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Showing 1-10 of 420 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 728 reviews
on April 29, 2017
A classic of the genre for good reason, and a terrific story. But these ebooks were clearly never proofed. Missing punctuation throughout, as well as what seem to be entire missing sentences (or possibly paragraphs or scenes--there's no way to tell). I'm reading it to my kids, and I repeatedly have to stop, scan what I just read, and go, "Uh... I think there's something missing again here."

This publisher is apparently a "literary agency" that seems to specialize in putting backlists back in circulation in ebook form. In this case, the author could have done a better job himself.

For tanj sake, Spectrum, hire a proofer. If you show this little class and respect to a major title from a major name, I can't imagine what you do to smaller ones.
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on June 4, 2016
The second installment in the Ringworld story is entertaining but not so much as the first one was. Still, by itself, I would give it four stars. My issue is mainly with the editing of the Kindle edition. As the book progressed, more and more typographical errors creeped in until, near the end, there was at least one every couple pages. It becomes very distracting and affects my enjoyment of the story. Why can't publishers have someone actually read a book before it's released to the public, so these obvious mistakes can be corrected?
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on November 1, 2015
I have been in love the "Tales of Known Space" since I was a young girl. Niven actually built an entire world inside his stories, both large and small.

But after listening to the Audible version of this book, I could barely get through even the sample of the book because listening to the narrator was a lot like biting on aluminum foil, or sliding down Olympus Mons by your fingernails with a ground made of chalkboard. So I decided that I could forgo the spoken version in lieu of own imagination, as disappointing a choice this was.

However, I've never heard of this editing company before I saw this ebook, and, upon looking into it after being repeatedly insulted by such poor editorship, I looked online, on its "website," it honesty like it operates out of someone's basement.

The reason I removed a star from this book is because of the fact that this ebook has the worst editing I've ever seen in my life! As I looked at the photos of this Mickey Mouse operation, it shows two people at cheap desks, and it's hard not to think that that they might be relatives of Mr. Niven who who received a "gimme" because of their close family ties, as the site is so cheaply made that's it's easy to believe that these two -- a teenager and his "Mom" perhaps? -- because no professional company would ever release such printed drivel and expect to remain in operation in the world of print. I wonder why Tor was not the printing company...

The word "you" is the most battered, coming out as "yon," other words are either spelled incorrectly because of the normal location-based keyboard accidents, but for others, there simply is NO explanation for how any typist could have tapped most of these words into a line. And worst of all, some mistakes are SO incorrect that, unless you have a vocabulary that's extremely well versed in not just SciFi but in Known Space, you will likely end up not having the slightest idea what the writer is saying!

If you can find this book from any OTHER editing company, I suggest you do so!
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on August 22, 2016
I bought the Kindle edition of Ringworld Engineers because my original 1st edition hard cover is falling apart - I have read and re-read it too many times. But the Kindle version is full of spelling errors. It badly needs the attention of someone who knows the difference between "yon" and "you".

Still, The Ringworld Engineers is one of my favorites, maybe more than Ringworld itself. If you liked reading Ringworld, you will love The Ringworld Engineers.
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on June 19, 2015
I picked up a graphic novel adaptation of this several months ago.
The problem with that adaptation was that it was really only the first half of the book, and just when some action started, then the book ended.

So I had to get the book, because I wanted to know what happened.

And I read and enjoyed the book There is a quest to a mysterious world, and there is an interesting if maybe two-dimensional cast of characters. The problem for me was that it didn’t really get going for me until about page 200 of my edition. You could chalk that up to me having read a good bit of it already in graphic form, but the reality is that there is a lot of exposition done through a sort of “we’re getting the band back together” sport of way. I suppose when this was written it was more like a magnificient seven sort of way, but I digress.

So it does get going, there is some loss of characters you grow to like, and then it ends.

