Ringworld - Larry Niven

"The gods do not protect fools. Fools are protected by more capable fools."

Ringworld is a science-fiction book written by Larry Niven, first published in 1970. The story takes place in a far future where humankind lives alongside other sentient species in the Known Space. Louis Wu was celebrating his 200th birthday when he was approached by Nessus, a Pierson's puppeeter. The alien offered Louis to join his team to investigate a mysterious planet-sized ancient artifact called Ringworld. Louis took the offer. So do Speaker-to-animals, an alien from the Kzin species, and Teela Brown, a female human that was born through Birthright Lotteries.

First off, the concept of a massive ring world circling a sun is very interesting in itself. And the author managed to fill this world with a bunch of even more interesting creatures and places (There's just so much possibilities to happen!). But what captivated me the most was the conflicts between the characters. All four of our main characters all have distinct personalities and perspectives thanks to their varying species (the book makes arguments that Teela was a different species from Louis). All four species had their history intertwined at some point in the past and that made for a very good source of conflict.

I had to overlook a little bit the fact that Teela's "condition" was too absurd or too convenient sometimes. However, that didn't subtract my enjoyment of this book at all thanks to other interesting plots and worldbuilding that were happening in the story. I'm very curious about where this series would go from here on. I'm guessing a war is inevitable in the distant future.

Bottom line: Very good first book. Can't wait to read the whole series!

Larry Niven
First Published
October 1970