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Tillabooks: Will's Book Blog

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Ringworld's Children by Larry Niven

Ringworld's Children by Larry Niven. New York: Tor, 2004. ISBN: 0-765-30167-9

This is the long-awaited sequel to what used to be known as the "Ringworld Trilogy." Now it's a quartet. What is the Ringworld? Read Niven's own explanation. Niven's Ringworld remains at the center of his celebrated "Known Space" stories, and is a favorite of many science fiction fans, including yours truly. And while it's taken literally decades for him to spin out the Ringworld saga, the results have been well worth the wait. Here are the book titles and publication dates:

  • Ringworld (1970) won both the Hugo and Nebula best novel awards
  • The Ringworld Engineers (1980)
  • The Ringworld Throne (1996)
  • Ringworld's Children (2004) Read an excerpt online.

The books should definitely be read in order, and one also ought to read Protector (1973) somewhere along the way. Probably AFTER Ringworld, and BEFORE Ringworld Engineers, in other words, in the order they were written. And all of these books are worth reading. You can't really call yourself a scifi fan if you haven't read them. And I frequently recommend them to non scifi people who ask me for something good to read in the genre.

In this latest installment, Niven is back in his usual fine form. You'll never guess what happens to the Ringworld near the end of the book. I don't dare tell you; that'd spoil the story. But good old Louis Wu is back, the primary hero of the Ringworld epic, and intimately tied up with entire saga. Wu even spends some time as a Protector himself! How do you suppose he gets out of that one? Read the book to find out. Highly recommended.

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