History Literature / Ringworld

21st Mar '18 5:12:35 PM FordPrefect
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** This has a hidden subtlety. As herd animals, the Puppeteer don't charge enemies the way territorial hominids do; they run away. So the hindmost member of a puppeteer herd is actually the rear guard, the ''most'' exposed and combative of the bunch. It's unclear if the title of Hindmost is actually meant to be read this way, or is a CulturalTranslation into human terms.

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** This has a hidden subtlety. As herd animals, the Puppeteer Puppeteers don't charge enemies the way territorial hominids do; they run away. So the hindmost member of a puppeteer herd is actually the rear guard, the ''most'' exposed and combative of the bunch. It's unclear if the title of Hindmost is actually meant to be read this way, or is a CulturalTranslation into human terms.
25th Oct '17 6:02:54 PM Pavlov
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* {{Retcon}}: At the time Niven wrote ''Ringworld'', he hadn't decided to {{Canon Weld|ing}} his stories of the Belters and near-future space exploration, including ''Protector'', into the same universe with the far-future stories of Beowulf Shaeffer and Louis Wu. This is why Nessus says "There is evidence enough that your species evolved on Earth," even though later novels show he would have known who the Pak were. It wasn't until after Niven established the [[StandardSciFiSetting future history]] of Known Space that he realized Pak Protectors were the most likely builders of the Ringworld.
** Louis doesn't seem to know that the galactic core explosion was discovered by Beowulf Shaeffer. Later stories revealed that Shaeffer was his adopted father, and so must carefully note that Shaeffer kept his adventurous life a secret.
*** Which is quite odd, as Teela reads about Beowulf's trip to the galactic core in Louis's library in his mansion. Aparently, Louis never bothered to check into the publicly available materials on his fathers.

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* {{Retcon}}: A bunch.
**
At the time Niven wrote ''Ringworld'', he hadn't decided to {{Canon Weld|ing}} his stories of the Belters and near-future space exploration, including ''Protector'', into the same universe with the far-future stories of Beowulf Shaeffer and Louis Wu. This is why Nessus says "There is evidence enough that your species evolved on Earth," even though later novels show he would have known who the Pak were. It wasn't until after Niven established the [[StandardSciFiSetting future history]] of Known Space that he realized Pak Protectors were the most likely builders of the Ringworld.
Ringworld. In some author's notes he's said that he deliberately let Louis come to the wrong conclusion to simplify the first book.
** Louis doesn't seem to know that the galactic core explosion was discovered by Beowulf Shaeffer. Later stories revealed that Shaeffer was his adopted father, and so must carefully note that Shaeffer kept his adventurous life a secret.
***
secret. Which is quite odd, as Teela reads about Beowulf's trip to the galactic core in Louis's library in his mansion. Aparently, Apparently, Louis never bothered to check into the publicly available materials on his fathers.fathers.
*** It's usually at this point that the Larry Niven discussion group starts mumbling about one or more lost generations between Beowulf and Louis. Yes, there are holes and no, you shouldn't hold your breath waiting for it to be patched up.
25th Oct '17 5:51:37 PM Pavlov
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Added DiffLines:

** Consequently, Larry Niven is constantly talking about all the ways that the Ringworld is reacquiring knowledge. The ghouls have an extensive communication network and advanced knowledge, City Builders have huge libraries, returning ships have brought back advanced knowledge, and Protectors with their genius intellects are CONSTANTLY turning up all over the ring. Add to that a large number of Known Space ships marooned all over the Ringworld with vast information storage libraries and you're looking at a dawning technological renaissance.
25th Oct '17 5:40:53 PM Pavlov
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Added DiffLines:

** Well, okay, occasionally other races have objected. This has always resulted in aggressive negotiations by the ghouls, followed by extermination by the ghouls if said race doesn't get the point. No one knows how advanced the ghouls are and NO ONE wants to find out.
16th Sep '17 4:33:59 AM Doug86
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* FullyAbsorbedFinale: Louis' storyline in ''Ringworld's Children'' is concluded in ''[[KnownSpace Fate of Worlds]]'', the fifth and final installment of the ''Fleet of Worlds'' series co-written with Edward M. Lerner.

