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David "PiperFan" JohnsonPerson was signed in when posted
03:36 UT
From the Archives: "First Galactic Emperors"

As I mentioned previously, November 2001 was busy time on the old PIPER-L mailing list. In addition to his Paratime post recently shared here, John Anderson also had another interesting contribution to the Terro-human Future History.

Subject: First Galactic Emperors
From: John Anderson
Date: Thu, 1 Nov 2001 13:57:31 -0500


1. Paul and Rodrik/Christian and Frederik
In 'Ministry of Disturbance', the current Galactic Emperor is 'Paul
XXII' (Em, pg. 132). His father is 'Rodrik XXI' (ibid, pg. 148), and
his son is also named Rodrik, which will someday make him Rodrik XXII.
The impression one gains is that Imperial names alternate between Paul
and Rodrik, probably to the near-exclusion of any other names. Since a
thousand years separate Paul II from Paul XXII (AE 1936-2936, timeline
in Empire), we can assume the interval is mostly filled with 19 more
Pauls and 19 or 20 Rodriks.

Beam seems to have based this on the Danish monarchy, which has
leapfrogged Christians and Frederiks for almost the last 500 years
(Kingdoms of Europe, pp. 430-431).

Piper apparently even modeled the names themselves, as Rodrik and
Frederik are obviously quite similar--just drop the 'F'--while Paul is
a 'Christian' name (from the Hebrew Saul). Since Paul XXII will be
followed by Rodrik XXII, Paul I most likely preceded Rodrik I. Paul
before Rodrik matches the Danish model, in which Christian I preceded
Frederik I.

However, Christian II also ruled before Frederik I, which resulted in
a misalignment of royal numbers; Frederik I was followed by Christian
III, Christian III by Frederik II, Frederik II by Christian IV, etc.
It is possible that Piper even modeled the misalignment for his early
Galactic rulers, though given his rational and orderly nature, I think
it more likely that he would correct this in his THFH.

But it will apparently soon be corrected in truth. The current Danish
monarch is Margrethe II, the daughter of Frederik IX (and granddaughter
of Christian X). Her son the crown prince is also named Frederik, and
will one day probably become Frederik X. Assuming Frederik X is followed
by Christian XI, the two Frederiks before and after Margrethe will balance
the earlier two Christians in a row, thus bringing the numerical order into
sequence. Christian XI will be followed by Frederik XI, then Christian XII
by Frederik XII, etc. But it doesn't seem possible for Piper to have known
this could happen, as the current Crown Prince was born in 1969; for all
Beam knew, the misalignment would continue indefinitely. Assuming the
numerical alignment does come about, Danish royal truth will follow Piper's
imperial fiction.

2. Steven/Sweyn (Svein)

Before the Imperial Pauls and Rodriks, there is mention of 'Stevan IV',
who 'proclaimed Odin the Imperial planet and Asgard the capital city'
(Em, pg. 136). This makes him the first Galactic Emperor (timeline in
Empire). Though the timeline misspells his name 'Steven', he probably is
a descendant of Steven, Count of Ravary in Space Viking, who presumably
becomes King Steven I of Marduk after his father, Simon I. Since Piper
apparently modeled Rodrik on Frederik, I speculate that Steven/Stevan
was based on the Danish 'Sweyn'.

The Danes had 3 kings named 'Sweyn' before Christian I; the name is
presumably a version of 'Sven', making it similar to Steven. Indeed,
since the Germanic 'w' and 'y' are interchangeable with 'v' and 'i', it
is alternately spelled 'Svein' (The Last Apocalypse, pg. 90). By adding
a 't' and flipping the 'e' and 'v', one can change Svein into 'Stevin'.

But if Paul I is modeled on Christian I, 'Stevan IV, the grandfather of
Paul I' (Em, pg. 136) should be paralleled by the Danish grandfather
of Christian I, which I cannot prove occurs. (Eric VII was two monarchs
before Christian I, but he wasn't Christian's grandfather.) However,
Sweyn III (ruled 1146-1157 AD) was the last of that name, so he could have
been projected by Piper to be followed by a 'Sweyn' (Stevan) IV. In fact,
if the first 3 Stevens are modeled on the 3 Sweyns, Stevan IV may be the
only one spelled differently. And if the monarch following Stevan IV is
not Stevan V (it is probably an Empress, see Marris/Margrethe below),
then neither Sweyn nor Steven/Stevan are used again in their respective
dynasties, as both lines then went into their endless cycle of Christians
and Frederiks/Pauls and Rodriks.

In Denmark's earlier history, however, its kings used a variety of names,
such as Canute, Eric, and Frode. Since 'Marduk [is] where the Empire had
begun' (Em, pg. 87), this is apparently also the case with the early history
of the 1st Galactic Empire. Separating the Battle of Marduk and the creation
of the Galactic Empire are 235 years, which could contain around 10-15 monarchs.
Four of these are therefore Stevens/Stevans; the rest may include more Simons,
Mikhyls, and perhaps several other names in the line of Mardukan monarchs.

3. Mikhyl/Dan Mykillati
Denmark has had no King Michaels, so Piper's use of 'Mikhyl' may have
been inspired by 'Dan Mykillati', King of the Danes from 190-270 AD
(KoE, pg. 430). It would seem too early for Mykillati to be a reference
to the Christian saint (or Dan to be from Daniel), as Denmark didn't
convert to Christianity until centuries later. Mykillati may be the
Danish version of Dan's royal agnomen, variously called 'the Magnificent',
'the Magnanimous', and 'the Splendid'. (I wonder if it may be related to
the English word 'mickle', that is, 'mighty' or 'great'.) Dan may have
been named after his mother 'Danysi' (his father was Olaf Vermundson),
and he ruled not only with great justice, but was the first to unite all
Denmark. One website alleges that 'Dan Mykillati' is an invented name to
explain the origin of the name 'Denmark', similar to the legendary Trojan
'Brutus' supposedly being the origin of 'Britain'.

The later freezing of royal names into only two choices seems rather
restrictive; Beam may have chosen the Danish model as a good device to
underline the stagnation of the First Galactic Empire. Incidentally, Queen
Elizabeth II and Prince Philip named their first son Charles to avoid this
very thing, 'for the simple reason that they...wanted to get away from the
endless succession of "Edwards" and "Georges" that had been the unexcepted
rule for English kings since William IV had died in 1837.' (HRH: The Man Who
Will Be King, pg. 24)

But a monarch upon ascending the throne can in fact choose whatever royal
name he or she wishes. The eldest son of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert
was also named Albert; however, he 'chose to be known in his regal office as
King Edward VII, rather than Albert I, saying that he wished the name of his
father, who had been called Albert the Good, to stand alone.' (KoE, pg. 219)

4. Marris/Margrethe

The only Galactic Empress whose name we are given by Piper is Paul XXII's
wife 'Marris' (Em, pg. 148), though we can assume 'little Princess Olva'
(ibid, pg. 141) becomes the next one. Marris actually sounds similar enough
to Margrethe to have possibly been modeled on the current Danish Queen's
name. Drop a few letters of Margrethe, and you get 'Marret'. The Danes
have had two queens with this name; Margrethe I was a few monarchs before
Christian I, so the current Margrethe II has been the only interruption in
the steady stream of Christians and Frederiks on the Danish throne since
1513 AD.

