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1861
Jim BroshotPerson was signed in when posted
07-22-2018
07:05 UT
FWIW, I discovered that a Canadian site, fadedpage.com, which is posting works no longer under copyright in Canada, has three of Piper's available

Dearest

Down Styphon!

Lord Kalvan of Otherwhen

The caveat posted is "These books are public domain in Canada (because we follow the Canadian copyright laws), but if you are in another country, you should satisfy yourself that you are not breaking the copyright laws of your own country by downloading them."
1860
David "PiperFan" JohnsonPerson was signed in when posted
07-21-2018
03:37 UT
~
John Espley's Annotated Piper Bibliography

This is interesting:

https://archive.org/stream/Extrapolation_v...980-Summer#page/n75

Espley describes ~Four-Day Planet~ as "the weakest of Piper's stories" which seems odd (and unfortunate). He also offers some remarkable spoilers, particularly for yarns like "Crossroads of Destiny" and "The Return" (especially given that he's commenting on the ~Astounding~ edition rather than the ~Holmes~ anthology edition).

There is an intriguing end note which refers to a personal letter Espley apparently received--or had access to--from Bill Tuning, but I can't seem to find the reference in the body of the bibliography.

Nice to see this at the Internet Archive.

Cheers,

David
--
"Do you know which books to study, and which ones not to bother with? Or which ones to read first, so that what you read in the others will be comprehensible to you? That's what they'll give you [at university]. The tools, which you don't have now, for educating yourself." - Bish Ware (H. Beam Piper), ~Four-Day Planet~
~
1859
David "PiperFan" JohnsonPerson was signed in when posted
07-19-2018
03:20 UT
~
James "jimmyjoejangles" Romanski wrote:

> Didn't see it in the bibliography thought it might interest you.

Had the original Doubleday hardcover edition but not this Fawcett paperback edition. As it happens I was updating the Future History Concordance (see "University of Montevideo") when your message arrived, so I've also added this entry to the Future History bibliography here:

http://www.zarthani.net/future_history_bibliography.htm

"Omnilingual" is perhaps Beam's more reprinted story and I'm still missing many editions, especially those published overseas and in translation. Someday. . . .

Thanks,

David
--
"Do you know which books to study, and which ones not to bother with? Or which ones to read first, so that what you read in the others will be comprehensible to you? That's what they'll give you [at university]. The tools, which you don't have now, for educating yourself." - Bish Ware (H. Beam Piper), ~Four-Day Planet~
~
1858
jimmyjoejanglesPerson was signed in when posted
07-19-2018
02:43 UT
just browsing on Ebay and came across an anthology containing Omnilingual.
 https://www.ebay.com/itm/Where-Do-We-Go-fr...t=nc&LH_TitleDesc=0
Didn't see it in the bibliography thought it might interest you.
1857
David "PiperFan" JohnsonPerson was signed in when posted
07-14-2018
06:31 UT
~
John "Calidore" Anderson wrote:

> According to Piper, the Alliance refugees take only one year to
> reach Excalibur. "Complete defeat of Alliance; escape of Alliance
> fleet from Abigor; they discover and colonize a planet outside
> Federation sphere of influence, which they name Excalibur,
> 855 A.E."

I've always read that date from Beam's "The Future History" as being when the Alliance refugees fled from Abigor and assumed that it takes them a bit longer to find (and settle upon) Excalibur. It doesn't really matter in the grand scheme of things but surely it took them some time to gather whatever surviving fleet elements they could at Abigor, to decide upon and prepare for their flight from Federation space, and then to survey likely worlds until settling upon Excalibur. That's a lot to do in twelve (or maybe eighteen, at most) months.

> I've always thought that it happens centuries later, mainly
> because Gram only gets a planetary monarchy circa AE 1706
> (PB, p. 213). This gave me the impression it was one of the
> last Sword-Worlds, if not the last, to be colonized.

I can see the reasoning there but I think planetary monarchies are actually not all that common at the time of ~Space Viking~. There are only three planetary kings mentioned--Rodolf of Excalibur, Napolyon of Flamberge and Konrad of Haulteclere--and only one other Sword-World, Joyeuse, is described in a way which might suggest it is a unified world (when "Joyeuse had intruded" into the Oskarsan-Elmersan War on Durendal--and even here it could be that merely one or more dukes or other Joyeuse nobles get involved). Morglay, Curtana, Colada and Tizon are all mentioned in ~Space Viking~ without any details provided one way or another about them being unified under a single monarch.

