Larry Niven's "The Color of Sunfire" (short story, space opera, free): Location & physical characteristics of puppeteer home world, before they moved
This one is for those already familiar with Niven's Known Space universe; others will probably find it too jargon filled. And it's an unusual space opera - entire tale told inside someone's drawing room (on the world called "Silvereyes"), recounting events that happened 40 years ago!
It's the story of Richard Harvey Schultz-Mann - the man who found out the location of puppeteers' home world, & intended to blackmail them by exposing its location. Only Mann's luck ran out. Puppeteers have learned of galactic core explosion, & have taken their world elsewhere.
I suppose that places it before Ringworld; if I recall correctly, it was at their new location that they saw evidence of Ringworld.
Some curious "facts" about this original puppeteer home world:
- It's located in the system of a red giant that "probably was a yellow dwarf a million or two years ago." That's why they could have "walked in Earth's gravity, breathed terrestrial air, and never wore protective clothing against the ultraviolet waves in sunlight."
- While their sun was still a yellow dwarf, they'd moved their world far out to extreme colder regions - "two light-weeks out from its primary. The sun was no more than a blurred pink dot." Because of their enormous population & high per-capita energy consumption, their world needed to efficiently radiate heat!!
Because of this movement out, "When the sun blew up like a big red balloon, the chances are they hardly noticed."
I didn't quite gather why all this energy didn't cook them. Mann's description: "way it blazed against the stars. Not like a planet. The continents flamed like yellow-star sunlight. I could have read a book in the light that came through my windows" in the ship. In Ringworld, even humans visit their world without being inconvenienced.
Fact sheet.First published: Larry Niven's "Bridging the Galaxies" (November 1993). "This is the Guest of Honor book for ConFrancisco. "
Download full text.
Related: All stories of Larry Niven.