If Piper modeled this as well, it would mean the 1st Empire has at least
two (and possibly several more, see 'Royal versus Imperial' below) ruling
Galactic Empresses among its suzerains. This is a defensible assumption in
any event, as I think many if not most monarchies have had at least one
female ruler. Margrethe II's father Frederik IX had no sons, and though his
daughter became Queen only in 1972, Piper knew she would ascend the throne,
since 'the [Danish] constitution was amended in 1953 to allow for female
succession to the throne in the absence of a male heir.' (KoE, pg. 426)

Thus, there may be a Marris I and Marris II who become Galactic Empresses
--and rule in their own right--during the First Empire. If so, Paul XXII's
wife was possibly named after them, or chose the name in honor of them when
she became Empress. The reign of Marris I would then be after Steven III but
before Paul I, since Margrethe I came after Sweyn III but before Christian I.
This could actually make the unnamed monarch between Paul I and his grandfather
Stevan IV the 1st ruling Galactic Empress. And Marris II would rule directly
after Rodrik IX, as the current Margrethe II is Frederik IX's daughter and

5. Olva/Olaf (Olav)

Princess Olva in 'Ministry of Disturbance' may also have been named
for a previous female sovereign. This depends on if Piper modeled Olva
on 'Olaf' (also spelled Olav or Oluf). Denmark has had several rulers
with this name, of which Olva could be the feminine form, similar to
Michael/Michelle, Daniel/ Daniella, etc. The first Olaf came before Dan
Mykillati, and was surnamed 'the Mild', which could explain why Piper
apparently changed this name to the form of (if you will forgive me) the
'gentler' sex. For some reason, he does not have the royal number 'I';
that is given to the Olaf who ruled between Sweyn II and III. Olaf I is
surnamed 'the Hungry', and in this regard, it is interesting that Princess
Olva is first mentioned as going with Paul XXII's son on a picnic! (Em, pg.
141) This could therefore be an example of subtle humor on Piper's part.
Since Olaf I comes before Sweyn III, Olva I is several monarchs before
Stevan IV, the 1st Galactic Emperor. Thus, she would be a Queen of Marduk.
Olaf II reigned between Sweyn III and Margrethe I, which puts 'Olva II' after
Steven III and before Marris I, probably making her another Mardukan Queen.

6. The Royal Lineup

All this tossing around of royal names and numbers may be a little confusing,
so here's a partial comparison of how the Danish monarchs and Mardukan/First
Galactic rulers might line up. I used only the 'matching' names from above,
so there are some unshown gaps in the lineages before Stevan IV. I also left
in the misalignment of royal numbers for Paul and Rodrik to follow the Danish
model, though as stated I believe Piper probably corrected this for his Galactic

Danish Monarchs Mardukan/Galactic Monarchs

Olaf (Olav) the Mild Olva

Dan Mykillati Mikhyll

Sweyn (Svein) I Steven I (presumably Count of Ravary in SV)

Sweyn II Steven II

Oluf (Olaf) I the Hungry Olva I

Sweyn III Steven III

Olaf II Olva II

'Sweyn IV' (projected) Stevan IV (1st Galactic Emperor)

Margrethe I Marris I (1st ruling Galactic Empress)

Christian I Paul I

Christian II Paul II (Imperial Palace on Odin built)

Frederik I Rodrik I

Christian III Paul III

Frederik II Rodrik II

Christian IV Paul IV

Frederik III Rodrik III

Christian V Paul V

Frederik IV Rodrik IV

Christian VI Paul VI

Frederik V Rodrik V

Christian VII Paul VII

Frederik VI Rodrik VI (Imperial star-map completed)

Christian VIII Paul VIII

Frederik VII Rodrik VII

Christian IX Paul IX

Frederik VIII Rodrik VIII

Christian X Paul X

Frederik IX Rodrik IX

Margrethe II (current Queen) Marris II

Frederik X (probable next King) Rodrik X

Christian XI (projected) Paul XI

Frederik XI (projected) Rodrik XI

And then Paul and Rodrik XII, Paul and Rodrik XIII, and so forth.
From Marris II/Margrethe II on, no Galactic rulers are modeled on
Danish ones known to Piper, so there could even be several more
Empresses before Paul XXII.

7. Royal versus Imperial
These could actually be Olva I and Olva II. That's because Marris and
Olva are Imperial names; they don't seem to fit in with the Royal names
of Mardukan ladies in Space Viking. Prince Simon Bentrik's wife is
'Lucile' (SV, pg. 195), that of Crown Prince Edvard is 'Melanie' (ibid,
pg. 171), and their daughter is 'Myrna' (ibid, pg. 176). Adding in Trask's
future wife 'Valerie' (ibid, pg. 243), these are all very similar to
feminine names of our own time, while Marris and Olva seem different, more
'evolved'. Also, if these are names of Galactic Empresses that replace
Mardukan Queenly names, they match the male line, in which the Royal names
Mikhyll, Simon, and Steven are supplanted by the Imperial ones Paul and
Rodrik. (Stevan IV was the 1st Galactic Emperor, but the timeline in Empire
says he started out as King, probably of Marduk.) So, assuming Piper used
them, I think moving Olva I and II from among the Mardukan Queens to the
Galactic Empresses (possibly sometime after Marris II but before Rodrik XXI)
makes more sense.

8. Name Meanings

The meanings of some name combinations may provide further support for
the 'Danish hypothesis'. As stated, Frederik is the source for Rodrik.
Frederik means 'peace', and Rodrik is 'fame rule'. Piper projecting
Frederik to Rodrik is thus roughly 'peaceful renowned ruler'. This makes
sense in the peaceful (eventually stagnant) 1st Galactic Empire, which
has 'eight centuries, five at least, of historyless tranquillity' (Em, pg.
138), and moreover is ruled by the fame of its Emperors (and Empresses).

Speaking of empresses, one might think Margrethe and Marris are both related
to 'Mary'. But 'Mary' means 'wished-for child', while the other two are
different and complement each other nicely. Marris (Maris, Marissa) is
'of the sea', and Margrethe (Margaret) is 'a pearl'. Piper pairing Margrethe
with Marris is thus 'a pearl of the sea', which may be more of Beam's subtle
humor. Sweyn (Svein) means 'youth', and Steven is 'a crown', making Piper's
use of this combination 'a youthful crown' or 'a crowned youth'. LIST members
will not need to be reminded that Steven is 'the young Count of Ravary' (SV,
pg. 167) who later becomes a King. Olaf means 'ancestor', which becomes
'ancestress' if Olva is its feminine form. This could support 'little Princess
Olva' being named for an earlier Galactic Empress.

