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1800
Dale RidderPerson was signed in when posted
12-11-2017
00:53 UT
Jon Crocker wrote:

"There used to be a game company in the US, Game Designers Workshop, they were active from the late 70s to early 90s - they had read some Piper, they named a part of space in the Traveller RPG after the Sword Worlds. One of their board games was Triplanetary, a vector movement spaceship game, and I just realized where they might have gotten the name from. (Fun fact, Steve Jackson Games is slated to do a Kickstarter-backed re-release of Triplanetary around the middle of next month.)"

Far Future Enterprises is still producing the Traveller RPG, and this can be found at either the Far Futures Website and also DriveThruRPG. There is a confederation called the Sword Worlds, but the Sword Worlders as depicted at not exactly what you see in Space Viking. The similarity is in the names, not the people.
1799
David "PiperFan" JohnsonPerson was signed in when posted
12-10-2017
19:22 UT
~
Jon Crocker wrote:

> Both names are very evocative, I always wished we'd
> gotten more information on them.

We might tease out a few more tidbits. Both are called "Empires" which might, at first, lead us to consider them to be the same sector. But Second Level seems to be a rather "ugly" place in general. Yes, there is a sort of aristocratic representative-democracy in the Akor-Neb Sector civilization of "Last Enemy" but of the three other Second Level civilizations Beam tells us about, Khiftian Sector is almost paradigmatic among Paratimers for a brutal civilization, Jak-Hakka (not clear if this is a sector or something else) serves primarily as an example of a failed dictatorship, and the Luvarian Empire Sector is yet another "empire."

So, perhaps, there are both "Interworld Empire" _and_ "Triplanetary Empire" sectors.

> One of their board games was Triplanetary, a vector
> movement spaceship game, and I just realized where
> they might have gotten the name from.

Never played ~Triplanetary~ but I always assumed the folks at GDW who designed it were fans of Smith.

Cheers,

David
--
"Ideas for science fiction stories like ideas for anything else, are where you find them, usually in the most unlikely places. The only reliable source is a mind which asks itself a question like, 'What would happen if--?' or, 'Now what would this develop into, in a few centuries?' Or, 'How would so-and-so happen?' Anything at all, can trigger such a question, in your field if not in mine." - H. Beam Piper, "Double: Bill Symposium" interview
~
1798
Jon CrockerPerson was signed in when posted
12-10-2017
05:55 UT
Both names are very evocative, I always wished we'd gotten more information on them.

There used to be a game company in the US, Game Designers Workshop, they were active from the late 70s to early 90s - they had read some Piper, they named a part of space in the Traveller RPG after the Sword Worlds. One of their board games was Triplanetary, a vector movement spaceship game, and I just realized where they might have gotten the name from. (Fun fact, Steve Jackson Games is slated to do a Kickstarter-backed re-release of Triplanetary around the middle of next month.)

It's more dramatic to think that there were two sectors, both the Interworld Empire and the Triplanetary one.

While I was having a look at the most recent messages, turns out I'd missed the one about the Thorans. You're right, it does look too human, other than that it was good.
1797
David "PiperFan" JohnsonPerson was signed in when posted
12-10-2017
04:59 UT
~
Mike Robertson wrote:

> I always thought that Triplanetary was a shout out to
> E.E. "Doc" Smith!

Yep, that memory has always been sparked by this reference for me too. (It may even have been that an editor asked Beam to change "Triplanetary" to "Interworld" in ~Lord Kalvan~ for just that reason.)

At the same time, I think this similarity highlights the possibility that "Interworld Empire" and "Triplanetary Empire" might be distinct sectors. I mean, we know that Second (and some Third) Level civilizations are often interplanetary in scale. (There is even an "Interplanetary Sector" on Fifth Level where the Paratimers apparently move around the solar system to reach transposition points on Second Level time-lines.) It also seems that there is no faster-than-light drive anywhere in Paratime so the most advanced Second Level civilizations will mostly be restricted to the solar system. Thus, it seems likely that there will be many "interplanetary" civilizations on Second Level and, thus, multiple situations which will be "interworld" or "triplanetary" (i.e. spanning Earth, Venus and Mars) in some sense.

We simply don't have enough detail from Beam about either one to know for sure. If we take what Beam wrote at face value, then there would seem to be two different sectors. I'd be hard pressed to describe any differences between the two though that I wasn't simply making up myself.

