Ringworld

Author: Larry Niven

This here is one of them-thur classics of sci-fi literature. Although written in 1970, it harkens back to the earliest days of science fiction, where men were men, women were things, things were people, and authors considered books mere excuses to explore (admittedly awesome) thought experiments.

Like this one: what if you could build a giant ribbon shaped world, with a radius the same as that of Earth’s orbit. You could get tremendous surface area per mass, and solar power to boot.

The sci-fi elements are pretty sharp – alien races manipulating one another, technological marvels, spaceships, and built planets. The story elements are tepid – one guy goes on this voyage literally because he’s bored. Many plot elements, including all the major turning points, are explained by a woman’s genetic gift of luck – a lazy author’s device, although one that admittedly intrigued me.

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About Jackie

I’m a Southern writer, physicist, and teacher. On this here blog you’ll find my thoughts on books, technology, science, and whatever else I darn well please. View all posts by Jackie

One response to “Ringworld

  • Althea

    I thought the luck aspect was also ridiculously convoluted. I would also have liked it better if it had been presented more as a subconscious tendency to make good decisions instead of the practically sentient guardian angel approach.

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