The Witling -- novel by Vernor Vinge, (c)1976, Daw.

Explorers from a lost colony end up on a planet populated by psionic teleports. The science, typical of Vinge, is well worked out and consistent. Reminiscent of Larry Niven's transport booth stories.

The witling of the title is the heir apparent of the equatorial regions of the world. He (a humanoid alien) befriends one of the humans and helps them escape. The reason he is considered damaged goods is because he is unable to teleport, and is lacking the special senses and perceptions that come with the ability.

Although a lightweight book compared to A Fire Upon The Deep or Marooned In Realtime it does show Vinge's evolution as one of the three premier writers of hard SF alive today.

Eponymous Book Rating Scale -- Worthy

Science Fiction Metanode The Vernor Vinge Project