Cheers,

David
--
"She went to Gindrabar, on Venus, and transposed to the Second Paratime Level, to a station maintained by Outtime Import & Export Trading Corporation." - Tortha Karf (H. Beam Piper), "Last Enemy"
~
1796
Mike RobertsonPerson was signed in when posted
12-10-2017
04:08 UT
Interworld Empire or Triplanetary Empire?

I always thought that Triplanetary was a shout out to E.E. "Doc" Smith!

Mike Robertson
1795
David "PiperFan" JohnsonPerson was signed in when posted
12-10-2017
00:56 UT
~
"Interworld Empire" or "Triplanetary Empire"?

In "Time Crime" there are two places where a Second Level "Triplanetary Empire Sector" is mentioned. We get few details about this sector--not much other than that it was the location of Verkan Vall's "first independent case." These seem to be the only two places in Beam's work where the Triplanetary Empire Sector is mentioned.

At the very end of ~Lord Kalvan~, when Verkan and Tortha Karf are talking about the difficulty of maintaining the Paratime Secret, a Second Level "Interworld Empire" Sector is mentioned. (It's not actually described as a Sector but it's mentioned in context with "Sino-Hindic" Sector and "Europo-American" Sector so it seems reasonable to assume it's a Sector.) As far as I can tell, this is the only place in Beam's work where the Interworld Empire Sector is mentioned.

Are these two different, Second Level sectors? Or was Beam simply being a bit forgetful here, meaning to write "Triplanetary Empire" at the end of ~Lord Kalvan~ but perhaps not quite remembering what he'd called it a decade earlier when he was writing "Time Crime" (and perhaps not having a copy of the February and March 1955 editions of ~Astounding~ at hand)?

Any ideas?

David
--
"Oh, my people had many gods. There was Conformity, and Authority, and Expense Account, and Opinion. And there was Status, whose symbols were many, and who rode in the great chariot Cadillac, which was almost a god itself. And there was Atom-bomb, the dread destroyer, who would some day come to end the world. None were very good gods, and I worshiped none of them.” - Calvin Morrison (H. Beam Piper), ~Lord Kalvan of Otherwhen~
~
1794
David "PiperFan" JohnsonPerson was signed in when posted
11-21-2017
04:00 UT
~
Svants and Thorans

If you have Rogue Games' ~Transmissions from Piper~, a Traveller role-playing game supplement based upon Beam's yarns "Naudsonce," "Last Enemy" and "Ministry of Disturbance," then you've already seen (a black-and-white version of) this illustration of a Thoran by Jeff Preston:

https://roguegamesblog.wordpress.com/2008/...-piper-art-preview/

This Thoran "hillman" is a bit more humanoid than I'd pictured them--and the kilt is not nearly as garish as I'd imagined--but it's great to finally see them depicted.

There are also a couple of wonderful illustrations of Svants by Alfredo Lopez, Jr., including one of "Sonny" and "Mom."

~Transmissions from Piper~ doesn't seem to be in print any more, but you can still find used copies at ABEBooks.com. You can get a PDF version here:

https://studio2publishing.com/products/tho...ions-from-piper-pdf

Enjoy,

David
--
"I saw a man shot once on Mimir, for calling another man a son of a Khooghra. The man who shot him had been on Yggdrasil and knew what he was being called." - Jack Holloway (H. Beam Piper), ~Little Fuzzy~
~
1793
David "PiperFan" JohnsonPerson was signed in when posted
11-11-2017
15:28 UT
~
The Return on eBay

A great-priced (so far!) copy of ~The Science-Fictional Sherlock Holmes~, which contains the original, expanded version of Piper's and McGuire's "The Return" is now on offer on eBay:

https://www.ebay.ca/itm/312000217545

(The plot, of course, was spoiled by the yarn be collected in this anthology!)

I'm not the seller (and I already have a copy so I won't be bidding).

Bon chance!

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~
~
1792
Tanith in OzPerson was signed in when posted
11-03-2017
13:03 UT
So after doing some sleuthing I’ve determined that “sociology” as it came to be known did not have an official governing body in Australia until 1963. There were various institutes at the University of Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne, Adelaide etc… but there was no centralized authority.

Sociology, in Australia as it turns out was governed under the Education Workers Association in each state before the incorporation of the Sociological Association of Australia and New Zealand (SAANZ) in 1963.

It seems there was a very long and torturous history for the field in Australia, and it took until the 60s for it to crystalize a governing body. There are many reasons for this, but the primary one is that each state liked to run its own affairs and distrusted Federal government mandates. This tended to manifest in the way Aboriginals, the poor/destitute and wards of the state were treated and how in many ways this conflicted with other jurisdictions.

