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Fleet of Worlds (Fleet of Worlds #1)

3.79  ·  Rating Details ·  2,452 Ratings  ·  151 Reviews
Humanity has been faithfully serving the Citizens for years, and Kirsten Quinn-Kovacks is among the best and the brightest of the humans. She gratefully serves the race that rescued her ancestors from a dying starship, gave them a home world, and nurtures them still. If only the Citizens knew where Kirsten's people came from.

A chain reaction of supernovae at the galaxy's c
Mass Market Paperback, 309 pages
Published August 26th 2008 by Tor Science Fiction (first published 2007)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Dirk Grobbelaar
Known Space. Ringworld. These are concepts that every old-school Science Fiction enthusiast likely recognize instantly.

Opinion regarding Ringworld has always been somewhat divided, despite the cult status the novel has achieved. I, for one, absolutely loved it. It was a spectacular and grandiose example of sense-of-wonder mindbuggery at the time. Still is.

This series serves as a prequel to Ringworld. No surprise then, that the ratings for Fleet of Worlds are all over the place. It is the first
I found it satisfying through this book just to spend more time getting to know Niven’s Puppeteers, which for me are perhaps the most intriguing and entertaining aliens created in sci fi. The book helps fill a hole created by nostalgia over my experience with the Puppeteers in my youth through reading 1970’s Ringworld. This technologically advanced species is blessed with lots of creativity, but they are subject to emotions that make them shy, secretive, and anxiety prone. The impetus to feel em ...more
Aug 30, 2014 David rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: nobody
I like to read science fiction novels that introduce original ideas, or that have interesting perspectives on psychology, history, or science, or that have interesting characters. Unfortunately, this novel had very little of this--it just did not grab my attention. I have enjoyed some of Niven's previous books, but this one was too--predictable, and the human characters just seemed cliche.

Many other reviewers mention that this book "fills in the details" of worlds that first appeared in other no
Sep 28, 2013 Ric rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
(In the summer of 2013, I re-read/relived Larry Niven's Ringworld series, which led to a re-read of several books in his Known Space universe. Now, far into autumn, am still on this Niven jag!)

The emotional impetus, and a strong one at that, for Fleet of Worlds derives from a moral question: how much interference may one race impose on another? In order of increasing imposition: FW tackles brainwashing, denial of technology, treasure sacking, breeding experiments, memory erasure, enslavement, ex
Kirsten *Dogs Welcome - People Tolerated"
Well, now, I'm going to have to read Ringworld!

Anyway, I really liked this book for a couple of reasons. One, it's a great read. Intrigue, interplanetary relations, action, conspiracy. The characters - human and non-human - were a lot of fun to read.

However, I am a little confused. If this was a prequel to Ringworld - as billed - shouldn't there be a prequel to this prequel? It certainly sounded like the humans and Citizens had met long before this. Or did I misunderstand that?

And the second re
I've been a fan of Larry Niven's work ever since I discovered the anthology Tales of Known Space in a drugstore near my junior high school in the mid-70's. As I read Fleet of Worlds, co-written with Edward Lerner, I tried to weigh the novel on its own merits as a standalone work and as a work that's part of Niven's Known Space continuum of short stories and novels. On its own merits, it does present us with protagonists and antagonists that engage my interest, and a series of challenges for each ...more
Dec 05, 2008 Peter rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: science fiction fans
This gets four stars from me, but if fractional stars were possible I'd have given it a 3.8.

Larry Niven's Fleet of Worlds is a welcome reversion to Niven's better writing style. His work had become rather weak in the past ten to fifteen years; it seemed that like so many writers, age was robbing him of his abilities and voice.

His many co-authors didn't help, either. Most of them weren't that good, and they brought him down. At his best, Niven used beautifully clear, diamond-like prose to convey
I'd say this book is "interesting" rather than "good". It provides a lot of information about the Pierson Puppeteers, which is great for anyone interested in Niven's Known Space. However, it's kind of boring.
William Bentrim
Jan 30, 2014 William Bentrim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This story takes place 200 years before the Ringworld series. There is conjecture as to whether this or the Integral Trees is the first book in the Known World collection. They all seem to fit but in somewhat confusing order. This books leads with humans being trained as scouts by the Citizens aka Puppeteers.

