Lucas Beechinor's Reviews > Ringworld

Ringworld by Larry Niven
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's review
Sep 05, 2011

really liked it

Truthfully, I discovered this book because of my obsessive love for the Halo games. I love the Halo franchise so much, I’ll willfully read the Wikipedia articles about it for fun. For. Fun. Halo is more than a handful of video games to me. The story that makes up the Halo universe is 110% science fiction storytelling kicked into hyperdrive. In seeking to learn more about the story, I found Ringworld, and have been enjoying it almost at unhealthy levels.

It is enjoyable for many reasons, but I am going to focus on three right now.

1. Ringworld is a foundational sci-fi epic.

You know a story is foundational when you discover how many other stories it has directly inspired. Halo, for instance. The Ringworld breeds a vast assortment of characters, conflicts, and themes, because of nothing more than the nature of its physical makeup. It is an iconic megastructure that some of the most recognizable and popular sci-fi properties have imitated because of its raw power as a storytelling element.

2. Ringworld is hard sci-fi just the way we like it.

Imagine taking all the mass in our solar system (all the planets, all the asteroids, all the other BS out there) and rolling it into a flat ring that orbited the Sun. Kind of hard to wrap your head around, isn’t it? We like sci-fi like that. The Ringworld is totally fictional, but it seems totally plausible. The Ringworld provides us with ideas about how to improve our society, our environment, or overcome other social problems that humans seem to be plagued with at all times.

3. Without Ringworld, we might not have Halo.

And that, my friends, is a world I never hope to see.
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