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2228
David "PiperFan" JohnsonPerson was signed in when posted
06-09-2021
03:50 UT
~
Jon Crocker wrote:

> My guess is, it just wasn't important to the plot.

Perhaps. There was a "Civil Administration" comprised of a "Fiscal Secretary," a "Commercial Secretary," a "Personnel Chief" and the "Banking Cartel's lawyer" though it's not clear whether these were actual "civilians" or (perhaps "dual-hatted") Company officials.

> Given that UU happened a couple centuries before
> Little Fuzzy, one could argue that in the wake of the
> Uller uprising, as a concession to the cartels that
> lost out on a lot of dividends, the Federation
> mandated the existence of colonial legislatures so
> that the people on the spot could see trouble
> coming that much better.

Perhaps. It seems like one difference on Uller was that there wasn't any territory which wasn't under the control of the local sophonts, so the company must have had some sort of "concession" from local landholders, similar to what we see being negotiated on Freya in "When in the Course--." While on Zarathustra, once the company's charter was nullified there were large tracts of formerly Company-owned land that was not obviously--to the pre-Indigenous sensibilities of the era in which Beam was writing--under the control of any Fuzzies.

Everyone on Uller was either under the Company's authority or under the authority of Ulleran landholders but on Zarathustra, post-Pendarvis Decision there are people (and more expected to arrive) who are neither under the Company's authority nor under the authority of any Fuzzies. These seem to be the folks the Colonial Legislature is meant to represent.

> Zarathustra also never had a Lieutenant Governor
> appointed, where we specifically saw one in UU.
> I guess they had fallen out of fashion by that point,
> or again were not important to the plot.

Perhaps. Or maybe there would be one once the Colonial Legislature was in place and the military-appointed Governor General was replaced with one "confirmed" in some manner by the Legislature, along with a bundle of other executive officials (besides the Native Affairs Commissioner perhaps a Fiscal Secretary and a Commercial Secretary. . .).

> I don't think anyone was worried that the fuzzies
> would roll the Lt. G in a puddle of thermoconcentrate
> fuel and torch the guy, the way the Ullerans did.

;) In another universe, the Ullerans would have fit in well on the Lone Star Planet!

Don't Let New Texas Go to the Dogs!

David
--
"Capella IV had been settled during the first wave of extrasolar colonization, after the Fourth World--or First Interplanetary--War. Some time around 2100." - H. Beam Piper and John J. McGuire, ~Lone Star Planet~
~
2227
jimmyjoejanglesPerson was signed in when posted
06-09-2021
01:06 UT
What I said is that everything Piper imagined is all in one universe. I never said anything about other writers or series being in the Piperverse.

Paratime was about a civilization that uses timelines to take from other civilizations. THFH is about a civilization that has some of the same tech and ideas that the Paratimers have. Verkan Val's entire purpose was to make sure those timelines never knew that they were being mined for resources.
2226
David SoobyPerson was signed in when posted
06-08-2021
04:07 UT
Sorry for this belated reply to John Calidore's very thought-provoking and informative response to my earlier comment, but perhaps it's for the best that I let some time pass before replying. The recent conversation certainly has produced a lot of very good discussion!

John Calidore wrote:

> ...to me the evidence certainly suggests that he used the same ‘Martian origins’
> premise in the THFH that he did in Paratime. In this scenario, a few Martians made
> it to Terra but met with disaster, as in “Genesis”. But unlike Paratime, the Old
> Martians in the THFH did not give up trying to emigrate after their first attempt
> failed, and a later group settled Freya before they became extinct on Mars.
>
> I believe that is also the opinion of Wolfgang Diehr (and possibly others), while
> David Johnson and David Sooby (and possibly others) believe that parallel evolution
> and an ancient alien race of seeders are the explanation.

To give credit where it's due, John, your rather lengthy reply to my earlier post (and I for one appreciate longer, detailed comments with citations backing up the points made) has me at least half-convinced that you are correct to say the Martians did try again later and wound up colonizing Freya. Your points regarding the commonality of languages between Martian and Freyan are new to me, and at least somewhat persuasive.