> My underlying assumption being that it wouldn't take too
> much time between the founding of a Sword-World and
> unification under its own planetary monarch. Perhaps only
> a few centuries from being a colony of another planet to
> declaring independence.

It seems like Gram is "independent" (of Haulteclere--or any other Sword-World) _before_ Angus of Wardshaven makes himself King. Given what we know about Sword-Worlds feudalism I suspect new worlds are not so much colonized formally by the planetary ruler of their originating-world as they are by various settlers--"second sons (and daughters)," non-noble freeholders, various malcontents--who come to the new, colony world "on their own." In other words, I've always assumed that a newly-colonized Sword-World was "independent," politically, at least, from the get-go. I imagine there are all sorts of economic, technological and other "dependencies" but I don't see the process of Sword-World expansion happening in the same way Angus of Wardshaven--who wasn't King when Trask left--tried to "colonize" Tanith (and, perhaps, the way that Haulteclere "colonized" Xochitl). These Space Viking "base planets" in the Old Federation seem to be something "different" from the Sword-Worlds themselves.

> The breakup of the Federation is a fact only ten years after The
> Cosmic Computer, or about AE 905.

Actually, Beam tells us a bit about this in "The Future History" too. It's two hundred years from ~Junkyard Planet~ in 894 AE to "Terran Federation completely, vanished by 1100 AE. A few planets, Odin, Marduk, Baldur, Aton, Isis, etc., retain civilization, including hyperdrive."

Given that there's _no_ indication in ~Junkyard Planet~ (or "Graveyard of Dreams") that any Federation planets are restive at the time of Merlin's discovery, 905 AE seems a bit early to me.

> This is confirmed by Merlin's additional "statement that, after
> fifty years, suppression of the truth and circulation of falsely
> optimistic statements about the Federation would no longer
> have any importance." (ibid., p. 244)
>
> This must mean fifty years after AE 854, when Merlin first
> predicted the Federation's end. Because The Cosmic Computer
> begins forty years later, in AE 894, and ten years after that the
> Federation breakup has begun. Forty plus ten equals fifty.

Actually, Merlin provides the details about the need for suppression and false information no longer mattering "after fifty years" _after_ Conn and his team have updated it with information about events in the forty years since the War and then ask it what they should do. So it would seem that that means fifty years from the time of the events of ~Junkyard Planet~, which would push it into the middle of the Tenth Century.

> As an outer planet and former member of the System States
> Alliance, Marduk is probably one of the first worlds to leave
> the Federation, and possibly the first major planet to do so.

Agreed.

> For the first decade or two of its independence, Marduk
> may remain a democratic planet.

Here's an interesting thought. Marduk likely _isn't_ a "democratic planet" at the end of the Federation era. Rather, it's occupied by the Federation, likely with some sort of Federation-imposed authority. Now, perhaps by the time of ~Junkyard Planet~ that authority had transitioned from military to civilian authority but I don't imagine the Federation, especially as it was falling apart, was in too much of a hurry to return Marduk to self-rule. (Even if it did, Marduk would have had a period of time when "democratic rule" was a thing of the past.) Bottom line is, it may be that it was the Federation occupation itself which planted the seeds for autocratic and ultimately monarchical rule on an independent Marduk.

> But Beam also states that the "Breakup of [the] Federation
> continues at an accelerating rate" (ibid.), so the "spreading
> anarchy" of the early Tenth Century probably involves at least
> some of the chaos foreseen by Merlin. "Rebellions.
> Overthrow of Federation authority, and then revolt and
> counterrevolt against planetary authority. Division along
> sectional or class lines on individual planets."

Yep. On Marduk it may even be that the Federation "governor" is the one who declares Marduk "independent," only to be toppled him/herself by a subsequent, indigenous uprising.

> As the Federation begins failing, its democratic institutions
> are probably discredited as a result.

Perhaps, but we really have no idea. The one bit of insight we get--on Poictesme--gives no hint of this sort of impulse. It's a shame we don't have a yarn from Beam set on Odin or Baldur or Aton or Isis--or Marduk!--in this era.

