Betrayer of Worlds : Ringworld Prequels

  • by Larry Niven, Edward M. Lerner
  • Narrated by Tom Weiner
  • Series: Ringworld Prequels
  • 9 hrs and 34 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Since fleeing the supernova chain reaction at the galactic core, the cowardly Puppeteers of the Fleet of Worlds have - just barely - survived one crisis after another: the rebellion of their human slaves, the relentless questing of the species of Known Space, the spectacular rise of the starfishlike Gw'oth, the onslaught of the genocidal Pak.
Now fresh disaster looms, as though past crises have returned and converged. Who can possibly save the Fleet this time?
Larry Niven is the multiple Hugo and Nebula award–winning author of the Ringworld series, along with many other science fiction masterpieces. Edward M. Lerner has degrees in physics and computer science, a background that kept him mostly out of trouble until he began writing science fiction full-time.

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What the Critics Say

“Exceptional freshness and suspense…full of startling revelations about human and puppeteer politics.” (Booklist)
“Niven and Lerner have produced a novel that can stand on its own as well as part of the Known Space franchise.” (Locus)
“A far-future SF mystery/adventure set two centuries before the discovery of the Ringworld by humans…Intriguing human and alien characters and lucid scientific detail.” (Library Journal)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

When will Worlds end?

As series go, Worlds is getting a bit long in the tooth. Juggler and Destroyer were both respectable stories with engaging plots and characters. Betrayer appears almost to be a side story, that has Sigmund Ausfaller as a lmiited peripheral character. The alien encounters, politics, and machinations are lagely, well, alien and inscrutable. The addition of Louis Wu appeared promising as someone to assist Sigmund in returning New Terra to Earth, but alas, either that has been reserved for a future installment or has not been considered. With most of the focus of the story on unremarkable Puppeteers and their equally forgetable alien adversaries, most of the plot revolves around formulaic development of their alien cultures which is simply not that interesting. All in all, this is not one of Niven's better efforts.
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- Michael G Kurilla

Different voices. Better voices...

Would you try another book from Larry Niven and Edward M. Lerner and/or Tom Weiner?

Yes, I would but for an odd reason: I'm not really listening to it. Back in the day, Niven working alone combined mind-blowing physics with fascinating events and glimpses of alien psychology. By comparison, this stuff is just a nice try. The Worlds books contain a pale imitation of better writing: Niven's ideas (sometimes with interesting details) glued to the kind of hack-stuff you find in all paperback thrillers: The same old, situation, conflict, complication, resolution stuff that is intended to work on readers who have never read anything closely and that Sol Stein will teach anyone to write for a fee. All that makes these books background noise. Without original, well-integrated ideas, it's pretty easy to guess when something's going to happen and wait for it. So yes, I listen, but I could read news articles while listening to it and not feel that I had lost anything.


Has Betrayer of Worlds turned you off from other books in this genre?

No, BoW hasn't turned me off to the series. I don't think I'd be able to make myself sit through three-hundred pages of it in prose. As an audiobook, it works better than I imagine it would in print providing something good to space out on.


Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Tom Weiner?

Tom Weiner is a fine narrator, just not for this book. He'd be great reading first-person-narrator detective fiction. His voice is rich and deep, but this limits his character range: everyone sounds like a guy in his fifties who smoked his first cigar when he was in diapers. There would be no problem with this except that his women sound like men and so do his puppeteers: aliens who all speak with sultry women's voices. Also, his accents are sometimes not the best. . If I were directing an audiobook project with cost no object, I would have used a cast with at least one man and one woman. It would have spared the world listening to, "he was transformed into a twenty-year-old" who sounded like Methuselah, or, "The woman no one has ever seen before with the bad Australian accent isn't a spy, she's one of us, yeah, that's it..."


Did Betrayer of Worlds inspire you to do anything?

Yes, it made me wish that Larry Niven could be young and fresh again instead of functioning as an editor for the guys who are picking his bones.


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- Mark "Sorokahdeen"

Book Details

  • Release Date: 10-12-2010
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.