Reading ➷ Ringworld Author Larry Niven –

Ringworld I m afraid this made me want to punch Larry Niven in the stomach on the behalf of all women everywhere Along with people who aren t so privileged that life bores them with its comforts, but mostly on behalf of women A 180 year old man sleeping with a 20 year old woman Just so wrong, and it keeps going wrong He writes things about Teela like Her lips, he saw, were perfect for pouting She was one of those rare, lucky women whom crying does not make ugly It is painfully condescending, even as her power is revealed, her thinking and aware self remains enslaved to it But I said it got worse The females of the feline alien race on the ship are non sentient beings whose only purpose is to have babies, and it is intimated that the puppeteers might have a similar system We finally meet one of the Ringworld over race whatever and it s a woman who is not too bright and there were only three women there in a crew of 36 on the spaceship she worked on so obviously she is some kind of prostitute Why else would a woman be on a spaceship So apart from that infuriating fact, there are sentences like Prill tried to explain to me what happened here, as one of her crew explained to her He had oversimplified of course And then Her touch was a joy as thick as syrup She knew a terribly ancient secret that every women is born with a tasp, Ringworld is definitely a sci fi classic, a monumental achievement in world building Any sci fi aficionados who don t like it should be ashamed of themselves.Argh It s never pleasant to go against the conventional wisdom but over at PrintSF online SF discussion community I see a lot of comments along the line of I really want to like this book because everybody say it s great, what am I missing I think a lot of people try too hard to like certain books and I don t know why, it does not entail that you are wrong or even that you are right and everybody else is wrong You like what you like, leave it at that.OK, enough of the irrelevant opening There is no denying that Ringworld is a major work in the history of sci fi A ginormous artificial ring shaped planet encircling a star is an amazing concept, especially as Larry Niven is able to back up the concept with real world science Gravity generated from the centrifugal force of the planet s programmed rotation speed, an inner ring of shadow squares to create nights, a weird horizon due to the shape of the planet etc These are mind blowing concepts and very influential for later generations of sci fi authors.The Rin I d wanted to read this because I m a fan of the Halo video games, and I d heard that it was a big influence on those I gotta say that I d have liked it if the Master Chief would have shown up and started chucking some plasma grenades around.Set in 2855, human Louis Wu is recruited by an alien named Nessus to go on a hazardous mission to explore a strange structure that rings a distant star Another alien called Speaker To Animals from a warrior race apparently descended from some really tough tomcats is also recruited A human woman named Teela joins the group almost by accident.When they get to their destination, they find a giant ring with a habitable inner surface that has an area many times greater than the earth After an accident strands them on the world, they start exploring to find a way to get their ship back out into space.This had some really big sci fi ideas in it, most notably the Ringworld itself But this is one of those books where the social attitudes of the time it was written have become really painful to read Because even though it s supposed to be 2855, the women in this book exist only to 1 Sleep with Louis 2 Be good luck charms 3 Act as ship s whores on long space flights.You ve come a long way, baby I generally try to avoid judging a book by the era it was written, but 1970 couldn t have been this bad, could it And if so, I d expect a guy who could Well this book won both the Hugo and Nebula award in 1970 71 for best novel, and who am I to argue with the voting panels In my view this book is astounding SF pun intended , its characters are well built, and the story is just so far reaching with brilliant science to back it up.I first read this sometime back in the late 70s and have re read it a couple of time since, but it has to be 15 years since I last read it, oh how I have missed books this far ranging, this broad in their scope, this thought out , and just this enjoyable.Shall I go onto sequel number 1, well the problem is, I can t seem to find it, so I shall have to buy it to carry on the adventure.If you are a SF fan and have never read this book, then I urge you I can t believe this won three big awards The story is about as interesting as the trade war minutia of Episodes 1 3 of Star Wars In non geeky terms, not very interesting Actually as I went out to buy a cup of coffee this morning I thought that if Larry Niven had teamed up with George Lucas the prequel episodes of Star Wars could have been totally ruined, and maybe episodes 4 6 could have been reworked too to make them completely insipid and unwatchable How Well, Larry Niven seems to be really interested in stopping times for ships going really fast For example he has some ship that can travel hundreds of light years in like three