Considering I read some of the books relating to this over 40 years ago, I am astounded I remember as much as I did. The humans (Colonists) in this book are the reconstructed remnant of a c
Carl V.
Oct 21, 2012 Carl V. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It has been many years since I first read Ringworld and I've forgotten as much about it as I remember. One thing I do remember clearly is that I liked it very much and over the last few years I've been aching to return to Niven's Known Space universe. This first of four prequel books seemed like a great place to start...and it was! Niven and Lerner combine talents to create a novel with enough science to stimulate the minds of those who need "science" in their "science fiction" and with enough a ...more
Dec 02, 2008 JBradford rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had forgotten I had loaned this book to my nephew until he returned it at the Thanksgiving Feast, and I welcomed it, because I am having trouble getting into the only book I brought up the beach with me. It is an interesting contrast to Cook’s Invasion, which I read earlier this week. Here, too, are invaders from space, traveling in impossibly fast spaceships, with the three humans arrayed against them having unlikely capabilities – but the difference is that here it works, because Niven is an ...more
Gregg Wingo
Dec 19, 2014 Gregg Wingo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Based on most of the hard science fiction writers' releases of new stories based on their classic works from the mid-20th century I had very little hope for this set of Niven works. The releases from Herbert, Clarke, and Asimov were really second rate pieces made for the benefit of their retirement plans and their heirs - not to mention their publishers. However, these novels covering the period of Known Space history from the exodus of the Puppeteers to the mystery surrounding the Ringworld are ...more
A new novel in the Known Space universe, “Fleet of Worlds” fills in some gaps in the story of the Puppeteers and the migration of their worlds (the “Fleet of Worlds”). It tells the previously unknown story of a society of humans living with the Puppeteers without knowledge of their heritage. The Puppeteers have some deep, dark secrets revealed. There are some excellent descriptions of Puppeteer society. We are also introduced to a younger Nessus, the Puppeteer featured in Ringworld.

It is a good
Dec 22, 2008 Melody rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I finished this book, but it was slow going, and I can't say I really enjoyed it. I've read Larry Niven books in the past, when he partnered with Jerry Pournelle. Admittedly, that was quite awhile ago, so my memory of the books is no longer very vivid. However, I can definitely say I enjoyed the Niven/Pournelle books, and was usually eager to read the next volume.

This book, I dunno, just never captured my imagination or made me care about the characters. The writing was competent, but dull. Mos
Jul 01, 2013 Bill rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Space opera and Known Universe/Ringworld lovers
Shelves: science-fiction
3.5* (7/10)

I finished this last night, the 1st Niven I've read since Ringworld was new. It is a good intro to his "Known Universe" series. As space opera it has an interesting story, characters I liked and alien-human interactions that are adequately developed (thought not even to those of CJ Cherryh).

For me it lacked the page turning excitement I've come to expect from space opera by mature Sci-Fi authors. I did enjoy it enough to decide to keep reading the Fleet of Worlds series
Sep 03, 2011 Craig rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thought this was a very good Known Space novel. It fills in some interesting background on the Puppeteers culture and society, and individually for Nessus 200 years prior to RINGWORLD. The plot moves along at a nice pace, with Niven's trademark little bits of thought-provoking speculation peppered through-out, and it fits in comfortably with the rest of the Known Space universe timeline. My only minor complaint is that it seemed they were holding back too much information (or a resolution) for ...more
Jason Gabbert-fleming
I had big hopes for this series. I'm a huge Niven fan, and Known Space is my all time favorite Sci-Fi arena. Sadly the whole "World's" series was a tremendous let down. None of the books were terrible, but none of them were that good. Notably absent from the entire series were any new and interesting ideas. There are so many great science fiction concepts in the known space realm (think Thrints, Jotok, Kzin, GP hulls, Puppeteers, Pak....I could go on and on...), and these four of five books don' ...more
This is a fun dive into the Known Space universe, and ..

(view spoiler)
John Bess
Jul 02, 2015 John Bess rated it it was amazing
Rather enjoyable story that was entertaining to read. Interesting story development as a prequel series before ringworld.
Dec 06, 2014 Nick rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
I liked this book, but didn't love it, and I think that my problem with it was that it required such a drastic reinterpretation of the Puppeteer race of aliens. In the original Ringworld book, they came across as a very interesting take on what an intelligent herd-based species would be like, and I found that very convincing.
In this book, some of the personality types just didn't fit that model, and the overall attitudes were disturbing. As an example, in a couple of cases there was a "shoot fir
Björn Bengtsson
Jul 31, 2015 Björn Bengtsson rated it liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
This is a good sci-fi book. It has all the elements of classic science fiction: aliens, another world, futuristic technology and a mystery.

Having played the video game Halo, which has a "ring world", I was hoping this book had something similar, engineering so extreme it's incomprehensible and magical ("Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic" - Arthur C Clarke).

