World changers


Once upon a time, there were three brave heroes who could not have been more different: First, there was the human Luis Wu, a feline Kzin warrior who had yet to earn his name, and their leader, a Pierson puppeteer named Nessus. Together they should explore an ancient and huge artifact, but this turned out to be not so simple. Besides the friction among themselves, the three had to face many other – more technical – problems.

Larry Niven’s "Ringworld was published in 1974 and is considered one of the great science fiction classics. Especially the combination of very different heroes, a not too serious story and the exciting exploration of an unknown world, make "Ringwelt" to a popular SF book. So far, ten more novels have followed, set in the Ringworld universe "Worldchangers" is thus the twelfth.

A little schiz’ is quite normal

With his chronic paranoia, Sigmund Ausfaller is the perfect agent for the United Nations Secret Service. While paranoid behavior must first be created in his colleagues through appropriate medication, Sigmund naturally possesses this "characteristic", which is important for agents. After only a short time on active duty, Sigmund must investigate several strange incidents.

And so for a while everything seems to be going well for Sigmund; he has a good job that challenges him and also his private life becomes more interesting with the relationship to his colleague Feather. A common child desire cannot fulfill itself for the pair however, because the earth of the future is hopelessly overpopulated. Only people with optimal genes are allowed to have children. So, of course, the odds are against two paranoids.

The exodus of the puppeteers

General-Products cells, or GP cells for short, have long been an important product of the Pierson puppeteers. This alien species manufactures and trades the cells in a secret process. The cells are considered indestructible and have already saved the lives of many a spaceman, as the hull plating of his ship. Suddenly, however, rumors of an accident in which such a cell was allegedly destroyed are making the rounds.

The development of the GP-cells by the puppet masters seems only logical, since these are considered in the whole known space as outspoken cowards. For the aliens, however, this is not an insult. On the contrary, explorers of their own species, who are far from their homeworld, are considered crazy by them. When it is learned of the explosion of the Galactic Core and the approaching radiation wave threatens to destroy all life in twenty thousand years, it looks as if all puppeteers have suddenly disappeared from the known universe.

Tea bag philosophy

What do a conventional tea bag and the outline for a bestselling novel have in common? ? As a rule, one should use both only once. Already at the second infusion, the result seems a bit bland, the twelfth attempt to revive old successes has a very bitter aftertaste. Whereby Weltenwandler of course does not tell the story of the ‘Ringwelt’ again. Nevertheless, this book cannot give any new impulses to the Ringwelt universe. The authors rather indulge in constant repetitions of self-created cliches. The cowardice of the puppeteers, the aggressiveness of the Kzin, etc., all this is by no means new.


The criticisms of "Weltenwandler are manifold: After reading the book, one does not really know what it is about at all. Although the last few pages have a rudimentary thread, the rest seems like a string of events. Sigmund’s investigation comes to a complete dead end in this case. The characters have no trusting relationship with each other, no one trusts the other. Distrust and hostility prevail and poison all relationships. This could still be explained by the paranoia of the agents. On the other hand, the authors’ generally uncharitable treatment of the characters in their novel seems completely inexplicable. The distance with which the reader witnesses most of the action is extremely confusing and doesn’t allow any sympathy for the ‘heroes’ of the book to arise.

In the middle of the novel, a surprising death of the secondary characters begins, who are then replaced by equally boring characters. The scenes seem too short, the settings dull, and the chapters change very abruptly, which does not allow the book to flow. All in all, "World Changers" is a rather superfluous novel.

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