(As an aside, I also appreciate your comments about the "Garden of Eden" parallel with ancient Mars as the cradle of civilization. Those concepts are also new to me, and also worthy of rumination.)

John, both of us are trying to make the various apparently contradictory indications of the Terro-Human (and Freyan) racial origins in Pipers' two series fit together, and to consider if perhaps both series are actually one. Both of us are using Occam's Razor, trying to find a way to reconcile those contradictions with the fewest assumptions not supported by the canon.

My suggestion for "ancient astronauts" ferrying Martians to Freya was my attempt to explain, with the fewest non-canonical assumptions, how Martians could have wound up on Freya. However, your points about the commonality of language certainly throw my suggestion of a much older start to the Freya colony into serious doubt. Several thousands of years, at least, would be required to produce the sort of genetic diversity suggested in "When in the Course--", so I had the colonization put back that far in time. However, your points about a commonality of language elements provides what appears (at least to me) to be rather strong evidence that the Freyan colonization happened not many centuries distant from the end of the Martian civilization.

In short, before reading your points about the commonality of language, I had rejected the idea that the Martians colonized Freya themselves, because (a) there's nothing in either "Genesis" nor "Omnilingual" to suggest the Martians developed interstellar travel, and (b) even with interstellar travel, colonizing a nearby planet such as Terra would involve far, far fewer resources than colonizing a planet around a distant star. From that viewpoint, it makes no sense that the Martians would try to colonized a planet many light-years away, when the much, much nearer Terra was available for colonization.

However, with your evidence about the common language elements supporting that scenario, we can certainly come up with reasons why the Martians would colonize Freya. Perhaps it was some sort of freak accident with an experimental space drive which threw them many light-years away, or perhaps they decided that trying to colonize Terra in the middle of an ice age was a bad idea, and in their interstellar explorations looking for an alternative world, Freya was the first one they stumbled across. Even less likely explanations are possible; it's not impossible that the Martians developed some sort of matter transmitter which worked at interstellar distances, and exploring with that, they happened upon a habitable world by random chance, which happened to be Freya. That is to say, since we have no evidence that Martians developed hyperdrive, it may be that they invented some sort of method of interstellar travel which didn't involve spacecraft; a method not discovered by any other race in the THFH universe.

In that scenario, it seems best to explain (in light of modern genetics) the Freyan racial differences as genetic drift in a small population, presumably indicating that only a few hundred Martians survived the attempt to colonize Freya.

* * * *

On a different subject:

Regarding whether or not Piper actually *intended* that the THFH series was directly connected to the Piperverse series, I regard Piper's own statement in his "The Future History" article that only those stories listed, with the possible addition of "Edge of the Knife", are part of the THFH, as definitive. We fans are of course free to attempt to fit the two series together, but Piper rather clearly did not intende that, and Piper certainly isn't the only writer to use similar concepts in stories which are not otherwise connected.

In short: Even if we could "prove" to everyone's satisfaction that "Genesis" indicated a common origin for Humans in both Paratime and THFH, that would not in the least convince me that the two series actually do occur in the same universe. It would only prove that similar events occurred in different and distinct universes. And given the widely diverse nature of Paratime, it should hardly be surprising if that were so. In fact, Piper stipulates that interstellar travel does exists on some Paratime timelines. We could, as someone did a few comments ago, even go so far as to assert that every possible universe we can imagine is part of Paratime, because no matter how low the possibility, it will happen *somewhere* one some timeline.

While that argument is perhaps impossible to refute, it's also utterly pointless. With that argument, one can assert that every possible imaginable earth-like world, or at least everything in fiction which has no overt fantasy elements, is "part of Paratime". By that argument, both Heinlein's Future History series and Asimov's Empire/ Foundation universe, and countless others, are "part of Paratime".

