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Destroyer of Worlds Mass Market Paperback – November 2, 2010

Book 3 of 5 in the Fleet of Worlds Series

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Destroyer of Worlds + Betrayer of Worlds (Known Space) + Juggler of Worlds (Known Space)
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Fleeing a massive explosion at the galactic core, a human colony and their allies, the alien Puppeteers, discover they are not the only ones desperate to outrace destruction in the third prequel to Niven's Ringworld saga (after 2008's Juggler of Worlds). Thssthfok, a ruthless Pak, will do anything to safeguard his clan after Pakhome is destroyed. Paranoid human agent Sigmund Ausfaller and Puppeteer Baedeker are sent to investigate a distress call from the Gw'oth, who have detected a suspicious ship headed toward the Fleet. Sigmund agrees to work with the Gw'oth, but he's concerned that their insatiable drive for scientific development may make them an even bigger threat than the Pak. With the authors working hard to knit together backstory, this one is primarily for fans of Niven's Known Space setting who will enjoy seeing past puzzles made clear. (Nov.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


"Wide screen galactic scope, nifty super-science, crafty aliens, corporate corruption and cover ups, and a multi-leveled spy vs. spy vs. spy mystery with little being as it first appears make Juggler of Worlds a first class examplar of pure SF entertainment."
--SFSite on Juggler of Worlds

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Science Fiction; Reprint edition (November 2, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765361779
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765361776
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.2 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (61 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #152,031 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

More would be telling, but really there is not much to tell.
Roger J. Buffington
Great depth of knowledge, well woven plots, excellent character building and continuity from book to book in the series.
Jerome G. Solove
Larry Niven is one of the inspiring writers of this generation.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

47 of 48 people found the following review helpful By James D. DeWitt VINE VOICE on December 2, 2009
Format: Hardcover
For many years, in interviews and essays, Larry Niven has recognized one of the major consequences of the stories in the Known Space universe he has created. In Tales of Known Space: The Universe of Larry Niven, he has postulated a doomsday explosion at the core of the Milky Way, in which a chain of supernovae has created an expanding cloud of deadly radiation and atomic particles expanding from the galactic core. In Protector, he postulated the Pak, a vicious, deadly, xenophobic species - and our ancestors - located in a solar system near the galactic core. Clearly, the Pak would be visited upon Known Space. In Destroyer of Worlds, it finally happens.

Niven and Lerner may have very well written the "Worlds" series to build to this novel. Certainly, plot elements like the Gw'oth were first developed in Fleet of Worlds. But the much-abused Sigmund Ausfaller, paranoid ex-cop, must now deal with an epoch-class crisis: invasion by the migrating Pak fleets, who will not tolerate any threat, however slight, to their species; who regard every other species as an enemy that must be destroyed; and who have spread disaster and death in an expanding cone approaching the worlds of our heroes.

Ausfaller and the people of New Terra must find a way to destroy of divert an enemy that has no central command, that takes xenophobia to a whole new level, and is "scary smart" as well.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Juan Suros on December 14, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Destroyer of Worlds is the third book by Niven and Lerner to extend the story of Niven's Known Space universe, following Fleet of Worlds and Juggler of Worlds.

This book deals with the threat of the Pak species introduced in Larry Niven's book "The Protector". The final migration of the Pak away from the galactic core and toward known space is fast approaching and as bad luck would have it the path they chose will pass through the fleet of worlds in a few years. This book is a mad scramble to deal with this threat by the species of the Fleet of Worlds and it's neighbors. The story follows several scouting and punitive missions sent out to find out how much trouble the worlds are in and what can be done about it. The technologies are all familiar from earlier books as are the characters involved. The book is well paced and the story proceeds through logical steps to tell the story, but there is a distinct lack of any excitement or tension in the storytelling.

My only real quibble with the story is the total ignorance in the Humans and Puppeteers of military tactics used in fighting relativistic foes when you have hyperdrive. Humans beat the Kzin in the early Man-Kzin wars using precisely these tactics. The Kzin had much better drives than the Pak, and possibly more ships. So why wouldn't they know about how to fight this way?

In my opinion, the authors made the Pak character and the Puppeteers much less intelligent than earlier books have implied, replacing their role in this book with the Gw'oth species introduced in the first book in this series. I guess they needed an explanation for why the Pak was unable to escape, but why not leave him in stasis?
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Roger J. Buffington TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 3, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Larry Niven was one of my favorite SF authors in the mid to late 1970s. Interesting speculations about the impact of technology on human society, and interesting alien races were two of the strengths that characterized his writings. The Beowulf Schaeffer series, the ARM series (Gil Hamilton) and yes, even Ringworld, were solid SF triumphs by Niven.

But in the 1980s and later, Niven's writing changed, and not for the better. Part of the problem seems to be that every single thing he writes is in collaboration with some other SF author, and I really wonder how much of these titles are written by Niven. Perhaps not much, given the lack of zip that almost all of Niven's offerings of the past two decades have had.

This novel is no exception. It is lifeless and slow-moving. Pursuant to many other novels and short stories that Niven published, the Galactic Core is exploding, and the Puppeteers are moving out of the Galaxy at lightspeed. Other races are following, this time the xenophobic Pak. That is what this story is about. The novel meanders along while the protagonists try to figure out what to do about the Pak, who are threatening the Puppeteer worlds and the world of New Terra, a human client world of the Puppeteers. More would be telling, but really there is not much to tell. If the G'wok were as intelligent as this novel makes them out to be, they would solve this problem before breakfast. Highly implausible.

I gave this one two stars. Three would have been dishonest from my perspective. I respect that some of the other reviewers here have been kinder, but I cannot be. RJB.
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