Somewhere in a future easter Germany, technology and culture came down to a steampunk level. Con-man Mr Heitzmann brings the eponymous computer to an inn, defeating Professor Baumeister, who buys it for the university. The „computer“ is worked by his hidden helper, Lame Hans. Hans falls in love with tavern girl Gretchen and decides to counter-trick Heitzmann.
I just loved the setting of easter Germany in a truce during a war with Russia. There is a Grimm’s fairytale in it with Hans, Gretchen and someone put into a stove. It also references Goethe’s Faust. Hans also shows some psychokinetic and maybe telepathic abilities.
The story is refreshingly straightforward – it would fit well in Michael Swanwick’s humorous The Dog Said Bow-Wow.