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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars New readers, don't start here
This one is the pay-off on four previous "Worlds" novels, co-written by Niven and Lerner, as well as continuing the "Ringworld" story Niven has told in four novels of his own.
That's a lot of background, and the authors quite rightly don't rehearse it all for new readers. As someone who has read all eight precursor novels, I spent much of the first third of the book...
Published on 28 Aug 2012 by Grant Hutchison

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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars End of an era... in many ways
Let me contextualise this review first. I grew up reading Larry Niven, the first full length novel I read was Ringworld aged eight and since then I've consumed all of his works, the good stuff, the odd stuff, the stuff with Jerry Pournelle, the stuff with Steven Barnes, the dodgy wizard stuff, the weird 60s stuff, the down-right strange stuff and the weird alien sex...
Published on 22 Sep 2012 by Ed.F


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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars End of an era... in many ways, 22 Sep 2012
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Ed.F "edz314" (UK) - See all my reviews
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Let me contextualise this review first. I grew up reading Larry Niven, the first full length novel I read was Ringworld aged eight and since then I've consumed all of his works, the good stuff, the odd stuff, the stuff with Jerry Pournelle, the stuff with Steven Barnes, the dodgy wizard stuff, the weird 60s stuff, the down-right strange stuff and the weird alien sex stuff. I loved the mystifying artifacts, the semi plausible technologies, the ethical and logical conundrums, well etched characters, the genuinely alien aliens, the space operas and the short stories. I've loved the vast majority of his work but at the core was the Known Space series and the immense playground for the imagination which was the Ringworld.

Ringworld itself is a classic, possibly one of the best science/speculative fiction works of all time. It is followed by three progressively weaker sequels as the plot expands and mystery was stripped from the gargantuan object and its history. The series ended in good order with Ringworld's children despite a few plot holes and some shaky logic, the magic was still there and the known universe was crowned. Complete. Done.

Along the way Niven had published a null-treatment of the known space series, like Agatha Christie's demolition of Hercule Poirot in Curtain, it was a fully-fledged deconstruction of the things we thought we knew of known space, from how the hyper drives work to the aeon dead slaver wars and the outsiders. It was published as a joke, a tease to interest readers who may have become bored with the antics within known space. Roll on thirty five years and this treatment has been incorporated into the "worlds" series of books which have successfully ruined ninety percent of the imaginative magic which underpinned Niven's greatest works.

Collaborating with Ed Lerner the five novels seek to tie up every loose end, strand and logical grey area into one fan fiction like cohesive narrative. From ARM, to the Puppeteers everything is bent and twisted to fit into one stranded stream, every motive, detail and character fitted into this new structure, whether they liked it or not.

This work ends this, tying the puppeteers, the Ringworld, Hindmost, Nessus, Austfaller and Louis Wu into a great messy narrative tangle. Sure there is a workable plot, sure it's actually slightly better written than the rest of the series and sure it's a page turner which you will read in one sitting. But it's gutted the works I loved as a child. I feel older and more staid having read it than before. The writing is better but it's still not a patch on earlier works. The logic is a bit more realistic but there are still massive problems with causality and motivation. The characterisation is a bit more balanced but the aliens are still humans in fancy dress and Louis Wu in particular appears to have lost a lot of IQ points since he was first crafted, and he's been a protector along the way.

So dear reader, if you liked Niven's works and enjoyed Known space, don't start here, there are too many references and insider contexts to let you fully grasp this book. If you loved Niven's work and wanted to see, hear and smell the worlds of Known space for real don't buy this book at all.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars New readers, don't start here, 28 Aug 2012
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This one is the pay-off on four previous "Worlds" novels, co-written by Niven and Lerner, as well as continuing the "Ringworld" story Niven has told in four novels of his own.
That's a lot of background, and the authors quite rightly don't rehearse it all for new readers. As someone who has read all eight precursor novels, I spent much of the first third of the book wracking memory for the necessary background as previously known characters and situations slotted into the new story. When time permits, I'll perhaps sit down and read all nine in order - there's a sense of missing the occasional reference in this story when working from old memory.
The latter two-thirds of the novel builds to a complex and involving climax, although the general shape of the ending is evident to the reader for some time before the pay-off.
The authors leave one thread dangling suspiciously, and leave major characters scattered in five separate locations, any of which could potentially take the story forward. Although Niven foresaw the Known Space universe finally sinking into the stagnation of his short story "Safe At Any Speed", there's still a couple of centuries in the Known Space timeline before that happens. The authors still have plenty of room for more developments in the current storyline, if they choose to exploit it. I hope they do.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good read but disappointing, 17 April 2014
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This review is from: Fate of Worlds (Ringworld) (Mass Market Paperback)
Unpronounceable names for one of the alien races. Too 'busy' and too long which detracts from the thrust of the storyline. I've found this before where well known authors have collaborated with another author. It relies too heavily on jumps into hyperspace. Not a patch on the previous Ringworld books as far as story telling goes.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing storytelling, 8 Jan 2014
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The book was physically perfect, the delivery was fine but disappointingly the story is not a patch on the earlier Ringworld series.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great addition to the series, 10 Aug 2014
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Great addition to the series. Mr Niven and Mr Lerner give us even more background on the Ringworld and produces a book of top quality.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 15 Oct 2014
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Niven at his extraordinary best again you can feel the follow up stories waiting to be written
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5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very Satisfying ending, 15 Sep 2012
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Well thank goodness I read the previous "of Worlds" books recently which spurred me to try to once again finish Ringworld Thone (failed) and then Ringworld's Children (success and enjoyed) so that I could keep up with the hugly complex jumble of plot threads and references! I am very glad that Edward M Lerner started collaborating with Larry Niven on this series of books - it was a refreshing revamp of the series which was getting tired (as witnessed in the poor writing of Ringwolrd Thone). That it also kept LN away from the embarrassing alien sex that seemed to inhabit the middle Ringworld books (Engineers and Throne) and keep him focused on what made Known Space stories originally so great - complex storytelling, fascinating aliens, intriguing technologies and a sense of historical development. Over the years I've pretty much read everything thats been published about Known Space from the books by Niven to the Shared World of Man-Kzin Wars to the long out of date Ringworld role-playing game. Indeed many years ago I wrote my own RPG campaign for friends set in the middle of the Man-Kzin wars. If this is where the Known SPace series ends, I will be happy as it has gone out on a high-note.
Unlike other reviewers I don't think there needs to be any more sequels, its all complicated enough and I think Louis Wu and Sigmund Ausfaller deserve a rest after all thats happened to both of them over the last century or so!
It was good to see Trinocs make a reappearance - after all it was Louis Wu who first made contact with them :)
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5.0 out of 5 stars Have loved every, 13 Sep 2014
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Mr. T. J. Green (YORKSHIRE, ENGLAND) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Fate of Worlds (Ringworld) (Mass Market Paperback)
number 4 in the series. Have loved every one
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4.0 out of 5 stars Gripping, 11 Sep 2014
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Cracking read. Can't wait for more.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 29 Oct 2014
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A. Smith "Andrew S" (North Devon) - See all my reviews
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Larry is the best
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Fate of Worlds (Ringworld)
Fate of Worlds (Ringworld) by Edward M. Lerner (Mass Market Paperback - 2 July 2013)
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