A species of Ringworld hominids encountered by the First Ringworld Expedition in 2851. They inhabited the fallen cities of Zignamuclickclick and Zrillir City. Hairy Ones, both male and female, have ash blonde hair covering their entire faces except for the eyes. Their complexion is very pale, almost albino. They are thin, with short torsos and long legs; the average height is a few inches shorter than Human norm. Their fingers are extraordinarily long and tapering. Note the name "Hairy Ones" comes from an unofficial source Ringworld Roleplaying Game— Creatures Book pp. 25-6; the species is not named in official accounts.
Reference:Ringworld chs. 12, 16
Human male. Louis Wu knew of him, in 2850, as a gullible man who kept buying fake Slaver artifacts.
Louis Wu was used to getting food bricks and other handmeals from an autokitchen. He was surprised when in 2850 the starship Long Shot's outdated kitchen slot fed him a sandwich, which he thought of as "a handmeal that came apart in his hands" Ringworld ch. 5, p. 59.
Human female Flatlander, in 2366 a crew member on the starship Angel's Pencil. She was blond, blue eyed, muscled and tall.
Reference: "The Warriors"
The General Products hull of the starship Lying Bastard had a small hatch near the tail, which could be sealed with a hullmetal door. [Spoiler alert: Ringworld] This hatch was closed after the ship's delta wing was vaporized. Later, it was opened to allow the shadow square wire to be pulled through the ship, using the wire as a tow rope.
[Spoiler alert: "A Relic of the Empire", "The Color of Sunfire", Ringworld] The Puppeteer homeworld, an Earth-like planet in the Fleet of Worlds upon which nearly all Puppeteers live. Apparently the atmospheric pressure is slightly higher than Earth's. The air smells of ozone, hydrocarbons and many Puppeteers. The world was moved outward from its sun twice. Less than half a million years ago, when Hearth had a population of about half a trillion, it was moved to alleviate the problem of waste heat on the highly industrialized planet. It was moved again during Earth's stone age, when its yellow dwarf sun expanded into a red giant "Shortly after we [Puppeteers] finished moving our world, our sun began the process of expansion. Your [Human] fathers were still using the upper thigh bone of an antelope to crack skulls" (Ringworld ch. 5, p. 71).. By 2850, Hearth had a population of about a trillion Puppeteers, with miles-high skyscrapers everywhere. Instantaneous transportation to any place on the planet was provided by an ubiquitous network of stepping discs. That year, Hearth was visited by the First Ringworld Expedition, the first known visit by anyone from Human Space. The expedition's explorers were brought to Hearth by a transport ship, given a briefing by the Puppeteer Chiron, then transferred to the starship Lying Bastard, in which they left for the Ringworld. Note the planet remained unnamed in the account of the First Ringworld Expedition (published as Ringworld), and was named only in a much later account (published as Fleet of Worlds).
A City Builderfloating building where the First Ringworld Expedition found the map room, on the Ringworld in 2851. It was called "Heaven" by the primitive Hairy Ones inhabiting Zrillir City, the ruined city below. This ten story "castle", complete with drawbridge, was uninhabited. Within was a large banquet hall-cum-throne room. Directly above the throne was a large wire frame sculpture of a hairless manís head, apparently a bust of Zrillir. Elsewhere were elaborately decorated staircases which functioned as escalators, a dry swimming pool containing a Bandersnatch skeleton, a large banquet hall, and an enormous bedroom containing a bed of vast area, apparently for orgies. There was also a large, low-tech kitchen which Louis Wu believed had been installed after the City Builder equivalent of an autokitchen stopped working. The exterior, including the underside, had many windows of various shapes and sizes, some quite large. Louis believed the building was a seat of government. He also saw the shadow square wire drifting down there, just outside. Later, after the explorers returned to the city, Teela Brown and Seeker entered this building and left the First Ringworld Expedition.
Reference:Ringworld chs. 15-16, 23
A dusty orange hedge, ten feet tall, with cobalt blue tentacles that hung limp, at the edge of the parkland on Hearth visited by the First Ringworld Expedition in 2850. The hedge parted as Nessus entered it; apparently the species had once been carnivorous.