9. Marduk/Denmark
This may be a stretch, but even the planet name could have been modeled
on the national one. 'Marduk' is of course a Babylonian deity (a 'creator'
god, which may be why Piper has Marduk 'create' the First Galactic Empire),
but rearranged the name becomes 'Dumark'. It is similar to Denmark, though
certainly not a match. However, if we substitute the adjective form
'Mardukan', rearranged this becomes 'Danumark' or 'Danmarku'. And 'Danmark'
is the Danish name for their country; they are 'Danes' after all, not 'Denes'.
This nearly identical match could thus be more evidence in support of the
Danish model for Beam's Galactic Emperors and Empresses.

10. Problems
The problem with Olva being an Imperial rather than Royal name having been
noted above, there are several other difficulties in this identification.
'Mikhyll VIII' of Marduk has no matching 7 other Danish 'Mykillatis'--
there's just the one--and for Piper's later Pauls and Rodriks there are no
matching Danish Christians and Frederiks (since they haven't even been born
yet). John Carr suggests the Holy Roman Empire could supply the missing
Frederiks, and this could be the case. There are 12 (including Kings of
Prussia and Saxony), which added to the 10 Danish ones gives a total of 22--
and Paul XXII's son as stated will be Rodrik XXII. However, this still
leaves us with 12 missing 'Christians' to explain the later Imperial Pauls.

Also, Crown Prince Edvard and King Simon I don't seem based on Danish
names. For example, since 'Paul' seems based on 'Christian', we might expect
'Simon' to be modeled on 'Peter', but there is no such Danish monarch.

Indeed, if Count Steven of Ravary becomes King Steven I, modeled on Sweyn I,
King Simon I is modeled on 'Harold Bluetooth' and Mikhyl VIII on 'Gorm the Old'.
Mikhyll VIII actually is 'old' in Space Viking, but the non-matching names
(and probable misplacement of Olva) possibly means I'm being too literal. I
would therefore say that Piper seems to have used the Danish monarchy as a
'general' guide, and sometimes modeled specific names, but not necessarily in
all cases. This is likely in any event, as it is hard to imagine Beam modeling
such Danish royal names as Valdemar, Ragnar, and Halfdan (though on second
thought, given his creativity he probably could have figured a way). He may
have even used more than one monarchy to model names from, as suggested by
John Carr.

11. Conclusion

Aside from some complementary name meanings, an important thing to remember
is that the known order of masculine names is the same in both dynasties,
which supports my main idea--Piper having based his First Galactic Emperors
(also Empresses, and at least some of his Mardukan rulers) on the Danish
monarchy. Dan Mykillati comes before the 3 Sweyns, who come before the
almost exclusively alternating Christians and Frederiks, even as Mikhyll
comes before the 3 Stevens (and 1 Stevan), who come before the similarly-
alternating Pauls and Rodriks.

--John Anderson


John's original message is available here:



"Our rulers are the barbarians among us. There isn't one of them . . . who is devoted to civilization or anything else outside himself, and that's the mark of the barbarian." - Otto Harkaman (H. Beam Piper), ~Space Viking~
David "PiperFan" JohnsonPerson was signed in when posted
17:41 UT
From the Archives: "Paratime Proposals"

While John Anderson's work in the Terro-human Future History has been a familiar feature of our discussions, here is another post from the old PIPER-L archives, from nineteen years ago this month, in which John shares several ideas for potential new Paratime timelines.

Subject: Paratime Proposals
From: John Anderson
Date: Tue, 20 Nov 2001 14:26:51 -0500


At John Carr's suggestion earlier this year, I started coming up with
some proposals for Fourth Level Paratime sectors, subsectors, and belts.
I have no doubt some List members have devised their own, perhaps many
of which are along similar lines.

Alexandrian-Roman Sector: This is obviously one of Piper's own. I speculate
that it forms when Alexander accepts the peace deal Persia offered after the
Battle of Issus, but that the real Alexander rejected. Alternately, it could
form because Alexander does not die after returning from India, allowing him
a few more decades of conquest, this time in the Mediterranean area.
1. Indo-Alexandrian Subsector: Alexander's soldiers do not go on strike,
   allowing the Macedonians to conquer India before returning home. However,
   in India Alexander would learn about China, so there could also be an

2. Alexandrian-Oriental Subsector: One of Alexander's motivations seems to
   have been finding the eastern end of the world. 'Alexander had his mind
   fixed on the far eastern limit of the Oikoumene.' (Alexander of Macedon,
   pg. 45) 'In this unknown area of the east Alexander believed that the
   true gods might still exist.' (ibid, pg. 47) Following his fascination
   could result in Alexander conquering China after India, and finding the
   eastern shores of the Oikoumene. With such an extensive empire, he could
   locate his capital in India, which is approximately equidistant from
   Greece and northeast China. Alexandria-on-the-Ganges would become a great
   metropolis, with Alex himself probably finding his way into the Hindu
   pantheon (as well as Chinese and others). But he might not return to the
   Mediterranean area and conquer Rome in this timeline, so it could rather
   be a subset of the 'Macedonian Empire Sector' (Para, pg. 271)

However, even assuming Alexander does expire at about the 'historical'
time, his successors could still create Alexandrian-Roman, in several
subsectors such as:

3. Antigonid-Roman Subsector: Antigonus controlled Anatolia after
   Alexander's death, and was the first of his generals attempting to
   reunite the empire. In this Subsector, he is successful.

4. Seleuco-Roman Subsector: After Antigonus went down fighting, Persian-
   based Seleucus made his grab at the brass ring, but was assassinated
   when he crossed to Europe. In this timeline, he survives to become a
   second Alexander.

5. Roman-Ptolemaic Subsector: Probably the last chance for an Alexandrian-
   Roman Sector to form, as Egypt was the last of the Hellenistic states.
   (Thus, the resulting sector will likely be more Roman than Alexandrian.)
   The most interesting belts might be those of Cleopatra.

   a) Caesar-Cleopatran Belt: Cleopatra was the last of the Ptolemies,
      who schemed to recreate the empire of Alexander. In this Belt, she
      persuades Caesar and his Roman legions to do just that. Bringing in
      their son, who could have inherited the resulting 'Alexandrian-Roman
      Empire', an alternate name is 'Cleopatra-Caesarion' Belt.

   b) Cleopatra-Antonine Belt: She had a second chance with Marc Antony.
      If Antony hadn't been a drunkard, or engaged his land-forces in a
      sea battle with Octavian, he could have conquered the Roman Empire
      for Cleopatra. Mark Antony succeeds in this belt.

  c) Cleopatra-Augustan Belt: But even given Antony's failure, Cleopatra
      could have had a final chance by working her charms on Octavian. He
      apparently wasn't susceptible to them in our timeline, but the one
      where he does succumb creates this Belt. Octavian ruled so well that
      he was given the title 'Augustus', so this belt could be a
      particularly prosperous one.
Moving farther back in history, taking the opposite view of the Graeco-
Persian conflict gives us the

Helleno-Persian Sector: Ancient Greece is conquered by Persia, and ruled
by satraps. A sort of reversal of Hellenistic civilization, this could
also be called 'Persianistic' (or Perso-Hellenic, for that matter). With
the infusion of Greek culture--and hoplites--Persia avoids the decline it
went through in our timeline. Below this sector could lie the

1. Perso-Mediterranean Subsector: The Carthaginians were rivals of the
   Greeks in the western Mediterranean. Greek ships and Helleno-Persian
   'Immortal Hoplites' could defeat Carthage by sea and land long before
   Rome rose to do so, and even add Etruscan and the fledgling Roman
   civilization to their own.

