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Welcome to the H. Beam Piper mailing list and discussion forum. Initiated in October 2008 (after the demise of the original PIPER-L mailing list), this tool for shared communication among Piper fans provides an e-mail list and a discussion forum with on-line archives.
 
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^     All messages            1986-2001 of 2001  1970-1985 >>
2001
Jon CrockerPerson was signed in when posted
07-11-2019
04:39 UT
Hey, nothing* sez science fiction more than robot dogs with glowing red eyes.

(*At least, not in Mitterrand's France in 1982.)

That's a great addition - actually, even though it's not Whelan, it's still miles ahead of some of the other cover work!

I scrolled down a bit - I have to say that the artist who did the two panel picture of Uller Uprising from Project Gutenburg had a very different take on General Von Schlicten. For some reason the General I pictured looked something more like Sean Connery, that one looks like he was Himmler's stunt double.
2000
David "PiperFan" JohnsonPerson was signed in when posted
07-11-2019
02:16 UT
~
Those disk-shaped craft in the cover illustration background are actually ~landing craft~ (note the troopers jumping out of the underside of one) which have descended from the traditional, spherical Viking ships above.

Don't know about that pseudo-canine--and the red-bladed swords are a bit much--but this is definitely the sort of scene one might imagine of Space Vikings raiding your planet!

Cheers,

David
--
"Good things in the long run are often tough while they're happening." - Otto Harkaman (H. Beam Piper), ~Space Viking~
~
1999
David "PiperFan" JohnsonPerson was signed in when posted
07-11-2019
02:10 UT

~Space Viking~ illustration by Philippe Adamoff and François Allot
Edited 07-11-2019 04:44
1998
David "PiperFan" JohnsonPerson was signed in when posted
07-11-2019
02:09 UT

Temps Futures ~Space Viking~ (1982)
1997
David "PiperFan" JohnsonPerson was signed in when posted
07-11-2019
02:09 UT
~
Adamoff and Allot Illustration for ~Space Viking~

Today I added a copy of the 1982 Temps Futurs French translation of ~Space Viking~ to the Zarthani.net hoard. This book appears to have a relatively uninteresting cover illustration by Philippe Adamoff and François Allot.

But much to my surprise the cover illustration is actually a detail from a larger, fold-out illustration in the middle of the book.

(Cover and fold-out illustrations to follow separately.)

Cheers,

David
--
"Spaceships, either interplanetary or interstellar, were always spherical with a pseudogravity system at the center." - Walt Boyd (H. Beam Piper), ~Four-Day Planet~
~
Edited 07-11-2019 04:43
1996
David "PiperFan" JohnsonPerson was signed in when posted
06-27-2019
03:52 UT
~
Jon Crocker wrote:

> OK, yes, upon reflection there were a few references
> that I had noticed at the time - I should have
> remembered the Paula von Schleiten scholarships,
> and a few of the other examples, true.

Don't forget that Quinton was part Freyan too. . . . ;)

> I had totally missed the Lord Marshal was kin to one of
> the Nemesis command crew! You learn something new
> every day. :)

There are dozens and dozens of characters named just in ~Uller Uprising~. I've never taken the time to go through them but I'm guessing there are lots of these sorts of tidbits throughout Beam's work.

> And point taken that at least the Fuzzies were still there.

The interesting question here is, what are those other fourteen sophont species? Freyans (1). Lokians (2). Ullerans (3). Svants (4). Yggdrasil Khoograhs (5). Gimlians (6). Kwanns (7). Sheshans (8). Thorans (9). Hathorites (10).

That's all I've got--and it's likely Paul didn't consider Freyans a separate sophont species at that point, so there are like five "new" sophont species. . . .

>We could probably compile a 'wish list' for things that
> had popped up as background in the stories - things like
> a passing character complaining how impossible it was to
> pull a fast one past a Kragan, no wonder they were
> running that place.

Thing is I can't recall an Ulleran ever being mentioned after ~Uprising~. We see some Uller fire-opals here and there but no Ullerans.

> Or one of the many Rodericks or Pauls ruminating that
> there hadn't been a problem quite like this since the
> multi-world Poictesme Republic,

I think, eventually, Merlin must have taken Poictesme into hiding. If it survives into the Viking era I'm guessing it does so deep in the shadow of an Old Federation "civilized world."

