Bookfilter: A professor, a computer and the devil?
November 29, 2018 7:33 PM   Subscribe

In high school I remember a friend reading aloud the intro to a book about a professor who built a computer that started channeling the devil and chatting with him.

Any one of those elements could be wrong. But I recall the professor being a mildly eccentric professor who started dreaming about wiring diagrams and when he finished building the devil (possibly named as Satan, possibly not) was in the machine and started explaining how he saw things.

The tone was subversive and philosophical. Wry humor and not horror (at least at the parts I heard). The book was probably '60s or '70s.
posted by mark k to Media & Arts (5 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Was it Satan: his Psychotherapy and Cure?
posted by chbrooks at 8:49 PM on November 29, 2018 [2 favorites]

The details don't match up too well, but just in case (because memory is a funny thing): was it The Vertical Plane by Ken Webster, an account of his experiences in the 1980s with a computer that apparently allowed the spirit of a 16th-century man to communicate with him?
posted by daisyk at 7:20 AM on November 30, 2018

Could it have been from The Cyberiad? The details aren't quite right, but the tone and era are. It includes a story of a professor who builds a computer looking for happiness and (surprise!) doesn't find it.
posted by snaw at 8:59 AM on November 30, 2018

This makes me think of a short story by John Wyndham. Possibly in Consider Her Ways and others.
posted by Enid Lareg at 9:57 AM on November 30, 2018

It was indeed Satan: His Psychoanalysis and Cure. Thanks!
posted by mark k at 8:14 AM on December 1, 2018

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