"By the time I can take people out to where Hubble is looking, they won't be human anymore, by a long way."
- Larry Niven
||A sentient computer partially built with magic.
|The pace of events was accelerated even more after that. A crude
attempt at knocking off most of the family with a thrown bomb was made the
next day, following Caine's funeral. The would-be assassin escaped. Later,
Random was upset at a brief demonstration on my part of the power of the
Ghostwheel, my pet project, my hobby, my avocation during those years at
Grand Design. Ghostwheel is a-well, it started out as a computer that
required a different set of physical laws to operate than those I'd learned
in school. It involved what might be called magic. But I found a place where
it could be built and operated, and I'd constructed it there. It was still
programming itself when I'd left it. It seemed to have gone sentient, and I
think it scared Random. He ordered me to go and turn it off. I didn't much
like the idea, but I departed.
I was followed in my passage through Shadow; I was harassed, threatened
and even attacked. I was rescued from a fire by a strange lady who later
died in a lake. I was protected from vicious beasts by a mysterious
individual and saved from a bizarre earthquake by the same person-who turned
out to be Luke. He accompanied me to the final barrier, for a confrontation
with Ghostwheel. My creation was a bit irritated with me and banished us by
means of a shadow-storm-a thing it is not fun to be caught in, with or
without an umbrella. I delivered us from the vicissitudes by means of one of
the Trumps of Doom, as I'd dubbed the odd pasteboards from Julia's
|From Blood of Amber,
by Roger Zelazny.
Published by Arbor House in 1986
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