> or the New Worlds League, finally consented to enter
> the Empire as individual worlds.

I think the League is quickly subsumed by the revitalized Mardukan monarchy.

> True, you get better stories out of a strong plot, and
> pan-planetary utopias don't seem to offer strong plots.
> In some ways, though, I wouldn't mind if a few more
> glints of enduring upward progress made it through,
> here and there.

I hear you but this really wasn't Beam's thing. He seemed very committed to the idea that "nothing lasts." Doesn't take much understanding of his personal life to get why he might have reached that conclusion.

On the other hand, by choosing the descendants of Nazis and Vichy French as the protagonists of his first Future History yarn he was showing us that there were "positive" opportunities in this view too. Nothing lasts--nothing good, and nothing bad.

Remember Ashmodai! Remember Belphegor!

David
--
"I believe the first one, also a General von Schlichten, was what was then known as a war-criminal." - Carlos von Schlichten (H. Beam Piper), ~Uller Uprising~
~
1995
Jon CrockerPerson was signed in when posted
06-27-2019
02:34 UT
OK, yes, upon reflection there were a few references that I had noticed at the time - I should have remembered the Paula von Schleiten scholarships, and a few of the other examples, true.

I had totally missed the Lord Marshal was kin to one of the Nemesis command crew! You learn something new every day. :)

And point taken that at least the Fuzzies were still there.

We could probably compile a 'wish list' for things that had popped up as background in the stories - things like a passing character complaining how impossible it was to pull a fast one past a Kragan, no wonder they were running that place. Or one of the many Rodericks or Pauls ruminating that there hadn't been a problem quite like this since the multi-world Poictesme Republic, or the New Worlds League, finally consented to enter the Empire as individual worlds.

True, you get better stories out of a strong plot, and pan-planetary utopias don't seem to offer strong plots. In some ways, though, I wouldn't mind if a few more glints of enduring upward progress made it through, here and there.
1994
David "PiperFan" JohnsonPerson was signed in when posted
06-27-2019
01:46 UT
~
Jon Crocker wrote:

> I've always assumed that Merlin's caretakers were careful
> to keep it well hidden.

That's been my assumption too with the caveat that eventually something catastrophic must happen to Merlin. First, because the Space Vikings are going to be a monkey-wrench that Merlin was unable to anticipate effectively. And second, because Beam consistently shows us a hopeful and optimistic ending but then shows us, in later yarns, that good things never last.

> We never see that on-camera, though.

Just like we never see Trask's League. Or a Kragan-led Federation Member Republic of Uller. Or a prosperous Fenris. Or Kwanns in space. Etc., etc.

> In fact, the only instance I can think of where Piper
> explicitly referred back to a prior story was Ministry of
> Disturbance, where the Emperor thought that the Fuzzies
> were almost ready to be declared sapient under the
> talk-and-build-a-fire rule. That point kind of cheesed
> me off, I admit.

There are lots of other examples--James mentions Paula Quinton but also the ~Hubert Penrose~ in "Naudsonce," or the Durendal Lord Marshal in "Ministry" with the same name as a ~Nemesis~ signals-and-detection officer, or Foxx Travis on Kwannon--but I think what Piper was doing in this case was showing us, yet again, that "good things in the long run are often tough while they're happening." He is showing us that despite the best efforts of folks like Jack Holloway and Ruth Ortheris-Van Riebeek, Fuzzies will continue to struggle to be recognized as being sapient.

Of course, Beam's also telling us here that the impending extinction of the Fuzzies was somehow averted. So, a good thing in the long run. ;)

Cheers,

David
--
"Good things in the long run are often tough while they're happening." - Otto Harkaman (H. Beam Piper), ~Space Viking~
~
1993
David SoobyPerson was signed in when posted
06-26-2019
23:14 UT
Jon Crocker said:

> I've always assumed that Merlin's caretakers were careful to keep it well hidden. We
> never see that on-camera, though.

If Merlin continued to provide analysis and advice to the leaders of Poictesme, then there should have been a region of stability during the interregnum. It's true that Merlin's predictive abilities were limited by the accuracy and timeliness of the information fed into it. It's also true that what makes a "dark ages" is a breakdown in communications and safe travel, which will further restrict the ability to feed info to Merlin that has any significance beyond the immediate vicinity of Poictesme. Nonetheless, if Merlin continued to provide sound advice, then Poictesme and its immediate vicinity should have been a bright spot in the dark ages; the Maxwell Plan would have provided exactly that. But there is no evidence that this happened. SPACE VIKING contains no reference at all to any such "civilized" planet outside the old, long-settled worlds of the Core of what once was the Federation.

