Ringworld (Ringworld, #1) Ringworld question

Help with misspelling in Larry Niven's Ringworld (1970)
Max Power Max Feb 06, 2017 02:33AM
I bought what I thought was a genuine copy of Larry Niven's Ringworld published by Del Rey Books in 1970 from eBay but I have since realised it was a badly OCR'd internet copy that was reprinted. I have since filed claims and had the seller shut down but I am bugged by one word which I just can't understand.

In chapter 13 Starseed Lure there is this paragraph:

Speaker had sheathed his Slaver digging tool. He said, “Teela, you did not complain when you learned that the puppeteers had manipulated the heredity of my race. They sought to produce a docile kzin. To that end they bred us as a biologist breeds stheets, killing the defectives, keeping others. You gloated that this crime was to the benefit of your species. Now you complain. Why?”

Would it be possible for someone to take a guess or look in their Ringworld book and tell me what 'stheets' is supposed to be?


I don't think this is a misspelling. Ringworld is full of alien concepts that are introduced through expository dialogue. You can infer from the context that "stheets" are some kind of organism that can be selectively bred, and that's all you need to know to follow the plot.

My copy has this word as "skeets", but as Joe pointed out, it doesn't really make a difference.

My copy says "stheets" too. I think this is intended to be something from Speaker's Kzin point of reference. I don't think it was explained or mentioned anywhere else.

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