I read this paperback novel in the early 80’s.

I clearly remember the start where an older, unfit detective (I think) is transported from Earth to another world.

On this world, as well as other people, there are repair type entities (nanobots?) that get to work on his body as soon as he arrives.

I remember memorable descriptions of his teeth being repaired and his mouth became full of his fillings which were pushed out to be replaced with shiny new teeth.

His body also changes, his beer-gut disappears, muscles grow, etc.

Later, weapons can be customised to fit the hand of the user perfectly (by the same nanobots). He tries one out that was modified to fit his companion, but, at first, isn't terribly impressed, until he realises his hand isn't exactly the same, obviously!

I seem to remember that it continued into some kind of grand space saga.

  • Hi, welcome to the site. When you say that "it continued into some kind of grand space saga," do you mean that the novel was part of a series of novels, or did this saga all take place within a single novel? Oct 16, 2023 at 20:41
  • I only read one volume. It did carry on in that volume into some quite complex territory, long journeys, etc. But I can’t really remember much detail. I didn’t read any followup volumes. So I don’t really know if it did.
    – Keith
    Oct 16, 2023 at 20:44

1 Answer 1


This sounds like the first book of Philip Jose Farmer's World of Tiers series, The Maker of Universes. However the protagonist is a retired professor not a private detective. The book describes the transformation as:

Nine days after he first experienced the trouble with his gums, ten tiny, white, hard teeth began to shove through the flesh. Moreover, the gold fillings in the others were being pushed out by the return of the natural material. And a thick black growth covered his formerly bald pate.

This was not all. The swimming, running, and climbing had melted off the fat. The prominent veins of old age had sunk back into smooth firm flesh. He could run for long stretches without being winded or feel as if his heart would burst. All this he delighted in, but not without wondering why and how it had come about.

  • That’s it 👍🏻 Thank you so much. Managed to find an electronic copy online. I just skim-read the first chapter and it is the book I first read around 40 years ago. Thanks again 😎
    – Keith
    Oct 17, 2023 at 7:15
  • @Keith Please will you click the tick mark to the left of my answer to mark it as accepted. Thanks :-) Oct 17, 2023 at 7:16

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