"The Rim Gods" is a novel published in 1969, by Australian science-fiction writer A. Bertram Chandler. It is a serialized novel, derived from four short stories published in Galaxy magazine the previous year. It was published as half of an Ace Double.
The book takes place in Chandler's shared "Rim World", and features his main protagonist, Commodore John Grimes. In this book, he is a senior officer, working as a bureaucrat who is called to solve some problems across the scattered star systems of the galactic rim. The four short stories that make up the novel are a picaresque story of Grimes travelling across the stars, settling problems. And what problems he solves! A group of Presbyterians seeks to use psychedelic drugs to open a gateway to God. An AWOL officer wants to sell weapons to fascists! Cybernetic starfish invade the pearl farms of peaceful aliens! A malfunctioning star drive traps people on a storybook planet! While some of the previous books I have read by Chandler, such as The Inheritors or Gateway to Never were slow moving books about political intrigue, this is basically Chandler fooling around with different story formats to tell fun stories. Even in the book, it is acknowledged that the adventures are following different formats. The protagonist thinks to himself: "I'm really not cut out for these James Bond capers". I can't say that I got too many heavy messages out of this book, but it certainly was a fun way to conclude my May of Ace Doubles.
Science-fiction can be fun! That is an important thing to remember!