QuickTopic logo Create New TopicNew Topic My TopicsMy Topics News
Zarthani.net banner

H. Beam Piper Mailing List and Discussion Forum

Skip to Messages
Welcome to the Zarthani.net 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.
Membership in this moderated list/forum is by invitation only. (If you'd like an invitation please request one by sending a message to the Moderator.) In order for your messages to be approved for posting to the list you must be both registered with the QuickTopic site (click the "Sign In" link at the top-right of the page) and subscribed to receive messages from the list by e-mail (click the "Get email" button below).
Moderation will focus on keeping the discussion related to H. Beam Piper in a broadly interpreted sense. Off-topic posts or ad hominem comments will not be approved for posting and repeat offenders may be banned from posting to the list.
There is an annual subscription fee required to keep this list/forum free of advertisements and to provide expanded functionality such as the capability to post images. You can support the continued ad-free availability of this shared resource by making a contribution using the PayPal link at the top of the page. (You don't need a PayPal account to make a donation, just a credit card.) Thank you for whatever level of support you can afford.
^     All messages            2144-2159 of 2159  2128-2143 >>
David "PiperFan" JohnsonPerson was signed in when posted
00:59 UT

The Return (of the Man Who Would Be King)

Recently rewatched The Man Who Would Be King and realized this story was likely an inspiration for Beam's "The Return."

Sure, Beam never saw the 1975 film but he'd likely read Kipling's original yarn, to which the film is largely faithful.

The key difference, of course, is that Altamont never realizes the "natives" suspect he's a "god," much less lets it go to his head like Dravot did in Kipling's yarn. And so, there's a much happier ending.

'Ware the Scowrers!

"I was going to write like James Branch Cabell, which would have taken a lot of doing. Before that, I was going to write like Rafael Sabatini, and like Talbot Mundy, and like Rider Haggard, and even, God help us all, like Edgar Rice Burroughs. . . . Eventually I decided to write like H. Beam Piper, only a little better. I am still trying." - H. Beam Piper, "Double: Bill Symposium" interview
Dennis FrankPerson was signed in when posted
13:44 UT
Looks like Piper might have been on the Beam...

Your ancestors might have been Martians
NASA’s most specialized life-hunting laboratory to date is currently hurtling toward the Red Planet, where it will attempt a landing next week. After the crimson dust settles, if all goes according to plan, the Perseverance rover will start rolling along dried-up riverbeds in the first direct attempt yet to address the question driving much of the Martian exploration program: Is there, or was there, life on Mars? Perseverance won’t deliver a clear answer any time soon, but as results trickle
Read in Popular Science: https://apple.news/AEDPWW7omRA2us8anXqoXMA

Shared from Apple News
David "PiperFan" JohnsonPerson was signed in when posted
02:08 UT
Tim wrote:

> Who was Benson Parker by the way? Did he have other
> contributions to the Piper-verse or Fuzzy-verse?

ISFDB suggests Adventures was his only speculative fiction work.

Also wrote what some reviewers call an "alt-Western" short story collection:


which seems to have been issued by Amazon's POD unit.


"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~
David "PiperFan" JohnsonPerson was signed in when posted
14:31 UT
Tim wrote:

> as well as the re-imagining of Little Fuzzy by Scalzi?

Scalzi had a bit to say about this a while back:



"I don't know what plans you have for a next story project, but the world-picture you've been building up in the Sword Worlds stories, or Space Viking stories, or whatever you designate the series, offers some lovely possibilities." -- John W. Campbell (to H. Beam Piper)
Tim TowPerson was signed in when posted
13:05 UT

There's also the opportunity for a children's line of books. Adventures of Little Fuzzy by Benson Parker was a one-off book in 1983, the same year the Ewoks made their big screen appearance. Who was Benson Parker by the way? Did he have other contributions to the Piper-verse or Fuzzy-verse?
Tim TowPerson was signed in when posted
13:42 UT
Great retrospective here. So have things changed with the rights with the sequels John Carr has published and others, as well as the re-imagining of Little Fuzzy by Scalzi?

