By Donald Moffitt

The formidable Sultan of Alpha Centauri can simply declare the illustrious name of Caliph if he makes a ritual pilgrimage to the holy urban of Mecca. This trip accomplished, he'll rule the complete inhabitants of the larger Islamic universe. yet human wisdom has now not but been in a position to conquer the numerous demanding situations offered by means of interplanetary trip. besides the fact that, the Sultan resourcefully enlists assistance from Abdul Hamid-Jones, a smart fugitive with a value on his head and the legislations on his heels. Thrown into the bewildering global of the Sultan's schemes, Abdul gets a hasty creation to complicated physics and the much more advanced political intrigues of the Sultan's court docket. liable for the profitable execution of the Sultan's plan, Abdul slowly realizes with horror that the destiny of the total sun process can be resting on his shoulders.

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Extra resources for A Gathering of Stars (Book Two of the Mechanical Sky)

Sample text

He fed it back via the keyboard, and when the computer gave him the green light, he called up Awad's menu. A second gi-gachip wafer from the thin pad on his thumbnail gave him a weeding program to help him identify the files that were called up most often. " He punched it in, and a life-size nude woman, mak-ing obscene gestures of invitation, sprang up in the holo window. The datagloves flexed, and the woman gave a theatrical groan of pleasure. Awad, it seemed, had a taste for adult interactive holoporn.

And the holographic scenario that matched the forbidden Earth-erasing preliminary sketch in fact had a red tag attached to it, though it hadn't yet been edited out. It didn't matter. Hamid-Jones didn't need to know any more.

All of these urgent whispers were probably about nothing more confidential than the price of eggs on Proxima. The visitors came out, giving Hamid-Jones and the secretary a sidelong glance as they headed for the door. They were three beetle-browed men in dun-colored tunics and the red-checkered turbans of Sabians. The Subbi, as Sabians were called by proper Moslems, had some sort of semiautonomous enclave on an air-less moon of one of the gas giants of the orange star, and there had been recent nationalist stirrings among a disaffected few that the Sultan was attempting to quell by funneling more finan-cial aid through the ruling elders.

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