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This question already has an answer here:

I think I read this in the early 90's. In this story, technology was divided up and zealously guarded by the cultures that use it. Different groups held different tech. One group held the secret of internal combustion. The protagonist was from off world and knowledgable. He had to travel from place to place and used his wits to assist/escape from those he encountered along the way.

marked as duplicate by Otis, Buzz, Valorum story-identification Aug 26 '18 at 7:08

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  • I know. I know. It sounds like Space Kung-fu, but it's not. – Major Stackings Aug 28 '12 at 23:48
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    For some reason, the 3rd book from Harrison's Deathworld series comes to mind. I'm sure I'm wrong though - that had the technology in one half and nomads in another – DVK-on-Ahch-To Aug 29 '12 at 0:56
  • @DVK +1 and the cigar. Write it up and I'll check it off. It was book 2 in the series. Nice job. – Major Stackings Aug 29 '12 at 1:07
  • @Gallifreyan But we can't close it as duplicate, because the other question doesn't have an accepted answer. – Rand al'Thor May 30 '17 at 11:13
  • @Randal'Thor I could've sworn I saw a comment by OP... Must have confused it with another question, sorry. – Gallifreyan May 30 '17 at 11:18
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This is likely book #2 from Deathworld cycle by Harry Harrison. Citing Wiki blurb:

Jason is kidnapped by a self-righteous enemy out to bring him to justice for his various crimes. He forces a crash-landing on a planet where the human population has regressed. The technology is extremely primitive and knowledge is split up among many small clans, each one jealously monopolizing what it knows. Jason uses his ingenuity to survive, trading his knowledge for protection and power in one of these clans. He eventually reaches the clan who has the knowledge of electricity...

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