> And they will certainly be under considerable strain on newly-
> independent planets like Marduk. For in this new age, fraught
> with disintegration and disorder, revolt and counterrevolt, a
> strong leader and/or leadership class, unhindered by democratic
> limitations, would become much more attractive. Thus, I suggest
> that this "time of troubles" in the Old Federation fosters a general
> societal movement away from democracy and toward monarchy
> and other authoritarian forms of government, roughly analogous
> to what happens in the Sword-Worlds. "Development of loose
> feudalism from earlier and even looser town-meeting democracy."

I imagine it happens differently on different Federation worlds, depending upon their specific circumstances. Sure, disaffected, (perhaps formerly-)occupied worlds like Marduk might be susceptible to authoritarianism but perhaps worlds like Odin or Baldur, which may be prosperous and eager to escape the yoke of the decaying Federation, declare themselves independent "Republics" and maintain some tradition of democratic governance as they move into the post-Federation collapse. It seems unlikely that every Federation world will follow the same political path into the post-Federation era.

> This is supported by the case of Blackie Perales, who because of
> poverty and incompetent government turns outlaw, and later “talks
> of organizing all the pirates and outlaws on the planet into one
> band and making himself king.” I believe this is a deliberate
> foreshadowing of the rise of monarchy,

Perhaps, on a poor, sparsely-settled world like Poictesme--if not Poictesme itself, thanks to the efforts of Conn and his friends--this may very well be the case. But it will be very difficult for a Perales-esque bandit to take over a major, prosperous world like Odin or Baldur or Aton or Isis. . . .

> And since Federation planets like Marduk are older and have
> higher populations, they probably see higher levels of social
> unrest and anarchy.

Those with existing grievances like Marduk, maybe. Those which are prosperous, like Odin and Baldur, probably not.

> AE 864 Marduk readmitted to the Federation as a Member
> Republic; the occupation forces depart.

With interstellar travel times still on the order of "six months to everywhere" I think this is optimistic. (It even takes three years for the War to _begin_ after the System States secede, for Ghu's sake!) And once things start to fall apart for the Federation, it may never get around to returning Marduk to self-rule (until Marduk, perhaps under the former Federation "Special Resident" even, takes matters into its own hands).

> AE 910 The "Second Republic" of Marduk is proclaimed, the
> first major planet to reassert its independence.

Something like that. Whether Marduk is first or not, who knows?

> AE 930 Large-scale social unrest on populous Marduk
> causes the fall of the Second Republic; the Kingdom of
> Marduk is proclaimed soon thereafter.

Something like that. This may be a locally-driven counter-revolution to that original move by the former Federation governor's administration.

> AE 1000 The Interstellar Wars begin, possibly causing a
> more widespread rise of authoritarian leaders and final
> decline of democracy. This includes democracy on Poictesme,
> whose fledgling Federation is presumably defeated, and the
> planet itself destroyed, during these wars.

Well, _something_ has to happen to Poictesme (and Merlin) to keep it from being mentioned in the Viking (and Empire) era but I've always hoped it was something other than it becoming simply another casualty of the Interstellar Wars.

> With the Federation breaking up, weaker planets will look
> to their more powerful neighbors for economic and
> defensive support. And thanks to the Maxwell/Merlin Plans,
> Poictesme will be one of the most powerful planets around,
> in both categories.

Beam tells us the names of some of those "most powerful planets" in the post-Federation era. Poictesme isn't one of them.

> Excalibur's capital is Camelot, and Piper wrote The Cosmic
> Computer in the early 1960s, when there was much talk of
> "Camelot"; in the forms of a famous musical and the short-
>lived Kennedy Administration.
> President Kennedy's bold and energetic "New Frontier" in
> the early days of the Space Age would then be paralleled
> by the "new frontier" beyond Federation space, being boldly
> discovered, explored and settled by the energetic refugees
> from Abigor and their immediate descendants. A "new
> space" age.

This is a nice idea. It's not exactly how I believe things unfold, but it's a sweet idea nonetheless.

Let me just say that this was a fine piece of work, John (even if I don't agree with some of the details). Thanks for reminding us of what I've enjoyed most about this discussion form (and it's predecessor) over the years.

Cheers,

David
--
"You had a wonderful civilization here. . . . You could have made almost anything of it. But it's too late now. You've torn down the gates; the barbarians are in." - Lucas Trask (H. Beam Piper), ~Space Viking~
~
1856
CalidorePerson was signed in when posted
07-13-2018
21:33 UT
A very interesting topic! Surprising indeed, and it seems to be borne out by the evidence.

