Customer Reviews for

Ringworld's Children (Known Space Series)

Average Rating 3.5
( 21 )
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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 21 Customer Reviews
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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 12, 2005

    More of the Same--Unfortunately

    The setting of this story is undeniably interesting. The artifact of the ringworld (take a piece of old orange Hot Wheels track and make it into a loop, then expand its size to match the path taken by the Earth orbiting the sun the dimensions are roughly equivalent) is a fantastic fictional creation critics of such artifacts in SF refer to them as BDO's--Big Dumb Objects--but, as he proudly declares in the introduction, Niven's was the first. Critics of the plausibility (read: stability) of such an object drove Niven to write a sequal ten years later this was basically a rewrite of the first book, in which he vouchsafes the characters (and through them the readers) some explanations to justify the ringworld's existence. About fifteen years after that he comes out with another book (really two short novels grafted together) that was all right if, you want to read stories about vampires in an alien setting or traders in a bartering culture sealing the deal with sex. Now ten years after that we get yet another adventure set on the ringworld. The characters somehow manage to be interesting, if one-dimensional for the most part. The story has some okay moments, some good moments, a couple of really good moments, and quite a few very bad moments. There's a sense that when Mr. Niven reaches a crisis point in handling a character he takes the easy way out (kill him or her.) The Kzin, Acolyte, gets moved offstage and is forgotten about [anyone who's read 'Gods of Riverworld' by Philip Jose Farmer, knows that he did the same thing to the character of Nur--just forgot to mention his status (alive, dead, present, missing)--at the end of that book]. The book has some virtues: the focus of the plot on the history, condition, and future of the ringworld the action involving the galactic forces poised to invade and exploit the ring for its resources, the story of Louis Wu (the one constant character of the series) finding his destiny by becoming the protector of the ringworld. But the road is rocky, to say the least when one of the major plot turns relies on a total coincidence occurring (one character, who has no knowledge of another character's presence, being at a precise location on the millions of square miles of surface area that comprise the ring) I don't care how you try to justify it (Niven does by saying that the character inherited his mother's propensity for good luck--now try writing that thought literally: Luckily he was at the one spot, out of the millions of square miles of land on the ringworld, where the invaders punched a hole through the surface after they saved him from being sucked out the hole, they transported him to the spot where he met other characters and advanced the plot. This, of course, is Niven's way of trying to justify the existence of that earlier character (Teela Brown) the fact that key elements of the plot in the first two books were dictated by her natural luckiness didn't sit well with critics...and why should it? Chance encounters are the kind of garbage they peddle on soap operas, not in the pages of quality fiction. If you are a fan of this series then I say this is the best book since book 1 but it still isn't that good.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 18, 2004

    A great sci-fi novel

    The six hundred miles long and a million yards across ribbon-shaped Ringworld is home to fifty trillion hominids as well as many other species and most amazing of all it is man made. All of the sentient species want to learn the technology that went into making Ringworld but the protectors want to keep such people out. The Protector used to shoot down any ship that got too close but the new protector Tunesmoth is holding fire so as not to irritate the participants of the Fringe War, which is getting too close to Ringworld............................... The ARM, the military leg of the United Nations, is using anti-matter engines near Ringworld, something that could destroy the planet if an accident occurs. When a ship falls and puts a hole in the top layer of Ringworld the Protector must fix it or the place will cease to exist. As ARMs soldiers try to ferret out the secrets of the Ringworld, are, a group of RINGWORLD¿S CHILDREN work to repair the damage. One of the original engineering experts, together with Tunesmith try to figure out a way to move Ringworld away from sentient warmongers............................... People who have never read the Ringworld books will find the latest entry as a strong stand-alone book that gives enough information about other novels in the series so that new readers will want to buy and read them too. It is a fascinating place to visit, an engineering marvel so advanced that even in the year 2893, the technology is too sophisticated to duplicate. Larry Niven, one of the grandmasters of science fiction, has brought a classic to a new generation of readers.............................. Harriet Klausner

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 19, 2014

    Rehash of series

    I was disappointed in the plot of this book. Larry Niven was an excellent writer in his past "Ringworld" stories. This had very little new material and was just a rehash of the past. If he cannot think of any new plots he should just stop. Fans do not need to waste their time reviewing past glories of previous books.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 14, 2011

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    Posted September 1, 2010

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    Posted October 25, 2008

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    Posted May 12, 2011

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    Posted December 29, 2009

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    Posted June 23, 2011

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    Posted March 15, 2010

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    Posted October 26, 2008

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    Posted April 20, 2011

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    Posted November 18, 2009

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    Posted June 11, 2011

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    Posted December 30, 2010

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