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The Cosmic Computer

H. Beam Piper

Book Overview: 

Conn Maxwell returns from Terra to his poverty-stricken home planet of Poictesme, “The Junkyard Planet”, with news of the possible location of Merlin, a military super-computer rumored to have been abandoned there after the last war. The inhabitants hope to find Merlin, which they think will be their ticket to wealth and prosperity. But is Merlin real, or just an old rumor? And if they find it will it save them, or tear them apart?

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .That made sense. If he'd been Foxx Travis, and if there had been a Merlin, that was exactly where he'd have put it himself. But there was no Merlin, and he wanted a ship. He argued mulishly for a little, then saw that it was hopeless and gave in.

"I want to find Merlin as much as any of you," he said. "More. Merlin was the only thing I was trained for. We'll look there first."

Somebody asked where, approximately, this underground Force Command headquarters was.

"Why, it's in the Badlands, over between the Blaubergs and the east coast."

"Great Ghu! We'll need an army to go in there?" Tom Brangwyn said. "That's where all these outlaws have been coming from, Blackie Perales and all."

"Then we'll get an army together," Klem Zareff said happily. "Might make a little of that reward money that's been offered."

"We'll need more than that. Well need excavation equipment, and labor. Lots of labor," Conn said. "It's a couple of. . . Read More

Community Reviews

The Cosmic Computer is a novel set within the framework of Piper's Federation universe. It was first published by Putnam in hardback in 1963 with the title Junkyard Planet (which I prefer) and was an expansion of his 1958 novelette from Galaxy magazine, Graveyard of Dreams. Ace published the first m

The Cosmic Computer is basically a story about economic development. It features the same sorts of hardy capable men as Four Day Planet did. It also includes a hardy capable woman. It's set in the same fictional galaxy, as well.

The adventure isn't quite as rollicking as in Four Day Planet. But nor i

3.5 stars. A solid sci-fi yarn about a backwater planet with access to huge stores of salvageable war surplus teetering on the edge of economic collapse and their search for a long forgotten super computer that they hope can help turn their fate around. Fairly well written, the elements of the story

Junkyard Plant / The Cosmic Computer - H. Beam Piper, part of the Terro-Human Future History Series

The former title is the original. This is the the novel version of his short work "Graveyard of Dreams". I enjoyed this version more, though not by much.
The book is very much pro-capitalism. The chara

Set on a world struggling to lift themselves out of economic collapse, it tells the story of the enterprising Conn Maxwell, who returns from a university stint on Earth and tells his compatriots that a long-rumoured super-computer known as MERLIN does, in fact, exist, and is buried along with much o

The Cosmic Computer is set in a post inter-galactic war society. The economy of the planet the story centers around is in the midst of a depression, and things are only getting worse. During and after the war rumors circulated about a super computer that could solve the problems of mankind, and revi

You know that asshole friend of a friend who is always going around telling people to read The Fountainhead or, heaven forbid, Atlas Shrugged as a way to really get excited about capitalism? And it always turns out that the only things those books do is to produce another asshole who blames his pro

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