According to Piper, the Alliance refugees take only one year to reach Excalibur. “Complete defeat of Alliance; escape of Alliance fleet from Abigor; they discover and colonize a planet outside Federation sphere of influence, which they name Excalibur, 855 A.E.” (Carr, Piper Biography, p. 213)

“From it, their grandchildren had colonized Joyeuse and Durendal and Flamberge” (Space Viking, p. 10). This should mean these three planets are colonized around AE 905, given 25 years for each generation to grow up and begin begetting the next.

(I believe 20 years is too few. Conn is 23 at the beginning of CC, and 25 at the end, when he marries Sylvie and thereafter starts a family. Likewise, Piper’s other major characters are professional people who seem to be at least 25 when they get married; Nancy Patterson in “When in the Course—”, Carlos von Schlichten and Paula Quinton in Uller Uprising, Gerd van Riebeek and Ruth Ortheris in the Fuzzy novels, etc. And one would assume that it is self-reliant types like these who go out and colonize new Sword-Worlds.)

To be precise, the children of the Excalibur settlers are presumably born circa AE 855-865 (1), their grandchildren are born circa 880-890, and these in turn become adults circa 905-915, at about which time they go to space and settle the three new Sword-Worlds. Since “Haulteclere had been colonized in the next generation from Joyeuse”, this would roughly occur twenty-five years later, or between AE 930-940.

Piper continues with “and Gram from Haulteclere.” (ibid.) But as you noted, he doesn’t specify the generation. I’ve always thought that it happens centuries later, mainly because Gram only gets a planetary monarchy circa AE 1706 (PB, p. 213). This gave me the impression it was one of the last Sword-Worlds, if not the last, to be colonized. My underlying assumption being that it wouldn’t take too much time between the founding of a Sword-World and unification under its own planetary monarch. Perhaps only a few centuries from being a colony of another planet to declaring independence.

However, the context of the quote certainly implies it happens soon after, and if you’re right that only two generations pass, Gram could be colonized around AE 980-990.

So when does Marduk become a monarchy? That’ll be sometime after the Federation begins its final breakup, which should be by AE 905. For when Merlin is asked “What is the best course for to be followed under these conditions by the people of Poictesme?”, it replies “In the beginning and for the first ten years, it was, almost item for item, the Maxwell Plan…Then [after ten years] the Maxwell Plan became the Merlin Plan; the breakup of the Federation was a fact that entered into the computation.” (Cosmic Computer, p. 243)

The breakup of the Federation is “a fact” only ten years after The Cosmic Computer, or about AE 905. This is confirmed by Merlin’s additional “statement that, after fifty years, suppression of the truth and circulation of falsely optimistic statements about the Federation would no longer have any importance.” (ibid., p. 244) This must mean fifty years after AE 854, when Merlin first predicted the Federation’s end. Because The Cosmic Computer begins forty years later, in AE 894, and ten years after that the Federation breakup has begun. Forty plus ten equals fifty. Thus, by AE 905, there will be no need to conceal the Awful Truth any longer; everyone can see it for themselves.

As an outer planet and former member of the System States Alliance, Marduk is probably one of the first worlds to leave the Federation, and possibly the first major planet to do so. It may acquire part of the TF Space Navy as the nucleus of its own fleet, since Piper says that this period includes the “Disintegration of TF Space Navy due to apathy and even hostility of “Liberal” government [on Terra]; resulting in spreading anarchy.” (PB, p. 213)

For the first decade or two of its independence, Marduk may remain a democratic planet. But Beam also states that the “Breakup of [the] Federation continues at an accelerating rate” (ibid.), so the “spreading anarchy” of the early Tenth Century probably involves at least some of the chaos foreseen by Merlin. “Rebellions. Overthrow of Federation authority, and then revolt and counterrevolt against planetary authority. Division along sectional or class lines on individual planets.” (CC, p. 227)

As the Federation begins failing, its democratic institutions are probably discredited as a result. And they will certainly be under considerable strain on newly-independent planets like Marduk. For in this new age, fraught with disintegration and disorder, revolt and counterrevolt, a strong leader and/or leadership class, unhindered by democratic limitations, would become much more attractive. Thus, I suggest that this “time of troubles” in the Old Federation fosters a general societal movement away from democracy and toward monarchy and other authoritarian forms of government, roughly analogous to what happens in the Sword-Worlds. “Development of loose feudalism from earlier and even looser town-meeting democracy.” (PB, p. 213)

