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Never enough fiction about the puppeteers but.....
on 14 January 2008
Pacey novel dealing with the human refugees on the fleet of worlds alluded to by the Hindmost in Ringworld Engineers. Simply structured conspiracy, betrayal, conflict and escape narrative which neatly delivers an excellent page turning story with lovely descriptive nuances about the fleet of worlds and the lives of the human travellers.
My only gripes are about the characterisations of the Puppeteers themselves, to me they felt too human, they are utterly alien and pictured in their home setting, so why did they come across as more human than the human refugees? Assigning human emotions and motives to alien creations is a mistake all too often made by Science Fiction writers as a short cut to enable the reader to empathise with or at least understand the motives of alien characters but it's the last mistake I'd have expected Larry Niven to make after his utterly compelling alien characterisations of the past, from Moties to Puppeteers in other "known universe" tales.
Additionally, in an attempt to contextualise the puppeteers, some of their glamour has been removed, they don't come across as quite as god like as they appear in other novels and tales and for me that slightly diminishes the whole body of their stories. I liked them inhumanly powerful, conservative, careful and ruthless. These pseudo human aliens were a bit too wet for my tastes.