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Biased and superficial Science Fiction reviews

       
Ringworld's Children

Copyright 2004 by Larry Niven

SOJALS rating:     
one SOJALS point one SOJALS point one SOJALS point one SOJALS point no SOJALS point    Superb (4/5)

I first read this in November 2004 and most recently on the 29th September 2006.

Protectors may control the Ringworld at present but there are many competitors for ownership of such a limitless treasure. Around the Ringworld there is a very tense, very temporary stand-off which will stumble into war. All the races have their spacecraft orbiting or standing off. The Outsiders hang back at a distance. ARM and the Kzinti warships circle closer. Some of these ships use anti-matter weapons and even scrith, the building material of the Ringworld, is vulnerable to antimatter.

Luckily Louis & co are on hand to save the Ringworld one more time.

This is a very condensed book. Niven's shovels information at the reader so fast I found myself say "check!" every few seconds.

"Eighty-four days ago, the display said."
    "Check!"
"Sixty-seven Ringworld days."
    "Check!"
"Almost a falan."
    "Check!"
"A falan was ten Ringworld rotations,"
    "Check!"
"seventy-five thirty hour days."
    "Check!"

And that's on the first page. I was in uniform and saluting by page twenty-five. By the fiftieth page I was pulling on my helmet and shouting "Chocks away!".

And even though it is very condensed, it is still fab. No body does this style better than Niven. Queue song...

Nobody does it better
Makes me feel sad for the rest
Nobody does it half as good as you
Larry, you're the best

And it is absolutely great to be back on the Ringworld with Louis Wu once more

It's a very satisfying end to the Ringworld series. I'm left thinking that the Pak Protector is a deeply cool creation and I particularly enjoy Niven's techniques for suggesting the relative intelligences of the various protectors. I'll raise a glass to Louis Wu: superior to any other entity on Ringworld, regardless of intelligence. However, let's not forget the protectors Tunesmith, Haruman, and Proserpina, nor the supporting cast of humans Roxanny and Wemblath, and the Kzinti Acolyte (with the brief appearance of Chmeee).

And there's even a surprising ending.

Loaded on the 28th February 2007.
    
Cover of Ringworld's Children
Cover by Lee Gibbons