This is supported by the case of Blackie Perales, who because of poverty and incompetent government turns outlaw, and later “talks of organizing all the pirates and outlaws on the planet into one band and making himself king.” I believe this is a deliberate foreshadowing of the rise of monarchy, because if Conn Maxwell hadn’t been so insistent on grabbing Barathrum Spaceport, Perales could have succeeded in getting “a lot of planetbusters and hellburners and annihilators” from Koshchei. (CC, p. 103) With power like that, not even Klem Zareff’s well-trained forces could have defeated him; Perales could have made himself, not just king of the outlaws, but King of Poictesme. That possibility is also suggested in Piper. “Some of these days, Blackie Perales and his pirates’ll sack Storisende, for all they’d be able to do to stop them.” (ibid., p. 18) After acquiring superweapons and sacking Storisende, Perales’ strongly-defended spaceport on Barathrum would have effectively become the new planetary capital.

So planetary monarchy is averted in CC, but will reappear very soon, after the breakup begins. And since Federation planets like Marduk are older and have higher populations, they probably see higher levels of social unrest and anarchy. So the development of monarchy may be much quicker in the Old Federation than in the Sword-Worlds. If we apply Piper’s statement about the Sword-Worlds to the Federation planets, it would read something like “Rapid development of monarchy from earlier and failing democracy.”

The Mardukan monarchy could therefore be established fairly early on. Assuming it happens around AE 930, this places it about a half-century before Gram is colonized, which would be consistent with Prince Trask’s statement in Space Viking.

So I think you’re absolutely right that Conn and Sylvie Maxwell will see Marduk become an independent planet. This could be about when they reach middle age; Conn will be 34-44 in the period AE 905-915. It is likely that some of the Fawzi’s Office Gang will still be around, too. Assuming Marduk becomes a monarchy about a generation later, you’re also right that the younger Maxwells will live to see that as well, roughly becoming senior citizens by that time (Conn will be 60 in AE 931).

Since the Maxwells succeeded in saving democracy on Poictesme (by defeating Blackie Perales, and then getting Kurt Fawzi elected President), and plan to create a new ‘Poictesmean Federation’ to replace the failing Terran one (ibid., p. 242), Conn and Sylvie may also live to see their planet become the seat of the most competent and powerful democratic government left in Federation space. With the interesting caveat that this could mean they are actually going against the tide of history!

Of course, there is some ‘wiggle room’ here, as you also noted. By ‘generation’, Piper could have meant the traditional 30 or 33 years (from the Bible, I believe), so Marduk may become independent at a later date, its monarchy may be established later, and the early Sword-Worlds, including Gram, may be colonized a bit later, as well. But I don’t see any problem with your relative dating of events.

To put things in chronological order, here’s a tentative timeline. And I’ve added a few non-canon details that seem to fit.

AE 854 System States Alliance defeated; Alliance planets including the Republic of Marduk occupied by
          Federation troops. Merlin predicts the end of the Federation, but says the information must be
          kept secret for fifty years. General Travis, his aide-de-camp Mike Shanlee, and the rest of the
          Project Merlin staff “all took an oath of secrecy.” (CC, p. 228) Meanwhile, refugees from
          Abigor, refusing to accept defeat by the Terran Federation, take what’s left of the Alliance
          Space Navy to find a new planet far beyond Federation space.

AE 855 Excalibur founded by the Alliance refugees.

AE 864 Marduk readmitted to the Federation as a Member Republic; the occupation forces depart.

AE 894 Blackie Perales captures the Harriet Barne, plans to acquire superweapons on Koshchei, which
          will make him the most powerful man on Poictesme. Conn Maxwell returns to Poictesme from
          Terra and becomes partners with his father Rodney; the search for Merlin begins in earnest, but
          this is only a front for the real task of restoring planetary prosperity—the Maxwell Plan. As part
          of the Plan, Conn decides to acquire Barathrum Spaceport. But this is the Perales gang’s
          hideout, so it results in the Battle of Barathrum, in which the outlaw band is largely destroyed,
          thereby preventing Perales from effectively making himself King of Poictesme. Monarchy is
          averted.

