology can be handled well in fiction but here it just mitigated all of the challenges the characters might have faced. Their ship was almost invulnerable, their hover bikes made perfect food for them out of mud, alien teleporters replace pavements to the point where you wonder why the aliens build cities at all if they can just teleport wherever they want.
I recognist that Ringworld was probably one of the earliest science fiction novels to explore a Big Dumb Object like its namesake but while the Ringworld's mystery drove the plot, I felt that the drama, conflict, and characters let the story down.
So, right off the bat, this is Hard Science Fiction. Be ready for that. It’s going to expand your mind in all the right ways.
Louis Wu and some carefully selected companions are sent hurtling across space in a loaned super-advanced spaceship to investigate an astronomical phenomenon by a Puppeteer, part of a race of super-advanced but super-cowardly aliens. The story follows this group of intensely interesting and individual aliens (both of the humans on the crew have something of the alien in them, as we slowly discover), and the results of their exploration.
But the book is much more than that. There is betrayal and there are lies. There is violence and loss that comes from the most unexpected directions. Just when you think you know where you are going, you find you are somewhere else.
There is something mildly dissatisfying in the narrative arc. Niven is rooted in exploring his imaginary construct as if it were a physical reality, and does this incredibly successfully, but time spend wondering at this, erm, wonder, sometimes makes it feel like the character journey has been left behind.
But then the narrative twists and turns, we discover some uncomfortable truths, and the ending is worth the journey – not forgetting how spectacular the journey is all on its own. This book needs to be part of any serious Sci Fi fans reading list.
Maybe I am biased, as this author introduced me to reading for recreation when I was an 18 year old tearaway, and Ringworld was the book that did it. Thanks for the gifts Mr Niven.
The Last Days of Thunder Child: Victorian Britain in chaos!
The sequels aren't as good as the original, although they're worth reading, but never re-capture that sense of amazement with the sheer scale of the spectacle that the original Halo gives.
If you like science fiction and entertaining a few interesting concepts in physics, you probably have already read this book by now.
If you find it too easy to understand all the concepts but enjoyed the read, try Integral Trees by the same author. That will stretch the imagination a bit more.
This book is mindblowing. The vast has never been made more personal.
A must have for any sf fan. My original copy had fallen to pieces and this is a nice modern edition.