The Cosmic Computerby Henry Beam Piper
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?Henry Beam Piper (March 23, 1904 - c. November 6, 1964) was an American science fiction author. He wrote many short stories and several novels. He is best known for his extensive Terro-Human Future History series of stories and a shorter series of "Paratime" alternate history tales.
He wrote under the name H. Beam Piper. Another source gives his name as "Horace Beam Piper" and a different date of death. His gravestone says "Henry Beam Piper". Piper himself may have been the source of part of the confusion; he told people the H stood for Horace, encouraging the assumption that he used the initial because he disliked his name.
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Piper has always been one of my favorite authors. This is a fast paced read. This novel captures a time before the fall of the Terran Federation. I am sure Piper based this book on the fall of the Roman Empire.