Not in a satisfying way, but one that seems like it was set up for sequels. The problem was that though the book was good in itself, I’m not sure if it was good enough to make me want to read more in the world. At least the exposition is out of the way.
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on February 24, 2016
I really have enjoyed both the Fleet of Worlds and Ringworld series by Larry Niven. My biggest complaint is that there is no information on the order of the series. Both series are interconnected and a continuous story. Frankly, if each is taken as a separate story, I would not rate it as high. However if the series is read in order, the character development is excellent and the back stories that are hinted at in each succeeding book, are understood by the reader - making the stories much more enjoyable. However the advantage of this process for the author is that you end up purchasing all the books and then trying to figure out what the order should be by reading a chapter or 2. Granted that the Fleet of Worlds series do have indicators as to Book 1 through Book 5 . However Book 5 (Fate of Worlds) really requires reading all of the Ringworld series to be best appreciated.
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on April 29, 2014
I have mixed feelings about Nivens' writing in general, after reading a couple of his books.
He's funny; he is incredibly inventive, while imbuing the fictionaly technological advances and other scientific elements of his writing with at least a basis in known science, which, of course, is how scifi should be, so that it seems plausible and not just conjecture.
He's clearly very knowledgeable (or does a lot of research, or both) on a broad spectrum of topics, including astronomy, physics, aerodynamics. His knowledge of computer technology seems cursory (but then, I program computers, so maybe I judge too harshly).
But his characters are generally flimsy and superficially constructed, and his humor is juvenile.
So, I read his books, and can't put them down, but I feel cheap and dirty when I do it.
I suppose they are a guilty pleasure.
Niven is not, in my opinion, on level with writers like Dan Simmons, Robert Jordan, Anne McCaffrey, who have created whole worlds with complex cultures or Anne Rice who develops such rich characters and relationships, but he is a fun writer, nonetheless, and smart in regards to scientific speculation.
The technology in this particular book, Ringworld, is fascinating, a constructed ring around a star with a manufactured living space the size of many thousands of earths, with artificial night created by large panels that orbit closer in (kind of like a slice of a Dyson sphere). The plot is a page turner, and the cultures of the various non-human beings, and ringworld inhabitants were interesting.
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on February 24, 2016
I really have enjoyed both the Fleet of Worlds and Ringworld series by Larry Niven. My biggest complaint is that there is no information on the order of the series. Both series are interconnected and a continuous story. Frankly, if each is taken as a separate story, I would not rate it as high. However if the series is read in order, the character development is excellent and the back stories that are hinted at in each succeeding book, are understood by the reader - making the stories much more enjoyable. However the advantage of this process for the author is that you end up purchasing all the books and then trying to figure out what the order should be by reading a chapter or 2. Granted that the Fleet of Worlds series do have indicators as to Book 1 through Book 5 . However Book 5 (Fate of Worlds) really requires reading all of the Ringworld series to be best appreciated.
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on February 24, 2013
What does a puppeteer, a kzin, and two humans have in common? They are going to Ringworld! You thought I was going to say 'Disney World', didn't you? This is the premise of Larry Niven's epic novel about an artificial ring, one million miles wide, encircling a sun-like star. I haven't read a space exploratory novel this good, since I read Arthur C. Clarke's 'Rendezvous With Rama'. Niven's book was so good it won the 1970 Hugo, 1971 Nebula and Locus Awards; the trifecta of the sci-fi world. To this reader, Mr. Niven's salient point is in his ability to use specialized jargon that the reader easily understands, while still inventing new ingenious technology, such as the quantum II hyperdrive spaceship that speeds along at one light year every one and a quarter minutes! And can Niven describe alien life forms? Damn straight! How about a Garfield the cat look alike ( known as a kzin ) that is eight foot tall and 500 pounds with a nasty disposition? What about a puppeteer that has a tripod body with two heads, more intelligence than man and when frightened rolls himself into a ball? I also think that 'Star Trek' may have preempted the transporter idea from Niven's transfer booth. These are a few of the amazing concepts and characters in this recommended novel.

A galactic core's suns explode in far off space, the blast will wipe out Earth and known space in 20,000 years. The frightened puppeteers have already left, heading towards the Lesser Clouds of Magellan looking for a new home. Our protagonist, Louis Wu is celebrating his 200th birthday ( he looks 20 ) party on earth. A large kzin, known as Speaker-to-Animals is there, sexy Teela Brown is there, and who pops out of a transfer booth? Nessus, a insane puppeteer who wants to talk deal with the preceding three party goers. Nessus wants Louis, Speaker, and Teela to join him on an exploratory mission 200 light years away. If they agree to go, their reward will be the quantum hyperdrive ship and the blueprints to make more. The puppeteer will not tell them where they are going until they are on the way. Louis wants to go because he is bored and ready for adventure, Teela wants to go because she is in love with Louis, and the Speaker wants to go because he wants to steal the ship for his people so they will have a spaceship advantage over the humans. The kzin have a long history of losing wars against the humans from Earth, and were anxious to get out of their submissive morbidity.

So as they board spaceship Long Shot, Speaker makes a failed attempt to steal the ship, but the puppeteer has a secret weapon called a tasp, which is a device that induces a current in the pleasure center of the brain. Nessus, the two headed tripod says to the Speaker:"You understand that I will use the tasp every time you force me to. I will use it if you attempt to use violence too often, or if you startle me too much; you will soon become dependent upon the tasp; if you kill me, you will still be ignobly bound by the tasp itself." "Very astute," said Speaker. "Brilliantly unorthodox tactics. I will trouble you no more." Nessus, being a puppeteer, was inherently a coward, thus he needed every mental advantage to keep a vicious animal like Speaker from tearing him apart. After that, off they go to meet the puppeteer fleet in the Clouds of Magellan. This is where they find out what their mission is: Explore the mysterious ring to see if it will support life. After getting nebulous mission instructions ( relayed from the Hindmost, leader of the puppeteers ), the four board the Lying Bastard ( a smaller ship ) and head for the baffling ring. This is where Niven's story gets real astrological and unnerving. You know what this means, don't you? Well, I wet your whistle and now you have to grab a copy of this wondrous novel and find out what happens.

I like Niven's mix of real science with his science and his use of neologistical words that seem like logical terms. He does a good job explaining Kemplerer rosette: a gravitational system of heavier and lighter bodies orbiting in a regular repeating pattern around a common barycenter. Got it? Starseeds seemed real, but it's not. They are space traveling creatures used by Outsiders to plant life on planets. Flying cycles and floating police stations are purely a figment of Mr. Niven's mind. What's to come on Ringworld is stated by Nessus to Louis:" This place is, is unsafe. Strange storms and badly programmed machinery and sunflower fields and unpredictable natives all threaten our lives." Really? Hang on to your seat belts and enjoy.
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on May 24, 2015
It's nice to have this novel in ebook form, but given the price, shouldn't someone have done a proofing job before putting it up for sale on Amazon? Full of misspellings, missing punctuation, and poor formatting. Even if you are not going to have someone read every word, run it through a spell checker and normalize spelling of names, fix scan errors (lots of 'yon' that should be 'you', etc.) and get rid of odd punctuation (periods between words where there should be spaces). OK, having said all that, "Ringworld" is the better book by far, but at least "Ringworld Engineers" finishes some plot threads and does some explaining. Now we just need to have the first book in electronic format to complete the set. Classic SF well worth reading and adding to your collection. I do think Niven shoveled in a lot of stuff that was perhaps unnecessary, but it's great to revisit the Ringworld in any case and find out what has happened since the first book.
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