Fleet of Worlds 

2007-10Known Space [all] NovelA Tor Book, Published by Tom Doherty Associates, LLC., October 2007

0-7653-1825-3Larry Niven and Edward M. Lerner

Nessus, Sigmund Ausfaller, Julian Forward Collaboration with Ed Lerner set on the Puppeteer Fleet of Worlds


See also the Republibot 3.0 review

Fleet of Worlds is the first Known Space novel since 1980, other than sequels to Ringworld. It is also the first Known Space story written in collaboration with another author. It has received very positive reviews and was selected as "A Sci Fi Essential book."

A chain reaction of supernova explosions has been discovered, one spreading a wave of deadly radiation across the galaxy. Fleeing ahead of the danger, five years later the Puppeteers (who call themselves "Citizens") are leaving Known Space. And they're taking their worlds with them. This "Fleet of Worlds" is comprised of Hearth, their homeworld, plus a few "Nature Preserve" farm worlds, all orbiting about a common center.

Two story lines are intertwined. The first concerns Nessus and his idol, Nike (both Citizens). Nessus attempts to block the efforts of Earth's agents to uncover a secret, one which the paranoid Puppeteers regard a threat to their very existence. Meanwhile, on Hearth, the up-and-coming politician Nike intrigues to wrest power from the ruling political party of the "Concordance" (Puppeteer society).

A second story line involves "Concordance Colonists," Humans who view Citizens as benevolent patrons who rescued the Colonists' ancestors and gave them a new home. The grateful Colonists serve the Concordance as caretakers and farmers on a Nature Preserve world. A small group of Colonists are trained by Nessus to act as scouts, exploring ahead of the Fleet of Worlds. But these scouts discover dark Concordance secrets, setting in motion a conflict putting entire worlds in danger of destruction.

Fleet of Worlds is a welcome, imaginative and exciting addition to the series, filling in many previously unknown details. It's also a semi-prequel to Ringworld. For maximum enjoyment, we suggest you read the Crashlander collection, plus the short story "The Soft Weapon" (which introduced Nessus), before reading this novel. "The Soft Weapon" can be found in the out-of-print Neutron Star collection, and the more recent Playgrounds of the Mind.

Summary/review by "Lensman"