2. Persian-Transatlantic Subsector: Though controversial, there is evidence
   the Carthaginians made it to the New World. Given the Helleno-Persian
   conquest of Carthage, a combination of Greek and Punic sea-power under
   Persian rule could lead to an earlier opening of the Americas to
   sustained contact with the Old World, including settlement and commerce.

The Persians often tried to play the Greek city-states off against each
other, so in some of these subsectors, there could be belts where Persia
uses this tactic in its conquest of Greece, including

   a) Darian-Spartan Belt: Sparta uses Persian support in Darius' time
      against Athens.
   b) Xerxes-Athenian Belt: Athens uses Persian support in Xerxes' time
      against Sparta.

Returning closer to home, under the Europo-American Sector there could
also be groupings like
1. Britano-Columbian Subsector: Our own timeline is in Hispano-Columbian
   Subsector, the opening of the New World by Columbus for Spain. But as
   Piper states in 'Crossroads of Destiny', Columbus could have sailed for
   Henry VII of England, (WoHBP, pg. 189). Alternately, this could also
   be called 'Anglo-Columbian'.

2. Viking-Vinland Subsector: Before Hispano-Columbian forms in 1492,
   Piper also mentions "suppose Leif Ericson had been able to plant a
   permanent colony in America in the Eleventh Century" (ibid).
   Alternate name: 'Vinland Subsector'.

Back up on the Sector level, next to Europo-American there could be the

Asio-American Sector: Instead of Europeans colonizing the New World,
there's no reason why the Asians couldn't have. And actually, they did,
in the American Indian migrations across the Bering land bridge, though
this ended when the Bering Strait was formed. Timelines where the
contact is reestablished by sea would include those in the

1. Sino-Oceanic Subsector: During the Ming Dynasty, an admiral named
   Cheng Ho made some great voyages of discovery in the Pacific and
   Indian Oceans, but China soon turned its back on exploration. In this
   subsector, China kept going, which could have led to a collision with
   European civilization, also expanding at this time (late 1400s). East
   meets West in the New World and Africa; the resulting conflict pits
   the greater wealth and population of the East against the greater
   technology and innovative spirit of the West. Asian-dominated belts
   of this subsector could include
   a) Nippon-Pacific Belt: Sino-Oceanic could conquer Japan in most belts,
      but in this one, Japan is able to hold them off. Assuming China does
      return to semi-isolation, the torch of exploration and conquest would
      pass to the Japanese. A natural maritime power, they might expand to
      take in the entire Pacific basin.
   b) Japan-Panmaritime: In this belt, Japan not only incorporates the
      Pacific, but beats the British to World Ocean dominance, creating
      an Asian empire on which 'the sun never sets'.

Meanwhile, back in Hispano-Columbian Subsector, there could be an

American-Hemispheric Belt: The US takes 'Manifest Destiny' literally--
becoming as territorially imperialist as any European power--and
eventually overspreads the entire American continent. Canada is taken
from Britain either in the Revolution or the War of 1812. The Mexican
War leads to the eventual annexation of that country, and Central America
falls fairly easily (apart from the British Honduras, which might entail
a third war with Britain). Instead of withdrawing after their various
interventions in the Caribbean, America annexes the area piecemeal, and
the US could use European preoccupation with WWI--assuming it still occurs
--as an opportunity to conquer South America. (If the US stops at Colombia,
the resulting belt would be 'American-Continental'.) But with America
becoming increasingly powerful, the European empires could combine
against it, possibly resulting in a rather different 'World War'.

However, all these proposals (and I believe all of Piper's known Fourth
Level timelines as well) presuppose that the Martians landed in the Eastern
Hemisphere. ('They left the mountains--were they the Caucasus? The Alps? The
Pamirs?--and spread outward, conquering as they went.' WoHBP, pg. 170) Or,
as the Paratimers call the Old World, the 'Major Land Mass' (Para, pg. 53).
Somewhere in Paratime there could be sectors based on a New World ('Minor
Land Mass'-ibid) landing of the stricken Martian colony ship. The older
civilizations here would develop in the major river systems of the Western
Hemisphere, and in a reverse of the American Indians, spread to the Old
World across the Bering land bridge in the other direction.

Of course, coming up with interesting-sounding names is the easy part
(assuming List members actually find these interesting). But as John Carr
states, 'The trick is to 'figure out' a brief history from then until now!
How would this alternate world develop...?' (email, dated March 22, 2001)
I leave it for another time--or another List member--to pick up that more
difficult and challenging task of creative extrapolation!
--John Anderson

PS: For those who haven't seen it, a good book containing various
    historical turning points--or 'crossroads of destiny'--is 'What If?'
    Edited by Robert Crowley, it is subtitled 'The World's Foremost Military
    Historians Imagine What Might Have Been'. (Hardcover, G.P. Putnam's Sons,
    1999; trade paperback, Berkley Books, 2000.)


John's original message is available here:


November 2001 was an especially active month on the old PIPER-L and I encourage you to revisit the many conversations that were underway then:



"Why, you--You parapeeper!" -- Morvan Kara (H. Beam Piper), "Police Operation"
CalidorePerson was signed in when posted
15:22 UT
I am pleased to announce the release of my latest paper, titled “An Atlas of Piper’s Galaxy”.
Over the past 17 months, I have tried to do a thorough job of research and analysis, and believe that I have found a way to resolve almost all of Beam’s discrepancies as to ship speeds and distances. This has led to some conclusions, and maps, which I think fans of H. Beam Piper’s work will find interesting. The color-coded star charts, more than thirty in number, cover the entire length of the Terro-Human Future History, from the Terran Federation to the Fifth Galactic Empire.
The atlas is available in pdf format, in two parts. These can be accessed from John Carr’s Hostigos website (www.hostigos.com), under Free Downloads; and also on the H. Beam Piper Memorial website (www.h-beampiper.com) under piper's galaxy. A third part, currently in progress, will contain several appendices to the atlas, as well as the endnotes.

I would like to express my grateful appreciation to John F. Carr and his webmaster Mark Richardson for providing the ways and means to share this paper with Piperdom at large.


"He entered the big oval room, lighted from overhead by the great star-map in the ceiling, and crossed to his desk, with the viewscreens and reading screens and communications screens around it..." (Galactic Emperor Paul XXII, in "Ministry of Disturbance")
Deleted by author 10-27-2020 00:55
David "PiperFan" JohnsonPerson was signed in when posted
02:00 UT
From the Archives: "Terran Federation Expansion"

Here's another post from the PIPER-L archives, from May 2001. This may be John Anderson's first post to the old PIPER-L.

