Larry Niven
Ringworld Cover

No suspension of disbelief


This book is considered Hard SF, and I can understand why, but to me Ringworld feels more as Sesame Street SF. I feel that if one wants to write Hard SF, the social science part of the science has to check out as well - for human societies and alien societies alike. Yet, in this book the characters are caricatures, and the aliens are just odd (orange fur and a ratlike tail!) and different (two heads! 3 legs!), but not alien, since they are just versions of human stereotypes (aggressive brutes, smart cowards).

Niven's vision of future humanity is far off anything really conceivably possible, and falls flat on its face because (...)

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