However in the late 1980s New Zealand decided to split off and go it alone. This forced the remaining Australian States to form The Australian Sociological Association (TASA) in 1989. This organization continues to today.

TASA runs annual conferences in Australia, allowing various universities to bid for the right to host. In 2018 it will be held at the University of Western Australia.

Now, given Piper preferred to use the term “sociography” it’s possible that something like TASA could have formed and run conferences in his universe. A Federation Sociography Association I guess, an organisation separate to the Extraterrestrials' Rights Association.
 
I think this is a likely extrapolation and would provide a plausible reason for visiting academics from aboard to have been at one of these conferences. They would then be stuck in Adelaide unable to return to France.

This then would lead to a choice to try to return to a "French" colony, or to remain in Adelaide (or other places in Australia). Most of the contingent choose to stay and are incorporated into the University of Adelaide.

I like it. I think bringing a small part of the Sorbonne into Adelaide university culture is an interesting idea. And it then makes Adelaide Uni much more prestigious and could have started the academic notoriety that was eventually mentioned by Piper in Uller Uprising.

And it might not end there. The same thing also could have happened at the University of Montevideo. Say visiting academics from Cambridge got stuck there. Or maybe Yale? The sky's the limit on this but I could see this being a reasonable possibility.

Therefore applying the same method the "Melbourne Times" might not be a physical relocation of the entire Times organization from London. But some of their journalists could have gotten trapped in Melbourne too. Lets say they were traveling with members of the British Royal Family when the 4th war happens. Stuck in Melbourne they either start up their own version of their paper from back home or they take over a smaller paper and rename it. Either way it certainly works better than saying the whole thing moved.


So yeah.

Regards

Terry
Edited 11-03-2017 14:08
1791
Tanith in OzPerson was signed in when posted
11-03-2017
05:08 UT
~
Jon Crocker wrote:

> There's always some university researchers doing field work, so if it just happened that a handful from one big > european university were in town, sure.

This is a fair point Jon. I do like the idea of some members of the Sorbonne being down under when the balloon goes up. Perhaps some of them were in Adelaide for a conference, or a symposium, or something academic related. Whatever the reason they were in Adelaide they stay when it becomes obvious Paris has been destroyed.

Staying in Adelaide they join the school of Sociology, later Sociography and then steer the reputation of Adelaide Uni over the centuries.

I think this is a good solution and its rather elegant.

Regards

Terry
1790
David "PiperFan" JohnsonPerson was signed in when posted
11-03-2017
05:08 UT
~
Terry "Tanith in Oz" Glouftsis wrote:

> Given that the London Times went to Melbourne
> it occurs to me that many other institutions may
> have also gone down under too.

Jon makes some excellent points here and he's correct that we don't ultimately know how to explain this. His musings about the amount of time between (genuine concerns about) the outbreak of the Fourth World War and the destruction of civilization in the Northern Hemisphere (presumably including London) are spot on. But my sense--just my sense, I can point to no other evidence in his work--is that Beam was telling us something about how that war unfolded here.

> Previously the idea of the British Royal family
> coming to Australia had been touted

A couple of points. First, we know that there is extensive damage in the North in the Thirty Days' War which in and of itself might lead some Northern nations to move some government functions to the South in the "interwar" years. The folks who do that are going to tend to be the Northern Thirty Days' War "victors"--the Americans obviously--and they will tend to move to "available" territory in the South. But the hitch here is that much of the South is _already_ inhabited by nations that _don't_ suffer much in the Thirty Days' War.

That's what helps to make things like an American move into Antarctica make more sense: it's a place the Americans can go to without having to fight others who are already established here. (It also helps here that we know _someone_ ends up settling in Antarctica and that they have surnames like "Murell.")

The British, even if they stay out of the American-led (first) Terran Federation likely still remain allied against the Eastern Axis in the Thirty Days' War. That means Britain may suffer in that war too.

Unlike the Americans, the British have have some places where they might go in the South where they likely don't have to "fight their way in." Namely, the Commonwealth nations. The Commonwealth had already stopped being "British" (formally, at least) by the time Beam was writing but a great deal of affinity nevertheless remained between Britain and nations like Australia. And then, of course, there is the ~Melbourne Times~. . . .

So, if the Fourth World War unfolds in ways that leave time for the British to evacuate their government it's not unreasonable to guess that they might do so to a Commonwealth nation like Australia.

