By Donald Moffitt
The formidable Sultan of Alpha Centauri can in simple terms declare the illustrious identify of Caliph if he makes a ritual pilgrimage to the holy urban of Mecca. This trip accomplished, he'll rule the whole inhabitants of the higher Islamic universe. yet human wisdom has no longer but been in a position to triumph over the numerous demanding situations provided via interplanetary go back and forth. besides the fact that, the Sultan resourcefully enlists the aid of Abdul Hamid-Jones, a smart fugitive with a cost on his head and the legislation on his heels. Thrown into the bewildering global of the Sultan's schemes, Abdul gets a hasty creation to advanced physics and the much more complicated political intrigues of the Sultan's court docket. answerable for the winning execution of the Sultan's plan, Abdul slowly realizes with horror that the destiny of the complete sun procedure may be resting on his shoulders.
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Extra info for A Gathering of Stars (The Mechanical Sky, Book 2)
You're getting ahead of the story, but yes, there were crude beginnings in that direction, too. They knew how to make antimatter as a laboratory trick—not too practical for producing antimatter in industrial quantities. An antimatter factory was actually built out past the orbit of Neptune. A Triton-Swiss en-terprise, I believe. The accelerator rings were about fifty miles in diameter, stacked in a cylinder a couple of hundred miles long. " After a pause to let that sink in, the cosmology officer allowed the ghost of a smug smile to steal over his face.
It was more than four light-years to Alpha Centauri, but fear made a long string. " "If worse comes to worst, you can put yourself under the captain's protection. He won't be able to acknowledge you openly—there's already too much diplomatic strain between Mars and Alpha Centauri—but perhaps he might tuck you away somewhere. " His teeth gleamed in a perfect smile. " "That's very comforting," Hamid-Jones said. "There go the last of them," the attache said, turning. He was a bit of a fop himself, but when his short Centauran-style chlamys parted, Hamid-Jones clearly saw the outline of a shoulder holster.
The people around him would be his neighbors for the next two years. And when he finally disembarked at Alpha Centauri, he would be separated from everything and everyone he had ever known by a gulf of time. Lalla would be a woman of mature years, older than he, before he could return to her; Aziz, if he were still alive, would be declining toward middle age. " The cosmology officer made sure he had their attention before going on. "Until that time, launching an interstellar vessel of any sort was a ruinous and impractical enterprise that even a rich society could afford only once or twice in a generation.