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Ringworld's Children [Hardcover]

Larry Niven
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)

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Book Description

15 July 2004

The Ringworld is dying.

And this time even Louis Wu - captive of the hyper-intelligent alien Tunesmith - may be unable to save it. Even if Louis can escape he will then have to survive in a galaxy ravaged by interstellar war and deadly political intrigue. For the Ringworld is no longer a secret and entire civilisations now battle to control its power.

The victorious race that conquers the Ringworld will conquer the galaxy ... and no one will be able to stop them.

But Louis Wu is going to try.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Orbit; First Edition edition (15 July 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1841491705
  • ISBN-13: 978-1841491707
  • Product Dimensions: 16 x 25 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,051,813 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Amazon Review

Ringworld's Children returns series protagonist Louis Wu to the titular world. Louis and his friend The Hindmost, an alien of the Pierson's puppeteer race, are prisoners of the Ghoul protector Tunesmith, a Ringworld native, who is deliberately provoking the warships that surround his world. All the star-faring races of Known Space have sent warships to the Ringworld, and they are already at the brink of war. If fighting breaks out, the near-indestructible Ringworld will be destroyed and dissolved by antimatter weapons.

The Ringworld series is so complex and ambitious that Ringworld's Children opens with a glossary and a cast of characters, inclusions that even many Known Space fans will need. Newcomers to Niven's artificial planet should start with Ringworld. --Cynthia Ward, Amazon.com --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


Totally believable ... one is impressed most by Niven's universe and the way he exploits vast spaces, dizzying mathematics, and huge units of time and matter (THE OBSERVER )

Larry Niven has ideas the size of planets (TIME OUT )

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Louis Wu woke aflame with new life, under a coffin lid. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars will the real larry niven please stand up 25 Mar 2006
The ringworld and known space franchises are two of the best conceived ideas in the history of science fiction. "Ringworld" and "The Ringworld Engineers" are both a joy to read, whereas "The Ringworld Throne" is most definitely not. Fortunately, Larry Niven is back on form with the fourth (and possibly final?) ringworld book. "Ringworlds Children" continues louis wu's adventures aboard the enormous artificial ringworld and also fills in plenty of missing gaps about it's builders, the pak protectors - mankind's forefathers. The ringworld is under threat from other space-faring species, who all want to harvest the technology on offer without consideration for the effect on the billions of mankind-evolved inhabitants. Louis joins forces with the ghoul-people protector tunesmith and a newly-discovered protector, the only surviving member of the original pak who built the ringworld. Niven brings his incredible imagination to bear on the story, which is told in a far easier and involving manner than "The Ringworld Throne", and delivers an astonishing finale which had me re-reading it to make sure I'd read it right! Larry Niven, when he's of a mind, can deliver a story of pure hard science fiction wonder, and this book is a worthy companion to the first two ringworld novels
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Niven's best for a while.... 20 Jun 2004
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I've been a great fan of Larry Niven's for 20 odd years. This is his best book in a while with a cracking narative that zips along without a dull moment. Much better than any of his recent joint efforts with Pournell et al. My only critiscism of the book is that the ending is a bit weak. It's as if the publishers said 'you can't do that to Louis Wu!'. The only explanation I can think of is that there's another sequel in the pipeline. Not a bad thing on the overall strength of this book.
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Niven & Wu are back 4 Aug 2005
By Chard
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
After the poor 3rd book, Ringworld Throne, this new story is Niven at his best and offers an exciting conclusion (?) to the saga. Niven shows us his old talent of pushing the laws of Physics beyond reality yet making it all seem so believable.
The story kicks in without delay and moves like a rollercoaster, as Louis Wu tries to keep pace with the Protector he has created and save the Ringworld from the fleets of Known Space.
Being a fan of Known Space and the old Niven style, this book was a delight to me.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The final installment of the Ringworld cycle 22 Jun 2005
By Andrew
Ringworld's Children was spellbinding for me. From the first page, the action moves at a blinding pace.
We re-join Louis Wu where the previous novel left him, after the battle for control of the Ringworld and its Repair Centre.
Now, however, the various races of Known Space are fully aware of the potential treasure trove of technology and other wonders on the Ringworld. They are preparing to fight for posession of them, but will the Ringworld survive the battle?
No spoilers here, but you will not be disappointed.
One word of caution, do not read the glossary (at the end of the book) before you finish the novel, as it contains a small reference that may give away the ending.
As for the final installment, well there is always another novel in Larry Niven. I rate it 5, and I've been a fan since Neutron Star.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic vision / flat characters 1 Aug 2007
As other reviewers have stated this book provides the 4th installment of the Ringworld sequence and is certainly better than the 3rd part. However, even after his many books, Niven continues to struggle to maintain his energy and brilliance of ideas conveyed as a single snapshot into the novel format (think Inconstant Moon, Bordered in Black, Flash Crowd). This book contains several great scenes (antimatter vs scrith for example) but I just found it hard to appreciate the characters, particularly the new ones. Certainly worth a read if you've read the others but if you want classic Niven stick to his short stories.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A confusing finale 2 Dec 2006
The ringworld series started with good, easily read SF but I found this book difficult with too many plot lines.

