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Ringworld's Children | [Larry Niven]

Ringworld's Children

The Ringworld is a landmark engineering achievement, a flat band 3-million-times the surface area of Earth, encircling a distant star. Home to trillions of inhabitants, not all of which are human, and host to amazing technological wonders, the Ringworld is unique in all of the universe.
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Publisher's Summary

The Ringworld is a landmark engineering achievement, a flat band 3-million-times the surface area of Earth, encircling a distant star. Home to trillions of inhabitants, not all of which are human, and host to amazing technological wonders, the Ringworld is unique in all of the universe.

Explorer Louis Wu, an Earth-born human who was part of the first expedition to Ringworld, becomes enmeshed in interplanetary and interspecies intrigue as war, and a powerful new weapon, threatens to tear the Ringworld apart forever. Now, the future of Ringworld lies in the actions of its children: Tunesmith, the Ghould protector; Acolyte, the exiled son of Speaker-to-Animals, and Wembleth, a strange Ringworld native with a mysterious past. All must play a dangerous role in order to save Ringworld's population, and the stability of Ringworld itself.

Blending awe-inspiring science with non-stop action and fun, Ringworld's Children, the fourth installment of the multiple-award-winning saga, is the perfect introduction for readers new to this New York Times best-selling series and for long-time fans of Larry Niven's Ringworld.

©2004 Larry Niven; (P)2004 Blackstone Audiobooks

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.8 (475 )
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3.9 (230 )
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Performance
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  •  
    PAUL 05-23-13
    PAUL 05-23-13
    ratings
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    "Good Sequel - Awful Narrator"
    What did you like best about this story?

    Winds up the Ringworld Story nicely. An enjoyable adventure with a bunch of loose ends tied up.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Barrett Whitener’s performances?

    No! This narrator almost made me stop listening. Why Blackstone Audio changed narrators on us is beyond me. It totally changed the tone the book. Parts 2 & 3 were beautifully narrated. Even the pronounciation of the names changed! I found it hard to tell characters apart at times.


    Any additional comments?

    Much better than the third part. Like the second part it still falls short of the first which was just amazing.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joel D Offenberg 02-24-13 Member Since 2009
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    "Fairly good windup, but..."

    Larry Niven's Ringworld saga/extended thought experiment comes to a conclusion.

    In the foreword, the author reveals that he never really intended for Ringworld to be more than a one-off story and interesting thought experiment. However, it captured the imagination, and so he returned for 3 more novels, adding the concept of Pak Protectors, another thought-experiment-turned-saga from his Known Space universe for novels 2 through 4.

    We're at the final chapter, and there is now a burgeoning "fringe" war among the species of Known Space (mostly Humans and Kzinti) while the protector Tunesmith, Louis and their companions try to keep the Ringworld safe from invaders. The story is a pretty good windup to the saga...although it is now getting somewhat long in the tooth, and it is good that this is the last one.

    However, I find the narrator pretty irritating. He makes Tunesmith sound like an overly cheery salesman (rather than a ghoul-turned-wizard) and Acolyte sound like a mentally subnormal child rather than an (adolescent) 7-foot tall feline predator. Especially a come-down after listening to the excellent narration of the previous book in the cycle, The Ringworld Throne.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Wayne Burghfield Common, United Kingdom 12-10-12
    Wayne Burghfield Common, United Kingdom 12-10-12 Member Since 2005
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    "Great sequel"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Ringworld's Children to be better than the print version?

    The narrator did a great job on this, his performance matched my own 'inner voices' for the characters and in this way I think enhanced the audio version over the printed one.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Ringworld's Children?

    Discovering the true history of the Ringworld


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Pretty much - in fact I completed it in a couple of days of travelling


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jon Lysne 11-05-12
    Jon Lysne 11-05-12 Member Since 2007
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    "Horrendous narration."
    What disappointed you about Ringworld's Children?

    I was extremely annoyed by the change in narrators. The difference in pronunciation and ridiculous voices for the main characters was a constant letdown and distraction throughout the book.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Great story. Very well written.


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Barrett Whitener?

    Tom Parker or Paul Michael Garcia did an excellent job on their narration throughout the series.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?


    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Patrick 10-10-12
    Patrick 10-10-12 Member Since 2013
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    "Ringworld Population Revealed"
    If you could sum up Ringworld's Children in three words, what would they be?

    Poor Teela Brown


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Louie Wu. Because he can always count on out-maneuvering those who would control him.


    What about Barrett Whitener’s performance did you like?

    Just about everything, his alliteration, tonal infliction, &c


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Tribes of Ringworld


    Any additional comments?

