The World Menders
Series: Interplanetary Relations Bureau 2
Reviewed date: 2019 Nov 16
"Definitely deserves a Hugo." says the WSFA journal*. "Definitely not," says me.
* That would be Michael Shoemaker's review of The World Menders in the WSFA Journal issue #77, June-July 1971.
Tedious. And that cover art is abysmal.
IPR Interplanetary Relations
Studying the rascz culture.
Problem: rascz survive on crops raised by olz slaves. Crops are failing, olz are dying, and when they die, the rascz will die too.
Goal: stable democratic culture and membership in the Federation of Independent Worlds.
May take many centuries.
Method: secret study. No interference.
Liano Kurne, clairvoyant.
Olz have no culture.
They might have a secret religion.
No, the religion is just rote mimicry.
The olz are animals. Clever animals, but nothing more. Probably.
This could be a good novelette. Need to cut a lot of the extraneous junk, skip the rascz stuff and focus on the olz. Also leave out the Liano bit, that was boring. The real meat of the story is the olz revolution, the army marching toward Scorviff, and the seeming unconcern of the rascz in response. Why? Because they know the olz are just docile animals with no real desires of their own, not even a drive for self-preservation.