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* FullyAbsorbedFinale: Louis' storyline in ''Ringworld's Children'' is concluded in ''[[KnownSpace ''[[Literature/KnownSpace Fate of Worlds]]'', the fifth and final installment of the ''Fleet of Worlds'' series co-written with Edward M. Lerner.
30th Aug '17 2:32:07 PM SuddenFrost
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* PutOnABus: In ''Ringworld's Children'', the Hindmost only briefly mentions that Harkabeeparolyn and Kawaresksenjajok were returned to their hometown floating city, and they otherwise don't appear in the book at all. Surprisingly, Niven gets Harkabeeparolyn's name wrong and calls her Fortaralisplyar, who was a different ''male'' character from the same floating city in ''The Ringworld Engineers''.

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* PutOnABus: In ''Ringworld's Children'', the Hindmost only briefly mentions that Harkabeeparolyn and Kawaresksenjajok were returned to their hometown floating city, and they otherwise don't appear in the book at all. Surprisingly, Niven gets Harkabeeparolyn's name wrong and calls her Fortaralisplyar, who was a different ''male'' character from the same floating city in ''The Ringworld Engineers''. This seems to indicate that Niven doesn't hold ''Engineers'' in very high regard.
28th Aug '17 11:25:56 PM SuddenFrost
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* PutOnABus: In ''Ringworld's Children'', the Hindmost only briefly mentions that Harkabeeparolyn and Kawaresksenjajok were returned to their hometown floating city, and they otherwise don't appear in the book at all. In a surprising case, Niven gets Harkabeeparolyn's name wrong and calls her Fortaralisplyar, who was a different ''male'' character from the same floating city in ''The Ringworld Engineers''.

to:

* PutOnABus: In ''Ringworld's Children'', the Hindmost only briefly mentions that Harkabeeparolyn and Kawaresksenjajok were returned to their hometown floating city, and they otherwise don't appear in the book at all. In a surprising case, Surprisingly, Niven gets Harkabeeparolyn's name wrong and calls her Fortaralisplyar, who was a different ''male'' character from the same floating city in ''The Ringworld Engineers''.
4th Aug '17 7:57:52 AM xcountryguy
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* DarkerAndEdgier: The second novel to the first, in a ''major'' way. The Ringworld Engineers opens with Louis Wu a barely FunctionalAddict hooked on a [[ElectricInstantGratification direct current]] into his brain, and only a few chapters in we learn that it's because [[spoiler: Halrloprillalar was kidnapped by ARM and held prisoner, and he hasn't seen her since.]] In the same chapter, Louis is informed that [[spoiler: she's dead of a drug interaction.]] A few chapters later, we find out that the Ringworld is destabilizing and is going to destroy itself against the sun within two years time. He ends up [[spoiler: saving the Ringworld at the cost of trillions of lives (only a fraction of the inhabitants, but ''still'',]] and having to kill [[spoiler: Teela, who had become a Protector.]] Compared to the first book, with a comparatively happy ending where none of the main characters die, it's jarring, to say the least.
* DroppedABridgeOnHim: Halrloprillalar [[spoiler: dies between the first and second books, due to the interaction of incompatible drugs]].

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* DarkerAndEdgier: The second novel to the first, in a ''major'' way. The Ringworld Engineers opens with Louis Wu a barely FunctionalAddict hooked on a [[ElectricInstantGratification direct current]] into his brain, and only a few chapters in we learn that it's because [[spoiler: Halrloprillalar [[spoiler:Halrloprillalar was kidnapped by ARM and held prisoner, and he hasn't seen her since.]] In the same chapter, Louis is informed that [[spoiler: she's [[spoiler:she's dead of a drug interaction.]] A few chapters later, we find out that the Ringworld is destabilizing and is going to destroy itself against the sun within two years time. He ends up [[spoiler: saving [[spoiler:saving the Ringworld at the cost of trillions of lives (only a fraction of the inhabitants, but ''still'',]] and having to kill [[spoiler: Teela, [[spoiler:Teela, who had become a Protector.]] Compared to the first book, with a comparatively happy ending where none of the main characters die, it's jarring, to say the least.
* DroppedABridgeOnHim: Halrloprillalar [[spoiler: dies [[spoiler:dies between the first and second books, due to the interaction of incompatible drugs]].