AE 895 The Maxwell Plan picks up steam; many new companies are created and much wealth
          generated. Then Merlin is unexpectedly rediscovered, repredicts the end of the Federation
          and reiterates the need for secrecy (through falsification this time), for the next ten years.

AE 896 Mayor Kurt Fawzi elected President; a renewal of democracy on Poictesme, as this breaks the
          stranglehold on power held the “First-Families-of-Storisende oligarchy” which formerly
          bankrupted the planet. (CC, p. 18)

AE 905 The Maxwell Plan becomes the Merlin Plan as the Federation begins its final dissolution; many
          outer planets become independent, and the need for secrecy therefore ends. The breakup
          begins peacefully, and assuming Merlin’s prediction is made public, it is probably denounced as
          a lie by the Federation government. Some Federation ships fall into the hands of the
          newly-independent planets, becoming the basis for their own Space Navies.
          
AE 905-915 Joyeuse, Durendal and Flamberge are colonized from Excalibur.

AE 910 The ‘Second Republic’ of Marduk is proclaimed, the first major planet to reassert its
          independence.

AE 920 On many worlds, living standards decline as the interstellar order disintegrates. This causes
          social unrest, as uncertainty over the future generates widespread fear. The generally corrupt
          and incompetent democracy of the late Federation period cannot cope with the spreading
          anarchy, prompting some of the newly-independent planets to adopt a monarchical form of
          government. Other authoritarian forms also appear.

AE 930 Large-scale social unrest on populous Marduk causes the fall of the Second Republic; the
          Kingdom of Marduk is proclaimed soon thereafter.

AE 930-940 Haulteclere is founded from Joyeuse. Two other new Sword-Worlds are colonized from
              Durendal and Flamberge.

AE 980-990 Gram is colonized from Haulteclere.

AE 1000 The Interstellar Wars begin, possibly causing a more widespread rise of authoritarian leaders
           and final decline of democracy. This includes democracy on Poictesme, whose fledgling
           Federation is presumably defeated, and the planet itself destroyed, during these wars.

In this scheme, Marduk becomes independent about the time that Joyeuse, Durendal and Flamberge are colonized, and becomes a monarchy around the time Haulteclere is founded. This is therefore roughly 50-60 years before Gram is colonized.

It also means that at the time the Federation begins shrinking, the Sword-Worlds begin expanding. ‘Out with the old (civilization), in with the new’, as it were. The expansion of the short-lived ‘Poictesmean Federation’ may begin at the same time. With the Federation breaking up, weaker planets will look to their more powerful neighbors for economic and defensive support. And thanks to the Maxwell/Merlin Plans, Poictesme will be one of the most powerful planets around, in both categories.

John

(1) Piper used WWII as one of his models for the System States War. As stated by John Carr, the Merlin Project parallels the Manhattan Project, and the salvage economy of Poictesme parallels the Cargo Cults in the South Pacific. Thus, the first generation born after the System States War on Excalibur in the later 850s and early 860s would parallel the post-WWII Baby Boom generation of the 1950s and 60s in America. Excalibur’s capital is Camelot, and Piper wrote The Cosmic Computer in the early 1960s, when there was much talk of ‘Camelot’; in the forms of a famous musical and the short-lived Kennedy Administration.
     President Kennedy’s bold and energetic ‘New Frontier’ in the early days of the Space Age would then be paralleled by the ‘new frontier’ beyond Federation space, being boldly discovered, explored and settled by the energetic refugees from Abigor and their immediate descendants. A ‘new space’ age.
1855
David "PiperFan" JohnsonPerson was signed in when posted
07-06-2018
02:26 UT
~
Marduk's Monarchy (and the collapse of the Federation)

Here's Trask during the royal dinner on Marduk: "These people had a monarchy since before Gram had been colonized. . . ."

I hadn't noticed this before, but think about it for a minute. We know that Gram was settled in the "third wave" of Sword-Worlds colonization, from Haulteclere which had been settled, from Joyeuse, by the great-grandchildren of the original Alliance refugees who fled from Abigor after the System States War to settle Excalibur. Now we don't know how many generations there were between the settlement of Haulteclere and the settlement of Gram but let's say it was two, the same period between the original settlement of Excalibur and the "first wave" of colonization which settled Joyeuse, Durendal and Flamberge.

