Fleeing the supernova chain reaction at the galactic core, the cowardly Puppeteers of the Fleet of Worlds have---just barely---survived. They've stumbled from one crisis to the next: The rebellion of their human slaves. The relentless questing of the species of Known Space. The spectacular rise of the starfish-like Gw'oth. The onslaught of the genocidal Pak.
Catastrophe looms again as past crises return---and converge. Who can possibly save the Fleet of Worlds from its greatest peril yet?
Louis Wu? Trapped in the Wunderland civil war, all he wants is to go home---but the only possible escape will plunge him into unknowable danger.
Ol't'ro? The Gw'oth ensemble mind fled across the stars to establish a colony world free from tyranny. But some problems cannot be left behind, and other problems---like the Fleet of Worlds itself---are racing straight at them.
Achilles? Despite past disgrace, the charismatic Puppeteer politician knows he is destined for greatness. He will do anything to seize power---and to take his revenge on everyone who ever stood in his way.
Nessus? The insane Puppeteer scout is out of ideas, out of resources, with only desperation left to guide him.
Their hopes and fears, dreams and ambitions are about to collide. And the winner takes . . . worlds.
At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.
The fourth installment of the Ringworld prequel Fleet of Worlds series (after 2009's Destroyer of Worlds) continues to invent new crises in the path of the alien Puppeteers' flight from a cataclysmic explosion at the galactic core. Within the Fleet of Worlds, Puppeteer politics roil as the highly paranoid race deals with perceived threats from the genocidal Pak and the ambitious hyper-computing group-mind Gw'oth. The insane puppeteer Nessus asks Louis Wu (stepson of interstellar daredevil Beowulf Shaeffer) to help him suss out the Gw'oth, who are in the middle of a civil war. Meanwhile, rival Puppeteer Achilles will do anything to become Hindmost, leader of his race, even if it means causing interstellar war by secretly inciting the Gw'oth to attack. There's a clear feeling of the authors marking time as they maneuver pawns into place for the next installment of this increasingly unwieldy series.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Won't let you down
The best author I've read at imagining what a super-intelligent being would think like. Aliens that are truly alien, even with the details you wouldn't think of thought through.
As a fan of many of Niven's Known Space books, especially about the Pak Protectors, I loved this.
As someone new to the series, it is written so you can easily jump in here without consequences.
Please tell me why I should care about any of these characters? Ninety pages into this book I concluded I had wasted my time and cut my losses. One of them most uninteresting scifi books I can recall.
Another great Niven+
He is one of the best SF writers ever. He is flat out THE absolute best collaborative SF writer ever and this is another in that fine tradition.