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"Bureaucracies hide their mistakes, because people's careers are tied to those mistakes. Therefore, bureaucracies are a perfect mechanism for perpetuating mistakes."
- Frank Herbert

Trumps  
  Magical Tarot cards that permitted both communication and transportation.  

In the novel, a very special pack of playing cards is the vehicle by which members of a royal family communicate with each other, and sometimes travel to meet with each other, where ever they may be. In whatever shadow of reality.

The drawer contained a packet of playing cards.

And the packet bore a device which caused me to stiffen where I knelt, perspiration suddenly wetting my brow and my breath coming rapidly.

It bore a white unicorn on a green field, rampant, facing to the Dexter.

I opened the package and extracted the cards. They were on the order of trumps, with their wands, pentacles, cups, and swords, but the greater trumps were quite different.

They were almost life like in appearance, the greater trumps ready to step right out through those glistening surfaces. The cards seemed quite cold to my touch, and it gave me a distinct pleasure to handle them. I had once had a packet like this myself, I suddenly knew.

Technovelgy from Nine Princes in Amber, by Roger Zelazny.
Published by Doubleday in 1970
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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Nine Princes in Amber
  More Ideas and Technology by Roger Zelazny
  Tech news articles related to Nine Princes in Amber
  Tech news articles related to works by Roger Zelazny

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