- Series: Known Space
- Mass Market Paperback: 293 pages
- Publisher: Tor Science Fiction; 1st edition (August 26, 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0765357836
- ISBN-13: 978-0765357830
- Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.8 x 6.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars See all reviews (119 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #662,488 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Fleet of Worlds: 200 Years Before the Discovery of the Ringworld (Known Space) Mass Market Paperback – August 26, 2008
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From Publishers Weekly
Niven, winner of multiple Hugo and Nebula awards, and Lerner (Probe) offer a lively prequel to Niven's 1970 classic, Ringworld. It's 2650, some 500 years after the human colony ship Long Pass was captured by Citizens, those paranoid, two-headed beings better known as Puppeteers from the Fleet of Worlds. The Citizens of the Concordance have bred and nurtured successive generations of human Colonists from the Long Pass's crew and embryo banks, while lying about their origins, telling stories about an abandoned colony ship adrift in space. When a team of Colonist explorers led by Citizen Nessus to study intelligent life on an ice-covered world also uncovers evidence that the Concordance has lied about the past, they're determined to find the truth. Meanwhile, Concordance Citizens learn that the ruling Conservative policymakers have mishandled secret contacts with Earth and endangered the Fleet. Fans of hard SF will be well rewarded. (Sept.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Preloaded Digital Audio Player edition.
Niven's latest foray into Known Space, his favorite imaginary universe, revisits the domain of the puppeteers, the perpetually nervous, two-headed extraterrestrials featured in his Ringworld series. In this collaboration with the author of Moonstruck (2005), Niven steps back a few centuries before Ringworld's discovery to witness the puppeteers' flight from a lethal explosion at the galactic core. To safeguard his species' fleet of migrating worlds from hostile forces, a veteran puppeteer starship pilot enlists an unlikely trio of human scientists for scouting missions ahead of the fleet's path. Raised from embryos apparently discovered on a derelict starship, the humans have known only servitude and a limited culture carefully tailored by their alien hosts. Yet a chance discovery on one of their space treks slices through a web of puppeteer lies and provokes rebellion when the humans learn their true home may be waiting for them on Earth. Lerner may be responsible for the exceptional freshness and suspense of this further chapter of Known Space lore, full of startling revelations about human and puppeteer politics. Hays, Carl --This text refers to the Preloaded Digital Audio Player edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
When I read the final book in the series, I felt like I missed something somewhere along the way. Come to find out that this not only concludes the Ringworld series, but several other of his book series, most notably the Known Space series.
Known Space kicks off with this book - a prequel to Ringworld. Nessus is the hero of this one, where he is put in charge of a series of experiments to determine if they can use the "colonists" to take on deep space missions. Deep space, like many fearsome things, are not well liked by Puppeteers.
Through this book, we meet another recurring character, Baedeker (who later becomes Hindmost to the Puppeteer race). In this introduction to Baedeker, he does not appear much like he does as he does in the later books. In fact, without reading further, I can't even remotely imagine what creates such a drastic change in his personality.
The plot of this story really kicks off when the colonists start to wonder why they know so little of their past. Supposedly, their ancestors piloted a craft called "Long Shot" that was marooned. The Puppeteers taught them throughout their history that they rescued the survivors who then became known as Colonists. But, humans are not content with simple explanations, so they begin to explore.
Throughout their travels they uncover and infiltrate secret research labs, databases long thought lost, and the Long Shot itself. But, how they use this information to prove who they are is really well done.
The book is well written and keeps the reader involved and on edge. Niven has some outstanding people he works with to ensure the science is at least plausible, even if it may be a million years before we actually get there as a species.
This first book gives quite a bit of background to some of the novels that Niven wrote many years ago. If you were a fan of his "Known Space" books, I would recommend giving this title a look. The historical view in the book gives additional understanding to subsequent events in the related books from the past. It was good enough that I will probably go on to the next book in the series.
I would recommend checking out Edward M. Lerner's web site and blog to gain some insight into the writing process involved with these books. It is very informative.