Reference:Ringworld ch. 7
Heliports were once common on Earth, some centuries before 2851.
Reference:Ringworld ch. 12
helium II lifeforms
Resembling a pool of oil, these amoeba-like creatures living on very cold worlds are composed mainly of helium in its "superfluid" state of helium II. The first were discovered prior to 1989 on the dark, cold side of Mercury. By 2645, 20 varieties had been documented. [Spoiler alert: "Flatlander"] Another variety was discovered that year on the antimatter planet.
The Kzinti language, full of hissing and spitting, sounds like cats fighting and like insults.
Reference: "The Soft Weapon", Ringworld chs. 1-2, 8-9, 11-13, 21
A major mountain range on Earth, in southern Asia.
Reference:Ringworld ch. 3
(a) The title of the political leader of the Puppeteers on Hearth. He is Chairman of those-who-lead-from-behind, the Puppeteer leaders. In 2850, Nessus demanded breeding rights as his price for leading the First Ringworld Expedition, and Hindmost accepted Nessus (who is actually female) as his mate. Nessus also described himself as "Hindmost", or leader, of the First Ringworld Expedition.
Reference: (a) Ringworld chs. 7, 9, 18; (b) The Ringworld Engineers, The Ringworld Throne, Ringworld's Children
History of Earth courses
In Sol system in 2355, attempts to stamp out violence in Human cultures included censorship regarding humanity's history of wars, murders, and other violence. Only about one in 12 qualified for "History of Earth courses", and even those revealed just part of the truth. See also Golden Age.
[Spoiler alert: Protector] Any of the various humanoid species descended from, and including, the Pak (Homo habilis). This includes Humans (Homo sapiens). [Spoiler alert: The Ringworld Engineers] It also includes all the hominids on the Ringworld, encompassing an estimated one to two thousand intelligent species, including the City Builders and Hairy Ones.
Human male Jinxian, a topflight computer-programmer, in 2647 a passenger aboard the starship Argos. [Spoiler alert: "Grendel"] He insisted on trying to find and rescue the kidnapped Kdatlyno artist Lloobee, and dragged a very reluctant Beowulf Shaeffer along with him. See "Grendel" (story summary).
Nicknamed "Prill", a female City Builder encountered by the First Ringworld Expedition in 2851. She was slim, with the wiry muscles of a professional dancer; her breasts were high and heavy. Prill's voice was cool and musical, fitting her regal appearance and manner, which was typical of City Builders. A regular user of the City Builders' superior variation on boosterspice, Louis Wu thought Prill might be a thousand years old. She had been a crewman on the starship Pioneer, a City Builder ramship. She was rudely described by Louis as a "shipís whore" and by Nessus as "not very intelligent". However, she was no low-status prostitute, but rather a highly trained specialist in a society which used sex for diplomacy. After getting to know her, Louis admitted she was "smarter than I guessed". Her skills included an expert knowledge of anatomy and the ability to manipulate nerve clusters, plus psychology and playing music.
Prill's history: During Prill's eighth trade circuit on the Pioneer, when returning to the Ringworld the spaceport failed to respond to hails. The crew panicked and mutinied; the ramship was landed at a Ringworld spaceport, stranding the spacecraft and crew. They discovered the ship's cziltang brone had broken down, stranding them outside the Ringworld's habitat. In trying to fix it, an accident killed some crewmen and caused brain damage in others, reducing them to morons. The group finally managed to get through the rim wall, and found their City Builder civilization had collapsed in the Fall of Cities. The group wandered for some time, bringing the morons along, looking for remaining civilization. They found only ruins and other wanderers. Finally Prill decided to make the long journey back to Hotrufan City, her place of birth. She had a supply of the City Builders' superior variant on boosterspice, keeping her young and giving her valuable trade goods. Eventually she reached the city, and took up residence in the police building. She repaired the building's speed trap, hoping to capture someone who could take her to a surviving pocket of civilization. Nessus claimed she had gone insane during her wanderings, perhaps explaining why she had let those captured in the trap die.
