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VINE VOICEon 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.
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The first novel of the 'Worlds' series. 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 explores 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. Of course it is not that simple, because there is also a strong emphasis on the activities of Nessus as he covertly attempts to stir dissent among 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. Being the first 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...

It could have been better, but when there is a drought of new Known Space stories, this parched desert traveller was very pleased to find this oasis.

The Worlds books (in reading order) are;
Fleet of Worlds
Juggler of Worlds
Destroyer of Worlds
Betrayer of Worlds
Fate of Worlds.
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on 18 November 2007
It's always a pleasure to learn a little more about Known Space and especially the fearsomely clever but cowardly Puppeteers.

This is a satisfying and typically pacy romp through that world. I was left with two nagging doubts. Do Niven and Lerner achieve the difficult job of persuading us that it is believable that Humans could compete against superior numbers and intelligence? Is the Puppeteers Fleet of Worlds exodus really the least risk even for a cowardly herd of herbivores?

Still the sheer exuberance of the story telling and the beautiful ideas that spin out make this an entertaining read
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on 8 November 2014
Not bad, but a little spun out and lacking pace.

This is the first in a 5-book story about Pierson's Puppeteers, the alien race familiar from Niven's Known Space stories. Having read all 5, I would have to say there is a distinct feeling that the story is being deliberately spun out to take up the 5 books. As a consequence, the pacing is a little slow in places. This first book in the series is possibly the best one, and sets the scene for what follows whilst also being a complete story in its own right.

You could probably read the books in any order, although it would be easier to fully appreciate the later ones if you read them in sequence.
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on 20 January 2008
Fleet of Worlds, in my opinion, was more enjoyable than some of Niven's work. I liked it better than the last two Ringworlds, or his books about the fire god magic. The scene is set well enough. Familiarity with Known Space is not really necessary. The characters feel similar to a lot of other Niven protagonists. Not a bad thing, but they are not unique in the same way some of his earlier heroes are.

The plot is OK and there is some interest maintained in the Puppeteer culture. All in all, an average read.
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on 13 October 2008
... as they obviously did the authors. Still, I'll try. Flat; insipid; and lightweight all point toward the disaster that is Fleet of Worlds. I found nothing there that had not been either explicit or implicit in previous works with the possible exception of the Puppeteers' supposed "final" destination - and even this was suggested as a possibility rather than a fact. If you must read this effort - and believe me, it was an effort - go to the library.
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on 1 November 2013
I loved most of the larry niven books , spent many happy hours with them - unfortunatly this one is hard work , slow , not getting to the point and 3/4 of the way thru i am just plodding on with it .

not one of the best , if it is your first niven book, dont buy it , get one off the others , it would put you off a brilliant writer .
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on 23 March 2014
I was very disappointed when Larry Niven stopped writing his known space stories but pleasantly surprise when this set of collaborations with EML began. The storytelling is just as good as Larry's own and better than the Larry/Jerry Pournelle collaboration.
Good to see the same old puppeteers including Nessus and also the return of ARM.
If you've never read any of the original series or the ringworld books then some of the references are a bit oblique, but even those might take you to read what are classics of the genre.
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on 9 February 2015
from what I've read so far having reached halfway through the third one of this new series, this is in some ways the weakest.
It's still good, although not as good as Ringworld, but the story gets better book by book.
I'd thoroughly recommend the series, and you have to read this to read the series.
It helps to have read "Crashlander" first....
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on 22 August 2014
If you're not bothered by books that rely on climaxes that require brilliant and paranoid alien civilizations to be easier to outwit than small children, then this lazy, lazy piece of writing is for you. If you've not read the Known Space series before than I recommend finding a copy of "Protector" instead.
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