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Im looking for the title of a science fiction book I read in the 1980s. Basically, the plot is that someone had created a matter transmitter. The inventor hid his plans in a locked box, which only could be opened by the finger print of a particular boy. A group of people pursue the boy across many planets by pretending to be an entertainer and his company, showing magic tricks. Androids were also a major part of the plot.

Thanks for helping!

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99% certain this would be "The Rim-World Legacy" by F. A. Javor.

I would like to be able to offer some quotes from online sources to prove the case, but there's almost nothing online about this book other than catalog listing and the cover blurb. The only reason I recognize it is that I just happen to have read it within the last year.

Plot as I recall it: It's written in a hard-boiled detective type of style. In the opening scene, the protagonist is at a magic show being conducted by the "pursuers" you mentioned. He's framed as trying to assassinate someone, and that's how he gets embroiled in the mystery of who these pursuers are and what they're after. Eventually it is revealed that they are seeking the child of an inventor of a matter-transporter device (unimaginably valuable in the galaxy-spanning civilization they live in). The specially-locked box you mention is a part of it; at some point the protagonist realizes the kid they're after is on that planet and he does his best to keep them from finding out.

I don't recall anything about androids, but maybe that part just didn't register as important to me.

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    I concur. There is at least one android in the book. I couldn't find any succinct quotes from the edition "The Rim-world (tm) Legacy and Beyond" that were not also spoilers. Commented Apr 11, 2014 at 14:12
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    This is the book. I just downloaded it and flipped through it. Thank you!
    – user24830
    Commented Apr 12, 2014 at 6:26
  • The book can be read in full herehttp://www.idoc.co/read/26605/the-rim-world-legacy/
    – user24830
    Commented Apr 12, 2014 at 20:34

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