main
side
curve
  1. Welcome to the new boards! Details here!

Amph Ringworld

Discussion in 'Archive: SF&F: Books and Comics' started by JediTrilobite, Feb 18, 2006.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. JediTrilobite

    JediTrilobite Jedi Grand Master star 7

    Registered:
    Nov 17, 1999
    Quite possibly my favorite novel of all time, Ringworld is one of the greatest SciFi novels out there.
    From Wikipedia:

    In the year 2850, four explorers (two humans and two aliens) are chosen to explore a mysterious "ringworld", an enormous, artificial, ring-shaped structure that surrounds a star. The story is set in an extremely technologically advanced universe, where instant teleportation and indestructible spacecraft hulls are a reality.

    The protagonist Louis Wu is a retired adventurer who has just celebrated his 200th birthday. Despite his age, he is in near peak physical condition due to advanced medical technology and boosterspice. He spends his birthday hopping ahead of the dateline from party to party across Earth, but secretly he has become bored with his lifestyle.
    Nessus is a Pierson's Puppeteer, a species with advanced technology whose most notable trait is cowardice. Nessus has been sent to Earth to gather a small team to explore the Ringworld, the existence of which is unknown to most of the species in Known Space. Pierson's Puppeteers have a reputation as manipulators who use other species for jobs that might involve any risk.
    Speaker-to-Animals is a felinoid Kzin, a ferocious predator species which has unsuccessfully warred with humans in the distant past. He is recruited as the mission's security chief.
    Finally, Teela Brown is a young human female whose role in the mission is not immediately clear. But Nessus doesn't do anything without a reason, and her usefulness becomes clear as the plot unfolds.
    When their ship crash lands on the Ringworld, the adventurers must set out to find a way to get back into space. They cross vast distances, witness strangely evolved ecosystems, and interact with some of the Ringworld's varied primitive civilizations. They attempt to discover what caused the Ringworld's inhabitants to lose their technology, and puzzle over who created the Ringworld and why.

    [image=http://www.btinternet.com/~charles.nightingale/images/Ringworld.jpg]

    Simply an amazing book.
     
  2. Cliodna_ben_Lhee

    Cliodna_ben_Lhee Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jul 4, 2003
    I loved this book too! I originally read it almost 20 years ago. Then after meeting Larry Niven at koffeklatch at Cascadiacon back in September (where I got to sit in a room wiht him and 6 other people and just talk to him about his writing career), I decided to pick it up and read it again. I was unaware up to that point that he had written sequels! So far I have read The Ringworld Engineers which I finished back in January. I have The Ringworld Throne and Ringworld's children sitting on the shelf waiting to be read next.

    I also think that The Integral Trees was a great story as well. I had him autograph my old worn copy of that for me and I plan to re-read it as soon as I finish the Ringworld Series.
     
  3. VadersLaMent

    VadersLaMent Chosen One star 10

    Registered:
    Apr 3, 2002
    You can go to this page for Ringworld artwork:

    [link=http://www.larryniven.org/gallery.htm]Niven Gallery[/link]

    Larryniven.org is a well done fan site.

    [image=http://www.larryniven.org/images/ringworldart/ringD02.jpg]

    I was late coming to Larry Niven. I happened upon Protector because of its cover art in the early 90's and loved the book so much I wanted to see Niven's other work, and BLAM! Ringworld.

    The only book in the series I disliked was Throne, it was a hard read.

    Edit: oops, I wanted to add this map of the Great Ocean.. It gives a sense of scale with the 1-to-1 map of the Earth on the right:

    [image=http://www.larryniven.org/images/rc/ss70.jpg]



     
  4. Golden_Jedi

    Golden_Jedi Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jun 10, 2005
    Wonderful book! One of the two books the professor at my first physics undergraduate course recomended as an example of non-inertial system... the other one was Rendezvous with Rama from AC Clarke. :)

     
  5. JediTrialbite

    JediTrialbite Jedi Youngling

    Registered:
    Apr 9, 2004
    I'm planning on re-purchasing a copy while here in the UK, to re-read it, but also because they have better covers than the ones in the US. I have a very old copy, with a stunning cover (the one pictured above.)

    This is the one book I'd love to see adapted as a SciFi miniseries, as it's been rumoured.
     
  6. Strilo

    Strilo Manager Emeritus star 8 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Aug 6, 2001
    This book is awesome. Niven was one of my favorite authors when I was a teenager. I seriously have read a good chunk of his work and that's saying a lot. I have read the sequel but not the subsequent two books... (Ringworld Throne and something else I think...)
     
  7. LAJ_FETT

    LAJ_FETT Tech Admin and Collecting/Lucasfilm Ltd Mod star 10 Staff Member Administrator

    Registered:
    May 25, 2002
    I've read all of the Ringworld books, but I liked the original more than the sequels.
     
