Friday, March 25, 2011

Ringworld Encircles the Entire SF Genre

As a music historian, I know the endless value of studying the great masterpieces of the past. Thus I thought it valuable to read Larry Niven's 1970 Hugo-winning Ringworld. (I read, or rather devoured, only the first, but I'm hooked now, of course.)

To continue the analogy to music history, using Niven as a model for sci fi writing is like using Bach as a model for composition. Of course he's great, of course there's much to be learned from him. But one is so unlikely to match his skill and ingenuity that in a certain way any attempt is laughable.

What a perfect balance of plot, characterization, complete world-building, and viable scientific invention. It's breathtaking. And very humbling.

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