So that's, say, five generations from the flight from Abigor until the settlement of Gram. Call it a hundred years. Somewhere in that period Marduk goes from being a "Federation Member Republic"--presumably one occupied by the Federation in the immediate aftermath of the System States War--to an independent planet with its own monarchy!

It gets more interesting. The flight of the Alliance refugees occurs forty years _before_ Merlin is discovered on Poictesme. That means Marduk is independent, with its own monarchy, within something less than sixty years after the events of ~Junkyard Planet~. Odds are Conn Maxwell and Sylvie Jacquemont live to see that (assuming neither meets an untimely death).

(Sure, maybe those "generations" are a bit more than twenty years. Perhaps the Alliance refugees spent as much as a decade looking for Excalibur. Perhaps there were three generations between the settlement of Haulteclere and the settlement of Gram. If Conn and Sylvie didn't live to see a monarchy proclaimed on Marduk for sure their children would have seen it--and early in their lives.)

Remember Ashmodai! Remember Belphegor!

David
--
"We talk glibly about ten to the hundredth power, but emotionally we still count, 'One, Two, Three, Many.'" - Otto Harkaman (H. Beam Piper), ~Space Viking~
~
1854
Jon CrockerPerson was signed in when posted
06-30-2018
02:09 UT
That's a good suggestion, thanks - I'll check the local used book store first, but I might look into that online.
1853
David "PiperFan" JohnsonPerson was signed in when posted
06-27-2018
17:05 UT
~
Jon Crocker wrote:

> I'd noticed that the SF category was severely lacking, so I
> picked up . . . yes, "Little Fuzzy" at a used book store and
> donated them to the library, so I hope some people enjoy
> those.

Nice bit of Piper evangelizing, Jon! This might make a good addition too, if you come across a copy:

https://www.abebooks.com/servlet/SearchResults?isbn=9780448474960

Cheers,

David
--
"Do you know which books to study, and which ones not to bother with? Or which ones to read first, so that what you read in the others will be comprehensible to you? That's what they'll give you [at university]. The tools, which you don't have now, for educating yourself." - Bish Ware (H. Beam Piper), ~Four-Day Planet~
~
1852
David "PiperFan" JohnsonPerson was signed in when posted
06-27-2018
16:53 UT
~
Well met in Tsawwassen

Yesterday I had the pleasure of meeting fellow Piper fan Mike Robertson. Mike and his family were vacationing in Vancouver. I took the ferry over to the mainland and Mike graciously treated me for dinner at a restaurant on the Tsawwassen First Nation.

We had a wonderful, wide-ranging conversation about Piper and his work and a bit about our careers, which have taken similar courses at times. Mike is a great guy and one of our most successful Piper follow-on authors. If you've not yet read his collaborations with John F. Carr, ~The Last Space Viking~:

https://www.amazon.com/Last-Space-Viking-John-Carr/dp/0937912123/

and ~Space Viking's Throne~:

https://www.amazon.com/Space-Vikings-Thron...Carr/dp/0937912190/

I encourage you to do so. These tales of David Morland at the end of the Space Viking era are well worth your time (and money).

Cheers,

David

P.S. Mike has also been a long-time, consistent financial supporter of Zarthani.net and its Piper discussion forum and mailing list, which I also very much appreciate.
--
"Why not everybody make friend, have fun, make help, be good?" - Diamond Grego (H. Beam Piper), ~Fuzzy Sapiens~
~
1851
Jon CrockerPerson was signed in when posted
06-24-2018
22:54 UT
Changing the vector from 'deadly radiations' to 'deadly pathogens' would definitely be an improvement, plus would keep most of the rest of the plot the same.

To shift topics slightly, outside my daughters' school they just put up a 'free library', a (hopefully!) weatherproof cabinet with bunches of books inside, for people to take & replace once finished. I'd noticed that the SF category was severely lacking, so I picked up copies of "Asimov's Mysteries" and "The Sentinel", a collection of short stories by Arthur C Clarke and yes, "Little Fuzzy" at a used book store and donated them to the library, so I hope some people enjoy those.
1850
David "PiperFan" JohnsonPerson was signed in when posted
06-09-2018
17:33 UT
~
Salvaging "Immunity"?

