Read Destroyer of Worlds by Larry Niven Edward M. Lerner Online


The scariest aliens in the galaxy follow a simple rule: destroy all opposition.The brilliant, xenophobic Pak are fleeing the chain reaction of supernovae at the galaxy’s core. Nothing and no one is going to impede their migration. Devastated worlds -- any civilization that could possibly have interfered -- lie shattered in their wake. And now the Fleet of Worlds is in theiThe scariest aliens in the galaxy follow a simple rule: destroy all opposition.The brilliant, xenophobic Pak are fleeing the chain reaction of supernovae at the galaxy’s core. Nothing and no one is going to impede their migration. Devastated worlds -- any civilization that could possibly have interfered -- lie shattered in their wake. And now the Fleet of Worlds is in their sights.The trillion Puppeteers who inhabit the Fleet might have the resources to confront the threat -- but Puppeteers are philosophical cowards. They don't confront anyone. They need allies to investigate the situation and then take action. Who better than the Puppeteers' newly independent one-time slave world, New Terra? Sigmund Ausfaller, former Earth intelligence agent and current paranoid, finds himself leading the war against the Pak. With his own allies, the enigmatic, aquatic Gw'oth, Sigmund prepares to face everyone's mutual enemy. And neither humans nor Gw'oth have any intention of becoming cannon fodder....

Title : Destroyer of Worlds
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780765322050
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 368 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Destroyer of Worlds Reviews

  • Michael
    2018-10-12 12:37

    There is a lot to like in this third of four in a recent prequel series to Ringworld, which was published in 1970. We get a rich story of different alien species working their way toward effective cooperation despite mutual fears over motives. They all feel the threat of another psychotically aggressive species, the Pak, whose massive fleet of ships are headed their way while wreaking a path of destruction. The result is a lot of fun with alternative minds, their interesting strengths and technologies, and quite a lot of thrills surrounding the common mission to saving all their asses.The humans raised by the Puppeters have become respected by their former masters and work to scout out alien cultures in the path of the Fleet of Worlds. The set of worlds populated by the thee-legged, two-headed Puppeteers are under acceleration away from the cataclysmic chain reaction at the center of the galaxy. The worlds have artificial suns and are vulnerable to attack. Sigmund Ausfaller, a former interstellar security agent for the United Nations appropriated from old earth, helps mentor the naïve humans in a proper level of paranoid outlook and strategies. An ocean dwelling species with a hive mind live near the Fleet path, the Gw’oth, whose technology is advancing so fast that they could pose a threat. Getting to know the Gw’oth is a lot of fun in this story. The humans want to trust them, but the Puppeteers, chickens at heart, fear then too much.Other scouting work turns up a lone Pak who has been in cold sleep. The goal to learn as much about this species as possible is challenged by their extreme danger and craft. The narration spends time in the mind of this Pak, where we learn how their drive to sustain and protect their clan is simply all that counts. A female pilot revived from a point in human past over a thousand years ago helps based on experience then with another Pak. This colors in nicely some of unresolved aspects of the ending to Niven’s 1973 novel “Protector”, an oldie favorite of mine.There is more character development in this tale than in much of Niven’s past work, perhaps under the influence of his co-author Lerner. Schaffer is growing more likable, now married with children, and his friendship with the Puppeteer Baedeker, a former enemy, is satisfying to experience. I enjoyed this one more than the first two in the series, but I am doubtful over how well a reading of this as a freestanding novel would work. At least I can say to those considering the series that I think the set has sufficient depth and diversity to make it worth the commitment. I look forward to the last in the series so I can learn the ultimate solutions to the Pak threat, whether the Gw’oth become true friends or enemies, and, of course, the links to the multi-species mission to Ringworld.

  • Kathleen
    2018-09-20 16:34

    Wow, how long has it been since I read a Larry Niven book? I think I might have stopped after The Ringworld Throne, which would mean 1996? Long time. Anyway, this is a cracking good hard sci-fi read, with familiar races such as the Puppeteers, the Pak Protectors, and a species new to me, the Gw'oth all concerned with fleeing an explosion at the core of the galaxy. Since I've been away from Niven's work for so long, none of the little story holes that others mention in their reviews really bothered me. It was just fun to get back to the world of crash couches, auto docs, stepping disks, and paranoid three-legged ponies again. And I generally stay away from books by more than one author, having learned the hard way that they always disappoint. But Lerner's contribution seems to be a tightening of Niven's writing style, and a very coherent, suspenseful storyline. I'll probably go back and fill in with Fleet of Worlds and Juggler of Worlds now if I can find them.

