'The Cosmic Computer,' more classic sci-fi by H. Beam Piper

I was digging through the stacks of used science fiction at San Francisco's Green Apple bookstore when I came across this absolute gem, H. Beam Piper's The Cosmic Computer. Falling into Piper's Terran Federation universe, The Cosmic Computer tells the story of life at the edges of mankind's crumbling galactic society.

Conn Maxwell is a smart kid who gets sent to Earth for some learning. His backwards home-world, Poictesme, is nothing but grapes, distilleries and a mountain of left over war surpluss from the last big one. Folks on Poictesme are hoping he comes back with knowledge of MERLIN, a legendary war computer they believe can kickstart their economy. In typical H. Beam Piper fashion, Conn uses the hunt for the computer to do the kickstarting for them, but the mystery of MERLIN still looms...

I love finding great, old books like this for $1 or $2 used. Having them on the shelf is really nice however, a great thing about H. Beam Piper's work is that you can usually find it legally free on the net.

Free for Kindle: H. Beam Piper's The Cosmic Computer

Previously on Boing Boing:

H. Beam Piper's Space Viking

Notable Replies

  1. Poictesme, that has to be a reference to James Branch Cabell's Jurgen, A Comedy of Justice which was also funny and cosmic. I think the same book was also an inspiration for Heinlein's Job.

  2. jimp says:

    "Four Day Plane"t is equally good and equally \almost forgotten. Can be had for free (legally) here:

    An amazing amount of Piper's work other than Little Fuzzy seems to have drifted off of SF's collective memory.

  3. All of Pipers work is at Gutenberg except the second and third Fuzzy books (The Other Human Race later titled Fuzzy Sapiens and Fuzzies and Other People), the Lord Kalvan shorts and novel (Gunpowder God and Down Styphon! that turned into Lord Kalvan of Otherwhen) and the short that turned into the first Lord Kalvan piece. (When in the Course)


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