    I was somewhat dismayed that Teela's luck finally ran out on her and would have preferred a more storybook ending for her.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael G. Kurilla ROCKVILLE, MD, United States 09-12-12
    Michael G. Kurilla ROCKVILLE, MD, United States 09-12-12 Member Since 2005
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    "Somewhat disappointing relative to earlier works"

    Ringworld's Children is the 4th installment in Niven's Ringworld series. The original (published in 1970) won both the Hugo and Nebula awards. Niven followed up with a sequel and then a 3rd installment after a 17 year hiatus. RC arrived 8 years after that. As with some other recent Niven works, this installment builds on the past while retaining many of the usual suspects (Louis Wu and the Hindmost, for example). In this regard, reading the series in order is necessary for continuity. RC opens shortly after that last and concerns a serious danger to the Ringworld: various intelligent species have discovered the structure and are on the verge of war to gain control over the Pak technology. Along the way we learn more details about the origin of both the Ringworld and its builders as well as mankind's origins.

    The science is respectable, but mostly unremarkable and not as prominent as in earlier Niven efforts. The early going is a bit excessive and plods along while at the same time, the latter stages offer the most in terms of plot development, but suffer from extensive infodumps that result in an uneven pacing throughout. The ending while somewhat spectacular nevertheless leaves the listener wanting more in terms of final resolutions for the various characters. In terms of an overall story arc for the Ringworld, this is a key component.

    The narration is quite good and permits long uninterrupted sessions for a quick listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    john queanbeyan, Australia 09-11-12
    john queanbeyan, Australia 09-11-12
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    "Love this Book! So does my Son."
    Where does Ringworld's Children rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Right up there!


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The small Protector was a standout. Finally a different character you could empathise with.Pretending to be a pet chimp ook ook really cracked me up.


    What three words best describe Barrett Whitener’s voice?

    Ok his voice was ok. Sorry Barrett the Tunesmith voice was way too human, with perfect pronunciation etc. And the Kzin Battle cat sounded like a castrated teenager! Barrett could have used some help with other readers to do the different voices.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Spoiler alert, Louis turning Protector then human was a nice twist.


    Any additional comments?

    More please Mr Niven.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    F. Canady Raleigh, NC United States 06-10-12
    F. Canady Raleigh, NC United States 06-10-12 Member Since 2001
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    "Dissapointed"

    Ringworld is my all-time favorite sci-fi audiobook for both story and narration. I was looking forward to listening to this because I wanted more of the same.

    Unfortunately I could not finish this. The narration makes the story hard to follow, or the story is hard to follow, or both. For me it was a disappointment.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Wayne 06-05-12
    Wayne 06-05-12
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    "The dead tree edition is much better."
    Would you listen to Ringworld's Children again? Why?

    I love the story and plot lines, however Barrett Whitener should have listened to the earlier volumes if for no other reason than to stay consistent on how to pronounce character's names and the names of objects. It is a little irritating to hear these mispronounciations over and over again.
    Another complaint is the speech patterns of some of the characters is all wrong for their personality and again, as they were in earlier volumes, for consistency sake.
    Except for these issues, it's OK, but I preferred the hard copy version to the audio book. Usually it is the other way around.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark Carol Stream, IL 04-23-12
    Mark Carol Stream, IL 04-23-12 Member Since 2007

    This space intentionally left blank

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    "Disappointing narrator compared to previous books"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?


    What didn’t you like about Barrett Whitener’s performance?

    I've listened to all the previous Ringworld and some other of Niven's books on audio, and this is the first one where I found the narrator's performance disappointing. Not only were names from previous books pronounced completely differently (which alone, I might forgive, if no guidance was given by the author), but this narrator made some bizarre choices for portrayal of some of the characters. For Acolyte, the Kzin, the narrator chose a rather goofy sounding voice, which actually reminded me of Goofy as opposed to a 7-foot speaking tiger! For the Protector Tunesmith, he made no attempt to sound like a protector might sound, speaking with a hardened beak-like mouth. Previous narrators have very convincingly portrayed how this speech "impediment" might sound. The puppeteers voice didn't convey the musical or feminine nature that is usually used to describe them. On the whole, the voices were just more whimsical and jovial that I would have expected. There were also some off inflections which made me think the narrator didn't understand what he was reading... like when referring to Louis Wu as a "current addict". The inflection made it sound as if he meant current as in "right now" as opposed to "electricity". Perhaps if I was completely unfamiliar with Niven's universe or previous books, I might not notice these subtleties, but I found them quite distracting.


    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
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