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Fate of Worlds

(Ringworld #5)

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  1,982 ratings  ·  112 reviews
This is the fifth and last novel in Larry Niven's "Ringworld" series. This series began in 1970, with the publication of Ringworld, now, in conjunction with Edward M. Lerner, Niven brings the series to its conclusion.

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 a
Hardcover, 316 pages
Published August 21st 2012 by Tor Books
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Average rating 3.95  · 
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 ·  1,982 ratings  ·  112 reviews

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Dec 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
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 bi
Aug 12, 2012 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 de

May 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
Tim Hicks
Feb 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
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 coupl
Shellie (Layers of Thought)
Aug 08, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: hard sci fi readers
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
Aug 20, 2012 rated it really liked it
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 of
Eric Reinholt
Oct 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
Feb 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
M Collins
Jul 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
Jan 04, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019, audiobooks
Overall, I enjoyed this series. I feel like this last book had very little to do with the others aside from context. The Ringworld was barely in it if you even consider it in the story at all.

Louis Wu hardly did anything this book which is a pity because he is my favorite character and basically the main character.

The ending was a carbon copy of the last book.

But, misgivings aside, the series was enjoyable.
Eddie D. Moore
The sequels just never measured up to the first two books. I cut my reading teeth with Ringworld and The Ringworld Engineers. I loved exploring the unknown, and now that I say that, I understand what was missing. I would liked to have read more adventures on the Ringworld.
Aug 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
S. W.
Sep 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
Graham Crawford
Oct 30, 2012 rated it did not like it
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
Steve Bolin
Dec 11, 2012 rated it it was ok
Having read the original Ringworld and Ringworld Engineers many years ago I looked forward to revisiting this alternate universe. Sadly it was disappointing. Whereas the original books introduced new ideas there is none of that here. It is a space opera with little that is new to recommend it. It seems to wander about as if looking for a story to tell and never really finding it.
Timothy Olsen
Oct 26, 2016 rated it it was ok
This book doesn't stand well on its own, which I suppose isn't surprising. It also isn't particularly interesting. It wraps some things up, sure, but it does so without a sense of importance or urgency, like someone was just checking off a laundry list of events to push towards a conclusion so they could be done with a franchise.
Nov 01, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: science-fiction
Although it was definitely amusing to pick up the adventures of characters I'd read a long time ago (I read Ringworld in high school, but never really thought about going back for more), I couldn't maintain a lot of interest in the characters, and only a little more in the story.
Dec 28, 2018 rated it did not like it
Very dissapointed.
Jul 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Pity that this is the last book in the series. Great fun ‘hard’ science fiction.
Raywat Deonandan
Oct 19, 2019 rated it did not like it
What a steaming pile of crap. My review:
Eric Stodolnik
Dec 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Man, oh man! This book was SO SO SO bittersweet for me!
Sweet: Because I loved it and because its freaking Larry Niven's Known Space...
Bitter: Because this is (SO SADLY) the last Known Space novel in the entire Known Space series that I had left to read!!!
d ; __ ;b :( :( :( :( :( :( d; __ ; b

Niven's Known Space is perhaps my absolute favorite Sci-Fi series/universe! The more books I read, the more I fell in love with the universe, the characters, and the amazingly awesome concepts, idea
T.H. Leatherman
May 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Eyes on the prize, but the prize is gone

The greatest trove of ancient lore, the Ringworld, is gone. The huge fleets of all the major races must struggle to justify their existence and the lives lost. A prize exists, just a bit further in space. The Puppeteer fleet of worlds. Everyone knows the Puppeteers are cowards, plundering their planets will be easy.

But the fleet of worlds is more than just the Puppeteers and they have a centuries of experience at manipulation. To some in their government,
Lou Giannuzzi
Jul 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
Make sure you read the previous 4 Books of The Fleet of Worlds Series, or you wont know what the heck is going on.

Not at all a sequel to Ringworld's Children, which is a great book... you wont find any dialog involving Tunesmith, Proserpina, or Wembleth... it is a sequel to Betrayer of Worlds -- the 4th book of The Fleet Series... and in that, it wraps up everything nicely, at the end, with a complete bow.
May 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Best in the series.
The writing flowed better in this book vs. the other 4 books.
Still very unique and inventive storylines.
Characters very good and good flow.
I really enjoyed this book and the reading just moved along. I looked down and found I was half way through it.
Many, many avenues for continuation of characters but felt this book ended well with a few twists and turns.
enjoyed very much.
Tommy Burns
Jun 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I have loved every book that Niven has written and co-written and this one was no exception. Fate of Worlds supplies a good story and good conclusion to two related series, Ringworld and Fleet of Worlds. I think that it stands on its own pretty well, but it's hard for me to be sure, because I've read all or most of the two serieses and the rest of his Known Space books. I recommend it highly, especially to anyone who has liked other works of his.
Sep 29, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ringworld was a game changer - huge canvas, sense of wonder, space opera, wonderful puzzles and situations for a clever monkey to figure out, aliens with alien perspectives and personalities. This aint that. Having invested so much in the first four books of this series I had to finish this fifth book, and this one has some plot and interesting developments, but it's just no Ringworld.
Heath Lesjak
Dec 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Edric Unsane
Mar 22, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
A much different book in the Ringworld series that, although having many of the characters from the previous books in the series, had very little to do with the Ringworld itself. Fate of Worlds was ultimately a bit better of a read than the previous novels, but still wasn't stellar. I still enjoyed the series, but I felt all the books to be underwhelming and lacking in imagination.
Joe Farrar
Jan 31, 2020 rated it liked it
the first hundred pages were slow hard to keep focused. once the real action starts it becomes hard to put the book down. totally enjoyed the tech writing the story has a jules verne flavor that excites the imagination especially with the advances we are seeing today with companies like space x and the ISS
Joseph McKnight
Jun 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
The final book in the Ringworld series. It appears other series as well albeit I have not read those. Like this book far more than book 4 even though the Ringworld did not star in it. The book was a nice wrap up to the series leaving you far more satisfied than book 4. Overall, I enjoyed the series. ​

Joseph McKnight
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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

Other books in the series

Ringworld (5 books)
  • Ringworld (Ringworld, #1)
  • The Ringworld Engineers (Ringworld, #2)
  • The Ringworld Throne (Ringworld, #3)
  • Ringworld's Children (Ringworld, #4)

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