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Fate of Worlds: Return from the Ringworld (Known Space)

3.89  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,001 Ratings  ·  73 Reviews
For decades, the spacefaring species of Known Space have battled over the largest artifact—and grandest prize—in the galaxy: the all-but-limitless resources and technology of the Ringworld. But without warning the Ringworld has vanished, leaving behind three rival war fleets.

Something must justify the blood and treasure that have been spent. If the fallen civilization of
ebook, 320 pages
Published August 21st 2012 by Tor Books (first published January 1st 2012)
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Through my reading of this I achieved apotheosis and was able to bid farewell to a cast of characters who have engaged me since the 70’s. This book could be read as a free-standing story given the background provided in the narrative, but real satisfaction with it can only come from a reader already invested in the characters and vision from reading one or more of the four in the Ringwold series and/or of the recent four novels of the prequel Fleet of Worlds series.

Personally, I was bored a bit
Aug 19, 2013 Ric rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

(2013 was turning into a stale year for SF. That summer, I really needed the solace of good, hard SF to escape, if just fleetingly, some harsh realities, same reality having given me long days and nights to read and listen. So, without really making a decision to do so but compelled by circumstances, I started a re-read of the Ringworld series. The publication history of the series was such that one book came out every ten years, on average. And so each book read provided a reflection of a deca

Jun 01, 2013 Elizabeth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Known Space readers
Shelves: sci-fi
I'm going to admit right up front that I have a bit of a soft spot for Larry Niven's Known Space books. When I was 13 years old, I found Protector on a dusty shelf in a library, and thus discovered my love of science fiction. Niven opened universes to me.
Fate of Worlds: Return from the Ringworld (reportedly) wraps up Niven's classic Ringworld series and Niven and Lerner's Fleet of Worlds series, which functioned as a sort of sister series to the Ringworld series. The Fleet of Worlds books never
Shellie (Layers of Thought)
Original review by John posted at Layers of Thought.

Another ambitious and excellent galaxy-spanning novel from Niven and Lerner – the conclusion to the award-winning “Ringworld” and “Fleet of Worlds” sagas.

About: Ringworld, the most stunning and mystifying discovery in known space, has suddenly and inexplicably vanished, leaving three competing war fleets battling over supremacy of – nothing! Most troubled by the disappearance are the Puppeteers, whose densely populated fleet of planets is speed
Tim Hicks
Feb 24, 2014 Tim Hicks rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
I'm not sure about that 4-star rating. I may be feeling generous because I got one more dose of Known Space.

It's a story of large reach, as it needs to be to more-or-less wrap up two long threads. It required some shortcuts, but I'm prepared to allow that so the story can be made to work.

I was intrigued by the comment that Niven has three species that lack sentient females. This is offset a tad by having reasonably strong human females and what I suppose you'd call a same-sex Puppeteer couple.
Feb 16, 2013 Daniel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
This book wraps up both the Worlds series and the Ringworld series, beginning not long after the events of Ringworld's Children, and encompassing New Terra, the Puppeteer worlds, and the fallout of the Fringe War.

All the way back to the first conception of the Protectors, in The Adults, later the novel Protector, the themes of Known Space have been about intelligence. Niven's writings predate the modern science fiction conceits of artificial intelligence, but the Worlds series can be read as a c
Eric Reinholt
Oct 05, 2013 Eric Reinholt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
Larry Niven writes stories about the "odd" places in the universe: neutron stars, the galactic core, the Ring World, and the Fleet of Worlds. His stories are populated with strange and interesting characters and aliens such as the Pierson's Puppeteers, Trinocs, Grogs, Slavers, Outsiders, Bandersnatch, Pak Protectors, and many more.

What I love about Niven is that although the stories involve big ideas (moving a fleet of planets as comfortable travel, creating a world with the mass of Jupiter as a
Oct 07, 2012 Mark rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ambitious is an understatement: the finale to both the Ringworld series and the Fleet of Worlds series, and indeed of the entire Known Space saga begun with 1966's "Neutron Star"! Forty-six years of real life and a few billion years of fictional history in the making -- so I suppose I can forgive Niven and Lerner that Fate of Worlds wasn't perfect.

Let us make use of a double standard here. Rate this work against Niven's other work, or even Niven & Lerner's, and this book earns a solid 4 out
S. W.
Sep 20, 2013 S. W. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When I began the Ringworlds Series, I had no idea that it was part of a much larger universe and included several other series and stand-alone novels. I love broad diverse backgrounds and loved the series. I am very sad to see it end.

