in the australia of the distant future computers live on, although electricity and even steam power have ceased to exist long ago. the mighty calculor of libris is about to be commissioned, but is making strange errors. a programmer has been assassinated and components are being shot for negligence. time is running out and important questions must be answered. will the trains run on time after the end of the world? can a battle calculor still function while drunk? was there an ice age in the 21st century, and how long ago was the 21st century anyway?