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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 (505 )
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3.9 (256 )
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  •  
    B. Greene Austin, TX, USA 01-29-15
    B. Greene Austin, TX, USA 01-29-15 Member Since 2014

    the space cadet from Austin

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Good story, OK narration"

    Like pretty much every Niven story, it's an entertaining ride. I was really bothered by some inconsistencies in how the stepping disc plot device worked. Namely that the velocity mismatch restriction, a limitation that was a crucial plot device in other books in this series, seems to have disappeared with no explanation. But that's just me being anal. The overall pacing is fast, keeps you guessing, and demands to be listened to for hours at a stretch.

    I found the recording quality somewhat lacking. There was some room noise, and I found the narrator's breathing distracting. The voice he chose for Acolyte was also somewhat annoying. Overall performance was good enough; once the story got going I stopped noticing the audio issues.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John 08-01-14
    John 08-01-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Convoluted presentation of the wrapup"

    The narration by Barrett Whitener makes Acolyte, Kzinti child of Chmeee, sound like a petulant human teenager. It would be helpful if Whitener had been given direction or communicated with the author on pronunciation. His characters ran together and sounded whiny. The audiobook leads off with a glossary which gives away plot points.

    Niven references "Carlos Wu's autodoc" without explanation. How did we know it was Carlos Wu's? Why is it mentioned in an aside?

    Of all the Ringworld series, this seems to be the weakest.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    JeffB 04-08-14
    JeffB 04-08-14 Member Since 2013
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    "Good story - Narration Not So"
    What made the experience of listening to Ringworld's Children the most enjoyable?

    Concluding the forth book of the series. I know there are more but I may just stop here.


    What other book might you compare Ringworld's Children to and why?

    Any other Ringworld book, Fuzzy Planet, and Old Mans War. All deal with interaction with alien entities, learning about new ways of thinking about things.


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

    I think is should be required to listen to the other audio books in a series before one sets out to narrate. There were SEVERAL character names and Item names that were just wrong. Key example - FLUP - Barrett kept pronouncing it FLUPE... nowhere in the book does it have a long U. As stated character names have the same issue.

    The reading was slow and without much emotion. It teetered on boring... RingWorld is not boring. Though Barrett tried to use different voices to distinguish the different characters he sis not do so well.

    There were several time I almost stopped but I could not find this book read by someone else.

    The previous 3 books were done by 2 different narrators and either would have made this book much more enjoyable.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    No


    Any additional comments?

    Really and truly… it should be a requirement to review the pronunciation of the established items and characters in a book series, any book series. Imagine reading a Star Wars book where Luke becomes Luk and Vader becomes Vadder or a Star Trek book where Picard is Pickerd. It is very annoying.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    PAUL 05-23-13
    PAUL 05-23-13
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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 2015
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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 2006
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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 2014
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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
  •  
    Sailfish 10-10-12
    Sailfish 10-10-12 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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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
    HELPFUL VOTES
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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
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