Ringworld: A Novel by Larry NivenRingworld: A Novel by Larry Niven

Ringworld: A Novel

byLarry Niven

Mass Market Paperback | September 12, 1985

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Winner of the Hugo and Nebula Awards for best novel

Four travelers come to the ringworld. . . 

Louis Wu: human and old; bored with having lived too fully for far too many years. Seeking a challenge, and all too capable of handling it.

Nessus: a trembling coward, a puppeteer with a built-in survival pattern of nonviolence. Except that this particular puppeteer is insane.

Teela Brown: human; a wide-eyed youngster with no allegiances, no experience, no abilities. And all the luck in the world.

Speaker-To-Animals: kzin; large, orange-furred, and carnivorous. And one of the most savage life-forms known in the galaxy.

Why did these disparate individuals come together? How could they possibly function together? 

And where, in the name of anything sane, were they headed?
Larry Niven was born in 1938 in Los Angeles, California. In 1956, he entered the California Institute of Technology, only to flunk out a year and a half later after discovering a bookstore jammed with used science-fiction magazines. He graduated with a B.A. in mathematics (minor in psychology) from Washburn University, Kansas, in 1962,...
Title:Ringworld: A NovelFormat:Mass Market PaperbackDimensions:352 pages, 6.88 × 4.13 × 0.86 inPublished:September 12, 1985Publisher:Random House Publishing Group

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0345333926

ISBN - 13:9780345333926

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Rated 5 out of 5 by from Highly imaginative and enjoyable So many big concepts and innovative ideas found a home in this book. I find myself rereading it from time to time to recapture the wonder of that first read.
Date published: 2017-05-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A science fiction classic TL;DR: A classic of science fiction that is more thoroughly enjoyed in the context of Larry Niven's other Known Space novels and short stories. I first read this book about 30 years ago as a youth, and have just finished reading it for the second time. After deciding that I wanted to re-read Ringworld, and thinking of how it fit into the many books of his Known Space universe, I further decided that I would first read through all of Niven's Known Space books in chronological order of the setting of each book or short story (not by publication date). Luckily there are a couple of great websites that had already done the hard work of ordering the books for me. It took about 6 months to read through them all, though I did skip over all of the Man-Kzin War stories not published by Niven himself. I mention all this because it dramatically changes the experience of reading Ringworld. On its own, this book does feel a bit dated in comparison with today's award-winning science fiction, but it truly is remarkable when consideration is given to the fact that is was first published in 1970, relatively early in the space age and prior to the scientific breakthroughs of the last half-century. I have certainly read much more recent science fiction that feels much more dated. It is very much an adventure novel that relies heavily on the imagined wonders of space exploration, but Niven does so with an imagination uniquely his own. The characters are not as richly developed as one finds in Niven's more recent work, but the Ringworld and Niven's Known Space universe provide a backdrop that rewards readers who are familiar with his previous stories and even, surprisingly, his more recent work. The only disappointment I found was in some minor discontinuities between Ringworld and his recent prequel novels that were written with Edward Lerner, especially Betrayer of Worlds. In those and other books, Niven has at times managed to brilliantly fill in the timeline between Ringworld and his earlier novels, but there are the odd minor details that really do not seem to link well, especially in regards to the main character, Louis Wu, and to a lesser extent Nessus the Puppeteer. But all the same, I heartily recommend this book and strongly encourage anyone reading it to first take the opportunity to read at least some of the prequel stories: if nothing else, at least the Juggler, Fleet, Destroyer, and Betrayer of Worlds books.
Date published: 2017-02-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Sci-fi Loved the sense of discovery in this novel.
Date published: 2017-01-25
Rated 4 out of 5 by from An essential in the sci fi genre This book was lots of fun! The characters were likeable, I enjoyed how the mystery of the ring world constantly was revealing itself making this book very difficult to put down! #plumreview
Date published: 2016-11-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great book by a great man This is the book that introduced me to science fiction before Ringworld I thought star-trek was science fiction I thank Larry for setting me straight in my misguided youth. This book plays with a fascinating idea that kept my mind bissy for weeks and a great story to show you around the world. In this book I discovered a type of story where the plot isn't the main thing instead it is a tour guide for an amazingly detailed world that predicts a possible and believable world in the far future. 5/5 this man is my hero
Date published: 2011-10-31
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good read This is the first in the series I read. Great book and it arrived in just a couple of days. Josehf Lloyd Murchison, Author of “Tails of a Gay Incubus” sold at Chapters.
Date published: 2009-09-12
Rated 3 out of 5 by from An interesting "classic" of Science Fiction I picked this up expecting it to be slightly dated, perhaps, but still interesting. Well, I was close. While the only female character, Teela Brown, drove me absolutely bonkers, she did have enough character and drive to be at least a little independent (though she did derive most of her motivation through who she was in love with). But where I erred was in expecting an actual delicate plot. This story experience, to me, was more of a romance of technology meets a fall of a civilization discussion - there wasn't actually much of a plot. A quartet of explorers (two of them alien) discover the Ringworld, crash land on it, and then try to get off (the only real tension being whether or not they will manage to escape). There's some interesting sociology, especially in the idea of what could possibly cause a civilization clever enough to build a Ringworld to collapse. But for the most part, I found the story only generally interesting. The Kzin (cat-like warrior aliens) and the Puppeteers (dual-headed herbivore aliens with fear as their primary motivation) were quite interesting and fresh (even today), and they made the read the most worthwhile. Still, it really was an enjoyable immersion in a fantastic setting, and it was worthwhile from a "reading one of the great early works of science fiction" point of view.
Date published: 2007-12-11