Å Ringworld Ñ Download by ✓ Larry Niven I m afraid this made me want to punch Larry Niven in the stomach on the behalf of all women everywhere Along with people who aren t so privileged that life bores them with its comforts, but mostly on behalf of women A 180 year old man sleeping with a 20 year old woman Just so wrong, and it keeps goingwrong He writes things about Teela like Her lips, he saw, were perfect for pouting She was one of those rare, lucky women whom crying does not make ugly It is painfully condescending, even as her power is revealed, her thinking and aware self remains enslaved to it But I said it got worse The females of the feline alien race on the ship are non sentient beings whose only purpose is to have babies, and it is intimated that the puppeteers might have a similar system We finally meet one of the Ringworld over race whatever and it s a woman who is not too bright and there were only three women there in a crew of 36 on the spaceship she worked on so obviously she is some kind of prostitute Why else would a woman be on a spaceship So apart from that infuriating fact, there are sentences like Prill tried to explain to me what happened here, as one of her crew explained to her He had oversimplified of course And then Her touch was a joy as thick as syrup She knew a terribly ancient secret that every women is born with a tasp, and that its power is without limit if she can learn to use it And she will use it to enslave and control her man, of course she will, she has no other options Worst of all He names one of his creatures the frumious bandersnatch My favourite Carroll creation, I did not appreciate finding it here The ring world is very cool, Nessus too, but I couldn t get over the anger Still, I finished it and it kept me turning the pages, so it is now two stars as I suppose one star is for the books I just couldn t even finish.
Ringworld is definitely a sci fi classic, a monumental achievement in world building Any sci fi aficionados who don t like it should be ashamed of themselves.
Argh It s never pleasant to go against the conventional wisdom but over at PrintSF online SF discussion community I see a lot of comments along the line of I really want to like this book because everybody say it s great, what am I missing I think a lot of people try too hard to like certain books and I don t know why, it does not entail that you are wrong or even that you are right and everybody else is wrong You like what you like, leave it at that.
OK, enough of the irrelevant opening There is no denying that Ringworld is a major work in the history of sci fi A ginormous artificial ring shaped planet encircling a star is an amazing concept, especially as Larry Niven is able to back up the concept with real world science Gravity generated from the centrifugal force of the planet s programmed rotation speed, an inner ring of shadow squares to create nights, a weird horizon due to the shape of the planet etc These are mind blowing concepts and very influential for later generations of sci fi authors.
The Ringworld itself is a monumental sci fi creation.
Where it falls down for me is the story and the characters Having built this amazing world I don t think the events that take place on it make for a very compelling narrative The characters do get into a lot of trouble but their adventures do not read like edge of the seat thrills I am having a lot of trouble explaining why the plot does not excite me here, there are many wild inventions here which are almost as awesome as the basic premise itself but I just felt detached from the narrative Certainly part of it is the characterization, characterization is not indispensable for good sci fi, the likes of Asimov and Clarke were mostly able to get away with quite perfunctory character developments However, I think they told very riveting stories with the right pacing and at modest page counts Niven s characters in Ringworld are quite colorful but I did not care for any of them and did not give a monkey whether any or all of them snuff it through the course of the narrative One problem I perceive is that Niven uses the sci fi trope of each alien species having one type of overriding character trait The kzinti are all warlike, the puppeteers are all cowards etc Why then are humans so diverse in personalities Real aliens may turn out that way I don t know but it is hard to believe in a species with one personality Consequently the alien characters come across as a little one note , but come to think of it the human characters are kind of one note too They don t feel like vivid, complex believable characters, they are just there to drive the plot By the end of the book I was feeling quite impatient to be done with it.
For Big Dumb Object books I much prefer Clarke s Rendezvous with Rama, the characters are equally flat but the book somehow feels alive and the sense of wonder ispalpable As for Larry Niven I am a big fan of his collaborations with Jerry Pournelle, especially The Mote in God s Eye which is one of my all time favorites.
Ringworld is not bad by any stretch of imagination, it s me, I m the bad one.
Rating 5 Stars for the Ringworld planet.