As we've come to expect from him here (and from his work in ~The Rise of the Terran Federation~), John had some rather extensive and detailed thoughts about the development of the early Terran Federation.

Subject: TF Expansion
From: John Anderson
Date: Tue, 29 May 2001 12:01:33 -0400

TF Expansion

1. Introduction

This was originally written in response to Mike McGuirk’s ‘Why Fenris?’ posting. Hopefully my fellow list-members won’t mind a (very) late entry in the discussion. The only answer I saw as to why a seemingly profitless (and definitely inhospitable) planet like Fenris was colonized was by William Taylor. ‘Greed and stupidity. You have the rights to swampland in Florida, you advertise the sunshine and don’t mention the hurricanes and gators.’ Human nature being what it is, such a deceptive—or even outright fraudulent—practice would indeed seem likely, and probably accounts for the settlement of some worlds. This is made more feasible by the long interstellar travel times during the TF, allowing one to get away with it. ‘You murder your grandmother, or rob a bank…and if you make an off-planet getaway, you’re reasonably safe. Of course, there’s such a thing as extradition, but who bothers? Distances are too great, and communication is too slow’ (4DP/LSP, pg. 196). Also, when Hugo Ingermann flees Zarathustra with 250,000 sols of illicit sunstones, ‘you know how slow interstellar communication is…He’ll get to some planet like Xipototec or Fenris or Ithavoll [or] Lugaluru and dig in there, and nobody’ll ever find him.’ (FaOP, pg. 214) The only criminals the TF makes a persistent effort to find are those who commit crimes far more serious than fraud, like Anton Gerrit the enslaver, and it takes Bish Ware 15 years to catch him. But assuming some worlds like Fenris are colonized in such a manner, they are likely exceptions to the rule, since the TF ultimately consisted of ‘almost five hundred planets’ (CC, pg. 242). A larger cause should be looked for in the driving force of planetary settlement, which probably includes the following. This shows one (though not the only) important aspect of the overall process, and possibly another reason why Fenris was colonized.

2. Limited Land in Greece

Piper compares the colonization of Mars and Venus to ‘when the Greek city-states were throwing out colonies across the Aegean’ (Empire, pg. 55). By extension, the TF’s interstellar expansion parallels the Greek colonization of the greater Mediterranean/Black Sea region. A major factor in Greek expansion was too many people in relation to the amount of arable land. Greece is mainly mountainous (as is Asia Minor), and ‘The lack of cultivable land and its inevitable consequences—debt, slavery, and famine—were one of the causes of the great migratory movement which lasted for two centuries.’ (The Harper Atlas of World History, pg. 42)

3. Terran Mismanagement

This factor seemingly applies to Terra as well. Verkan Vall, speaking of our Fourth Level Europo-American timeline, says, ‘Those people, because of deforestation, bad agricultural methods and general mismanagement, are eroding away their arable soil at an alarming rate. At the same time, they are breeding like rabbits. In other words, each generation has less and less food to divide among more and more people…A series of all-out atomic wars is just what that sector needs, to bring their population down to their world’s carrying capacity’ (Paratime, pg. 145). Even if Paratime and the THFH are separate series, the same idea seems to apply in the latter one. Vall apparently lives in a 1965-equivalent time; after this in the THFH we have WWIII, WWIV, and the Mars-Venus Revolt. In other words, ‘a series of all-out atomic wars’; the M-V Revolt possibly involves nukes as do the previous two world wars. These bring down the population somewhat, but this doesn’t solve the problem, as the conflicts unfortunately also destroy most of Terra’s arable land.

4. Population Pressure

After the Northern Hemisphere is destroyed, population pressure is probably the driving force behind the colonization of Antarctica, the ‘reclamation projects’ (Fed, pg. 213) in the Northern Hemisphere, early interplanetary expansion, and the settling of new worlds after hyperdrive is developed. Lothar Ffayle says, ‘You want us to build up population pressure like Terra in the First Century?’ Trask replies, ‘With three and a half billion people spread out on twelve planets? They had that many on Terra alone.’ (SV, pg. 10) Also, ‘the curse of overpopulation hadn’t put its mark on the Freyan mind as it had on the Terran.’ (Fed, pg. 276) Consider that the much larger northern continents, with their vast croplands in the temperate zones, have been laid waste. This means about 70% of Terra’s land surface has been destroyed. Only the relatively small landmasses of South America, southern Africa, and Australia/New Zealand—as well as ice-covered Antarctica—are left. Of these, New Zealand has a small amount of arable land due to its small size, Antarctica has none at all, and South Africa/Australia have only limited amounts because of nearby deserts (Kalahari, Outback). While South America is larger and its croplands are more extensive, it still has nowhere near the area and agricultural capacity that the North did. Moreover, the Amazon rainforest covers a wide area of the continent, but this in fact might be cleared because of the great need for more farmland, due to survivors from the Atomic Wars fleeing south.

5. Refugees

Though some refugees from the ruined Northern Hemisphere would go to the planetary colonies, most probably go to the Southern Hemisphere, as General Lanningham did (UU, pg. 169). South America being the largest surviving continent would probably mean it attracts the most people. This would support the clearing of the Amazon basin, but this presumed multitude of immigrants would still exacerbate the problem. There is just not enough land to go around, even with the colonies on Luna, Mars, and Venus. Luna obviously has no arable land; in addition, it requires the construction of ‘burrow cities’ (4DP/LSP, pg. 31). Mars is habitable, but has to undergo the ‘First Terraforming’ (Em, pg. 54), and Venus sounds like a humid, tropical planet. It would seem to take some time to make the latter two fully habitable, while Luna might require ‘hydroponic farms’ (4DP/LSP, pg. 33) in the burrow cities, as Fenris does. Therefore, in addition to its influence on Antarctic colonization and Northern reclamation, population pressure could also be a major factor behind the continuous expansion of the TF for many centuries; possibly new habitable planets are not discovered fast enough to keep pace with population growth. The case of Zarathustra might support this.

As soon as its classification is changed from Class-III to Class- IV, the Zarathustrans expect a flood of immigrants ‘from all over the Federation, scrambling to get rich overnight’ (LF, pg 172). This is a ‘land rush’ (FS, pg. 34), apparently similar to a ‘gold rush’; land seems to be in short supply and extremely valuable. Another parallel is the settlement of the American West. As soon as an area was opened to white settlers, a flood of immigrants poured in; one motive force was population pressure in the eastern US and (especially) Europe. This could help explain why a marginally habitable planet like Fenris, and presumably other ‘questionable’ worlds like it, was colonized. These would include the ‘Mercury Twilight Zone and Titan’ (4DP/LSP, pg. 31) in the pre-Interstellar period.

