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Ringworld Mass Market Paperback – September 12, 1985

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Ringworld + The Ringworld Engineers + The Ringworld Throne
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Del Rey (September 12, 1985)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345333926
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345333926
  • Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 4.1 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (256 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #18,048 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


''Tom Parker [aka Grover Gardner] captures the personalities of the travelers through individual vocalization and provides smooth, expressive narration. The listener is soon caught up in the adventures of these vivid characters as they struggle to survive . . . a rousing adventure.'' --AudioFile

''Niven's style is such that you can be awed, then titillated, then amused all on the same page. . . . After more than thirty years, the story remains interesting, and the ideas fascinating. I highly recommend this audiobook, whether you've experienced Ringworld already or not. I enjoyed every minute.'' --SFFAudio.com

''[Parker-aka- Gardner] skillfully uses inflection and timing to heighten drama or highlight humorous details as appropriate. Parker (aka-Gardner) deftly brings to life Louis Wu and other members of the 'motley crew' . . . This is SF--and narration--at its best.'' --Kliatt --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

From the Publisher

8 1.5-hour cassettes --This text refers to the Audio Cassette edition.

More About the Author

LARRY NIVEN is the multiple Hugo and Nebula Award-winning author of the Ringworld series, along with many other science fiction masterpieces. He lives in Chatsworth, California. JERRY POURNELLE is an essayist, journalist, and science fiction author. He has advanced degrees in psychology, statistics, engineering, and political science. Together Niven and Pournelle are the authors of many New York Times bestsellers including Inferno, The Mote in God's Eye, Footfall, and Lucifer's Hammer.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

88 of 102 people found the following review helpful By Bradford Hull on January 1, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I picked this book up on a whim while serving with the Air Force in South Korea. Honestly, what attracted my attention was the idea of the ringworld itself. A ring with 6 million times the surface area of the Earth built by beings who have abandoned it just sounded so fantastic, I couldn't resist.
This book was anything but a dissapointment. It moved at a good pace and I hardly had to push through any of the chapters. The breadth of this collosal work of engineering is described with a good sense that leaves the reader in awe.
Having been the first of Niven's book I read, this was my first exposure to the Kzinti race which appear through Niven's "Known Space" works. And here is where my only problem with this work is. Honestly, the idea of gargantuan feline-like aliens just seemed a little cheesey to me. Although Niven works out nice background info for this race, I just thought he could have done better with the appearance.
Despite that, this book has some nice original ideas and even a few brilliant ones. It deserves the Hugo and Nebula badges that grace the cover. Very Highly Recommended.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Hal Cheng on March 20, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
A mysterious (and mad) stranger offers a rich prize to an apparently mismatched crew, if they will undertake a dangerous mission to a strange land - the Ringworld.
Far from a typical adventure yarn, Ringworld is a landmark science fiction story. The worlds and cultures, the future human history, and the technology conceived for this book (and for other related Known Space stories) are a major achievement of imagination. Larry Niven has a gift for making them all fit and work together into a cohesive and enjoyable whole.
The exploration of the Ringworld, a massive artifact of mysterious origins, forms the backdrop for a further exploration of the history and the cultures in Larry Niven's Known Space series.
Ringworld provides insights and intriguing clues about the two principal alien species of the novel, the Kzin and the Puppeteers, and the history of their interactions with the human race. The creation of alien viewpoints and personalities is exceptionally well handled here. Nessus and Speaker-to-Animals are credible characters with unique viewpoints.
I was particularly pleased with the handling of the warrior culture of the Kzin. Speaker-to-Animals is aggressive and proud, but also intelligent, articulate and judicious. Contrast this with the one dimensional, noble but simple minded Klingons of Star Trek NG.
Ringworld has my recommendation. Other Larry Niven books worth reading include Neutron Star and Protector.
I don't recommend Ringworld Engineers, the sequel to this book.
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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Michigoon VINE VOICE on August 1, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
As I'm a self-proclaimed nerd, so perhaps you can take this whole review with a grain of salt. But personally, I think Ringworld is some of the best SciFi out there.

Many points are raised in the other reviews here, and most of them are good. But I feel that far too many people missed the bigger message of it all. Yes, the 200-year-old main character (world-weary Louis Wu) winds up explaining technical jargon to a 20-year-old bimbo in a situation where characters obviously take a backseat to the great technical underpinnings of the universe... but a scene or two over, he also switches sides with a line something like: "The world's greatest lover was a friend of mine... we're going to need gravity for this."

The point of the novel isn't just to follow the typical drivel of who's starstruck for who or who's the best at splurting out technobabble WHILE you just happen to be in the future, it's to set back in awe of the setting and the world in which all of those little things happen. Truly, the Ringworld itself is the greatest and best character in this book, and everyone else (even Louis Wu) really is playing second fiddle to the main course- a structure so unimaginably complex that scientists will be (and have been) fueding over it for generations to come.

Marvel at the lasers and stasis fields. Wonder at the scenic vistas and the incredible settings. And maybe, just maybe, you'll get attached to the band of rogues caught up in all of this along the way. All in all, it's mostly about the journey and the setting, and just going along for the ride.
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24 of 29 people found the following review helpful By "twistedgreen" on November 28, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I've heard a lot about Larry Niven and Ringworld so, wanting to see what all the fuss was about, I bought a copy. The front cover of the book describes itself as "THE LEGENDARY AWARD WINNING CLASSIC!" (all in caps, just as shown) and Niven as a "New York Times Bestselling Author." Well, I read it. And I really did not like it. It certainly didn't live up to the hype. The blurb on the back of Ringworld explains just what a "ringworld" is, which I found to be an interesting concept: a fancy artificial habitat built by a long-dead race, waiting for someone to explore it. But this seems to be the most interesting part of the book: an interesting setting, but a mediocre story.
Besides the concepts of a ringworld and the technical issues involved in the construction and maintenance of one, the other main device used in the story is the concept of 'genetic luck.' That is, that luck is a genetic property and, if breeding was determined by a lottery as was on a future Earth in this story, then only the lucky could breed and would thus create a race of extremely lucky people. Frankly, I found this entire concept to be absurd. Couple that with poor writing and mundane characters, and you get a book based on some interesting ideas, but nothing else. I don't understand why this book is hailed as a "legendary classic." That is certainly a misnomer. I regret having purchased it, and now I'm stuck with it. The cover has even started to detach from the binding so I can't resell it for very much. Maybe it's my genetic unluckiness.
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