  8. JediTrilobite

    JediTrilobite Jedi Grand Master star 7

    Registered:
    Nov 17, 1999
    How are the sequels?
     
  9. LAJ_FETT

    LAJ_FETT Tech Admin and Collecting/Lucasfilm Ltd Mod star 10 Staff Member Administrator

    Registered:
    May 25, 2002
    Oh, they were OK but I thought they lacked the 'fun' of the original.
     
  10. JediTrilobite

    JediTrilobite Jedi Grand Master star 7

    Registered:
    Nov 17, 1999
    That's one of my biggest worries, and why I haven't read the sequels to that, Dune or Foundation, my top three favorites.
     
  11. LAJ_FETT

    LAJ_FETT Tech Admin and Collecting/Lucasfilm Ltd Mod star 10 Staff Member Administrator

    Registered:
    May 25, 2002
    The Dune sequels got a little strange. However, I have enjoyed the prequels done by Brian Herbert though I haven't read the last two yet (they are in the 'to read' pile).
     
  12. JediTrilobite

    JediTrilobite Jedi Grand Master star 7

    Registered:
    Nov 17, 1999
    I couldn't get into those.

    I've been thinking of getting the Ringworld Sequels, but I haven't gotten around to that yet. I did pick up a new copy of Ringworld to reread.
     
  13. LAJ_FETT

    LAJ_FETT Tech Admin and Collecting/Lucasfilm Ltd Mod star 10 Staff Member Administrator

    Registered:
    May 25, 2002
    My vintage copy is a bit tattered as well (same version you have linked at the top).
     
  14. VadersLaMent

    VadersLaMent Chosen One star 10

    Registered:
    Apr 3, 2002
    The first Ringworld I think is considered the best if for no better reason that the initial 'WOW' factor. The second is a good read as well. I did not like the third one, I skimmed quite a bit of it. The last is well worth the read and holds up very well against the first two.

    Here's a bit info for you. This was added up by Mars guru Robert Zubrin in his book Entering Space. He uses Venus as an example but Venus is the same size as Earth so we'll go with that. The mass of the Earth is enough that if you had the technology to take it apart you could rap in around the Sun Ringworld style. It would not be as massive of course. It would still have the same radius of roughly one A.U.(The Earth to Sun distance of 93 million miles), it would be just about 300 feet thick, 6,300 miles across, could have rim walls approx 65 miles high(which would be plenty to keep the atmosphere in), and would have enough room inside equal to a little over 18,000 Earths. The only problem is the energy required which is a few centuries worth of the Sun's constant output.

    It might be a bit easier making [link=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Culture_Orbital]Culture Orbitals[/link] from Ian Banks' Culture series which are 6 million miles in circumference and could house 50 billion people, tilted slightly so there is a day and night cycle, and the Earth has enough mass for 1,500 of them.

    Does anyone know the dimensions of the Halo from the XBox game?

    [image=http://www.hellcrown.com/Graphics/Rw3_scle.jpg]

    That's just to give you some more Ringworld scale.

    That comes from [link=http://www.hellcrown.com/ringworld]THIS[/link] site which has some renderings of the Ringworld to give you views from different distances.

    Easier yet would be a real design of a ring-shaped space station as dreamed up in the late 1970's. It is something that could be built with technology we have now. Price is of course not going to let it happen, at least for now, and unless it's easy to get around in orbit, get back to Earth, and/or visit other such stations I think someone might get a touch of island fever. But it does make one dream.

    [link=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stanford_torus]Stanford Torus[/link]

    [image=http://www.moonminer.com/STANTRUS.jpg]

    [image=http://www.dyarstraights.com/msgundam/STANFORD.GIF]



     
  15. JediTrilobite

    JediTrilobite Jedi Grand Master star 7

    Registered:
    Nov 17, 1999
    Isn't that a cool cover? I'm going to hold on to it and just look at it, no more reading it because it is pretty damaged.
     
  16. JediTrilobite

    JediTrilobite Jedi Grand Master star 7

    Registered:
    Nov 17, 1999
    Thanks for that, it's really handy.

    Halo is a LOT smaller. It rings a gas giant, so probably a little bigger than that jupiter.

    That's still a huge amount of space though, and thinking about ringworld's size, man. That's huge.
     
  17. LAJ_FETT

    LAJ_FETT Tech Admin and Collecting/Lucasfilm Ltd Mod star 10 Staff Member Administrator

    Registered:
    May 25, 2002
    Most of Niven's books had pretty good covers - at least the early ones did.
     
  18. VadersLaMent

    VadersLaMent Chosen One star 10

    Registered:
    Apr 3, 2002
    According to Wikipedia the Halo is 10,000 km in diameter, and another site has it's thickness as 22.3 kilometers. This puts its diameter at a little less than Earth's 7,800 miles.