3 Stars for the storyline2 Stars for the characters 3.
3333 etc neutron starsNote Another Ringworld art, this depicts a view from the surface of the planet Ringworld s horizon is interesting to imagine Given the shape of the planet it does not really have a horizon The above artwork is probably inaccurate though because the Ringworld is many times the size of Earth 600 million miles in diameter, one million miles wide so you probably would not be able to see so much any of the upward curvature I am not sure what you would see but it would look awesome and weird The Artefact Is A Circular Ribbon Of Matter Six Hundred Miles Long And Ninety Million Miles In Radius Pierson S Puppeteers, The Aliens Who Discovered It, Are Understandably Wary Of Encountering The Builders Of Such An Immense Structure And Have Assembled A Team Of Two Humans, A Mad Puppeteer And A Kzin, A Huge Cat Like Alien, To Explore It But A Crash Landing On The Vast Edifice Forces The Crew On A Desperate And Dangerous Trek Across The Ringworld Well this book won both the Hugo and Nebula award in 1970 71 for best novel, and who am I to argue with the voting panels In my view this book is astounding SF pun intended , its characters are well built, and the story is just so far reaching with brilliant science to back it up.
I first read this sometime back in the late 70s and have re read it a couple of time since, but it has to be 15 years since I last read it, oh how I have missed books this far ranging, this broad in their scope, this thought out , and just this enjoyable.
Shall I go onto sequel number 1, well the problem is, I can t seem to find it, so I shall have to buy it to carry on the adventure.
If you are a SF fan and have never read this book, then I urge you to do so, you will not be disappointed Thank you Mr Niven for this truly marvellous story I can t believe this won three big awards The story is about as interesting as the trade war minutia of Episodes 1 3 of Star Wars In non geeky terms, not very interesting Actually as I went out to buy a cup of coffee this morning I thought that if Larry Niven had teamed up with George Lucas the prequel episodes of Star Wars could have been totally ruined, and maybe episodes 4 6 could have been reworked too to make them completely insipid and unwatchable How Well, Larry Niven seems to be really interested in stopping times for ships going really fast For example he has some ship that can travel hundreds of light years in like three minutes or something like that, but then it takes months to slow down now if the principles of deceleration were applied to the warp speed or whatever it was called in Star Wars , then so much unnecessary coolness of the first three movies could be eliminated and in the time it took say for the Millennium Falcon to slow down on a mission so much extra trade details could be included Anyway, for all of the details given to deceleration and the math involved in figuring out the size of the Ringworld for those who don t really give a shit, it s really really big , Niven knows shit about evolution which would be fine except that he ties up the whole story in selective breeding nonsense that makes no sense at all, and actually works as a cheap literary device to get the characters out of any situation they might happen to find themselves in I know this is called Deus ex Machina, but in this context I like to call it Dungeon Master bullshit There is really no story here, except if one thinks of a story as 340 pages of how big a fucking ring is There are things to give the asocial and undersexed hope for the future when apparently women will be dumber than a box of rocks but very very easy, and men will have to have constant companionship be constantly getting their rocks off with these dumber than a box of rocks women or else they might start raping aliens yes this is mentioned twice at least, the main character will need a companion or he might rape an alien This makes sense though because the male lead in this story is really not much smarter than a box of rocks either, we are told he is smart, but he s not He s a hedonistic moron who constantly needs to be entertained and have his physical needs met like a hyperactive infant When in one of the only scenes where something really happens, this idiot is in a dangerous situation he quickly starts whining to himself that there is no entertainment Maybe this isn t so far fetched a future man though Why two stars Because for some reason the first 70 pages were actually kind of fun, but once the idea of this big ring was fully introduced there was nothing left in this book except for a plot line that was dumber than a box of dung.
Not much I can say about this It blew my mind.
In order for you to truly appreciate Ringworld you would have to mentally backtrack forty odd years Big Ideas in Science Fiction are a dime a dozen Today.