(Here's the intriguing thing about Melbourne. In the early period of Australia's independent nationhood--before Canberra was established as the federal capital--Melbourne was the seat of the monarchy. If Australia finds itself playing host to a British monarch-in-exile during the Fourth World War there are good reasons why it might nevertheless not want to be seen as being _too_ close to Britain. Sequestering the British monarch away from the Australian capital--in the monarchy's "old digs" in Melbourne--might very well help to serve that purpose. This is all conjecture, of course.)

> Now the French. We've also spoken about there
> being a lack of French references in the Federation
> and that had they gone south they may have gone
> to Madagascar (also a strong possibility).

Perhaps. The fact remains that the French seem to play no role of prominence in the Federation (or later) eras. The French may evacuate to Madagascar or elsewhere in the South but this will be a much smaller presence than that of any Americans in Antarctica or of any Britons in Australia. (On the other hand, if the French are allied with the British in some manner--perhaps in joint opposition to the early, American-led Terran Federation, perhaps they end up having a not-insubstantial presence in s few former Commonwealth nations too. Again, just conjecture here.)

> So what I wanted to ask is what about the Sorbonne?
> Adelaide University is mentioned a number of times
> as having a strong Sociography department. Given
> that the French have a strong sociology tradition at
> the Sorbonne is it possible that elements of that
> institution fled to Adelaide? Perhaps not the whole
> organisation, but some of it?

Possible, yes. Likely? Who knows? We have little evidence either way. But for this to happen, two other circumstances would seem to be required. First, Jon's musings about how the Fourth World War unfolds would have to be resolved with an assumption that there was enough "advance notice" for this sort of thing to take place. Second, evacuated French institutions in Australia raises the likelihood of some sort of Anglo-French affinity in the "interwar" years.

> I think it's possible to argue for it, but I do agree it
> could also be a stretch.

I think you have that just about exactly right. ;)

Tchau,

David
--
"I was trying to show the results of the collapse of the Ottoman Empire after the First World War, and the partition of the Middle East into a loose collection of Arab states, and the passing of British and other European spheres of influence following the Second." - Edward Chalmers (H. Beam Piper), "The Edge of the Knife"
~
1789
Jon CrockerPerson was signed in when posted
11-03-2017
04:20 UT
We'll never know for certain what exactly that term means, "The Times went to Melbourne."

Did far-seeing individuals in that worthy news organization put contingency plans in place that were eventually activated? Did a portion of the staff of The Times quietly move down under?

Or, after the balloon went up, did a few surviving reporters from the southern hemisphere congregate in Melbourne, along with a couple of the editors that had been vacationing with family around Australia & NZ? "I say, Nigel, these Aussies mean well, but they need a guiding hand, being colonials and all. What do you say we show them what's cricket?"

There's scant evidence either way. If it was just a few people involved, it would be easy for that exact beginning to be a bit obscured over the centuries.

There's always some university researchers doing field work, so if it just happened that a handful from one big european university were in town, sure.

Heads of State are easier to explain - people were thrown on planes and headed south on pre-planned routes.

A lot of it depends upon how quickly WW4 broke out - years or months of tensions? Lots of people have lots of warnings and move. If it burst out of nowhere, not so much.

You could always have one or two big organizations be deemed to have been 'extra-prepared' - someone high up in the organization is determined to keep 'the firm' running no matter what, so keeps a few extra people tucked away down under. But that really only works for one or two organizations and could easily be over - used.
1788
Tanith in OzPerson was signed in when posted
11-03-2017
03:10 UT
Hi all I've just got a quick question for the group.

Given that the London Times went to Melbourne it occurs to me that many other institutions may have also gone down under too.

Previously the idea of the British Royal family coming to Australia had been touted (a possibility that I tend to agree with).

Now the French. We've also spoken about there being a lack of French references in the Federation and that had they gone south they may have gone to Madagascar (also a strong possibility).

So what I wanted to ask is what about the Sorbonne? Adelaide University is mentioned a number of times as having a strong Sociography department. Given that the French have a strong sociology tradition at the Sorbonne is it possible that elements of that institution fled to Adelaide? Perhaps not the whole organisation, but some of it?

Let me know what you think about this. I think it's possible to argue for it, but I do agree it could also be a stretch.