I agree that Piper's stories are great YA fare.
David "PiperFan" JohnsonPerson was signed in when posted
19:31 UT
From the Archives: "Discovering Piper"

Back in January 2000 there were a series of posts to the old PIPER-L mailing list where Piper fans shared the stories of their first encounters with Piper's work. Here's an entry from a particularly knowledgeable Piper fan.

Subject: Re: Discovering Piper
From: John Carr
Date: Tue, 18 Jan 2000 19:51:37 -0800


I first started reading Piper in the '50s in 'Astounding Science Fiction,'
but didn't really discover him until the late '60s, when a theatre arts
friend of one of my roommates (at the time, I was living with 2 girls, Jerri
and Vicki -- ALA 'Three's Company' -- and he was Jerri's friend) loaned me
his copy of LORD KALVAN OF OTHERWHEN. This guy was a 'real' character; he
would occasionally wear a 7th Cavalry troopers' uniform to school (San Diego
Stage University). He considered LORD KALVAN one of the greatest military
fiction novels of all time; he loaned me his copy, I read it and agreed.
(Interestingly, he was not a science fiction fan.) Since most of Piper's
novels weren't published until the early sixties -- and were out-of-print by
then -- I bought my own copies of LORD KALVAN OF OTHERWHEN, COSMIC COMPUTER
and SPACE VIKING at used book stores. I was amazed by the wealth of detail
and the power of Beam's prose. Piper was a true storyteller; maybe the best
we've had this century. John W. Campbell -- the famed editor of
'Astounding/Analog' -- compared Beam's stories to the classics, such as
TREASURE ISLAND and ROBINSON CRUSOE. My belief is that -- since Piper is
constantly re-discovered -- over time Piper's books will join the list of
young adult (because they're fun and very readable and not 'serious,' AKA
real 'literature') classics in centuries to come, despite Ace's attempt to
keep them well hidden. Actually, the effort new readers undergo to locate
Piper's books may actually help them become classics, since most young
adults don't respond well to books they are spoon-fed! The books that I
believe will attain classic status are LORD KALVAN OF OTHERWHEN and SPACE
VIKING. LITTLE FUZZY and COSMIC COMPUTER are -- and will remain -- lesser
works, but will probably remain in print as Robert Louis Stevenson's minor
works do, such as KIDNAPPED.

>> A couple of questions for the list: Who
>> actually owns the rights to write in
>> Piper's universe?

Ace Books. Jerry Pournelle has Beam's permission to write in Piper's

>> How would one go about getting permission
>> to write a story set in Piper's TFH or
>> Paratime?

You can't. Ace is not even publishing Piper's own books, much less wanting
(or more importantly 'allowing') anyone else to do so. It's a closed/locked
door. If you want to write a novel for practice, or to give to friends --
go ahead. But don't expect to ever publish it as a mainstream SF novel.
Ace doesn't want to see or hear about Piper pastiches. I remember one Ace
editor, I talked to at a convention in the '80s, laughing about a would-be
author who sent them a 'new' Paratime novel each and every year. They
didn't even bother to read them, just tossed them into the circular file.
No other publisher will touch them.

>> In one of the prefaces to one of the Ace
>> paperbacks that Jerry Pournelle was the
>> only writer who had such right.

True. He had Piper's permission, and has Ace's as well.


John Carr

John's original message is available here:



"In my 'teens . . . I decided that what I really wanted to do was write; I wasn't quite sure what, but I was going to write something. About the same time, I became aware of science fiction, such as it was then, mostly H.G. Wells, and fantasy, Bram Stoker, H. Rider Haggard, and then I began reading newer science (more or less) fiction--Burroughs, Merritt, Ralph Milne Farley, Ray Cummings, _et_al_. This was the Neolithic, or Hugo Gernsback Period of science fiction, and by this time I was a real 200-proof fan." - H. Beam Piper, "Double: Bill Symposium" interview
Jon CrockerPerson was signed in when posted
03:40 UT
Thanks for the image! I hadn't seen that one before.

