By Donald Moffitt
The bold Sultan of Alpha Centauri can in simple terms 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 higher Islamic universe. yet human wisdom has no longer but been in a position to conquer the numerous demanding situations awarded by way of interplanetary shuttle. in spite of the fact that, the Sultan resourcefully enlists the aid of Abdul Hamid-Jones, a shrewdpermanent fugitive with a cost on his head and the legislations on his heels. Thrown into the bewildering global of the Sultan's schemes, Abdul gets a hasty advent to advanced physics and the much more complicated political intrigues of the Sultan's courtroom. chargeable for the winning execution of the Sultan's plan, Abdul slowly realizes with horror that the destiny of the complete sun procedure will be resting on his shoulders.
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Additional info for A Gathering of Stars (The Mechanical Sky, Book 2)
Impossible! And to get up to ninety-nine percent of the speed of light with a time-dilation effect of seven to one—still not as well as we do in modern times—a ship like the Saladin would have to carry forty thousand times its mass in matter and antimatter. " He began to pace a little. "The problem with all star drives that carry their own fuel is the same: the great satan called mass ratio. The faster you want to go, the more reaction mass you must carry—and all that additional reaction mass itself must be accelerated, at ever-increasing energy cost.
At the last moment, Hamid-Jones did the same, popping a black-ened morsel into his mouth with a mumbled prayer. As he moved in a low-gravity shuffle through the long trans-parent passage that curved over Deimos's small horizon, never more than a hundred yards away, he lifted his eyes with almost everybody else to watch the rising of the starship above the pocked skyline. It was a vast onion shape, over a mile in diameter, that would flatten out still further under acceleration. He could see the gos-samer shroud clinging to the ship and all the complicated rigging and stays that would unfold it in flight to protect the craft from the howling storm of charged particles that would impinge on it at relativistic velocities; the superconducting fabric was gaily painted with colorful Kufic calligraphy, though the decorations would char away long before the ship reached even a fraction of its final speed.
The cosmology of-ficer hooked a toe under the base of the lectern and waited in a posture of elaborate unconcern. The buzzer repeated. "Attention, please. We will be in a condition of weightlessness in exactly fifteen seconds. " Weight went off. A few loose objects began to float. Passen-gers grabbed at possessions, and one, whose belt had not been fastened, levitated a full six inches before pulling himself back to his seat in embarrassment. The cosmology officer swayed like a sea anemone, anchored by his toe.