Again, it may be impossible to refute that argument, but it is an argument utterly without value. One might, Gentle Reader, argue that Niven's Known Space is part of Paratime, but you'll never convince me or any other true Niven fan that this is so. Nor should we true Piper fans find such an argument convincing merely because Piper wrote both series.

There is usefulness -- utility -- in making distinctions between different fictional series, and the distinct universes in which those various series occur. We talk about the "canon" of different series, because we as fans find such distinctions useful. There is no utility, no usefulness, in saying that the THFH is merely one timeline in Paratime. There is no utility in claiming that all canons are just part of a larger whole.

Language is only useful where it is used to convey meaning, and that usefulness is lost when words are used in a way that conveys so much ambiguity that any distinction vanishes.

* * * * *
David Sooby
2225
Jon CrockerPerson was signed in when posted
06-07-2021
23:30 UT
I suppose all of Uller Uprising could have happened when the legislature was in recess, but that seems a weak answer.

My guess is, it just wasn't important to the plot.

Given that UU happened a couple centuries before Little Fuzzy, one could argue that in the wake of the Uller uprising, as a concession to the cartels that lost out on a lot of dividends, the Federation mandated the existence of colonial legislatures so that the people on the spot could see trouble coming that much better.

Zarathustra also never had a Lieutenant Governor appointed, where we specifically saw one in UU. I guess they had fallen out of fashion by that point, or again were not important to the plot.

I don't think anyone was worried that the fuzzies would roll the Lt. G in a puddle of thermoconcentrate fuel and torch the guy, the way the Ullerans did.
2224
David "PiperFan" JohnsonPerson was signed in when posted
06-06-2021
15:08 UT
~
Does Uller have a Colonial Legislature?

Once the Fuzzies are recognized as sapient, Zarathustra is reclassified from Class-III, uninhabited but inhabitable, to Class-IV, inhabited, the Chartered Zarathustra Company's exclusive ownership is invalidated, and the Class-III Colonial Government is disestablished, Commodore Alex Napier, the local Terran Federation military commander, appoints a Class-IV Civil Government headed by a Governor-General. This appointed government is obliged to hold elections to establish a popularly-elected Colonial Legislature.

Uller is also a Class-IV planet with a Governor-General but it doesn't seem to have a Colonial Legislature. Instead, it seems to continue to be governed, on a ~de facto~ if not ~de jure~ basis, but the Chartered Uller Company. While the Governor-General appointed by Napier on Zarathustra is a "civilian" the Governor-General on Uller seems to be an Uller Company official. (I suppose it could have been possible for Napier to have appointed a Zarathustra Company official as Governor-General too but he chose not to so so.)

But unlike Zarathustra, Uller doesn't seem to have a Colonial Legislature. Why is this? (Or is there one but it's not mentioned because it's mostly an institution which simply "rubber stamps" Company edicts?)

(Is it perhaps that when Beam was writing ~Uprising~ he was using the old East India Company as his model for the Uller Company while by the time he was writing ~Little Fuzzy~ a decade later he had a more complex model in mind, similar to the odd mix of post-"Sepoy Mutiny" East India Company and colonial "British Raj"?)

Kwannon also has a Governor-General who heads a Civil Government but it's not clear whether or not there is a Colonial Legislature on Kwannon. The head of the Colonial Office expedition to Svantovit hopes to be appointed Governor-General though again there doesn't seem to be any mention of a potential Colonial Legislature.

On the other hand, Poictesme, which is not a colony but a Federation Member Republic, has a Parliament (and a President).

Pwink,

David
--
"As for the other five, one had been an all-out hell-planet, and the rest had been the sort that get colonized by irreconcilable minority-groups who want to get away from everybody else. The Colonial Office wouldn't even consider any of them." - Mark Howell (H. Beam Piper), "Naudsonce"
~
2223
David "PiperFan" JohnsonPerson was signed in when posted
06-03-2021
04:01 UT
~
John "Calidore" Anderson wrote:

> In Lord Kalvan, the different timelines and sectors
> are caused by the usual alternate probabilities.