Regards

Terry
1787
Jon CrockerPerson was signed in when posted
10-21-2017
03:30 UT
He did have a lot of forward-thinking items in his work - I first started reading him when I was 10? 12? I was genuinely shocked when I first found out how old the stories were.
1786
David "PiperFan" JohnsonPerson was signed in when posted
10-18-2017
04:38 UT
~
". . . big, chocolate-brown Brigadier-General Themistocles M'zangwe. . . ."

That's Carlos von Schlichten describing his deputy, the "Greco-African" officer who has his old job as commander of Konkrook military district on Uller.

M'zangwe is a South African surname. There also seems to have been a Greek immigrant community in South Africa at the time Beam was writing, composed primarily of folks who left Greece after World War II and the Greek Civil War which followed. So, presumably M'zangwe is a South African.

But here's the problem. At the time Beam was writing, the Afrikaner-led Nationalist government in South Africa had already implemented extensive elements of _apartheid_. No one named "M'zangwe" was serving as a general officer in the South African military when Beam was writing ~Uller Uprising~.

We know that the Afrikaners remained a potent influence in the (second) Terran Federation. Afrikaans is one of the component languages of Lingua Terra, after all.

Beam gives us no details in his Terro-human Future History yarns but clearly he imagined some sort of course-reversal in South Africa, a course in which a "Greco-African" could rise to general officer rank in the Uller Company army (and presumably to at least field officer rank in the Terran Federation Army before that) while speaking the "English-Spanish-Afrikaans-Portuguese mixture" that was Lingua Terra.

Just another way in which the ideas Beam portrayed in his yarns were years ahead of his time.

Tchau,

David
--
"That's probably why the Southern Hemisphere managed to stay out of the Third and Fourth World Wars." - Carlos von Schlichten (H. Beam Piper), ~Uller Uprising~
~
1785
David "PiperFan" JohnsonPerson was signed in when posted
10-04-2017
04:10 UT
~
Dale Ridder wrote:

> For that matter, being an historian, you would
> be surprised on how much of what you read is
> slanted in one direction or another, and how
> the approach to any given event changes over
> time.

The interesting thing is, I think we can see evidence of Beam doing this purposely in the Terra-human Future History. Consider, for example, how pitiless Trask and the Sword-Worlders--putting aside the Space Vikings themselves--are toward the hapless people in the Old Federation. These attitudes place them well outside what passed for "polite society" at the time Beam was writing. But these are folks, Beam is showing us, who are the descendants not only of those who lived through the Atomic Wars--which destroyed civilization on half of Terra--but also of those who managed to escape the collapse of interstellar civilization itself and the devastation of several entire worlds. What seems, at first, to be an "error"--or at least an odd, unsettling characterization--turns out to be some rather subtle story-telling.

> As for the problem of Niflheim's location, I
> suspect that he simply moved the star to make
> the story work better, given the speed at which
> he was using for his hyperdrive in Uller Uprising.

I think there may have been several unusual things going on in this early "shared world" yarn. For example, while he sticks with Nu Puppis as Nifflheim's system, Beam moves his Uller from Clark's Beta Hydri, in the southern constellation Hydrus, to Beta Hydrae, in the northern constellation Hydra. That seems an odd mistake for him _and_ his editor to make--especially if it was Fletcher Pratt doing the editing for ~The Petrified Planet~. (Pratt's "The Long View" doesn't seem to mention the system its Uller is in, but its original publication in ~Startling Stories~ also included Clark's essay with the Beta Hydri reference.) On the other hand, there is no obvious dramatic reason why Beam might have made this shift.

I think you're right that Beam's primary focus was writing yarns that sold and therefore that his universe-building took a backseat to the dramatic needs he believed best-suited his interests in selling his work. On the other hand, I don't think we should be too quick to dismiss what seem to be errors or contradictions. I'm sure Beam made errors, yes, and at other times deliberately contradicted himself in a later work because that fit his dramatic needs at the time. But it's also clear that he often wrote with great care and that sometimes what seem to be inconsistencies--like the seemingly "six months to everywhere" phenomenon--can actually be understood in ways that reveal socio-political aspects of the universe he was constructing.

Znidd suddabit!

David
--
"It is not . . . the business of an author of fiction to improve or inspire or educate his reader, or to save the world from fascism, communism, racism, capitalism, socialism, or anything else. [The author's] main objective is to purvey entertainment of the sort his reader wants. If he has done this, by writing interestingly about interesting people, human or otherwise, doing interesting things, he has discharged his duty and earned his check." - H. Beam Piper, "Double: Bill Symposium" interview
~
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