Though this book doesn't entirely leave you feeling satiated, it quells enough of the worries I had when I realized the series was due to end. It ties most of the storylines up well, but a few were left hanging -- enough where I wouldn't be surprised if Larry Niven
M Collins
Jul 17, 2013 M Collins rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is an awesome book.

You don't need to read the whole series, but the flashbacks in this one are insufficient to allow for full appreciation of Niven's complex universe. In the past, I've found Niven to be a slow but interesting read both in terms of the science (he writes currently accurate science into the scifi) and the subtleties of the several plots that are often not realized until you read a passage several times. Lerner is an excellent co-author as he grounds the story so it's readab
Michael Forbes
Jan 26, 2015 Michael Forbes rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
The entire Niven/Lerner Fleet of Worlds series portion of Niven's Known Space universe is highly worth reading. I've been re-reading the Ringworld series as a result of these, in order to fill in the gaps in my memory. I'm amazed that Niven and Lerner, even working closely together, were able to keep such consistency with the existing Known Space timeline. What made the books so good wasn't a matter of them adhering closely to known science (FTL travel and communications, telepathy, fully regrow ...more
This one was likely the very best of the Fleet books, and easily my personal favorite, despite a few back-and-forward time sequences that did little to edify, only break the stream. As it was, though, I really enjoyed having a very nice wrap up for every character, especially those from the ring world saga and how they all fit together in the very end. Also, the build up and final battle of the Fleet was pretty special. I think I'll remember that pretty fondly. lol I'm thinking of Bear's Moving ...more
William Bentrim
Fate of Worlds by Larry Niven and Edward M. Lerner

I read Ringworld in the early 1970’s and frankly I know I liked it as I ranked it as an E for excellent in my book database but beside the basic premise, I don’t remember a great deal. This book would have served me better 20 years ago. As is it gathers together the characters from several books and a couple of series and attempts tie them together under the label of the Known Earth Series.

Frankly I’m not sure this was a wrap up and not a precur
Graham Crawford
Oct 30, 2012 Graham Crawford rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This was *slightly* better than the children of Ringworld - which was illiterate trash. Slightly better.There are no characters in this series and the plot is often progressed (at times) literally by bullet points. This is a novel that you write when you don't want to write a novel, or maybe have no talent to write. Is it really over now. can I go back to Iain M Banks who can do his big dumb objects with real people and AIs that i might want to talk to.

about that moronic bullet point plot progre
Jimm Wetherbee
A common complaint about Niven's recent offerings has been that they fall short of their illustrious predecessors from forty years ago or so. Let us concede from the start that Fate of Worlds is not the ground-breaking work that Ringworld or Protector were. However, anyone else should agree that few otherwise excellent instances of science fiction can match the audacity of a world that is the equatorial section of a Dyson Sphere or an extraterrestrial species, such as the Pak, that could conform ...more
David Willson
Oct 19, 2013 David Willson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was excited to read this book. I always love reading Niven, no matter who he collaborates with. This time he has teamed up with Edward M. Lerner to ostensibly polish off the Ringworld series ... and I have always especially loved the Ringworld series.
Fate of Worlds promised to conclude the four decade-long series. However, I wouldn't be surprised to see these characters and more about the Ringworld again. Fate of Worlds actually does more to bring together many concepts and characters from oth
Mark Oppenlander
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 01, 2013 Bob rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
At the end of Ringworld's Children, Tunesmith (Protector) engineers the hyperdrive engine to move the entire Ringworld out of the danger of the Fringe War. It blasts out of the area to where, no one knows.

The Fate of Worlds focuses on what happens after the Ringworld disappears. Resources beyond measure have been spent by countless species to gather knowledge and riches from the Ringworld. After it is gone, the various species want to find ways to replenish their expenses. The migration of the f
Aug 07, 2013 Steve rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Karl Gimblett
Shelves: known-space
Fate of Worlds: Return from the Ringworld, by Larry Niven and Edward M. Lerner.

First off let me state that I am a big Larry Niven fan - I've read all the Ringworld series and all the Fleet of Worlds series, and almost all his Known Space work, and enjoyed them all (obviously, otherwise I wouldn't have kept reading them).