6. Less Land = Fewer Animals

The shortage of arable land would mean less fodder for livestock, as what grain was available would first go toward supporting the human population. This would result in fewer meat animals. In addition to hydroponics, Fenris also has a ‘carniculture plant’ (4DP/LSP, pg. 33); the limited croplands may also have been a driving force behind the development of carniculture products. Synthetic substitutes for meat would help alleviate the problem, and its use on hyperships would be a more practical habit than keeping a bunch of animals (plus their feed) on board. This practice would then parallel the old ‘salt beef’ and ‘salt pork’ ship-board rations of the Age of Sail, but like their historic parallel, they are no match for the real thing. Trask takes some of the ‘heavy-bodied unicorns’ of Khepera to Tanith, which ‘might prove to be one of the most valuable pieces of loot’ (SV, pg. 80). This is because ‘Every Viking ship had its own carniculture vats, but men tired of carniculture meat, and fresh meat was always in demand.’ (ibid, pg. 102) Though mainly caused by the loss of Northern Hemispheric pastureland, the shortage of horses may also be explained by the limited amounts of grain for fodder. ‘Almost everybody thought horses were as extinct as dinosaurs.’ (4DP/LSP, pg. 2)

7. Reclamation Projects

Although the Brazilian rain forest may be cut down for farmland, the similar flora of Indonesia is not available for immediate clearing and planting, as it was presumably involved in the Atomic Wars. In ‘The Answer’, ‘there were the Australians, picking themselves up bargains in real-estate in the East Indies at gunpoint’ (WoHBP, pg. 175), and it also mentions ‘the Boers, trekking north again’ (ibid). Though probably contaminated due to fallout, both regions (Indonesia and Central Africa) may thus be among the first areas to have reclamation projects. This could also include Portugal, as the Brazilians begin ‘looking eastward’ (ibid) toward their erstwhile colonial founder, which might leave the reclaiming of the Caribbean and Central America to be initiated by Venezuela and Colombia. The later campaigns against the ‘Eurasian barbarians of North Terra’ (Fed, pg. 213) seem to indicate these early efforts were successful, and extended northward. This quote is from ‘When in the Course’, and Freya is presumably settled at least half a millenium before the TF begins breaking up. Northern Terra may therefore be largely reclaimed by the late Federation period. But when it is bombed back into the Old Stone Age during the Interstellar Wars, the result is worse than the earlier Atomic Wars. These at least left the Southern Hemisphere intact, to preserve civilization and reclaim the North, while the later conflict doesn’t leave enough people and technology to rebuild Terra. And with the end of the TF and the onset of the Interstellar Wars, no other world is able to spare the resources for such an effort. Assuming Terra is incorporated in the 1st Galactic Empire, it remains barbarous for at least another half-millenium.

8. Carrying Capacity

Though the idea is (probably) proven incorrect with our current population of 6 billion, in Piper’s time the carrying capacity of the Earth was apparently believed to be much smaller. Beam’s limit could be supplied by Marduk, which ‘had a population of almost two billion’ (SV, pg. 155), and is a fully-civilized planet at the time. This figure is supported by Trask, who says, ‘If there were two billion people on Gram—which I hope there will be—Gram would have cities like this too.’ (ibid) The above quote giving Terra 3.5 billion people in the 1st Century AE means the planet is running at 175% of carrying capacity, which supports population pressure being a driving force in interplanetary and stellar expansion. First Level Paratime Terra (Paraterra?) also might—indirectly—support this. The planet ‘was completely exhausted twelve thousand years ago’ (LKoO, pg. 246), when it ‘had a world population of half a billion, and it was all they could do to keep alive. After we began paratime transposition, our population climbed to ten billion, and there it stayed’ (Para, pg. 63). Of these, about ‘a billion and a half are on Home Time Line at any one time; the rest are scattered all over Fifth Level, and…all over Fourth, Third, and Second.’ (LKoO, pg. 246) A half billion is far below carrying capacity, which might seem about right on an exhausted Terra. But the 1.5 billion of the rebounded population of Home Time Line are not just on Paraterra, since there are ‘Just enough of us to enjoy our planet and the other planets of the system to the fullest; enough of everything for everybody that nobody needs fight anybody for anything.’ (Para, pg. 63, emphasis added) Thus, ‘Paramars’ and ‘Paravenus’ are also inhabited; the ‘billion and a half’ are spread out over the 3 worlds at least, and some may even be on Luna, Mercury Twilight Zone, and Titan, as in the THFH. The 1.5 billion total would then seem to make sense as Mars was exhausted before Terra was colonized, and Terra was exhausted before transposition was discovered. I don’t know whether Venus was colonized before or after they began paratiming; if after, it might not have been exhausted, possibly making it the breadbasket of Home Time Line.

--John A. Anderson

‘Well, don’t do any fighting with planet busters at twenty paces.’ (FS, pg. 30)
--Leslie Coombs


John's original message is available here:



The first extrasolar planets, as they had been discovered, had been named from Norse mythology--Odin and Baldur and Thor, Uller and Freya, Bifrost and Asgard and Niflheim. When the Norse names ran out, the discoverers had turned to other mythologies, Celtic and Egyptian and Hindu and Assyrian, and by the middle of the Seventh Century they were naming planets for almost anything." -- H. Beam Piper, "Graveyard of Dreams"
David "PiperFan" JohnsonPerson was signed in when posted
02:44 UT
Hello Truefindings. Please send me a message using the contact form:



"It's all pretty hush-hush, but this term Terran Federation is a tentative name for a proposed organization to take the place of the U.N. if that organization breaks up." - Major Cutler (H. Beam Piper), "The Edge of the Knife"
David "PiperFan" JohnsonPerson was signed in when posted
18:01 UT
From the Archives: "Martians, Martians and Freyans"

Another post from the PIPER-L archives here, this time from way back in September 1997, by Nathan Brindle, who was also the administrator of the old mailing list.

Nathan had some thoughts about the Martians of "Genesis" and the potential implications they might have for the Martians of "Omnilingual" and perhaps even the Freyans of "When in the Course--."

Subject: Martian origin of Terro-humans (and maybe Freyans???)
From: Nathan Brindle
Date: Wed, 10 Sep 1997 13:53:49 -0400

One thing you might want to consider in re the Martian origin of
Terro-humans would be the story "Genesis" in _Worlds of H. Beam Piper_.
While Carr's note at the beginning puts it into the Paratime universe, I
see nothing specific in the story that places it absolutely into Paratime;
it could as easily be considered part of the TFH, particularly considering
the physical similarity of Martians and Terrans as described in
"Omnilingual". I never saw anything in "Omnilingual" that would indicate
that the two races were so different as to be different species altogether.
 I also think Carr didn't know what he was talking about half the time when
he wrote these forewords and little prefatory blurbs, as you can see by
looking at my contributions over time to this list :) so I have no problem
placing "Genesis" into either series, <particularly> because of "Omnilingual".