Agreed. Beam did not introduce a new explanation for the variations between ~individual~ timelines in "Gunpowder God"; these continue to be caused by whatever (unnamed) mechanism as was the case when he was previously attributing the differences between Levels to differences in the outcome of the "ancient Martian colonization" attempt.

> This is not a genetic variation, it’s an alternate
> probability. Someone making a different choice
> based on different causal factors.

Agreed. It also has nothing to do with different outcomes of the "ancient Martian colonization" attempt Beam used to explain differences in Paratime Levels in his early yarns.

> Yes, it is new and different, but it also doesn’t make
> much sense.

Thank you for admitting that your views here are not based strictly on the -evidence~ from Beam but rather also on your ~own~ judgments about the "reasonableness" of that evidence! (I've previously encouraged you to be more straightforward about this when you do it, so it's good to see you doing it here.)

> Because what Beam is actually saying in Lord Kalvan
> is that four of the five Paratime levels devolved from
> low-probability genetic accidents, while Fourth Level
> (presumably) evolved to the maximum genetic
> variation. But since in Fourth Level, the various
> sectors, subsectors and timelines are still caused by
> alternate probabilities, the same should be true of the
> other four levels, which “devolved” from it.

A fair critique. I think you are beginning to illustrate one of the reasons why the Paratime setting has never been my favourite part of Beam's work. It may make for great individual stories--"Crossroads of Destiny" is one of many excellent examples--but as a coherent general setting it quickly breaks down in many ways.

> Seen as a whole, this system seems unnecessarily
> complex; a strange amalgam of two different
> concepts, with genetic accidents or variations
> creating the different levels, and alternate probabilities
> creating the different subdivisions within them.

Agreed. Sticking with the original "ancient Martian colonization" heuristic does not resolve this shortcoming.

It is, nevertheless, the setting--or settings, if we consider both the "Martian" and "genetics" forms--Beam left us.

> Okay, for the sake of argument, let’s grant it anyway.
> But what genetic accidents create the other four levels?
> They should be major ones, if they create four entirely
> different outcomes.

Yep. The same questions exist if we posit differences due to differences in the outcomes of the "ancient Martian colonization" attempts. (Yes, Beam generally describes the differences in the various outcomes but not in any detail which enables us to make coherent sense of the differences between any two Sectors on different Levels.)

> In Kalvan Subsector, there doesn’t seem to be any
> genetic difference between the Fourth Level
> characters Calvin Morrison and Princess Rylla, and
> the First Level characters Verkan Vall and Hadron
> Dalla. On the contrary, they all seem to be the same
> sort of people, and get along like gangbusters.

I think what was happening in ~Lord Kalvan~ was driven--as was always the case--primarily by Beam's dramatic purposes, which in this instance was about getting his readers of a certain American socio-cultural era to identify with his protagonists.

Beam did sometimes grapple with these difference in other yarns, like "Last Enemy" where Verkan was cosmetically altered and given a "Venusian back-story" to better fit in on the local timeline. (But Beam was obviously using excessive amounts of "paratemporal lipstick" on the "Paratime pig" by the time of ~Lord Kalvan~.)

But, again, none of this is resolved by reverting to the "ancient Martian origins" heuristic.

> Or did Beam mean genetic variations of all organic life?

FWIW, I think this assumption gives the greatest amount of explanatory power within the confines of what Beam has left us. A genetic accident could lead to variations in ecological regions--a less successful locust species might prevent a grassland from becoming a desert, for example, leading to different advantages and disadvantages for ancient humans (whether they be indigenous hominids or devolved Martians).

> In that case, there should be a wide variety of plant
> and animal species on the other levels and sectors,
> not found on our own Fourth Level timeline.

Yep. More illustration of the shortcomings of the Paratime setting.