But in 1970 Perhaps Niven s vision upstaged his characters Perhaps But I could still lose myself on the ring It fascinated me then it fascinates me now This novel made authors sit up and pay attention to just how big you could think if you really applied your imagination Also, I ve spent years wracking my mind trying to think just how that horizon must look, curving up like that for millions of miles Hugo Award 1970Nebula Award 1971Locus Award 1971Respect Loved it then Love it now Favourites On Luis Wu s 200th birthday, he is approached by Nessus, a quasi equine alien species knows as Puppeteers because of the two heads sprouting from their backs that are tethered by strands of skin, to undertake a remarkable journey Being 200 years old, Luis has seen his share of the universe, so he is a bit skeptical when Nessus asks him to join a force of beings to explore the mysterious Ringworld So far so good Enter the rest of the cast First off, I have no problem with how any alien is created By my count the possibility of alien life, and what these beings may look like, are limitless So when Speaker to Animals, a Kzinti, is aptly described as being lion like and ferocious I dig it likewise, when Teela Brown is brought on board as the token human female with sexy attributes, I again dig it, but with a shameful misogynistic sneer Let s be honest for a minute, folks There are plenty of times in 60s, 70s, and even 80s science fiction where the female beauty is there for nothingthan sexual deviance it was a curse of the times But I do have a problem with how this quartet came to be For my money, I wanteddetails of how these species interact, their histories, and even what they are like within their own cultures Granted, Niven does give some of these details throughout the book, but, I m greedy, and I wantedokay most of the book is about the interactions of these four, but I still wantedbackstory So the story itself Well, you see uhmm.
how about this Plot Mysterious sphere reminiscent of a Dyson sphere is floating through space and is begging to be explored I wish I could tell youalas, there really isn tto tell You see this is not an adventure novel of space exploration or alien world exploration This novel is all about ideas If you re the type of reader that likes to have a solid plotline throughout a story, with nice resolutions at the end, you re going to be disappointed There are far too many questions that never get addressed again after being introduced, and the biggie question of them all Who are the Ringworld Engineers is never given Basically, Ringworld is a novel about the characters insofar as the Reader is allowed to understand them For instance, there is a wonderful bit of cosmic politics about why humans, and not the Kzinti, were given the knowledge of hyperdrives from the Outsiders Think war war war.
kind of ironic when you stop to think about it Further, the mere scope of the Ring is mindboggling The radius of the sphere is set at one astronomical unit that is 93,000,000 miles Niven explores about.
000001% guesstimate only, put your calculators away of this through his characters Like I said, this is a story about ideas And because this idea of a Ringworld is so powerful and unique, this novel rightly deserves to be considered canonical Just think, where do you think HALO came from I digress.
Niven had an idea with this story NothingMost of the time this would cause a novel to fall flat on its face, lose the reader not here It is precisely for this reason that the reader becomes trapped and awed by this story, never wanting to leave, and always searching for answers Niven allows the reader to leave the novel with all of his ideas, and the permutations of ideas that the reader had while reading the novel that is AWESOME Granted, Niven did buckle He did write a sequel ten years later THE Ringworld ENGINEERS explaining some of the questions and giving all those that didn t like the original book a nice, tidy bow as an ending I can t say that I ve ever read this I can say that I will never read this because I don t want to lose the magic of this novel If you liked Clarke s RENDEZVOUS WITH RAMA, you ll like Ringworld If not, you best steer clear of this one HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
If you re into stuff like this, you can read the full review.
R t sqrt r 2 dr 2 2 r dr cos t Ringworld by Larry Niven original Review, 1980 08 26 A short analysis of the in stability of a Ringworld digging deeper into the Math Let the Ringworld have radius r, mass m, and mass length p Let the parent sun have mass M Put the center of the Ringworld at the origin, with the axis of rotation along the z axis Now, place the sun at dr along the x axis a small perturbation in the plane of the Ringworld Call the distance from the sun to the part of the Ringworld at angle t, R t By one of the triangle formulas, we know that R t sqrt r 2 dr 2 2 r dr cos t Using the well known formula for the gravitational potential energy between two masses, we find that the potential energy in the Ringworld sun system is 2 pi r dt U GMp r 2 dr 2 2 r dr cos t 1 2 0 I started this book expecting an awesome experience it won the Hugo AND Nebula awards, after all.
Too bad it was a hot mess The smile is because the book was lighthearted.