From the travellermap.com website, there are two planets named Tanith, and another two named Marduk, but only the one near Tanith is 'official'.

Speaking of Tanith, Space Viking has a gppd line,from the battle at Audhumla - "Gehenna with this fooling around! I'll fix the expurgated unprintability!" Because Space Vikings in combat would not use 'darn', 'shucks', or 'gee whiz'.

I hope everyone had a good Christmas, and has a better new year - we were running errands today and saw a sign "The first rule of 2021 is don't talk about 2020" and I think that about sums it up.
David "PiperFan" JohnsonPerson was signed in when posted
01:12 UT
Tim Tow wrote:

> Interesting, although there is no official Traveller
> universe planet named Styrphon yet, there are a lot of
> Piper references in the Traveller RPG

Yes. I've seen several Terro-human Future History references but this is the first Traveller tag I've seen of a Paratime name.

> Another one is the megacorp Hortalez et Cie is named
> after a Spanish shell company that was created to funnel
> funds to the colonists during the American Revolution.

(Huh! I never knew that, though I've long wondered--off-topic a bit here--about that odd-seeming name, probably since Hortalez was listed as the "bonding agent" on the mercenary repatriation bond printed in the Across the Bright Face adventure.)

> Marc Miller has said that H. Beam Piper's stories were
> among the inspiration for Traveller.

The "Sword Worlds Subsector" in the Spinward Marches supplement let that cat out of the bag. . . . Later, in Travellers' Digest #20, there was even a Tanith, in the Borderland subsector of the Trojan Reach:

Tanith 2721 A589342-B Ni Lo 105 As M3D M5D

Though it would seem Aslan ihatei had overrun the Space Viking base at that point. ;)

Down Styphon!

"I don't know what plans you have for a next story project, but the world-picture you've been building up in the Sword Worlds stories, or Space Viking stories, or whatever you designate the series, offers some lovely possibilities." -- John W. Campbell (to H. Beam Piper)
Tim TowPerson was signed in when posted
14:35 UT
Interesting, although there is no official Traveller universe planet named Styrphon yet, there are a lot of Piper references in the Traveller RPG as well as other cultural/historical references (in jokes). The patron name is an nice. Another one is the megacorp Hortalez et Cie is named after a Spanish shell company that was created to funnel funds to the colonists during the American Revolution. Marc Miller has said that H. Beam Piper's stories were among the inspiration for Traveller.
David "PiperFan" JohnsonPerson was signed in when posted
03:58 UT

Down-Styphon Starport from Classic Traveller Supplement 6: 76 Patrons
David "PiperFan" JohnsonPerson was signed in when posted
03:57 UT
Down-Styphon Starport?

Was looking for info on Mike Gilbert's Down Styphon! miniatures wargame:


and stumbled across "Down-Styphon Starport" mentioned in a patron encounter on p. 33 of the Classic Traveller role-playing game supplement 76 Patrons:


There were multiple contributors to 76 Patrons so it's not obvious who was the Piper fan, or why it is they also borrowed this guy's name either:


In Traveller's Imperium campaign, the surface components of starports "are frequently called Down (as in Regina Down Starport) or Downport. Orbital facilities are . . . often called Highport. . . ." The "Down-Styphon" construction here is therefore a bit unconventional in its effort to remain true to Piper's original battle cry.

(Image to follow.)


"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~
David "PiperFan" JohnsonPerson was signed in when posted
03:15 UT
From the Archives: "The Genesis of 'Paratime'"

Here's another message from the old PIPER-L mailing list. This time it's John Carr explaining why Beam's yarn "Genesis" appeared in the collection ~The World of H. Beam Piper~ instead of the ~Paratime!~ collection, which would have been his preference. (John was responding to a discussion about the never-ending debate over whether Paratime and the Terro-human Future History yarns are all part of the same setting.)