Larry Niven's Ringworld is a classic of science fiction, imaginative with good strong characters and enough real science to keep your interest. Ringworld Engineers is an excellent sequel and I was looking forward to Ringworld Throne, but I found the characters more muddy and the plot murky. Ringworld's children is more of the same with good ideas scattered throughout but without the direction and focus to allow us to enjoy them. This is like the writer's notes for ideas about the Ringworld scenario jammed together. Great ideas, but not a great book.

What's happened to Louis Wu? The adventurous, extravagant hero becomes a current addict but throws off this cafard only to become dull in the last two books. From hero to pawn is a great idea, the reverse of the vast majority of books but it somehow doesn't quite work and leaves this reader feeling Wu has become a pawn of his writer, a hollow character.

Sorry about this because I greatly admire most of Larry Niven's work
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A return to form 28 Jun 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is to my mind the novel Ringworld Throne should have been.

The Fringe War - the constant jockeying for position between Humans, Kzin and others to exploit the Ringworld has turned into a Hot war.
Antimatter and high energy weapons threaten the structure of the Ringworld itself.
Loius wu, Hindmost and the son of Chmee are forced into an alliance with the Protector Tunesmith to save the Ringworld from imminent destruction.

This book is a logical extension to the previous three. it has more in common with Ringworld and Ringworld Engineers than it does with Ringworlds throne.
The plot builds nicely on the earlier books and pulls in some elements from other known space stories. Its well though out, pacey and suprising, something the last novel lacked.

Its a must read for any real Niven fan and gives us some final closure for the Ringworld. The book draws on several elements from other known space stories and really feels like a well crafted piece polished over time.

I think this is the last true Niven novel we will see. Recent work with his name on it has been collaborative and lacking his style and flair. This one was written with love and feeling and brings together so many other elements its obviously a work of love. This book shows us the writer of Ringworld and the Mote in Gods eye can still turn out a truly epic romp when he turns his mind to it.

Mr Niven I salute you!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A good continuation to the Ringworld series
This book continues the ringworld series and is an interesting and good read. The charachters are good with varied relationships and the natives that are met are crazy and... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Max
5.0 out of 5 stars If you haven't read this series, do it.
Space travel, aliens, sex, drugs, sex with aliens and violence.
Oh and some well reasoned science to back up most of it making it less science fiction and more a view of... Read more
Published 4 months ago by T. J. Wass
2.0 out of 5 stars Worthy continuation, ruined by the narrator
This is a review of the audiobook, narrated by Barrett Whitener.
Much has been written on the deficiencies in Niven's text in this and the previous book - "The Ringworld... Read more
Published on 9 Sep 2012 by MR J PYNE
5.0 out of 5 stars Ringworld's Children
I thought this was going a bit slow at the beginning, but it soon got very interesting, won't spoil the ending.
Great story!!!!
Published on 12 Dec 2011 by RJ
5.0 out of 5 stars review
an excellent continuation of a really good theme - expanding on and clearing up a lot of ideas, while also moving the story forward - only half way through though, as I'm reading... Read more
Published on 3 May 2011 by Dr John Smith
4.0 out of 5 stars Requires patience and knowledge of what's gone before.
I personally loved this book and am a Niven fan but for the uninitiated it will prove incomprehensible and messy. Read more
Published on 2 Mar 2011 by Richard Mann
5.0 out of 5 stars Louis Wu Rides again..
Excellent fourth book in the Ringworld saga. So much better than the dire "Ringworld Throne". This has the pace and mind-blowing scale of the first two books. Read more
Published on 27 May 2010 by NerveJam
1.0 out of 5 stars A disapointment
I have been a Larry Niven fan since..., well forever. At one time I'd buy it simply because his name was on the cover. I loved ringworld. Read more
Published on 4 Sep 2009 by Mr. N. J. Keighley
5.0 out of 5 stars Ringworld's Children
This is, just like the original Ringworld and its successors, a fast-paced story with several kinds of aliens and near-humans. If you know Ringword, you'll know what to expect. Read more
Published on 5 April 2009 by Dr. Jack Cohen
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