H. Beam Piper, author of Space Viking and Little Fuzzy, was rather enigmatic where his personal statistics were concerned (or so the original blurb to this vel said). He lived in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, it said, and also that he was an expert on the history and use of hand weapons. When the book was published, he had been writing and selling science fiction for many years to the leading magazines, and that he was highly rated among readers for his skill and imagination. He had published several vels, mostly SF, but also including mysteries and juveniles. But that blurb was written just before he took his own life in the ise and nsense that come out of divorce . . . sigh. Some things happen so large upon our lives that they seem to blot out all that goes before . . . There are incredible things still undiscovered; most of the important installations were built in duplicate as a precaution against space attack. I kw where all of them are. But I could find thing, t one single word, about any giant strategic planning computer called Merlin! -- Is there really a Merlin? That's what Conn Maxwell asked, and the question irked those who heard it. Of course it did! Merlin meant everything to the folks on the planet Poictesme: power, pleasures, and profits unlimited. But the leading men of the planet didn't believe him. They couldn't! The search for Merlin had become their abiding obsession. Everybody believed that when this super-gigantic computer was located amid the mountains of surplus equipment that was the planet's sole source of revenue, it would mean Utopia for everyone. Conn Maxwell knew different. He had studied the records on Earth and he thought he knew the true facts about this cosmic computer. To tell them would be to panic, so instead he set about a new search in his own way -- with startling results.