Fate of Worlds: Return from the Ringworld
Larry Niven and Edward M. Lerner
Tor, Aug 21 2012, $25.99
All the spacefaring Known Space species covet the endless resources especially the technology of the Ringworld. However, to the shock of every one of the four rivals, Ringworld abruptly vanishes. Left behind are three hostile military fleets as war seems imminent between them even though the prize is gone.
Each species leaders are angry while their people rage over wasted deaths. Someone must pay for this affront with the craven Puppeteers as the obvious choice since they launched their entire Fleet of Worlds galactic empire to avoid a supernova core explosion over two centuries ago. Earthborn Louis Wu and Hindmost the exiled Puppeteer escaped from Ringworld just before the stunning disappearance. Hindmost covets regaining the power he lost when he was exiled while other Puppeteers likewise want control but most cowardly choose flight over fight.
This is not an easy read as the first part of the storyline parks at the “Strange” quark level with much of the early on being a rehash of minute particle data of what previously occurred. For die hard Ringworld fans only (see Destroyer of Worlds and Betrayer of Worlds), readers will wonder what happened to Ringworld?