minutes or something like that, but then it takes months to slow down now if the principles of deceleration were applied to the warp speed or whatever it was called in Star Wars , then so much unnecessary coolness of the first three movies could be eliminated and in the time it took say for the Millennium Falcon to slow down on a mission so much extra trade details could be included Anyway, for all of the details given to deceleration and the math involved in figuring out the size of the ringworld for those who don t really give a shit, it s really really big , Niven knows shit about evolution which would be fine except Not much I can say about this It blew my mind.In order for you to truly appreciate Ringworld you would have to mentally backtrack forty odd years Big Ideas in Science Fiction are a dime a dozen Today.But in 1970 Perhaps Niven s vision upstaged his characters Perhaps But I could still lose myself on the ring It fascinated me then it fascinates me now This novel made authors sit up and pay attention to just how big you could think if you really applied your imagination On Luis Wu s 200th birthday, he is approached by Nessus, a quasi equine alien species knows as Puppeteers because of the two heads sprouting from their backs that are tethered by strands of skin, to undertake a remarkable journey Being 200 years old, Luis has seen his share of the universe, so he is a bit skeptical when Nessus asks him to join a force of beings to explore the mysterious Ringworld So far so good Enter the rest of the cast First off, I have no problem with how any alien is created By my count the possibility of alien life, and what these beings may look like, are limitless So when Speaker to Animals, a Kzinti, is aptly described as being lion like and ferocious I dig it likewise, when Teela Brown is brought on board as the token human female with sexy attributes, I again dig it, but with a shameful misogynistic sneer Let s be honest for a minute, folks There are plenty of times in 60s, 70s, and even 80s science fiction where the female beauty is there for nothing than sexual deviance it was a curse of the times But I do have a problem with how this q If you re into stuff like this, you can read the full review.R t sqrt r 2 dr 2 2 r dr cos t Ringworld by Larry Niven Original Review, 1980 08 26 A short analysis of the in stability of a Ringworld digging deeper into the Math Let the Ringworld have radius r, mass m, and mass length p Let the parent sun have mass M Put the center of the Ringworld at the origin, with the axis of rotation along the z axis Now, place the sun at dr along the x axis a small perturbation in the plane of the Ringworld Call the distance from the sun to the part of the Ringworld at angle t, R t By one of the triangle formulas, we know that R t sqrt r 2 dr 2 2 r dr cos t Using the well known formula for the gravitational potential energy between two masses, we find that the pot I started this book expecting an awesome experience it won the Hugo AND Nebula awards, after all.Too bad it was a hot mess The smile is because the book was lighthearted.What to say of Niven s prose, other than that it is horrible The dialog is stilted often it is impossible to tell what the characters are talking about because their references are unclear or new information necessary to understand WTF is going on passes through the cardboard cutout protagonist s head only after the page long conversation has ended The narrative is equally confusing at times it was impossible to visualize what was happening e.g with the shadow square wire or what anything looked like.The protagonists have nonexistent emotional ranges, and when they do emote each always in the same way, since all four are completely one dimensional , the reader is told through adverbs and adjectives exactly how they feel how many times is fear used in reference to Nessus, for example , eliminating any sense of complexity Further, there is no wonder Everything is prosaic, which is a problem when the discovery and exploration of the unknown is the focal point of the book When they finally see Ringworld, we are told that Louis will remember this 9 Pierson S Puppeteers, Three Leg Two Head Aliens Find Immense Structure In Unexplored Part Of The Universe Frightened Of Meeting The Builders, They Send A Team Of Two Humans, A Puppeteer And A Kzin, Eight Foot Red Fur Catlike Alien Ringworld Is 180 Million Miles Across, Sun At Center But The Expedition Crashes, And Crew Face Disastrously Long Trek.

About the Author: Larry Niven

Ringworld Ringworld, 1 1970 , which received the Hugo, Locus, Ditmar, and Nebula awards His work is primarily hard science fiction, using big science concepts and theoretical physics The creation of thoroughly worked out alien species, which are very different from humans both physically and mentally, is recognized as one of Niven s main strengths.Niven also often includes elements of detective fiction and adventure stories His fantasy includes The Magic Goes Away series, which utilizes an exhaustible resource, called Mana, to make the magic a non renewable resource Niven created an alien species, the Kzin, which were featured in a series of twelve collection books, the Man Kzin Wars He co authored a number of novels with

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