The explosive finale to the Ringworld and the Fleet of Worlds series...For decades, the spacefaring species of known space have battled over the largest artifact - and grandest prize - in the galaxy: the all-but-limitless resources and technology of the Ringworld. Now, without warning, the Ringworld has vanished, leaving behind three rival war fleets.
If the fallen civilization of the Ringworld can no longer be despoiled of its secrets, the puppeteers will be forced to surrender theirs - everyone knows that they are cowards. But the crises converging upon the trillion puppeteers of the Fleet of Worlds go far beyond even the onrushing armadas.
Adventurer Louis Wu and the exiled puppeteer known only as Hindmost, marooned together for more than a decade, escaped from the Ringworld before it disappeared. And throughout those years, as he studied Ringworld technology, Hindmost has plotted to reclaim his power.
One way or another, the fabled puppeteer race may have come to the end of its days.
Larry Niven is the multiple Hugo and Nebula Award-winning author of the Ringworld series, as well as many other science fiction masterpieces. His Footfall, coauthored with Jerry Pournelle, was a New York Times best seller. He lives in Chatsworth, California.
Edward M. Lerner has degrees in physics and computer science, a background that kept him mostly out of trouble until he began writing science fiction full time. His books include Probe, Moonstruck, and the collection Creative Destruction. He lives in Virginia with his wife, Ruth.
©2012 Larry Niven and Edward M. Lerner (P)2012 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
"A new Known Space book, particularly one with new information about Puppeteers and their doings behind the scenes of human history, needs recommending within the science fiction community about as much as a new Harry Potter novel does, well, anywhere. But Niven and Lerner have produced a novel that can stand on its own as well as part of the Known Space franchise." (Locus)
"Exceptional freshness and suspense.… Full of startling revelations about human and puppeteer politics." (Booklist)
This book, while set in the Ringworld universe, has very little Ringworld in it. None of the actual story takes place on Ringworld, it is only mentioned as background and side-story for what I'll call "The Flight of the Puppeteers".
Tom Weiner gives an even, consistent performance.
Nothing sticks out in my mind regarding this story. Basically, if you are a Ringworld fan, you need to listen to (or read) this story just for completions sake.
It's definitely listenable and mildly entertaining, but I sit here a month or so later and can't really recall much about what happened.
I really expected more from Niven / Lerner.
Larry Niven told me that if I read "Fleet of Worlds" and "Fate of Worlds" all my questions about Puppeteers would be answered - and then he changed the subject. That made me laugh so and I came up with another question about something else and he answered that one. This was about 6 years ago. I didn't much care for "Ringworld's Children," and "Fleet of Worlds" was awkward. Niven and Lerner wrap up many of the Tales of Known Space here, take a couple of subtle pokes at society along the way, and there is pretty much all the Puppeteer Action you could want. I finally got my answers, they just had to travel at sub-light speed to get to me or something... (About the same length of time New Horizons is taking to get to Pluto/Charon.) It was worth the wait. I have to give the book a 5 star rating for story because Mr. Niven gave us an ending to a story that unfolded along a road with many forks. I had forgotten about some of the characters and knowing what happened to them, "In the end" was satisfying. Niven cares about his fans, and this book shows it. It is also less awkward then the last collaborations I have read. This book flows very nicely and is full of action and surprises. Again, thank you Larry for giving us a conclusion.
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This is the end of the story that started with Ringworld written in 1970, then some prequels were written that are pretty good and a must read if you are getting into these books so start there if you haven't read Ringworld years ago.
There isn't much to say about these reviews of books that are latter in a series other to say that its good or bad because if you have read the past books and liked them then its safe to say if other reviews say its good you don't have to know much more that that - well this is a great book, its the last one but there could be many more of them if the Authors want to write more of them.
This is a great book so if you liked the others then you will like this one.
Very good job of winding up the Ringworld stories, including the back stories and side stories introduced throughout the books. Not as awe inspiring as the original Ringworld stories but that's to be expected in this mode of answering the questions rather than trying to raise more.
Real shame about the narration - I know Americans can mangle names (including my own, although funnily enough in exactly the opposite way to this instance) but someone really should have told Tom how to say the main protagonist's name… Other than that glaring inconsistency with the other audible versions of the series he did a fair job (although Hindmost for some reason has a movie trailer style deep voice somewhat incongruous with the character in my, and every other narrator's, view).
Overall, if you like the other Ringworld books then this is a must read/hear.
All the Ringworld stories
Barrett Whitener, he did a great job on Ringworld's Children. And got the name of the main character right...
No profound feeling of loss or elation one feels at the end of a truly excellent book but rather a sense of conclusion and satisfaction that goes with it.
Where are the Protectors? Nowhere to be seen. The whole experience was boring and very ordinary.
Where do I start?
Old sci fi fan
Not sure how it would work as a stand alone but it ties in so many loose ends its a must read for and Niven fans.
Achilles: What a great bad guy just when you get used to the insane puppeteers being your friends then one comes along so much crazier than the rest and crazy because he's the most human like. Easy to identify with and fear that Achilles inside us all
His Mispronunciation of the main characters name kept pulling me out of the story. I'll probably skip any books I see his name on, but i rarely look at the name of the reader in picking a book
Kept getting mad every time Tom Wiener said Loo-iss instead of Loo-Wee, Niven was pretty specific about how to pronounce his name in the first few book, event spelling it out phonetically by having aliens screaming LOO-WEE-WOO. To have a human mispronouce a name that the smallest of alien has figured out is an insult to the entire race. Hope he runs into some Louis Armstrong fans or maybe finds himself being throttled in a major Missouri city.
Without the Pak Protectors it would underwhelm someone with no story line history. Much ado about nothing. Its just space species having a bad year. Where's the beef?
At least have some interaction with the Pak which showed their amazing mind/body/ characteristics while dominating those around them. Pak are the ultimate space entities that of course humans can relate to and have a power relation with.
OK, good development between voice styles. The reader did well keeping the various voices apart, it must have been a hard job to juggle them.
waiting for the main event (Pak involvement)
A quick follow up with a heavy space battle with most species and the Pak who have adopted Earth to protect.
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