Starts with theRingworld 200th birthday of Louis Wu (previous book started with the 100th birthday of Allan Karlson!). Puppeteer Nessus recruits Louis, Teela Brown  and Speaker for Animals to explore the Ringworld. The story is simple, but engaging. The Motley Crew leave Earth, stop briefly at the travelling Puppeteer homeworld then head for Ringworld. They crash land, then trek to the rim looking for a way to relaunch their vessel. Along they way they discover that civilization has fallen on Ringworld and discover an inhabitant and former prostitute Prill that was around since before the fall (due to relativistic time dilation). Interestingly, the fall of civilization can be attributed to a bacterium that feeds on tech. They trek back to to their ship, Liar, and manage to get it back out in space. It ends with a definite tone of “to be continued”, though certainly not as abruptly as Hitchhikers. I thought it was well written, even the sex scenes which are typically fumbled. There are a few, though short and certainly don’t make the book a work of erotic fiction. Niven created four distinct and believable characters. While the plot was simple enough, the backstory of puppeteer manipulation and human-kzin wars added a rich universe for the story. Turns out this backstory is part of Niven’s Known Space fictional universe. Hugo and Nebula award winner.

(Amazon) Ringworld


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