* OlderThanTheyLook: Louis Wu, Chmeee, and pretty much anyone else who has taken boosterspice [[spoiler: or used Carlos Wu's nanotech autodoc.]]

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* OlderThanTheyLook: Louis Wu, Chmeee, and pretty much anyone else who has taken boosterspice [[spoiler: or [[spoiler:or used Carlos Wu's nanotech autodoc.]]



* OurVampiresAreDifferent: They are non-sentient, [[spoiler: at least until transformation into a Protector]]. They also attract their prey with pheromones and are technically a number of different hominid species that evolved convergently into the same niche.

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* OurVampiresAreDifferent: They are non-sentient, [[spoiler: at [[spoiler:at least until transformation into a Protector]]. They also attract their prey with pheromones and are technically a number of different hominid species that evolved convergently into the same niche.



* ProudWarriorRaceGuy: Speaker-to-Animals (Later Chmeee) [[spoiler: and his son, Acolyte.]]

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* ProudWarriorRaceGuy: Speaker-to-Animals (Later Chmeee) [[spoiler: and [[spoiler:and his son, Acolyte.]]



*** [[spoiler: That was actually an assumed name he took when he met up with some crash-landed ARM crewmembers, as Louis Wu is known to pretty much everyone and he didn't want to explain he was working for a Protector.]]

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*** [[spoiler: That [[spoiler:That was actually an assumed name he took when he met up with some crash-landed ARM crewmembers, as Louis Wu is known to pretty much everyone and he didn't want to explain he was working for a Protector.]]



* SpoilerOpening: The current edition of ''The Ringworld Engineers'' has a cover painting by Donato Giancola depicting [[spoiler: a Protector]], which spoils a major plot point of the book.

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* SpoilerOpening: The current edition of ''The Ringworld Engineers'' has a cover painting by Donato Giancola depicting [[spoiler: a [[spoiler:a Protector]], which spoils a major plot point of the book.



* TragicMonster: [[spoiler: Teela, after becoming a protector in ''The Ringworld Engineers'' and deliberately forcing Louis to kill her.]]

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* TragicMonster: [[spoiler: Teela, [[spoiler:Teela, after becoming a protector in ''The Ringworld Engineers'' and deliberately forcing Louis to kill her.]]
19th Jun '17 11:29:06 AM LordQwert
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* ConvergingStreamWeapon: The upgraded Slaver Disintegrator. Normal Disintegrators produce a beam that suppresses the charge of the electron on solid material it hits, causing it to have a uniform positive charge and, due to the resulting unopposed repulsive forces between protons, violently tear itself apart into subatomic dust. The upgraded version also fires a beam that suppresses the charge of the ''proton'' and lands a short distance away from the first. Besides more disintegration, this also creates a ''massive'' electrical current between the two charged areas.

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* ConvergingStreamWeapon: The upgraded Slaver Disintegrator. Normal Disintegrators produce a beam that suppresses the charge of the electron on solid material it hits, causing it to have a uniform positive charge and, due to the resulting unopposed repulsive forces between protons, nuclei, violently tear itself apart into subatomic atomic dust. The upgraded version also fires a beam that suppresses the charge of the ''proton'' and lands a short distance away from the first. Besides more disintegration, this also creates a ''massive'' electrical current electromagnetic implosion between the two charged areas.
3rd Apr '17 7:05:13 PM Theriocephalus
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* AncientConspiracy: It's revealed in the first novel that the Puppeteers secretly [[spoiler:interfered in the Man-Kzin wars to try and breed docile Kzinti]] and also secretly [[spoiler:lobbied for the Birthright Lottery to breed someone like Teela Brown]]. In the second novel, we also learn that the Puppeteers secretly [[spoiler:engineered the Ringworld's superconductor plague so that they could investigate the Ringworld safely]].
** [[spoiler: The superconductor plague was a LOT worse than that. They engineered it so they could arrive in the nick of time and save everything, making a LOT of money and getting a LOT of power in the process. Then politics happened between sowing the plague and fixing it, and the fixing never happened.]]