In re the Freyans, I've often wondered why Beam didn't give the Freyans
some kind of mythological creation story (e.g., "Why are we here and how
did we get here?") which might have been the kind of thing that
technologically-savvy Federation citizens would have recognized as a story
about humans being taken from Earth to Freya by "aliens" back in the midst
of pre-history, or even as a story that would be linkable to the Martian
origin theory. If he'd wanted to link WITC with "Genesis" he could have
done it like this: The first expedition to colonize Earth failed (as far
as the people back on Mars knew) and so they decided that it was impossible
to colonize Earth (maybe because of the gravity differential, which Beam
completely ignored). Therefore they turned their sights to escaping to
another solar system, developed a hyperdrive (or even slowships would have
sufficed I suppose), and managed to get at least one colonizer ship off (to
Freya) before Mars became unlivable. For whatever reason this Freyan
colony also decivilized (who knows why; plague, warfare, famine) and had
just managed to get itself back up to a medieval kind of economy by the
time the Federation crew came along. Thus it would be possible that the
two races would be interfertile. (Again notice how <I've> conveniently
ignored the gravity differential problem:)

Of course this is speculation and I have no idea if Beam even considered
it, but if you <really> want to go whole hog you may as well dream big :)
I think someone mentioned once that WITC might have been a first cut at a
story that Beam <really> wanted to place in the Paratime universe (which he
did, of course, with "Gunpowder God" et al.) but was afraid might be
considered too derivative and thus unsaleable (as he would later be told
regarding "Fuzzies and Other People")...and WITC <really> isn't that great
of a story to begin with...


Nathan's original message is available here:



"Lord Kalvan is a Martian." - Jackson Russell, H. Beam Piper Mailing List and Discussion Forum, July 6, 2015
Edited 09-27-2020 18:02
David "PiperFan" JohnsonPerson was signed in when posted
02:48 UT
Interesting new (2019) collection here:


It features stories "written by the unsung women authors of yesteryear" so nothing by Beam but that cover illustration is Kelly Freas's rendering of Martha Dane from the original publication of "Omnilingual" in the February 1957 issue of ~Astounding~:


(Freas's widow--his second wife--wrote the Forward for the collection so she may have had something to do with choosing that image.)

Still, Beam's portrayal of Dane in "Omnilingual" has always seemed to me to be one of the indications that he was "ahead of his time" in so many ways. It's nice to see him recognized for that here, even if only tacitly.


"A lot of technicians are girls, and when work gets slack, they're always the first ones to get shoved out of jobs." - Sylvie Jacquemont (H. Beam Piper), ~Junkyard Planet~
David "PiperFan" JohnsonPerson was signed in when posted
03:42 UT
John "Calidore" Anderson wrote:

> In the "Port Sandor Times" . . .

Wonderful to see that someone has noticed ~Port Sandor Times~! Mostly just a concept at this point but hopefully there will be more content soon. Happy to consider submission from everyone.

> > Personal energy weapons never appear in the Terro-
> > human Future History but a Paratime Police officer is
> > seldom caught without a handy "sigma-ray needler."
> I must request a correction, as energy weapons do appear
> in the THFH. In "The Keeper", set 30,000 years in the future,
> Southrons equipped with "negatron" blasters steal the Crown,
> when Raud is away from home hunting with Brave.

Of course! Thanks for the correction. I've made the update here:



"Britain was a great nation, once; the last nation to join the Terran Federation. . . ." - Lord "Dranigo" Dranigrastan (H. Beam Piper), "The Keeper"
CalidorePerson was signed in when posted
03:27 UT
In the “Port Sandor Times”, David “Piperfan” Johnson wrote—

>Personal energy weapons never appear in the Terro-human Future History but a Paratime Police officer is seldom caught without a handy “sigma-ray needler.”

I must request a correction, as energy weapons do appear in the THFH. In “The Keeper”, set 30,000 years in the future, Southrons equipped with “negatron” blasters steal the Crown, when Raud is away from home hunting with Brave.

Bold is left to guard the Crown, but is killed by one of the Southrons, leaving “a sickening stench of burned flesh and hair.” From the evidence left behind, Raud figures out what happened. “The four men had entered, knowing that they would find Bold alone. The one in the lead had had a negatron pistol drawn, and when Bold had leaped at them, he had been blasted. The blast had caught the dog from in front—the chest cavity was literally exploded, and the neck and head burned and smashed unrecognizably. Even the brass studs on the leather collar had been melted.”

Raud knows this to be true, because “Every Southron who came into the Northland, even the common crewmen on the trading ships, carried some kind of an energy weapon. They were good only for fighting—one look at the body of Bold showed what they did to meat and skins.” (Empire, p. 228)

Raud takes Brave and follows the four men; Vahr Farg’s son and three Southrons. He assumes the weapons they carry include “three negatron pistols”, one for each of the latter. “He knew about negatron pistols, too. They shot little bullets of energy; they were very fast, and did not drop, like a real bullet, so that no judgment of range was needed. But the energy died quickly; the negatrons lived only long enough to go five hundred paces and no more.” (Ibid., p. 231)

When Raud catches them up, a firefight ensues. Raud kills one of the Southrons, and stays out of range of the others. “The third man had drawn his negatron pistol and was trying to use it; thin hairlines of brilliance were jetting out from his hand, stopping far short of their mark.” They are later able to get within range, so that when Raud kills a second Southron, he has to run away fast. “Before he was twenty feet away, the place where he had been exploded; the force of the blast almost knocked him down, and steam blew past and ahead of him. Ignoring his pack and ice-staff, he ran on, calling to Brave to follow. The dog obeyed instantly; more negatron-blasts were thundering and blazing and steaming on the crest of the ridge.” (Ibid., pp. 236, 237)

In the end, Raud encounters the other two face-to-face. He kills the last Southron, and sacrifices Brave in order to get at Vahr Farg’s son, who by now has one of the dead Southron’s blasters. “Brave… launched himself straight at the throat of Vahr Farg’s son—and into the muzzle of Vahr’s blaster. He died in a blue-white flash.” (Ibid., p. 238)

Raud’s statement that all the Southrons carry “some kind of energy weapon” implies that there are other types, besides the negatron pistols. Sigma-ray needlers? Possibly, since the discharge of Paratime needlers don’t seem to be explosive. But given the existence of negatron pistols, negatron rifles are a definite possibility. As energy weapons are “only good for fighting”, these rifles would be carried by Southron security forces and/or Imperial troops at the Space Navy base. (Ibid., p. 223)

In the story, Vahr Farg’s son carries “a single loader” rifle like Raud’s, while the “light Southron rifles” carried by Vahr’s companions are autorifles. They “fired a dozen shots one after another.” These are not energy rifles, since they use them for hunting. (Ibid., p. 230)

So in both of Piper’s series, there is a progression from firearms in the early space age to energy weapons in the far future. In the Paratime series, the Martians who colonize Terra (“Genesis”) carry normal small arms; including pistols, carbines and big-game rifles. (The Worlds of H. Beam Piper, pp. 149, 153) But 100,000 years later, their descendants (at least, those on the First Level) have energy weapons. Similarly, the Terrans who begin the colonization of Mars (“Omnilingual”) carry normal pistols and rifles. (Federation, pp. 21-22) But 30,000 years later, their descendants have energy weapons.

David "PiperFan" JohnsonPerson was signed in when posted
02:48 UT
From the Archives: "Empey: Intro Questions"

Here's another "introductory message" to the old PIPER-L mailing list, posted twenty-three years ago this month, which poses several interesting questions (and answers a couple too).