  • Nick
    2018-10-03 16:45

    How many literary series have lasted for 40+ years. The 'Known Space' series started in the mid-60s. Niven has maintained it, fresh, with a sub-set of new collaborations with Edward Lerner, focused on the 'Ringworld' subplot. It's classic Niven. For the new reader, you need to minimally read 'Ringworld' and also if possible include 'Tales of Known Space'. Great novels.

  • Casey
    2018-09-28 14:21

    Destroyer of Worlds is a nice step up from the disappointing Juggler of Worlds. This book ties in an older book of Niven's, Protector, which I haven't read yet, but there was enough backstory that I didn't feel lost.The Gw'oth, the aquatic race discovered in the first Fleet of Worlds book, have noted a large disturbance in space. Turns out, it's the Pak, and they are destroying much in their wake. Sigmund, his crew, and the puppeteer Baedeker team up with some Gw'oth to investigate.As they investigate, they discover a lone Pak that was stranded on an alien world. There's plenty of action and sci-technobabble throughout. Sigmund and co know they need to do something about the Pak, as there isn't going to be time to gather a huge defense force. Plus the Pak are so intelligent, resistance would likely be futile, and an innovative solution needs to be found.There's an interesting dynamic in the book between the Gw'oth and the other races. The Gw'oth are rapidly developing knowledge, but the others want to prevent them from getting too much information, lest they become too powerful. (view spoiler)[At the end, I assume their action of stranding Baedeker and Sigmund are due to everyone keeping them at a distance. (hide spoiler)]Although Nessus makes a few short appearances, there isn't much of the normal Puppeteer influence on the plot. Baedeker is kind of a rogue Puppeteer and he doesn't factor too much into the narrative.The ending was a big cliffhanger! (view spoiler)[Maybe the Gw'oth are going to come back and save Baedeker and Sigmund? Maybe they had to do something important that entailed leaving them behind? Considering that the autodocs keep giving Sigmund another life, I'm not too worried he will survive. (hide spoiler)]

  • Eddie D. Moore
    2018-10-11 19:34

    What can I say, I’m a life long Niven fan. I enjoyed the book, and I’m ready for the next one in the series, as soon as I work up the nerve to toss an Audible credit at a 10 hour book.

  • Andres
    2018-10-14 19:49

    Niven is just getting better and better, and Known Space is his most entertaining playground. In this new series, co-written by Lerner, he not only revisits Known Space, but also ties together subplots from all the prior Known Space novels in a seamless fashion. He builds the whole plot of these new books out of snippets and side stories from his prior work, to the point where one is almost convinced that he had planned these later books before even starting the Known Space tales from 20 and more years back. Niven is so good at conspiracy and plans within plans that if there was an Illuminati he should probably lead them, not that there is an Illuminati, and not that I would ever reveal anything about them. ;)

  • Becky
    2018-09-19 16:22

    Well, this was just what I needed after reading something emotionally challenging. Reliably delivered the Niven cocktail of fast-moving plot, great alien species, plausible science, and 3D-enough characters. I don't read a whole lot of science fiction anymore, and when I do, I have very little patience for flat characters, stiff writing, cheap plot devices, etc. Fortunately, Destroyer of Worlds is well-crafted. It doesn't say a whole lot of deep things about human nature or the state of the universe, but it doesn't say trite things about them either. Better than mere space opera. Plus, who wouldn't love the Gw'oth?

  • Bradley
    2018-10-05 20:30

    Maybe I'm just falling into a wonderful trap that was made by a Pak protector, but I loved being thrown into that particular worldview again. It gave me many months of delicious dreams in my college years, extrapolating and dreaming up new ways I might outsmart one. I know, hella unlikely, but still, what a rush. I am beginning to like this later collaboration better than the previous two, but maybe I'm just prejudiced in favor of the subject matter. Perhaps I'm just a huge Pak fiend. Who knows?

  • Karina
    2018-10-07 13:22

    Interesting. I enjoyed the story. I liked the Gwo'th, and I'm still curious about them, because in the book we sort of don't get to see much from their perspective... There's a bit of ambiguity about them. Are they as dangerous as the Puppeteers think or do they have a sense of loyalty? Are they just looking to gain knowledge about the advanced technology, or are they helping to solve the problem common to all involved? Both.

