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


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.

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In multiple formats at Gutenberg

Graveyard of Dreams, the novella the novel was adapted from


"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.


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)


I love going back and finding “lost” treasures like Piper. There’s something comforting in reading someone from our past who was so far-thinking that he’s comfortable in the company of today’s authors. I also like the way Amazon offers the title for free on Kindle, but charges a nominal fee to get the Whispersync (audio) version. A win-win.

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The plot centres around the revival of a moribund global galactic economy by an economic stimulus. VERY RELEVANT.


Also available as an audio book from Librivox, all sans DRM, along with nearly forty other Piper books.

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Wow, I thought I was the only person left who gets Jurgen references. That is a deeply strange and wonderful book that should be more widely read…

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My buddy (and accomplished concept artist) Colin Foran actually did a cover illustration for the Cosmic Computer last year as part of a Light Grey Art Lab gallery show! You can check it out over on his tumblr, it’s pretty rad:


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Sorry about the odd previous post.
What I wanted to say is that the cover art of the gutenberg version is different; this might be of interest to collectors of old pulp covers.

It is not available to “buy” for free from my location so I need to +1 this comment (and can add the Manybooks.net page)

Beautiful cover in all sorts of ways.

I read this book in grade 5 (~ 1979). I remember buying the book because I though the cover illustration (the one you used here) was cool!!! The name of the author and the title of the book do not ring a bell. I had to skim the Gutenberg HTML copy until I saw the “WEIGHT IS WHAT YOU LIFT, MASS IS WHAT HURTS WHEN IT HITS YOU.” quote to know for sure it was in fact the same book.

Need to download it and read it again. Thanks!

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