New DNA Update.

All that space elevator stuff gave me an itch to re-read Ringworld, which was a lot better than I expected (I hadn't read any Niven since high school, so I guess I had kind of low expectations, but he manages to write hard-science stories that still have entertaining characters. All I had remembered of his stories was the physics, it seems.) I then re-read The Ringworld Engineers, which was also pretty good, but now I'm halfway through The Ringworld Throne, which came out a few years ago and which I hadn't read yet, and so far, it kinda sucks. It suffers from "Baggins-itis" where it just spends all its time bogging you down with long dumb alien names and stupid terminology like "half-night" instead of "midnight". I find I'm no longer amused by trying to wade though that kind of fantasy-boilerplate crap.

It was weird re-reading these, because it's so obvious that modern Star Trek Klingons are based more on Niven's Kzinti than on the old series's Klingons. The last time I read them was before New Trek.

Neat: ray tracing Ringworld

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2 Responses:

  1. baconmonkey says:

    funny, I just read through all 3 of those a few weeks ago. then I read "Protector". Niven does a bit of Roddenberry throughout his books, where he kinda re-invents the rules as he goes. the Protectors in particular evolve and change a great deal. there were a number of things h never really addresses, like when they broke the shadow square wire in the first one, it somehow didn't cause massive orbital instability in the squares.

    • jwz says:

      Well, I was guessing that, unlike all of the other incredibly fragile engineering that went into the rest of the Ringworld, they actually had more than two wires attached to each shadow square.