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Juggler of Worlds [Hardcover]

Larry Niven , Edward M. Lerner
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)

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Book Description

1 July 2008
For too long, the Puppeteers have controlled the fate of worlds.  Now Sigmund is pulling the strings . . .
Covert agent Sigmund Ausfaller is Earth's secret weapon, humanity's best defense against all conspiracies, real and potential - and imaginary - of foes both human and alien.  Who better than a brilliant paranoid to expose the devious plots of others?
He may finally have met his match in Nessus, representative of the secretive Puppeteers, the elder race who wield vastly superior technologies.  Nessus schemes in the shadows with Earth's traitors and adversaries, even after the race he reperesents abruptly vanishes from Known Space.
As a paranoid, Sigmund had always known things would end horribly for him.  Only the when, where, how, why, and by whom of it all had eluded him.  That fog has begun to lift...
But even Sigmund has never imagined how far his investigations will take him - or that his destiny is entwined with the fates of worlds.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 349 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books (1 July 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765318261
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765318268
  • Product Dimensions: 24 x 16.7 x 3.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 846,804 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

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. His Beowulf's Children, co-authored with Jeery Pournelle and Steven Barnes was a New York Times bestseller. He lives in Chatsworth, California.
EDWARD M. LERNER has degrees in physics and computer science, a background that kept him mostly out of trouble until he began writing SF full-time. His books include Probe, Moonstruck, and the collection Creative Destruction. Fleet of Worlds was his first collaboration with Larry Niven. He lives in Virginia with Ruth, his wife of a mere 35 years.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This novel, for most of its length, runs parallel to the events of Niven's short stories about Beowulf Shaeffer, collected in "Crashlander", which it reinterprets from the viewpoints of Sigmund Ausfaller and Nessus: minor characters in the "Crashlander" sequence, but central to "Juggler of Worlds". We also revisit the events of his short story "The Soft Weapon", in which Nessus has a major role.
This must have been an awkward one to write, since the authors try to avoid confusing readers who have no knowledge of the other stories, while not boring hard-core fans who have committed the plots to memory.
As a fan, I found the reinterpretation of old plots in a wider new scheme was interesting, but lacked the entertainment value of an entirely new story. Walking through well-remembered events made certain passages drag. In contrast, I suspect a newcomer would be baffled and frustrated by the speed with which events and characters come and go.

At the end, this story picks up events from the previous novel by these authors, "Fleet of Worlds". There's a twist involving one of the characters, and a revelation about Known Space history which is rather neatly tied to "clues" taken from previous works by Niven and rehearsed in the present volume.

If you're new to Niven's universe, you should certainly go for the old favourites like "Ringworld" and "Protector" first, which stand alone much better than the present volume.

If you haven't read the "Crashlander" sequence of short stories, you might consider doing so before reading this work.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disapointing 1 Nov 2008
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Following on from last year's "fleet of worlds" this book continues the story of known space, primarily from the viewpoint of the puppeteers and Niven's 2nd best characterised ARM agent, Sigmund Ausfaller, who as an extremely talented hyper paranoid hunts down and blocks perceived and real threats to Earth. This narrative again mixes several threads, Ausfaller's partial unravelling of the puppeteer conspiracies on Earth and elsewhere, Beowulf Schaeffer's entanglement with Ausfaller and his attempts to get free and the various political machinations of characters from earlier works and the puppeteers themselves, especially Nessus. It's a fast paced book and highly readable with a satisfying structure which builds to a series of revelations about events described in other known space books.

But if you are new to Niven's known space works, don't start here.

Basically Larry Niven is using this latest set of novels to tie up every element of his previously published known space works into a single cohesive narrative, where all characters, events, "use one time" plot devices, simple mistakes, throw away concepts, pretty turns of phrase etc are tied up and wrapped behind the over arching puppeteer conspiracies and the very human-centric events of the earlier works are illuminated by the larger scale, longer time frame point of view of the puppeteer homeworlds.

Now I'll take any new writings about known space with little complaint and I'll devour them in a single session.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars More of what happened before Ringworld... 15 July 2014
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The second 'Worlds' novel. For a long time I resisted buying into yet another 'series', but having read all the rest of Niven's books about Known Space and the Ringworld I finally succumbed, and I'm glad I did. It is not Niven's best work by any means, but even so it is a lot better than much of what masquerades as SF from other authors these days.

Most of the action takes place a couple of centuries before the first Ringworld novel, and describes more of what happens five hundred years after a human colony ship was the first to encounter the Puppeteers, here as the self-styled Citizens, and why the Puppeteers embarked on their migration.

Initially the action parallels some of what occurs in Fleet of Worlds but from a different viewpoint giving us more about the motives of the principle characters and the consequences of their actions. It then goes on to show what happens with the Colonists and how they interact with the Citizens.

Of course it is not that simple, because there is also a strong emphasis on the activities of Nessus and others as they continue to covertly attempt to manipulate the humans on Earth while opposed by ARM Sigmund Ausfaller, and the plot twists and turns and knits with some of the events described previously in the other Known Space books.

It helps if you have already read Niven's books about Known Space but this is not essential, so long as you read Fleet of Worlds before this book. Being the second of a series don't expect to find a completely neat ending with all loose ends tied off, but it is still eminently satisfactory, apart from a lingering urge to buy the next exciting episode...
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Top sequel from L N and E M L
Quite simply put, this a great example of these two great authors at their best. A serial of books of this standard is very hard to come by. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Mr M J Marsh
3.0 out of 5 stars Reasonable fill in
Nicely framed into the series and links a number of Niven books but a little long for the amount of content present.
Published 8 months ago by Tayary
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing storytelling
The book was physically perfect, the delivery was fine but disappointingly the story is not a patch on the earlier Ringworld series.
Published 8 months ago by Martin Quinn
4.0 out of 5 stars Good read
I enjoyed this book more than I expected. It could never match up to the original Ringworld series, but acting as a prequel to those books I found that it tied many loose ends... Read more
Published 18 months ago by Malcolm Holliday
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant.
This book was out of print, so I chose to have a used copy. When it arrived it looked like a new book. It was impossible to tell it had been used.
Published 21 months ago by Patricia Bird
3.0 out of 5 stars Juggler of words
Another over arcing collaborative Piece set in Nivens classic 'Known Space' universe.

At this point in the timeline the puppeteers have set their planets bound for the... Read more
Published on 11 July 2012 by D. J. Ketchin
5.0 out of 5 stars Juggler of Worlds

they should make films from nivens work

more more more
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more... Read more
Published on 17 Oct 2011 by A. Smith
4.0 out of 5 stars all good
brand new as described.
Def not same day posted but arrived in around 3 days.
Published on 25 Oct 2009 by Ms. Sarah Louise Moore
3.0 out of 5 stars To clever for its own good
Having thoroughly enjoyed Larry Niven and Edward M Learner's last collaboration I was filled with optimism when I started reading this. Read more
Published on 18 Sep 2009 by Mr. G. Earley
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant. A masterpiece.
Having been a dedicated fan of Larry Niven for three decades, I have become very familiar with his Known Space series. My first reading Juggler of Worlds was wonderful! Read more
Published on 9 Sep 2009 by a2025398
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