As I dig deeper into writing reviews, I am drawn toward titles which helped define science fiction. Like any other course of study learning the history improves comprehension. I’d like to be one of those people who know where the tiniest of references originated. I think it’s one of the reasons Ready Player One is so popular, 80’s references are super fun!
I’ve read a few older books but I’ve never read any Niven. Larry Nivens Ringworld is set the Known Space universe. One of the things I like about Ringworld is that is doesn’t work hard to describe Known Space. As I read Ringworld I was introduced to technology, places, and Aliens like I’m living in the universe. I get to experience the universe through the eye of the characters.
Many writers fall into the trap of having to describe the universe, sets, character backstory, etc in agonizing detail before the story gets started. I’m a big fan of world building but I prefer Niven’s method of illuminating the map as we go.
Ringworld is the story of a group of being on an adventure to explore the unknown. The mission is put together by Nessus an alien known as a Pierson’s puppeteer. Nessus recruits two humans, Luis Wu, and Teela Brown. Along with the humans, Nessus requite a Kzin that goes by Speaker-to-Animals. Niven certainly thinks of strange alien names in this book.
As you can probably guess by the name of the book, the quartet travels to an unknown object which ends up being a circular habitat orbiting a star Niven dubs Ringworld. I don’t want to tell you any more about the book because any details about the ring are spoilers in world builder type books.
I really loved this book. It is definitely in my top 10. It’s also the oldest book in my top ten. I worried the age of the book may hurt its appeal. Ringwold has some perspectives I believe to be a bit outdated but overall it holds up. If you are particularly sensitive about gender roles you may want to prep yourself for reading a book released in 1970. It would be a travesty for anyone to avoid this book because of modern ideals.
I rated this book very high. The only area that hurt it was pace. I find books of this era are always a bit wordy and drag in sections. It’s most likely because I’m conditioned to watch two-hour action-packed movies.
This is a must read if you are a Sci-Fi fan. Here is a link to buy the Kindle version: https://greg.reviews/2FiF6qF
If you prefer the paperback: https://greg.reviews/2Fqxpji
There is also a cool Graphic Novel: https://greg.reviews/2HycltA
If you are a Ringworld Fanatic there are a few signed first editions on eBay. Some are crazy expensive but others are less crazy expensive. Check it out https://greg.reviews/2TlpFmg
Thanks for reading!