While "Flight from Tomorrow" ("Immunity" was Beam's original title) is an engaging yarn it is rendered unbelievable by the explanation offered for its central premise: the idea that humanity eventually became "immune" to atomic radiation. While that idea might have been tenable--barely--when "Flight" was published (just five years after the bombs at Hiroshima and Nagasaki--and Trinity) it makes no sense to contemporary readers.

There is though an interesting possibility within the yarn itself which might suggest a potential resolution of this shortcoming. Here's Hradzka musing on what might explain his apparent toxicity to the people and other living things he encounters in the early years of the First Century of the Atomic Era:

"During the early centuries of the Atomic Era, he knew, there had been great wars, the stories of which had survived even to the Hundredth Century. Among the weapons that had been used, there had been artificial plagues and epidemics, caused by new types of bacteria developed in laboratories, against which the victims had possessed no protection. Those germs and viruses had persisted for centuries, and gradually had lost their power to harm mankind. Suppose, now, that he had brought some of them back with him, to a century before they had been developed. Suppose, that was, that he were a human plague-carrier. He thought of the vermin that had infested the clothing he had taken from the man he had killed on the other side of the mountain; they had not troubled him after the first day."

I've not looked closely at the rest of the yarn, but I wonder if it might be "rebooted" in a way which would utilize this "bacteriological immunity" as an alternative, more believable explanation for Hradzka's ultimate fate in his past (and for the "Ancient Spaceport" of his original era).

Cheers,

David
--
"You know how atomic energy was first used? There was an ancient nation, upon the ruins of whose cities we have built our own, which was famed for its idealistic humanitarianism. Yet that nation, treacherously attacked, created the first atomic bombs in self defense, and used them." - Kradzy Zago (H. Beam Piper), "Flight from Tomorrow"
~
1849
Jon CrockerPerson was signed in when posted
05-26-2018
17:36 UT
For some reason, that makes me think of some of the old Bob Newhart telephone-call comedy bits.

"He- Hello, sir? Yes, sir, this is Manager Slarth, down at the Central Zoo? You know how you'd asked us to supply a wolf for a fourth level outtime operation, one canis lupis, from the fourth level? Turns out, funny story, one of the new hires made a slight mistake, and sent along a canis khiftus. Ye- Yes sir, that's one of the not-quite wolves left over at the second-level Khiftan wars. No sir, we're not sure which Khiftan war it was. And we're pretty sure they don't know any more either. But back to the wolf, sir, it is pretty close, and unless you really know what you're looking at, it's just a big shaggy wolf, so we don't think- what do you mean, they've found out?"
1848
David "PiperFan" JohnsonPerson was signed in when posted
05-26-2018
05:29 UT
~
Verkan Vall Strikes Again

Montana authorities scratching their heads over discovery of wolflike creature

https://www.thestar.com/news/world/2018/05...flike-creature.html

Nice touch too, with the conspiracy theories.

Down Styphon!

David
--
"Unsolved mysteries are just as good as explanations, as long as they're mysterious within a normal framework." - Verkan Vall, ~Lord Kalvan of Otherwhen~
~
1847
Jon CrockerPerson was signed in when posted
05-20-2018
23:31 UT
I had a bit of a re-read of Lord Kalvan. On page 2, during Chief Karf's setting up of the book:

"It all had to be policed. Some Paratimers were less than scrupulous in dealing with outtime races - he'd have retired ten years ago except for the discovery of a huge paratemporal slave-trade, only recently smashed."

So it looks like Vall had wrapped everything up, and everyone had been merged back into the main force.

Sadly, the lack of Mars expedition leads me to conclude that 'our home time line' is not in Piper Future History. The flip side of that is, I'm not minding the lack of 3rd or 4th world wars! And since there's no more Soviet Union to launch a trans-polar invasion of Ottawa and get Allan Hartley blasted at Buffalo, I think we're clear on that one.

When I google Martha Dane, I do get a lot of results. No, I'm not going to email them and ask if they've been to Mars.
1846
jimmyjoejanglesPerson was signed in when posted
05-20-2018
19:54 UT
The problem with Kalvan is that it makes no mention of the second Paratime police that Verkan was put in charge of at the end of Time Crime. Barring that; based on the descriptions of Tortha Karf, more than a few years pass between A Police Operation and Time Crime. I think Kalvan happened before Time Crime so I thiought more like the sixties or even later.
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