First Ringworld Expedition: The explorers of the First Ringworld Expedition encountered Prill in 2851, when their flycycles were pulled into the police building. Nessus slowly conditioned her with his tasp to be friendly to them. Eventually she and Louis became lovers. She agreed to join the expedition, providing the police building as the expedition's vehicle, and helping drag the crashed starship Lying Bastard to where it could escape back into space. She then traveled to Earth with Louis Wu. For details, see Ringworld (story summary).
Kzin with yellow striping, a member of the Kzinti Empire's embassy on Earth in 2850. It was his sad function to offer apology whenever a Kzin gave offense to Humans, such as when Louis Wu challenged Speaker-To-Animals over the insult to Humans implicit in Speaker's name.
Reference:Ringworld ch. 1
A structural material in use by 2647 to construct hulls for ships without a General Products hull, for airlock doors in GP hulls, and in other applications where a very strong material was needed.
The Human-colonized worlds and the space between. In the pre-hyperdrive era, prior to 2411, Humans spread from Earth to colonize the Belt, Down, Home, Jinx, Luna, Plateau, We Made It, and Wunderland. By 2645 this "bubble" of space was about 30 light-years across "The human sphere of colonization is some thirty light-years across, is it not?" [paragraph] "Maximum. It's not exactly a sphere—" ("At the Core", Neutron Star p. 54), and included Canyon, Fafnir, Gummidgy, Hrooshpith, the Serpent Stream and Silvereyes. By 2850, Human Space had grown to about 60 light-years across "...a bubble sixty light-years across by Louis Wu's time..." ("Introduction", Tales of Known Space p. xi), and included Margrave. At this time there were 43 billion Humans in Known Space. By 3100 Human Space had expanded greatly, as Known Space became the "Thousand Worlds" "Every boosterspice plant in the Thousand Worlds..." ("Safe at Any Speed", Tales of Known Space p. 217) .
Reference: "At the Core", Ringworld ch. 9, "Safe at Any Speed"
A method of superluminal (faster-than-light) travel through hyperspace. Hyperdrive technology was sold by the Outsiders to the Human colony of We Made It, in 2409. The speed of normal (Quantum I) hyperdrive travel is three days per lightyear. Hyperdrive ships are navigated with the aid of a mass pointer, a psionic device only usable by a living brain. In some cases an autopilot may navigate the ship, but likely this occurs only on well-surveyed, established routes. When a ship with an operating hyperdrive gets too deep into a gravity well, the ship disappears "...any ship in known space would take six hours to reach the breakout point. If it tried to go farther in hyperspace, CY Aquarii's gee well would drop it permanently into the Blind Spot" ("Grendel", Neutron Star p. 249). Therefore hyperdrive cannot be used close to a star or planet, and cannot be engaged too close to another ship. A starship leaving a planet must travel beyond this mass limit, to "flat space" before engaging the hyperdrive. In Sol System, the sun's mass limit is beyond the orbit of Neptune. Louis Wu claimed Humans would never have discovered hyperdrive by accident, because experiments would never have been performed beyond Sol's singularity. In 2851, Nessus said that in Puppeteer history, even ships which avoided singularities still disappeared in hyperspace, and that even Puppeteer engineers feared it.
A space, or condition of existence, outside the normal universe in which spaceships can travel much faster than light, and through which instantaneous signals can be sent. For a detailed study, see "Hyperspace Theory & Practice" in the Articles section.
Reference: "A Relic of the Empire", "At the Core", Ringworld ch. 5
The minds of Humans, Kzinti, Jotoki, and probably other species, refuse to see hyperspace. If, for example, a window is present looking out on hyperspace, the mind sees adjacent walls and objects stretched in to cover it completely. Most find the mental influence of the hyperspace blind spot highly disturbing, unlike the eye's normal blind spot. It will drive some insane; they are said to have "blind-spot phobia". For this reason, passenger starships have no windows. A small minority of Humans are not bothered by the blind-spot phenomenon. In Kzinti the ability to withstand it is so rare that it is considered an indication of noble blood. [Spoiler alert: "Flatlander"] In 2645 when Beowulf Shaeffer was piloting a hull-less starship through hyperspace and happened to glance up, so that his entire view was filled with hyperspace blind-spot, he even forgot he had the ability to see.