The odds were right for victory. The problem with computer warfare is that the computer is always logical while the human enemy is not – or doesn’t have to be. And that’s what the Betastani enemy were doing – nothing that the Alphaland computers said they would. Those treacherous foemen were avoiding logic and using such unheard-of devices as surprise and sabotage, treason and trickery. They even had Alphaland’s Deputy of Information believing Betastani propaganda without even realizing it. Of course he still thought he was being loyal to Alphaland, because he thought that one and one must logically add up to two. And that kind of thinking could make him the biggest traitor of them all.
At the end of The Cyborg and the Sorcerers, Sam Turner was making a life for himself on the planet Dest. He thought he had left the long-lost interstellar war between Earth and its rebellious colonies behind him forever. “Forever” turned out to be eleven years. That was how long it took for another Independent Reconaissance Unit to respond to the distress call his ship had sent before it was destroyed. And this one made his own berserk killer computer look sane.
Jan Dorvin, the Minervan, has overthrown the power of no less than five of the mighty airship colonies known as the Sky Lords that once terrorized the Earth and destroyed her people. Now, under her rule, the Lord Montcalm, the Lord Matamoros, the Perfumed Breeze, the Lord Retribution, and the Lord Nimrod all unwillingly bow to the ancient yet superior and terrible technology that she has plucked from outer space. But not every Sky Lord is under her control. Now her enemies are learning that as much as they hate each other, the only way to survive is to join together in a colossal show of strength that not even the laser beams of a Sky Angel, a sentient computer program, or an uppity Minervan can resist.
The cyborg code-named “Slant” was sent out as an Independent Reconnaissance Unit during an interstellar war between Earth and its colonies. The fighting ended three hundred years ago, but Slant’s computer does not admit this – he is compelled to carry on as if the war were still raging. Then he comes across a planet where his sensors register “gravitational anomalies.” The computer interprets these as enemy weapons research. The local inhabitants call the anomalies “magic.”
Meet Qua, the quantum computer with the immense power capabilities that tunes into pathways in parallel universes to operate at lightning speed. But with such power comes the threat of catastrophe, and as government agents, cult disciples, and computer criminals learn what this computer is capable of, Cambridge researcher Clare Conway makes every attempt to safeguard herself and society from the realities she discovers about Qua. For all of the power this computer offers, it threatens to spark a civil war in America, a danger unlike any other that history has ever known.
While attempting to repel an intergalactic invasion, mankind resorts to a weapon of such awesome destructive power that it undermines the Well World computer’s control of time and space – and threatens the very existence of the Universe. It is up to Mavra Chang – victim and veteran of the Wars of the Well – and Obie, her sophisticated computer companion, to find the only being capable of travelling to the desolate Well World to repair the damage at source. The infamous and near-mythical Nathan Brazil does not want to be found. But Mavra and Obie have never been ones to take no for an answer…
Men hammered at phones as the lines burned their hands; distributor caps split, engines flashed into flame as gasoline from torn lines doused their blocks; computers rebelled, barraged their operators with lunatic results. An army of poltergeists was loose, ripping and snapping, jamming beyond all repair the machinery of war.
Earth was programmed for destruction in the mad war of the computer worlds – unless the Solarians could stop the machines! Three hundred years ago the Solarians retreated to the safety of their Fortress as Earth became embroiled in the first of the computer wars with the dread Duglaari Empire. The Solarians’ final word to all humanity was a promise to reappear one day and bring it to victory. Suddenly, with Earth on the verge of becoming a helpless victim of the merciless Duglaars, the Solarians made contact with Fleet Commander Jay Palmer. It was an offer of aid. But the Solarians’ plan was so cunning, so fraught with danger, that Jay faced the greatest decision of his life – and that of Earth’s: Accept their ingenious strategy as a stroke of genius or reject it as a trick designed to destroy human life forever.
The war was over. The great computer which had arranged and directed the complex military operations of that future nation was to be dismantled. But the computer had become expert in the science of self-defence…and it resisted. The government buildings were blasted. Rockets rained on the great city, and the Empire of Toromon, the first great hope of humanity after the millennia of radiation wreckage, faced disaster at the hands of a super-scientific monster of its own creation. But, unknown even to Toromon’s desperate leaders, was the fact that behind the berserk computer lurked the unearthly mind of a real enemy – a foe from the most distant realm of space, intent on making the Earth the first victim of galactic conquest.
Arcot, Wade, Morey, and their computer, Fuller, put together a ship which will travel faster than light; they gave us what may have been the first space-warp drive. The concept was simple, to make it plausible wasn’t – unless you were John W. Campbell. With this out-of-space drive they hightail it among the stars. They locate the fugitive planets of the Black Star, find a frozen cemetery-world of a lost race, then head out for another galaxy and wind up in a knock-down-drag-out interplanetary war!