May 22, 2004

Ringworld

I just finished "Ringworld" by Larry Niven, a classic SF novel from a few decades ago. Set in the far future after humans have made contact with many different civilizations (Niven's work exists in its own universe, otherwise called "known space"), in this novel, a small team of explorers travels to a distant star to learn about an alien construct around it. The world is basically a one-million-mile wide ring with a tall wall on either edge to hold in the air, and it rings the parent star with a surface area millions of times greater than Earth.

Niven describes it as a compromise between a regular world and a Dyson sphere (which completely encapsulates the parent star). As with a lot of older SF, character development is pretty thin, but the ideas are thick. It is fun to read about the "what if" possibilities here, and this kind of book reminds me of why I like science fiction, just to read about new, futuristic ideas. I also liked the idea of Teela Brown, the human who has been eugenically engineered to be lucky. I think I would enjoy a whole series of novels based on that idea and all of the implications.

Posted by Observer at May 22, 2004 05:25 PM
Comments

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First time, or a re-read?

Posted by: Humbaba on May 22, 2004 06:43 PM

I've known about this book for a very long time, and I've read a lot of stuff by Niven, but I never got around to reading Ringworld until now.

Posted by: Observer on May 22, 2004 07:39 PM

Wow. I read it back in, um, junior high or so. Well, the first time.

Ringworld Engineers is good, not as good, but well worth reading.

Ringworld Throne is horriffic. Shudder. Never read anything Niven wrote after say 1990 and you'll be happiest. Sometimes I wonder if he had a stroke or something, it's hard to believe today's crap is from the same author.

Posted by: Humbaba on May 24, 2004 12:36 AM

I've been wanting to see the film Intacto which is about people being able to 'steal' other people's luck...

Posted by: Mr. Nosuch on May 24, 2004 04:11 PM