Looking for name of old sci-fi book from the '70s or '80s that had main character with an aiming chip in his hand. His palm would itch and when he scratched it, it would make weird symbols appear in his vision.

At one point in the story he picked up some kind of revolver and the chip in his palm connected with the revolver and it seemed like time slowed and he was able to aim and mark enemies and fire the shots before anyone else moved. The chip made his reflexes super fast when used with the revolver.

I also believe later in the story there was some kind of fiery creature that would drop some kind of amber gems or something

  • 1
    Hi, welcome to SF&F. You've tagged this as "space" but haven't described any space locale(s); what do you remember about those? You've also tagged this as "post-apocalyptic" which suggests you recall something about the background or feel that's not in this question either. Please edit your question to add every detail you remember.
    – DavidW
    Nov 30, 2021 at 21:07

2 Answers 2


This looks to be Jewels of the Dragon by Allen L. Wold.

The main character is Rikard Braeth, a historian investigating the disappearance of his adventurer father. The father had had a device implanted in Rikard's palm which was intended to give him increased skill with guns. Up to the start of the story it hadn't but as the story progresses he obtains a gun with a matching device and working together they give him targeting abilities and increased firing speed.

It has been many years since I read the book, so I can't remember much else (though the name probably leads into the amber gems from fiery creatures :))

  • Nice answer. I found a review that includes more details, including "Rikard had received an implant when he was young, and inherited a massive .75-caliber pistol from his father, but they never seemed to work as intended. It turns out the gloves that come with his new attire are what was needed to complete the circuit, and he instantaneously becomes a crack shot for whom time slows down when he draws his sidearm."
    – DavidW
    Dec 7, 2021 at 16:45

This is also a partial match to The General series by S. M. Stirling and David Drake.

In this series, in a post-downfall world, the protagonist Raj Whitehall and his companion Thom Poplanich stumble across an ancient computer used for war planning, and Thom is captured and trained to be ruler, while Raj is set up as a military leader with enhanced reflexes, targeting reticules and other interactive views coming from the computer during the series. The computers' end-game is the restoration of technology, civilisation and space travel to the planet and eventually to the "Federation", a system of politically allied planets/star systems.

I don't recall any fiery creature in the series, but it has been a few years since I read it and there are several books. There is plenty of fighting using older style tactics (cavalry etc.) and lots of fire associated with that though.

At least some of the novels are available on Archive.org.

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