What to say of Niven s prose, other than that it is horrible The dialog is stilted often it is impossible to tell what the characters are talking about because their references are unclear or new information necessary to understand WTF is going on passes through the cardboard cutout protagonist s head only after the page long conversation has ended The narrative is equally confusing at times it was impossible to visualize what was happening e.
g with the shadow square wire or what anything looked like.
The protagonists have nonexistent emotional ranges, and when they do emote each always in the same way, since all four are completely one dimensional , the reader is told through adverbs and adjectives exactly how they feel how many times is fear used in reference to Nessus, for example , eliminating any sense of complexity Further, there is no wonder Everything is prosaic, which is a problem when the discovery and exploration of the unknown is the focal point of the book When they finally see Ringworld, we are told that Louis will remember this 99 , but it rings completely hollow since no visual impression or sense of awe is communicated in any depth In almost every case, their response to the titanic and dangerous Ringworld is best described as dull surpriseOMG An enormous artificial structure 600,000,000 miles long built by an unknown race a really long time ago Characterization is not much better Louis Wu is two hundred years old, which has no consequence or manifestation at all other than internal reflections on how he is two hundred years old We have Nessus, a two headed alien, who changes from an intelligent coward with instances of bravery to an intelligent coward with instances of bravery who speaks an additional language Speaker To Animals, a member of the feline Kzin species, experiences a similarly fundamental character change All of them have no motivation whatsoever for anything besides a generic racial survival motive supernovae will wipe everything out unless they can develop fast enough space flight that is never explored in any detail or complicated in any way.
The exception is perhaps Teela Brown, a young, na ve, lucky girl, whose development is obvious because Louis explicitly describes the inane ways in which she has changed Why not SHOW us Not that her character changed in a good way she went from being oblivious eye candy for Louis to less oblivious eye candy for another man The only other woman, by the way, is a near bald prostitute with the unfortunate name of Halrloprillalar Hotrufan She serves essentially no plot function, but does often touch Louis here and there, inducing the vaguest orgasms I have ever encountered in literature As an illustration of gender in Ringworld, I will leave you with this gem He got very uncomfortable and stopped sleeping with me He thinks you own me, Louis Slavery Slavery for women, I think You ll tell him you don t own me, won t you Louis felt pain in his throat It might save explanations if I just sold you to him If that s what you want You re right And it is Niven s Enlightened WomanThe plot is not much better Nessus the puppeteer rounds up three other crewmates haphazardly in order to explore Ringworld for unclear reasons Then they crash land on the surface The rest of the novel is spent on Ringworld, a place so big and empty that it is dreadfully boring The four leads fly around Stuff happens that does not move the plot forward at all, or, worse, is discernibly contrived so that the plot does advance in the most mundane way possible without any real character growth or revelation Nothing is explored in any depth and there is no payoff whatsoever The Ringworld is ultimately irrelevant in every way, view spoiler except for Teela, who saunters off with her Conan the Barbarian knockoff boytoy in order to grow as a person or something hide spoiler
Set in 2855, human Louis Wu is recruited by an alien named Nessus to go on a hazardous mission to explore a strange structure that rings a distant star Another alien called Speaker To Animals from a warrior race apparently descended from some really tough tomcats is also recruited A human woman named Teela joins the group almost by accident.
When they get to their destination, they find a giant ring with a habitable inner surface that has an area many times greater than the earth After an accident strands them on the world, they start exploring to find a way to get their ship back out into space.
This had some really big sci fi ideas in it, most notably the Ringworld itself But this is one of those books where the social attitudes of the time it was written have become really painful to read Because even though it s supposed to be 2855, the women in this book exist only to 1 Sleep with Louis 2 Be good luck charms 3 Act as ship s whores on long space flights.
You ve come a long way, baby I generally try to avoid judging a book by the era it was written, but 1970 couldn t have been this bad, could it And if so, I d expect a guy who could come up with concepts this big to have put a little thought into gender roles in 800 years Plus, while the Ringworld idea is pretty clever, I found the rest of the sci fi kind of crude and dated Maybe that s just because there s been 40 years of material since it was published, but I didn t get much enjoyment out of reading this.