Subject: Greetings to the list
From: David Empey
Date: Thu, 28 Aug 1997 19:34:20 -0700

Hi, you all. I haven't seen any traffic in the few days I've
been subscribed to the list, so I guess I'll create some traffic
of my own.

In the welcome message, Mr. Brindle says:

>Since Piper's death, several authors working under the auspices of
>Ace Books (which may or may not still be the publisher...bear with me)
>have written further stories set in the TFH and the Paratime Series.
>Among these are John Carr's _Fuzzy_Bones_ and Roland Green's _Great_
>King's_War_. After the appearance of _Fuzzy_Bones_, the long-lost
>third Fuzzy novel (written by Piper in response to public demand but
>rejected by his publisher because it was too derivative of the other
>two books) was discovered in a trunk somewhere in Pennsylvania.

Two questions:

John Carr's _Fuzzy Bones_? I thought the author was William Tuning.

What do you mean, Ace may or may not still be the publisher?

I've also been perusing the list archives, and I've got a few
comments on some stuff that is rather old; apologies if these
points have been covered already.

Back in March, Will Linden wrote as follows:

> Well, perhaps someone else would be interested in illuminating what "era"
>Piper was using. (I put an "Atomic Era" item on my calendar page.)
> If he was dating from the first chain reaction, the Von Schlictens "in
>the Year Three" would have hijacked a bomber to flee Germany in 1944,
>which seems early to me. But if he was reckoning from Los Alamos, that
>would have them impossibly leaving in 1948!

From _Cosmic Computer_, Chapter XIV:

"Nuclear reactors had become simple and easier to service since
the First Day of the Year Zero, when Enrico Fermi put the first one
into operation. . . ."

That was December 2, 1942 C.E., which would put von Schlicten's escape
sometime between Dec 2, 1945 and Dec 1, 1946. Note that Atomic Era
dating has a Year Zero; otherwise Year 3 would be Dec 2, 1944 to Dec 1,
1945. I don't know enough history to know if that is possible or not.

Mark Olson was estimating the number of planets in the Federation by
counting the number of gods in the mythology of various cultures. We
have a fairly precise statement near the end of _CC_, in Chapter XXI:

"Forty years of history for almost five hundred planets had to be
abstracted and summarized" for Merlin so it could make its
predictions. This jibes with Mr. Olson's estimate of 300-1000.

To carry this line of inquiry a bit further:
In "Ministry of Disturbance", we read that there are 1365 inhabited
worlds in the Empire, and had been "when Stevan IV. . . had proclaimed
Odin the Imperial planet. . . ."

Carr dates Steven IV to 1848, so it appears that between 894 and 1848
the number of inhabitated worlds increased by about 870 or so, or
about 174%. It seems a surprising amount of exploration and colonization
went on between the fall of the Federation and the rise of the Empire.

Finally, here's some new (?) remarks of my own:

I'm rather puzzled by several features of the world as described in
_Space Viking_. First, Amaterasu. their tech level seems improbable
to me. They had no nuclear power because there were no fissionables
on the planet, but how *could* they have "lost" contragravity, not
to mention hyperdrive? The planet was evidently not flattened by
bombs, so presumably they had access to Federation-era technical
material. Surely this would have explained the basic theory of
contragravity and hyperdrive. What gives?

Second, I've been wondering about the rate of raiding suggested by the
numbers Piper gives. Harkaman estimates that "there are at least
two hundred Space Viking ships in operation." If there are, say,
1000 planets in the Old Federation (I think there were probably
less), and each ship raids only one planet a year (I think they did
more, based on the examples in _SV_), then each world should be
raided, on the average, once every 5 years, shouldn't they? In addition,
there are less than a dozen and a half civilized worlds in the Old
Fed, which presumably means more than a dozen. Marduk, which is
probably the biggest power in the Old Fed, has two dozen colony
worlds, which smart raiders would not annoy. If the average civilized
world had, say, 10 colonies, that's around 150 fewer planets that
Space Vikings can afford to raid. That means that the 'raidable'
planets should get hit even more often. And yet Amaterasu was last
raided 20 years ago, and Beowulf (where you can get a lot of valuables)
was last raided 60 years ago. Why such a low rate of raiding?

Third, Fenris: Chronologically quite a puzzle! Colonized at the
end of the 4th century. Walt Boyd tells Glenn Murrell that Port
Sandor was built about a century ago, so _Four Day Planet_ must
take place in the late 5th or early 6th century--long before
Zarathustra was discovered. Boyd says Fenris is 650 light years
from Earth; that it takes about 6 months to get from Fenris to
Earth; and that a spaceship logs about 60 hours per light year.
All I can say is, oops! 650 x 60 = 39,000 hours = about 5.4 *years*.
Could it be that the "60 hours" was meant to be "6 hours", and
"4th century" was meant to be "6th century?" This would place the
date of _FDP_ at about 700 AE, neatly accounting for the presence of
Zarathustran veldbeest meat in Port Sandor. But _Uller Uprising_
takes place in the *early* 6th century (about 526, according to
_Fuzzies and Other People_) and contains references to Fenris.


Dave Empey

Dave's original message is available here:



"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~
David "PiperFan" JohnsonPerson was signed in when posted
18:45 UT
The Terran Spiritual and Magical Assistance Agency

I've finished a rework of "Oomphel in the Sky" which adds a new title and makes some other minor changes, including adding a few annotations, in an effort to make the yarn more accessible to contemporary readers. You can download a PDF copy here:


Let us know here what you think!


"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
Jon CrockerPerson was signed in when posted
03:38 UT
Thanks for posting the images - which book were those from?

Also - I was looking at Time and Time Again trying to figure out where the Hartley house was supposed to be. Couldn't quite make sense of the directions as given, I was able to find Brandon and Campbell easily enough.

There no longer seems to be a Union Station in Williamsport, there is a bus depot that Amtrack will deliver you to, if we assume the depot was built where the station used to be, it would be a fair walk for a paper.

Of course, Allan's friend Larry suggested a swim at the Canoe Club - if it's in the same place, it's on the other side of the Susquehanna river from their houses, and even farther to go.

If the Hartleys did live on Brandon, there are still some nice looking houses there with front porches.
jimmyjoejanglesPerson was signed in when posted
03:02 UT

And found this Fuzzy shirt on Ebay, doesn't give Piper any credit but still pretty cool.
David "PiperFan" JohnsonPerson was signed in when posted
23:46 UT
James "jimmyjoejangles" Romanski wrote:

> Just got a Michael Whelan art book and these were in it

Thanks for sharing these, James. I had not seen the Fuzzy sketches before.

~Four-Day Planet~ is one of my favorite Piper illustrations by Whelan.



P.S. James has been working diligenty to post--and re-post--images but the Forum site hasn't been cooperating well. Sorry 'bout that.
"I don't understand computers: Why, I don't even understand the people who understand computers!" - Juliana, Queen of the Netherlands
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