  • Craig
    2018-10-05 17:29

    I enjoyed reading this one very much; the development of the Worlds Fleet and Known Space was fascinating, the interplay of the various races and societies was done very well, and the characters and plot were extremely engaging. However, I was very much let-down by an abrupt ending that I felt left far too many issues unresolved and too many questions unanswered.

  • Gendou
    2018-09-25 18:37

    Protectors and the Gw'oth make for an intellectually stimulating story!This one is much better than the previous book, Juggler of Worlds.

  • Jakub
    2018-10-07 16:23

    This was quite enjoyable. Granted, I'm rather invested in Known Space universe, Ringworld specifically - and this novel was promising some answers in that area. There are few answers, but a lot of setup towards eventual answers. It's well written, and at times it was quite gripping - I couldn't put it down easily. If I were to nitpick on anything, short chapters would be the main thing. Sometimes it felt a little bit like an adventure movie, with frequent cuts and non-stop action. I bet this is Lerner's doing.All in all, definitely worth reading if you are familiar with and like Known Space. As a stand-alone book it probably isn't strong enough to keep reader's interest, too many outside references.

  • Lou Giannuzzi
    2018-10-12 18:32

    Best of the 5 Fleet of Worlds books... Follows the adventures of the Puppeteers, and Sigmund Ausfaller, and the humans of New Terra... as they deal with a Pak Invasion Threat...If you love reading about Protectors, you are going to love this book, and I do. If you dont, read this book anyway...Niven and Lerner do a great job detailing the thought processes, and typical everyday life of asuper-genius Pak Protector...

  • Bob
    2018-09-27 14:36

    This is a very good book in the Fleet of Worlds series. Familiar characters if you have read the previous books. Niven continues to add characters and worlds to his universe. If you've read the previous books it is very enjoyable!

  • Sibylle
    2018-09-21 15:26

    Re - read this trilogy for the second time -- excellent books.

  • Félix
    2018-10-05 19:51

    Good, highly technical SF.

  • Ric
    2018-10-10 13:49

    (I think the compulsion to re-read Niven's Known Space stories is finally fading, thankfully. But not without the optimism that pervades the fictional universe spilling over into my reality. Perhaps, that was what this jag was all about after all, a search for meaning, a walk on the bright side.) The ultra-smart, soulless Pak (expanded braincase, bloodline monomania and all) have departed their home system in a bee swarm of ramships; in their wake lie the wasted planets of erst-while emerging civilizations. The newly space-faring Gw'oth (starfish/octopuses who increase mentation capacity by melding in groups of 16) have hardly had time to refine their telescopes before discovering they are on the path of the Pak armada. On a moon, they find a beacon planted there by an exploratory team of the Concordance, the Puppeteer government. Sigmund Ausfaller (paranoid agent and the only human with battle training in the whole of the former Concordance slave world, New Terra) is recruited to head the rescue mission to the Gw'oth home system. Sigmund, member of the least smart among the races in this novel, must rely on his innate paranoia and the very human trait of "wildness" to prevent disaster and save lives.So goes the setup for this third book in the Fleet of Worlds series, an impressive one just by the general parameters given above. Of the three books so far in the series, this is the one where Niven/Lerner have chosen to tell a relatively new story, taking less from previously published stories of the Known Space universe, in this case, touching only partly on the events in Protector from the 1970s. I did enjoy this on the first read done during a cruise in the Caribbean. On this re-read, in decidedly less relaxing conditions, two issues nagged: (view spoiler)[(1) Sigmund seemed very unparanoid-like in keeping the captive Pak aboard even after several escape attempts, and (2) it seemed un-Pak-like for the Pak to retreat from a couple of explosions without knowing the strengths of their enemy and determining whether to fight was the smarter choice. Both issues I did not notice on the first read, so this may be one of those matters that only come up on closer inspection. I spent most of the book pining for a glimpse of the Pak armada.(hide spoiler)]In any case, I am moved to change my rating to 4 stars. This may be a consequence of a waning interest in the series. But am not yet ready to say, "all-Nivened out." There is a fourth book in this series on the re-read queue. And then there are the Motie books. At the first sign of depressingly bad SF, I know I'll coming running back to KS.

  • John Lawson
    2018-10-01 17:38

    The galaxy's exploding, the Puppeteers are running with their... heads... between their legs, and now a massive fleet of Pak Protectors are headed into Known Space. Illegal aliens ensue.This book is filled with amazing, smart moments. Like when a squishy, starfish alien meets a human for the first time--from the alien's point of view. Or when the paranoid Sigmund Ausfaller interrogates a taciturn Pak--neither gives away anything, but both deduce so much about the other. Or how Sigmund continues to slowly, meticulously piece together his erased memory of Earth.Some of the best storytelling I've ever read.

