Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Fleet of Worlds (at last)

I've blogged regularly about the Fleet of Worlds: the physical (however fictional) place; the most recent book in the series; the various species known to the Fleet's alien denizens, the Puppeteers; the exotic technologies used there (and elsewhere in Known Space); and relationships to Larry Niven's novel Ringworld and its series.

But I've never blogged about Fleet of Worlds the novel, even though it kicked off the Fleet of  Worlds series (more on that below) and is among my most popular books. Fleet of Worlds was released in 2007 -- but I didn't begin blogging till 2008. I never saw a reason to look back

Till now. Today, Tor Books (Larry's and my publisher) re-released Fleet of Worlds as a trade paperback.

What is Fleet of Worlds about?
Kirsten Quinn-Kovacs is among the best and brightest of her people. She gratefully serves the gentle race that rescued her ancestors from a dying starship, gave them a world, and nurtures them still. If only the Citizens knew where Kirsten’s people came from ….
A chain reaction of supernovae at the galaxy’s core has unleashed a wave of lethal radiation that will sterilize the galaxy. The Citizens flee, taking their planets, the Fleet of Worlds, with them. 

Someone must scout ahead, and Kirsten and her crew eagerly volunteer. Under the guiding eye of Nessus, their Citizen mentor, they explore for any possible dangers in the Fleet’s path—and uncover long-hidden truths that will shake the foundations of worlds.  
In short: a star-spanning, teeming-with-aliens, science-fictional epic in the grand tradition. 

Fleet of Worlds was a featured alternate selection of the Science Fiction Book Club, a "Sci Fi Essential" selection of (what was then called) the Sci Fi Channel, and a finalist for the Prometheus Award. FOW has been translated (so far) into eight languages. This being the 21st century, FOW has long been available in several formats of ebook and audio book.

And FOW has been quite favorably received.  Here are a few of my favorite comments from reviews:
"Needs recommending within the science fiction community about as much as a new Harry Potter novel does – well, anywhere."   — Locus Magazine

"As we have long expected from Niven, it’s a great read, and Lerner—as Analog readers know—has the knack as well.  You’ll enjoy this one."   — Analog Science Fiction and Fact

"Let's see: Great series, grand scope and a seamless prequel with characters and politics, and ethical issues. Who the hell wouldn't read that?" — San Diego Union-Tribune
"… Delivers a very strong hard science fiction experience. It is a great novel that is not to be missed."  — SF Signal
With today's post: the series coverage within this blog is finally complete (till Fate of Worlds is released  in 2012, that is). 

Fleet of World became a series, obviously, but Larry and I set out to write a single novel. This novel. (We didn't say "no" when the publisher expressed interest in a second book. Or to another after that. Or after that .... Per my recent post, Nails in the coffin, it can be hard to make "The end" stick.)  So: if you're not in the mood for a series, that's okay. Fleet of Worlds stands alone.


Erik said...

Do you see yourself and Niven collaborating on more works in the future?
Can't wait for Fate of Worlds

Edward M. Lerner said...

I never say never, but I don't foresee a new collaboration anytime soon. Five Known Space novels in six years has been pretty intense. I plan to focus my efforts for a while on my own worlds.

Anonymous said...

I expect "Fate" to be the capstone of Known Space. I expect it to be greater in scope than either LOTR or the Bible. I want "Down in Flames" (not really, but yes!)

Perhaps Larry Greenberg returns? Maybe the Bandersnatchi take over the entire universe? The Monks? The Warlock? The Martians? We've never explored Martian culture. Maybe it's time for a KS novel wrapped around intrepid Martians?

All of the above? Seriously, the Grogs, the dolphins, the martians, the helium 3 creatures on Pluto, there are so many bits & pieces that could have happened but never got explored. What happened to Eric the Cyborg? Did whoever it was going to rescue the Lazy Eight II ever actually do it? (I did like how you found Alice & gave her a part to play, however small, and yes, I know what's coming in Fate, and her contribution to it extrapolated from Wu's thoughts and actions in Children, otherwise what happened, would not have happened.)

one final fanboy thought:

I'd love it if you could sell Larry's "Star Trek final episode" to JJ Abrams instead of the "Star Wars" rip off he's peddling, but that's another story entirely.

See you around the universe,


Edward M. Lerner said...

Boy, that would be some epic :-)

Mike H said...

Do you think you could write a post on how exactly a literary collaboration works? I have always been curious how two authors work on one book.

Edward M. Lerner said...

Hi Mike,

I'm often asked that. As it happens, every pair of collaborators does things differently.

As for Larry and me, I'll steer you to an interview I did at SF Signal, in which I was asked about collaboration. See:


jaguar said...

It is first time posting you.
I am a japanese reader.
Last night, I finished reading 4 volumes from Fleet of Worlds to Betrayer of Worlds first time.
It was a great experience. I love the people and worlds and mysteries of Known Space much more than before reading.
Thank you very much truly.

Edward M. Lerner said...

Hi Jaguar,

Thanks for writing. Reading all four novels presently in the series ... it sounds like you've been very busy.

- Ed

jaguar said...

Thank you for reply.
I have been read the series 2 months every day.
I am not familiar reading English books, and sometimes give them up, but I couldn't stop to read the series.
I pray for your health and your families and friends.
Thank you very much.

Russell said...

FOW (p 78) "Nike found himself pacing around the soft, padded work surface that occupied a significant fraction of his office. He needed to calm himself. With one mouth holding a comb, the second, a mirror, he meticulously smoothed..."
What is the purpose of the mirror?

Edward M. Lerner said...


Hmmm ... good point. With two independently positionable eyes (one in each head), Nessus might have no need of a mirror to comb his mane.

OTOH, for depth perception, he might want to use both eyes, in which case a mirror might help the second, brush-holding head get a better view.

Or he might be using a magnifying mirror.

The slip-up (if it is one) doesn't affect the plot.

- Ed