This book is not exactly like that. The "fleet of worlds" refer to a number of planets that are somehow pr
May 27, 2015 Tomislav rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
This is the first book of a Larry Niven's and Edward Lerner's companion series to Larry Niven's classic Ringworld. The series consists of
Fleet of Worlds (2007)
Juggler of Worlds (2008)
Destroyer of Worlds (2009)
Betrayer of Worlds (2010)
Fate of Worlds: Return from the Ringworld (2012)
The first four books are set in the "Known Space" universe chronologically before Ringworld, and the final book afterwards.

The official story has always been that the puppeteer Concordance Citizens rescued the hu
If familiarity breeds contempt, then read this novel and get to know the 'real' Puppeteers of Niven's Known Space. Find out how the two headed three legged cowardly centaur-like manipulators live like lotus eaters while doing detestable things to their galactic neighbors in the name of safety! This book, while not the most exciting of tales, does have typical cleverly unraveling story and dénouement. It has a wide scattering of previously developed science fictional concepts from Niven's Known S ...more
Neil Fein
Feb 13, 2010 Neil Fein rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Known Space is alive and well!

The first novel by this collaboration team and the first Known Space book since the plodding Ringworld's Children, Fleet of Worlds is a pleasant surprise. The two writing styles work well together, the characters are very good, and five worlds fleeing through space is a mind-expanding setting.

When the race of aliens known to Humans as the Puppeteers find that a wave of hard radiation from supernovae in the core of our galaxy will reach Known Space in the distant fut
Oct 26, 2013 Michael rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very solid science fiction outing from Larry Niven and...whoever the other dude is. Set in Niven's Known Space universe, Fleet of Worlds takes place 200 years before the discovery of the famous Ringworld structure. I admit that I read Ringworld so long ago that I don't remember many of the details, so there were probably a lot of allusions and portents of that book in this prequel that I missed. None the less, Fleet is a good read. The main antagonists are a race of beings called Pierson's Puppe ...more
Dec 16, 2013 Bob rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
I first started reading Larry Niven's books around 1974. Ringworld was a big favorite of mine back then. Finding he wrote 4 sequels to Ringworld made me buy a new copy of the original Ringworld along with all of the sequels.

When I read the final book in the series, I felt like I missed something somewhere along the way. Come to find out that this not only concludes the Ringworld series, but several other of his book series, most notably the Known Space series.

Known Space kicks off with this book
Sep 29, 2009 Edward rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Edward by: SciFiBN book group
Shelves: sf
Larry Niven “does” aliens well. In Fleet of Worlds we meet the Gw’oth, underwater starfish creatures who live on (under?) an icebound moon and spend most of their time in writhing orgies of connected and intertwining tentacles. Their technological progress is amazingly rapid considering this strange activity and the harsh environment.

The Gw’oth are being observed 200 Years Before the Discovery of the RINGWORLD. by Nessus, a Pierson’s Puppeteer. He is reconnoitering the trajectory of the Fleet o
Alan Denham
This is not the place to start reading Niven's 'Known Space' universe - the best of those (five stars all!) were published more than 30 (40?) years ago, and Larry Niven wrote them on his own. In this book (first of a series) Niven has teamed up with Lerner and gone back to some of those early stories - and told us the background, from a different viewpoint. It is an unusual and rather interesting technique - but I strongly advise reading the other stories first, the ones to which these provide b ...more
Sep 26, 2012 Anthony rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The last time I read one of Larry Niven's Ringworld books was probably back in the 1980s, and I don’t remember much about it. Therefore, I was able to read this book, Fleet of Worlds, which is a prequel to the Ringworld, with somewhat of a fresh mind which might or might not have taken away some of the pleasures of reading this book. I actually enjoyed the book as a stand-alone novel, and don’t think I missed much. I was particularly fascinated by the descriptive sections on the biology, physiol ...more
Dec 09, 2007 Raja99 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Why I read this book: My father got an Amazon Kindle recently. I tried it out, and got various "free samples". I didn't find any of the samples compelling--except the one for Fleet of Worlds.

Fleet of Worlds is chock full of interesting ideas, and has a brisk writing style. (To paraphrase Orson Scott Card, this is a collaboration, but excuse me for suspecting that Lerner did most of the typing.) It's the most fun I've had in Larry Niven's Known Space universe since The Ringworld Engineers. The bo
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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

Fleet of Worlds (5 books)
  • Juggler of Worlds
  • Destroyer of Worlds
  • Betrayer of Worlds (Fleet of Worlds, #4)
  • Fate of Worlds: Return from the Ringworld (Ringworld, #5)

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