Subject: The Genesis of "Paratime"
From: John F. Carr
Date: Sat, 20 Dec 2003 16:48:14 EST


The reason "Genesis" was not included in "Paratime" was that I did not have a
copy of the story until after the book was published. For me, it was the
most elusive of all of Beam's stories; this was in the late 70s, long before the
Internet simplified finding out-of-print and rare magazines and books.

If I would have had a copy of "Genesis," I would have included it in the
"Paratime" anthology; I'm still unhappy that Ace never offered me the opportunity
to rectify that situation when they republished "Paratime" as part of the "The
Complete Paratime" without my knowledge. (If they had, I would have not
included the novel "Lord Kalvan of Otherwhen," but instead the three novellas,
including the never-published "Hos-Hostigos." There are subtle differences in
the novellas and some 'new' material in the opening of "Hos-Hostigos." This,
along with an updated introduction, would have made for a much more interesting
and historically significant book...

Of course, it was cheaper to use the old plates of the two books and slap a
new title on it...

According to Beam's Log Book (which lists and dates story sales, but not when
they were written), "Genesis" was 'sold' on October 11, 1951 by Fred Pohl,
Beam's agent at the time. However, this book many have been making the rounds
for a number years before selling. For example, "Hunter Patrol" (one of the
McGuire collaborations) was written previous to 1955 (there's no mention of it
in the diaries of that year) so we know it took at least 4 years to sell after
the Piper and McGuire breakup in 1955. Thus, we can only speculate when it
was written, but everything about it points to it as the Paratime 'origin'

As to why Beam didn't include it in the "Paratime List" he sent to the
Browns, there are several possible explanations. 1.) By this time, he'd begun to
associate the Paratime stories with Verkan Vall. 2.) Recent astronomical
evidence had begun to throw water on the 'Martian origins' concept. So, in his own
mind, he no longer 'saw' "Genesis" as part of the Paratime series.

I included "He Walked Around the Horses" in "Paratime" both because it was a
great little yarn and because the central element is referred to in "Police
Operation." If I would have had a copy, I would have opened "Paratime" with

As far as "The Worlds of H. Beam Piper," that was an add-on book. The titles
for the first three collections originated with Jim Baen, and after he left
to co-found Tor Books with Tom Doherty, Ace approached me for the rest of the
stories which had been 'lost' during the transition. After the first three
contracted books were done, I still had enough stories left for another book
(this is about the time a fan sent me a photocopy of "Genesis") so I contacted Ace
and sent them a proposal. The other collections were selling very well so
they said yes. I didn't include or withhold any stories because of my plans for
"The Worlds of H. Beam Piper," in fact, I included "The Return" in "Empire"
both because it was one of my favorite Piper short stories and because the book
would have been too short without it.

John F. Carr


John's original message is available here:



"Lord Kalvan is a Martian." - Jackson Russell, H. Beam Piper Mailing List and Discussion Forum, July 6, 2015
David "PiperFan" JohnsonPerson was signed in when posted
02:00 UT
Hello Piper Fans!

Once again it's time to pay the annual fee ($US53) which keeps this mailing list and forum archive free of advertisements and enables features like image posting. You can support this shared resource by making a contribution in an amount of your choice using the PayPal link at the top of the Discussion Forum page. (You don't need a PayPal account to make a donation, just a credit card.)

I'll be paying the fee again this year, regardless of any contributions, but I do use this annual ritual as an indicator of interest in Piper-related discussion at Zarthani.net. So I hope you'll take advantage of this opportunity to express your interest in continued Piper-related discussion.

Thanks in advance for whatever amount of support you choose to provide.

Have a merry solstice holiday, however you celebrate it, and best wishes for the New Year.

"I always was a present-peeker [on] New Year's. . . ." - Elaine Karvall (H. Beam Piper), ~Space Viking~
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"
^     All messages            2144-2159 of 2159  2128-2143 >>

Print | RSS Views: 32228 (Unique: 8348 ) / Subscribers: 26 | What's this?