When I started reading the Fleet of Worlds series I was grateful that I had only recently reread the Crashlander collection of Beowulf Shaefer stories (and I recommend anyone p
Steve Everett
Jun 07, 2014 Steve Everett rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Known Space Fans
Well I just finished the final novel in the Ringworld/Known Space series – Fate of Worlds. The story is good but and it is a major BUT, as exciting as it is it would have been better if there had been a third person involved in the collaboration. Niven and Lerner think big all the way through the story but in doing so it comes off almost disjointed because of all the sub-plots they are using. We have our key Puppeteers Baedeker, Nessus, Achilles, Chiron as well as the key humans in the time peri ...more
Rex Libris
Sep 16, 2015 Rex Libris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book tied together and tied up the Ringworld and Fleet of Worlds stories. While I am not a fan of enterprises that try to tie all of a writer's corpus together (most horrendous example: Isaac Asimov's Foundation and robot stories), Niven and Lerner did a better than average job. None of the books topped the book that started it all off, Ringworld, but they are still worth reading.
May 15, 2014 ArtYOm rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fleet of World series (1-5) -- 7/10. Same heroes, same quality.
Nothing extraordinary, but good to listen.
I liked the "Fleet" more than the Ringword Series (1-4) -- 5/10.
Feb 24, 2014 David rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Even after reading all of the books in both of the series which this book concludes, I still don't care about any of the characters in the story except Nessus the Citizen.

I'm glad the series is over. Ringworld is a brilliant physical concept, but these are novels, and novels require a coherent plot.
Maryann Fläsch
Jun 10, 2014 Maryann Fläsch rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sad that the Fleet of Worlds storyline is at an end but the Proteus storyline has me in anticipation of future books. Now that the fleet is down to 3, now that the type II Hyperdrive has been scaled to planetary proportions, now that the Puppeteers left behind on New Terra to form a new branch of the species.... (If they had companions on New Terra, that is) this opens up numerous storylines for the future. Not to mention that we still have to find out where the Ringworld went, if enough of the ...more
Jul 11, 2013 Foxtower rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: entertainment
While this is a good story, it has virtually nothing to do with Ringworld other than throwing in a few of the characters. Gone is the sense of discovery! Gone is the intimacy with unique chracters I've gotten to know (now they're completely different.. ie.- the puppeteers motivations are such that in this book they are little more than three legged humans.) Gone are the reasons behind it all, as the book starts by throwing out everything we "discovered" about the people in books 1, 2 and 4 so th ...more
David Hill
I never know any more how much of these books is the product of Larry Niven and how much is the other guy (whichever other guy he's sharing the work with this time). Niven used to be one of my favorite authors, but now that he's farming out some of the work, I think the product is declining in quality. Of course, compared to the original Ringworld story, most other stories are going to seem lesser.

This book doesn't stand on it's own. I read the earlier books in the series and still felt a bit l
Jun 16, 2015 Paul rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi, fiction
Although this is technically the last novel in both the Ringworld and Fleet of Worlds series, I think it's much more of a Fleet of Worlds book than a Ringworld book. The Ringworld itself makes no real appearance, and the only reason it's a Ringworld book is that it takes place after Louis Wu and Hindmost's return from the Ringworld.

The content of the book is pretty standard Fleet of Worlds fare. Pretty good, but I feel like O'ltro and Proteus and underused or misused, and I didn't find the endin
Jan 07, 2013 Charl rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: y2013
Described as the conclusion of the Fleet of Worlds and the Ringworld sagas, I'd say it was mostly Fleet of Worlds. The Ringworld figured into only a small portion of the story, so don't read it expecting a true Ringworld story. Or even half of one.

But that didn't make it a bad read. It concluded both story lines, wrapped up various threads, yet opened a few new ones leaving the possibility of more stories open in the future. Not in a cliff-hanger sense, or an unfinished story sense, but like in
Mar 27, 2015 Sctechsorceress rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It had been a long time since I had read the previous book in this series, so I found this book a little slow going at the beginning. But these are characters who stick with a reader. Sigmund Ausfaller, brilliant paranoid; Louis Wu, involuntary explorer; Nessus and Baedeker. The worlds themselves are fascinating, even leaving aside the Ringworld itself. This is a story that hooks you, and drags you in, until you almost believe that you know these people, these worlds. I don't know how much of th ...more
Norman Howe
May 22, 2015 Norman Howe rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
Finally everyone gets what they deserve. It's nice to see Nessus and Baedekker back together at last.
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Laurence van Cott Niven's best known work is 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 ...more
More about Larry Niven...

Other Books in the Series

Known Space (1 - 10 of 18 books)
  • The Long Arm of Gil Hamilton (Known Space)
  • Flatlander (Known Space)
  • The Patchwork Girl (Known Space)
  • The World Of Ptavvs (Known Space)
  • Protector (Known Space)
  • Tales of Known Space: The Universe of Larry Niven
  • Neutron Star (Known Space)
  • A Gift from Earth (Known Space)
  • Crashlander
  • Ringworld (Ringworld, #1)

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