  • Ronald
    2018-09-22 17:29

    The Destroyer of Worlds started out much better than the last Fleet of Worlds book. But seriously a good book should not have me shouting "You have got to be fucking kidding me!!" every few chapters. At this point I feel the need to mention that I really like the writting of Larry Niven and have enjoyed his Known Space stories for years and years and years. But this book just anoyed me and I am glad I just borrowed the copy I read. There was so many digression into story areas that even the characters later said these digressions were a waste of time - if the charactes thought it was a waste of time perhaps that is trying to tell the author and readers something. The introduction of the Pak and the planet he was guiding started out so interesting, only to end with long interrogations that repeated more than once the same information. Not to mention escape attempt after failed escape attempt. I am seriously starting to wonder who that Super Pak was that we first encountered in the early Known Space stories. One Pak had guided earth making it so safe that Earth was almost lost to the Kzin on first meeting. It felt as if the Pak character was only introducted to padd out the story. This actually would have been ok from a story point of view except the authors introduced yet anothe character, the woman from Earth. But first we went through many pages that told us that it was not another usless character but the ship they found was actually contained the salvation of our heroes, instead it turns out to beanother person whom provides no useful information on how to find Earth. Oh yes we get even more pages with this book on reasons why our hero can not remember where to find Earth or any of the Human colonly worlds. Bleh - so much for getting my hopes up.

  • Bob
    2018-09-25 16:40

    I found Destroyer of Worlds to be an epic venture into the history of Niven's Known Space books. While not a complete history, or even a look far back, Niven introduces two species that come up in his later books. One of them started it all - a Pak Protector.Like most of Niven's books that I've read, this tells a different part of his growing story. Each book weaves a different picture of the universe from a changing perspective. This book tells the story of Sigmund Ausfaller, an ARM agent who Nessus saves after being shot in the prior book. Using the "auto-doc" his wounds are repaired. While regenerating, Nessus brings Sigmund to the Fleet of Worlds but wipes his memory of any way to find Earth. Sigmund is to build an "ARM-Like operation on New Terra to protect them from the Puppeteer government.Through this, they find the a species the Gwoth who join together to form a collective mind (Oltro). Their knowledge and power grow exponentially as they form these joint minds.Together they discover the Pak's have all left the Galaxy core explosion using Ramscoops. As they leave their ancestral home, they destroy any intelligent life they find by destroying planets. This creates an existential crisis for the Puppeteers - one only Nessus, Baedekker and several colonists can solve.I found the book one of his better works, and quite exciting. Sorry foe the spoilers - there is a lot more to this book. But, I found it difficult to write this without retelling some of the key themes.

  • Ratiocination
    2018-09-21 17:31

    By and large I liked this book for much the same reasons as Juggler of Worlds. Part of the strength of Known Space as a setting is its depth, so there's plenty of room for more material. Lerner writes a very different sort of protagonist than Niven alone, and I still appreciated that contrast, even if it wasn't in such sharp relief as the previous book.That said, the pacing was often a little jumpy, and the ending was very abrupt. Plenty of stuff had happened, but I wasn't left with the impression of having read a complete story. I'm hoping this isn't the shape of things to come. Science fiction and fantasy at present have no shortage of endless, incremental series; I suppose there's a marketing disincentive to ever tie things off. I'd be disappointed to see the Niven/Lerner collaboration go down that route.

  • William Bentrim
    2018-10-16 18:23

    This book follows Fleet of Worlds but there may be books in between. Sigmund Ausfaller appears again in this book. He was a Puppeteer paranoid in earlier books. He is yanked out of known space by Nessus as a buffer or "wild" human to protect the now separate colonists. The PAK are reintroduced to the story line and the focus of the story is the avoidance of the PAK. This is a very similar cast to the Fleet of Worlds with the exception of the PAK and Sigmund who have populated previous Niven books. The Gw'oth are a newly found, rapidly evolving species who play a large part in the changes that occur in this book. If recollection serves me, Sigmund was an implacable foe of the Puppeteers in earlier books but he is now tempered by a wife and children. Lots of action, scary foes and interesting technology. I recommend the book.