    [image=http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/4/46/Halo-landscape.jpg]

    I have no idea what the distance is from one rimside to the other on Halo. On the Ringworld it's something like 1 million miles. If the SR-71 Blackbird had enough fuel it would still take 20 days fro it to cross from one rim wall to the other on the Ringworld.

     
  19. JediTrilobite

    JediTrilobite Jedi Grand Master star 7

    Registered:
    Nov 17, 1999
    Newer ones aren't that great. Pink and Purple - just...ugh.
     
  20. VadersLaMent

    VadersLaMent Chosen One star 10

    Registered:
    Apr 3, 2002
    I've never met a Ringworld cover I didn't like, but I think Ringworld's Children is the best looking cover even though the scale of the curve of the "Arch" is off, but then again all of them are off.

    [image=http://www.larryniven.org/images/coverart/ringworlds_children_original.jpg]

    That is the Long Shot which I think is supposed to 1,000 feet in diameter. Cool spacecraft. There is a piece of fan art on larryniven.org of the Long Shot that makes it look like a Trade Federation central sphere from Star Wars.

    [image=http://www.larryniven.org/images/ringworldart/longshot_billspitz.jpg]

    The Long Shot was able to cross 1,800 light years per day which would put it on par with Star wars hyperdrives, roughly.

     
  21. JediTrilobite

    JediTrilobite Jedi Grand Master star 7

    Registered:
    Nov 17, 1999
    Ringworld's Children does have a good cover
     
  22. VadersLaMent

    VadersLaMent Chosen One star 10

    Registered:
    Apr 3, 2002
    I had always wondered what the ultimate size limit could be given real building materials, but lacked the education to figure it out. According to the folks at the world building space oepra site Orion's Arm we might get what they call a [link=http://www.iase.cc/openair.htm]Bishop Ring[/link]

    It would be 2,000 km(1242 mi) in diameter, 6280 km(3,900 mi) in circumference, and the width of the ring might be 500 km(310.5 mi) across. This would give 1,210,950 sq miles of living space on the inside, not coounting the walls that keep the atmosphere in. For comparison the United States are approx 3.5 million sqaure miles. A picture is given for the Bishop Ring, but I don't think it's quite accurate to the measurements given.

    [image=http://www.orionsarm.com/worlds/Arkab_Necklace.jpg]

    I don't know what the cable connceting them is, perhpaps a transit system.
     
  23. JediTrilobite

    JediTrilobite Jedi Grand Master star 7

    Registered:
    Nov 17, 1999
    Very interesting, thanks for that.
     
  24. VadersLaMent

    VadersLaMent Chosen One star 10

    Registered:
    Apr 3, 2002
    You're welcome, and you might thank me again. I dug a little deeper this morning, taking a look at geodesic domes and structures and came across the idea of tensegrity. It is the use of tension and compression to get structures who's strength is greater than the sum of their parts.

    The term 'tensegrity' was coined for Snelson by Buckminster Fuller from tensional integrity. His famous geodesic domes are themselves tensegrities.

    "The great structural systems of Universe are accomplished by islanded compression and omnicontinuous tension. Tensegrity is a contraction of tensional integrity structuring. All geodesic domes are tensegrity structures, whether the tension-islanded compression differentiations are visible to the observer or not. Tensegrity geodesic spheres do what they do because they have the properties of hydraulically or pneumatically inflated structures."

    The larger the tensegrity the stronger it is. The geodesic dome at Disney World in Florida is an example. Theoretically, there is no limitation to the size of a tensegrity. Cities could be covered with geodesic domes. Planets and stars (Dyson sphere) could be contained within them.

    As Harvard physician and scientist Donald Ingber explains:

    "The tension-bearing members in these structures ? whether Fuller's domes or Snelson's sculptures ? map out the shortest paths between adjacent members (and are therefore, by definition, arranged geodesically) Tensional forces naturally transmit themselves over the shortest distance between two points, so the members of a tensegrity structure are precisely positioned to best withstand stress. For this reason, tensegrity structures offer a maximum amount of strength".


    Huh? What? Did I read that right? "Theoretically" no limitation to size? Is there a tensegrity expert in the house?

    EDIT: Oops. Here's a wiki link: [link=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tensegrity]Tensegrity[/link]

     
  25. VadersLaMent

    VadersLaMent Chosen One star 10

    Registered:
    Apr 3, 2002
    A bit more on the Bishop Ring, a pdf. Note the pic of Sri Lanka shown inside the ring fro scale.

    [link=http://www.orionsarm.com/whitepapers/SpaceRings.pdf]SpaceRings[/link]

     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.