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Ringworld (1970)

by Larry Niven

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Ringworld (1), Known Space (8)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
9,948187749 (3.78)255
The artifact is a vast circular ribbon of matter, some 180 million miles across, with a sun at its center. Pierson's puppeteers--strange, three-legged, two-headed aliens--discovered this "Ringworld" in a hitherto unexplored part of the galaxy. Curious about the immense structure, but frightened by the prospect of meeting the builders, they set about assembling a team to explore it: Louis Wu, human--old and bored with having lived too fully for too many years, seeking an adventure, and all too capable of handling it. Nessus, puppeteer--a trembling coward from a species with an inbuilt survival pattern of nonviolence. This particular puppeteer, however, is insane. Speaker-to-Animals, kzin--large, orange-furred, and carnivorous. The kzin are one of the most savage life-forms known. The party's expedition, however, goes disastrously wrong when their ship crash-lands and its motley crew faces a daunting trek across thousands of miles of Ringworld territory.… (more)
  1. 141
    Rendezvous With Rama by Arthur C. Clarke (codeeater)
    codeeater: Another story about a mysterious alien artefact.
  2. 120
    The Mote in God's Eye by Larry Niven (fugitive)
    fugitive: Another hard science fiction book about a fully realized world with lots of technical details.
  3. 61
    Foundation by Isaac Asimov (nar_)
    nar_: Space travelling and interminable, huge lands and space... so huge !
  4. 30
    Eon by Greg Bear (santhony)
    santhony: If you enjoy the science fiction genre featuring huge, interstellar habitats, this fits the bill.
  5. 30
    Titan by John Varley (lquilter)
    lquilter: If you liked the gee-whizziness and adventure / exploration of RINGWORLD, but couldn't stomach the sexism, try Varley's TITAN (and sequels in the trilogy, WIZARD and DEMON) -- all the fun but only a fraction of the annoying ideology.
  6. 30
    Babel-17 by Samuel R. Delany (LamontCranston)
    LamontCranston: Space Opera, updated. Strange mystery, assemble a crew of lively characters, go explore it. Sound familiar?
  7. 30
    Gateway by Frederik Pohl (sturlington)
  8. 31
    Sundiver by David Brin (LamontCranston)
    LamontCranston: Space Opera, updated. Strange mystery, assemble a crew of lively characters, go explore it. Sound familiar?
  9. 20
    Mission of Gravity by Hal Clement (Michael.Rimmer)
  10. 20
    Dune by Frank Herbert (sturlington)
  11. 10
    The Algebraist by Iain M. Banks (LamontCranston)
  12. 10
    Ring of Swords by Eleanor Arnason (libron)
    libron: Cat people! Sentient bipedal tiger aliens!
  13. 00
    A World Too Near by Kay Kenyon (mentatjack)
    mentatjack: One of the blurbs on the cover of A World Too Near compares The Entire and the Rose favorably to The Ringworld series by Larry Niven.
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» See also 255 mentions

English (173)  Spanish (3)  Swedish (2)  Hungarian (2)  Italian (1)  French (1)  All languages (182)
Showing 1-5 of 173 (next | show all)
Jam packed with creative SF ideas and extrapolations. The sheer scale of the Ringworld and its artifacts was amazing. Liked the way alien races were presented. However the romantic subplots were kind of lame and the ending felt very abrupt. ( )
  yaj70 | Jan 22, 2024 |
Very similar to Rendezvous with Rama by Arthur C. Clarke. However, Ringworld is not terribly worthwhile and probably not the 13th best science fiction book of all time. The ending is weak and relates little to the motivation for the conflict. In addition, the prose is rather dry. ( )
  MXMLLN | Jan 12, 2024 |
This was fun to read, and had some interesting concepts, but I didn't find it particularly memorable. There is a lot of plodding over this particular world and loads of strange finds that ultimately lead to the answer of a kind of archeological/anthropological puzzle, but I can get a bit impatient with constantly having to picture a new environment. ( )
  zjakkelien | Jan 2, 2024 |
I’ve been wanting to read a bit of sci-fi, something I haven’t done since Ms Bobo assigned Dune in 9th grade. I picked Ringworld based on a blog entry on wilwheaton.net. I was glad not to be disappointed. This reading was slow starting, which had more to do with my attention span and finding time, but as the story unraveled I found myself making time.

It is way in the future and Louis Wu is a 200-something human that looks 30-something. Having seen and done many things in his old age, he is automatically intrigued by a proposition made by a member of an alien race, the puppeteers: travel with him to 200 light years away in search of a new hospital environment to escape to when their own galaxy will be swallowed by cosmic implosion 20,000 years into the future. Along with another human Teela Brown (Louis’ lover) and Speaker-to-Animals (a kzin, a different kind of alien species), the foursome travel and meet adventure and search for a way back home. I got really clingy to the story, when it was revealed that the breeding experiments of the puppeteers had drastic results on both humans and kzin, and specifically to each of our heroes and heroines.
( )
  mimo | Dec 18, 2023 |
I'm giving Ringworld a 3, but this is a conditional rating. I think Ringworld is both a book with a terrific story and convincing world-building, but it is unfortunately told through the eyes of flat, uninteresting characters utilizing dated, often chauvinistic dialogue. A lot of "golden age" sci-fi falls into this trap, having been written by middle-aged white men in an era when this sort of behaviour and attitude was left unchecked. I understand that, and can usually appreciate the work as a piece from its place and time. It feels jarring though when the only female character behaves ignorantly, acts clumsy, and is hyper sexualized by the writer - and the male characters around her treat her critically because of these things. However, if you can look past this (and there were a few moments where I really struggled) the concept of the Ringworld itself is good fun, especially when Niven manages to blow your mind with the scale of it. I do feel like I'm kind of done with the saga though and as interesting as the Ringworld is, I don't feel compelled enough to read the other four books in the series. ( )
  nakedspine | Nov 16, 2023 |
Showing 1-5 of 173 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (29 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Niven, Larryprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Baumann, BodoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cullen, PatrickNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Davis, DonCover printingsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Foss, ChrisCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Giancola, DonatoCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Johnson, Steven VincentCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Parker, TomNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sternbach,RickCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Youll, PaulCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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In the night-time heart of Beirut, in one of a row of general-address transfer booths, Louis Wu flicked into reality.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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The artifact is a vast circular ribbon of matter, some 180 million miles across, with a sun at its center. Pierson's puppeteers--strange, three-legged, two-headed aliens--discovered this "Ringworld" in a hitherto unexplored part of the galaxy. Curious about the immense structure, but frightened by the prospect of meeting the builders, they set about assembling a team to explore it: Louis Wu, human--old and bored with having lived too fully for too many years, seeking an adventure, and all too capable of handling it. Nessus, puppeteer--a trembling coward from a species with an inbuilt survival pattern of nonviolence. This particular puppeteer, however, is insane. Speaker-to-Animals, kzin--large, orange-furred, and carnivorous. The kzin are one of the most savage life-forms known. The party's expedition, however, goes disastrously wrong when their ship crash-lands and its motley crew faces a daunting trek across thousands of miles of Ringworld territory.

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