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* AncientConspiracy: It's revealed in the first novel that the Puppeteers secretly [[spoiler:interfered in the Man-Kzin wars to try and breed docile Kzinti]] and also secretly [[spoiler:lobbied for the Birthright Lottery to breed someone like Teela Brown]]. In the second novel, we also learn that the Puppeteers secretly [[spoiler:engineered the Ringworld's superconductor plague so that they could investigate the Ringworld safely]].
** [[spoiler: The superconductor plague was a LOT worse than that. They engineered it
safely and so that they could arrive in the nick of time and save everything, making a LOT of money and getting a LOT of power in the process. Then politics happened between sowing the plague and fixing it, and the fixing never happened.]]



** A comment repeated is that the Ringworld isn't so big as to be incomprehensible - it's just barely small enough that the mind can understand ''how mind-bogglingly big'' it actually is.

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** A comment repeated is that the Ringworld isn't so big as to be incomprehensible - -- it's just barely small enough that the mind can understand ''how mind-bogglingly big'' it actually is.



* BizarreSexualDimorphism: Kzinti females are non-sentient. Also, it's suggested at one point that puppeteer females must mate with [[ThreeWaySex two males]] in order to conceive.
** In the second book, The Hindmost (who is mated to Nessus) explains Puppeteer reproduction in more detail. The "female" Puppeteer is actually a different species, which acts as a host for the embryo formed by the gametes placed into it by the Puppeteers. The organs used to deposit gametes are described as being "most similar". Louis then understands why Nessus didn't want to talk about it: "This is ugly."
*** The comparison is to [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ichneumonoidea Ichneumonoid wasps]]

to:

* BizarreSexualDimorphism: BizarreSexualDimorphism:
**
Kzinti females are non-sentient. Also, it's non-sentient, although [[spoiler:it's all but stated that this is due to deliberate genetic engineering by the Kzinti males so long ago that they themselves have forgotten about it. This is supported by the fact that the Kzinti females on the Map of Kzin, descendants of Kzinti abducted in prehistoric times, are fully sentient beings]].
** It's
suggested at one point in the first book that puppeteer females must mate with [[ThreeWaySex two males]] males]], one of each of the two "male types" the puppeteers have, in order to conceive.
**
conceive. In the second book, The second, the Hindmost (who is mated to Nessus) explains Puppeteer reproduction in more detail. The "female" Puppeteer is actually a different species, which acts as a host for the embryo formed by the gametes placed into it by the Puppeteers.Puppeteers, whose two "male types" are their actual "male" and "female" genders. The organs used to deposit gametes are described as being "most similar". They're explicitly compared is to [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ichneumonoidea Ichneumonoid wasps]]. Louis then understands why Nessus didn't want to talk about it: "This is ugly."
*** The comparison is to [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ichneumonoidea Ichneumonoid wasps]]
"



** On the other hand, she might not have been born lucky after all, and just looked that way for the benefit of people who were. (Trying to follow cause and effect in a universe with people whose mere existence is supposed to cause the entire universe to automatically conspire in their favor is a serious MindScrew.)
*** Louis Wu actually discusses this at one stage, making the obvious suggestion that it may simply not have worked at all. Later on, it turns into BeCarefulWhatYouWishFor as Teela morphs into a Protector, at which point it becomes obvious that what actually constitutes "luck" is so subjective as to be meaningless

to:

** On the other hand, It's brought up at one point she might not have been born lucky after all, and just looked that way for the benefit of people who were. (Trying to follow cause and effect in a universe with people whose mere existence is supposed to cause the entire universe to automatically conspire in their favor is a serious MindScrew.)
*** ** Louis Wu actually discusses this at one stage, making the obvious suggestion that it may simply not have worked at all. Later on, it turns into BeCarefulWhatYouWishFor as Teela morphs into a Protector, at which point it becomes obvious that what actually constitutes "luck" is so subjective as to be meaningless



* ConvergingStreamWeapon: The upgraded Slaver Disintegrator.

to:

* ConvergingStreamWeapon: The upgraded Slaver Disintegrator. Normal Disintegrators produce a beam that suppresses the charge of the electron on solid material it hits, causing it to have a uniform positive charge and, due to the resulting unopposed repulsive forces between protons, violently tear itself apart into subatomic dust. The upgraded version also fires a beam that suppresses the charge of the ''proton'' and lands a short distance away from the first. Besides more disintegration, this also creates a ''massive'' electrical current between the two charged areas.
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