Of course, as they say, "Absence of evidence isn't evidence of absence", but if we're looking for the most likely explanation rather than the least likely one, then it certainly looks like Merlin did not continue to act as advisor much past the end of the COSMIC COMPUTER story.
1992
jimmyjoejanglesPerson was signed in when posted
06-26-2019
13:05 UT
In Oomphel In The Sky Miles Gilbert got educated on a Paula VonSChleiten SCholarship. WHich is is an obvious reference to Uller Uprising.

Also the talk and build fire rule was thrown out as not good before the events of Little Fuzzy as the lawyer points out. So I have to say I don't remember that in Ministry of Disturbance. Nor would it make sense for the emperor to be making that type of ruling hundreds of years later, they were declared sapient at the end of Little FUzzy.

Pardon my spelling I am an Audiobooker.

And I just remembered that Travis Fox makes his first appearance in Oomphel.
Edited 06-26-2019 13:46
1991
Jon CrockerPerson was signed in when posted
06-26-2019
06:02 UT
If you read Graveyard of Dreams first, then Cosmic Computer, that will give the best results. Hoorary for happy accidents!

I've always assumed that Merlin's caretakers were careful to keep it well hidden. We never see that on-camera, though.

In fact, the only instance I can think of where Piper explicitly referred back to a prior story was Ministry of Disturbance, where the Emperor thought that the Fuzzies were almost ready to be declared sapient under the talk-and-build-a-fire rule. That point kind of cheesed me off, I admit.
1990
David "PiperFan" JohnsonPerson was signed in when posted
06-26-2019
01:28 UT
~
Tim Tow wrote:

> I must be forgetting things. Now that you've mentioned
> it, I remember Graveyard of Dreams ending like that.
> Maybe I never read Cosmic Computer.

Oh, you're going to love it! It's one of Beam's best novels.

> One thing that I was wondering about recently is if Piper
> had lived longer, would he have started writing in the
> fantasy genre or what his opinions on the fantasy genre
> were?

Well, "Dearest" is a fantasy yarn. It's "low fantasy" rather than "high fantasy" so that may tell us a bit about his opinions.

"Dearest" was published in 1951 but Beam never returned to that genre (as far as we know), so perhaps that tells us a bit about his opinions too.

Cheers,

David
--
"Considering the one author about whom I am uniquely qualified to speak, I question if any reader of H. Beam Piper will long labor under the misunderstanding that he is a pious Christian, a left-wing liberal, a Gandhian pacifist, or a teetotaler." - H. Beam Piper, "Double: Bill Symposium" interview
~
1989
Tim TowPerson was signed in when posted
06-25-2019
13:04 UT
I must be forgetting things. Now that you've mentioned it, I remember Graveyard of Dreams ending like that. Maybe I never read Cosmic Computer.

One thing that I was wondering about recently is if Piper had lived longer, would he have started writing in the fantasy genre or what his opinions on the fantasy genre were?
1988
David SoobyPerson was signed in when posted
06-24-2019
14:30 UT
Tim Tow said:

> I thought that Merlin never existed and had been a myth all along.

Well, if you quit reading the book at any time up to about 3/4 of the way thru, or maybe even a bit more, then you'd find nothing to disabuse you of that idea!
1987
David "PiperFan" JohnsonPerson was signed in when posted
06-24-2019
14:29 UT
~
Tim Tow wrote:

> I thought that Merlin never existed and had been a
> myth all along. It has been a long time since I read
> Cosmic Computer though.

Seems like you're remembering "Graveyard of Dreams," Tim, the novelet which was expanded into ~Junkyard Planet~ (~The Cosmic Computer~). How exciting that you can read it again as something new!

http://www.hostigos.com/book_info.php?id=H_13

It's a very good yarn.

Remember Ashmodai! Remember Belphegor!

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~
~
1986
Tim TowPerson was signed in when posted
06-24-2019
05:08 UT
I thought that Merlin never existed and had been a myth all along. It has been a long time since I read Cosmic Computer though.
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