Two New Book Reviews

The Cosmic Computer by H. Beam PiperThe Cosmic Computer by H. Beam Piper

After finishing school on Terra, Conn Maxwell returns to his home planet Poictesme. He returns to the run down planet knowing what the elder expected of him. He is supposed to tell them where MERLIN, the supercomputer from the last war, is located. They see Merlin as their salvation.

While he was on Terra Conn learned that there never was a MERLIN. He knows he can’t tell the men on his planet that truth. He and his father Rodney Maxwell decide to create a story for the men who govern the planet. MERLIN is still out there, but they have to find it. It’s close in one of the neighboring systems. But while they’re looking for MERLIN, they need to prepare their planet for when they have it up and operational.

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Packing for Mars by Mary Roach

Packing for Mars by Mary RoachThe Curious Science of Life in the Void

The current space exploration dreams are for a manned trip to Mars. That’s a small group of people in a confined space under abnormal conditions for well over two years. What provisions will be required? What type of equipment will be required? What type of person would be able to complete the trip successfully? What design and materials will be needed for the spaceship itself? How will the pitfalls of zero gravity be addressed? How can a person stay healthy both mentally and physically in those conditions?

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