Conn Maxwell returns from Terra to his poverty-stricken home planet of Poictesme, "The Junkyard Planet", with news of the possible location of Merlin, a military super-computer rumored to have been abandoned there after the last war. The inhabitants hope to find Merlin, which they think will be their ticket to wealth and prosperity. But is Merlin real, or just an old rumor? And if they find it will it save them, or tear them apart?
This short story was first published the Science Fiction magazine "Galaxy, Vol. 15 No.4." as "Graveyard of Dreams". It was later expanded into a book length publication under the name of "Junkyard Planet" and in 1963 was published by Putnam. It was then renamed "The Cosmic Computer" when published by Ace in 1964.