  • Robyn Blaber
    2018-10-01 12:46

    Once again, I've started a trilogy at the end. This book is set in the center of Niven's universe, a galaxy with a half dozen major space-faring races including humans. As an installment, perhaps this book is brilliant, but unfortunately as a novel it doesn't hold its own. The action has to pause continually to explain the back-story behind a character or the pseudo-science behind a technology and when we get back to the story we behold the back-story being manipulated in a new way that saves the day for one character or another. Hemingway would hate Niven. Nothing stands on its own. Of course in the end the good guys win, the bad guys lose (but not completely) and all the hooks for a follow up novel are left in place. It left me longing for another Asimov or Clarke sci-fi romp.

  • James Ellis
    2018-10-03 12:37

    Another decent book in the Fleet of Worlds series but my enjoyment of it was marred by a fundamental part of the premise (SPOILERS FOR EVENTS IN FIRST PART OF THE BOOK)..............If the galactic core explosion is taking place 20,000 light years from the portion of the galaxy where the Fleet of Worlds lies, how the heck are the light-speed-limited Pak even aware of it, much less fleeing it through that region of space? Simply put, without some sort of superluminal drive or sensors, the Pak cannot possibly be outrunning the first indications of the explosion. The authors should have invented another reason to drive a Pak fleet into the vicinity of the FoW.

  • Michael Perry
    2018-10-02 15:48

    I had to fight myself to put this book down. I was captive from opening to closing. An extremely warlike race is headed to the worlds of the Concordance and New Terra as they flee the galactic explosion at the center of the Milky Way. With only a handful of ships and a couple of years, can the humans of New Terra save the World Fleet?I've seen a lot of criticism about the Fleet books and story line. I haven't read Ringworld yet so I don't have the future stories in the way of the setup. So far these books have been everything I would expect of a story with Niven's name on it... spectacular. I can't put them down once I've started one. So, soon, on to the next story...

  • Mark
    2018-09-22 17:35

    This is not my favorite of Larry Niven Known-space novels but if you enjoyed Niven's novels set in the Known-space universe (Protector, A Gift from Earth, Ringworld (& sequels)) then Destroyer of Worlds is definitely a fun read.Earlier novels in this series have a certain fatality and ruthlessness which gives them a little more edge than the Niven/Lerner collaborations. Put simply, you don't have to worry too much about losing your favorite characters. I think this puts the series more of a young adult category.For a more classic-Niven feel I highly recommend "The Draco Tavern".Regardless I'm happy to see Larry Niven's continuing to publish books in the Known-space universe.

  • David
    2018-10-02 18:37

    Niven & Lerner's Destroyer of Worlds is a good continuation of the "worlds" series, focusing on Beowulf Schaffer, Nessus, and Baedeker. The interactions of the humans and Puppeteers with the Pak Protectors - and finally getting a satisfactory answer to what the hell Brennan was doing at the end of Protector (written in the early 70s) make this entirely worth reading if you're already a Niven fan. The ending of the novel is a little bit shaky and unsatisfying: it feels rushed and abrupt, but I suspect that there will be another volume in the series. If you haven't read Niven before, go pick up Protector instead.

  • Globalt38
    2018-10-01 19:29

    Has been awhile since I read a Niven work so when I finally got around to this one and finished it - I was reminded of how good his Known Space works are! For anyone who is a fan of Larry Niven's, this series (This is 3rd of 4 1st - "Fleet of Worlds"; 2nd - "Juggler of Worlds"; 3rd - Destroyer of Worlds; and 4th - "Betrayer of Worlds") does a lot to help flesh out the Puppeteers and the Pak and fill in some holes you may have from the Ringworld and other Known Space stories (e.g. what happened to the first failed Home colony). Now I've got to find the 4th book!

  • Mike
    2018-10-01 17:49

    Far more action-packed and amazing than the previous two books.Not to say that the previous two were bad, they were both excellent. But they had some slow parts, and in comparison, this book never lets up.Full of startling revelations about the nature of known space, the puppeteers, the Pak, the Gwoth, Humans... Holy crap. The other books i made my way through casually, but this book i simply could not put it down. I went and ordered the final books today and i have only just finished this one last night. Hard scifi ftw. It does not often get better than this.

  • Elgin
    2018-10-04 16:37

    I have read all of the Ringworld series, so read this one too because it seemed to be related.Over the years I have read quite a bit by Niven (and his various coauthors.) Some of the books have been outstanding (Ringworld, Lucifer's Hammer) but others far less enjoyable (Ringworld Engineers, The Integral Trees.) I rate this one as average. One thing I do like about Niven's Known Space stories is that he has created an interesting back drop for his writings and writes within the bounds he laid out for himself in this environment.