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Review of Ringworld by Larry Niven

Ringworld Ringworld by Larry Niven

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The way some reviews of Ringworld are written, I expected some wreck of a cult classic where Terry Pratchett absurdities meander about plotless in some world building exercise. Nope. I liked it. Niven’s ideas can be silly, but they’re never stupid or pointless.

That said, I was much more interested in the characters than the world. While the setting is fantastic and perfectly well thought out, that sort of thing only matters to me because it provides a vehicle for the plot/theme and a stage upon which the characters may act.

The Ringworld itself and the myriad of concepts introduced in the novel were interesting, but I only bothered learning about them to find out what was happening to the characters. As cool as tasps and monofilaments are, I’m still getting over the fact that on our own world some trees turn bright colors in the fall. I do enjoy encountering new ideas when I read fantasy and science-fiction, but I get a little bored when that process upstages the narrative.

I do want to spend more time with the characters and Known Space, so I’m adding The Ringworld Engineers to my to-read list. I even look forward to discovering a few more of Niven’s quirky and sometimes confusing ideas.

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