Phil Parker (tigertoy) wrote,
Phil Parker

Book review: Ringworld's Children

Today's book review is Ringworld's Children by Larry Niven.

Way back in the 1970's, Larry Niven established himself as one of, if not the, premier author of gosh-wow Big Ideas in science fiction.  His greatest achievement was the Ringworld, a hoop a million miles wide and the size of Earth's orbit around a Sol-like sun.  He returned to the world with a couple of sequels over the next couple of decades, which as I recall (and as I recall other people's opinions) weren't very good.  Now he's returned to Ringworld one more time, and this time it is an impressive trip.  There are new Ringworld-scale ideas, and so much stuff happens, packed into a rather short book, that (having just finished the book) my mind feels a bit like a pinball that just drained after setting the high score on a very fast machine.  There are so many bizarre plot twists that it's hard to get a handle on the plot at all.  There are some real problems with the story; the situation that drives the main action in the story seems rather contrived, and a bit of diplomacy would seem to be a more likely way to get out of the mess, if it got that far, than the main event in the story.

But on the whole, it was a fun ride.  This is the Larry Niven who was my favorite author when I got started in SF, the Larry Niven we've seen very little of lately.  It's not a perfect book, but it's got the right feel.  8 out of 10.
Tags: book review, larry niven, sf
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