> But that does not seem to be the case. All the
> Paratime levels appear to have the exact same types
> of organic life, including humans (except for Fifth Level).

Well, hang on. It doesn't seem to be the case on the Paratime timelines that the First Level civilization has ~encountered~. But perhaps there are ~other~ timelines where it is the case--most likely "beyond" the arbitrarily-identified "Fifth Level." (John Carr has tried to "close off" the possibility of a "Sixth Level" in his follow-on work but his is not the only possible choice here.)

> They even have the same weather.

Yep, yet another problem. As with Verkan's "para-peeping" in his first Paratime yarn, this seems to be an idea that even Beam began to realize was problematic. It's a clever trope in a single yarn which falls apart across an entire fictional setting.

But again, nothing about a "Martian origin" resolves this. The weather would not be the same on a Third Level timeline which had had a series of atomic wars. . . .

> Piper was very specific on the five different outcomes
> of the Martian colonization premise. Yet he was
> indeed quite vague on the “genetic accident” premise.

Don't be silly. There is nothing about the "ancient Martian origins" heuristic which explains, for example, why Akor-Neb has stumbled upon "discarnation." Beam gives us some broad, general differences in the different outcomes of the "ancient Martian colonization" attempts but he draws no lines from there to any specific differences on Second, Third or Fourth Levels.

> You even admitted that in your response to Tim Tow.
> (“I think they're arbitrary, mostly just subjective choices
> (both in-setting and out) about the differences in
> variation (which is likely why Beam never discussed
> this point in detail).”)

I was speaking about ~both~ possibilities: "genetic accidents" ~and~ "ancient Martian colonization." Apologies if that wasn't clear.

What you're illustrating here is not how one heuristic--"genetic accidents" or "Martian origins"--better "fits" what Beam left us but rather how the Paratime setting generally is riddled with internal inconsistencies.

> If Piper was firmly resolved to get rid of the Martian
> origin, as you believe,

All I believe Beam was "firmly resolved" about was selling his fiction. He wasn't trying to "fix" his body of Paratime work with the changes he introduced in "Gunpowder God." He was simply trying to write a yarn which was more likely to be purchased by an editor because it made better sense ~at that time~, a decade after his last Paratime yarn had been published, to that editor's paying readers.

Maybe, if he'd lived to revisit his work--like Asimov or Poul Anderson--he'd have done something differently and worked harder to resolve the contradictions--but he was just trying to sell that -one~ novel when he wrote the first part of ~Lord Kalvan~ that he pitched as "Gunpowder God."

> To me, it just doesn’t add up.

It doesn't "add up" to me either, considered comprehensively ~post hoc~ as we are doing. But that's not how Beam was writing it. He was trying to make a distinct sale ~each time~, over a period of decades. The expectations of his audience changed over that time. Beam's understanding of what made more or less sense changed too. And then, each time, he had to write something that someone ~else~, who didn't give a hoot about the internal consistency of the overall setting. would buy.

And he never got the chance to "go back" and make it all "fit together."

Given that, we should not be surprised that it doesn't all "fit together" like some sophisticated, three-dimensional puzzle.

> The genetics premise seems odd, is in disharmony
> with the alternate probabilities of the sectors,
> subsectors and timelines, and is very nebulous
> compared with the Martian origins premise.

Honestly, I don't see how either heuristic resolves the contradictions which are inherent in the Paratime setting. The problem isn't what "causes" the initial Levels; the problem is the (unnamed) mechanism which subsequently gives rise to individual timelines.

For example, dramatically, we can see how a "para-peeping" Verkan Vall is problematic, but rationally there's no way to explain why there is only a single "First Level" timeline.

All of the other problems you've pointed to arise from the same dynamic: it's not how Paratime "started" but rather how it "works" which creates the contradictions.

> It feels more like Beam playing with words to
> confuse or at least gloss over the issue, rather than a
> serious attempt to redefine how the Paratime universe
> came to be.

It was just Beam writing and trying to ~sell~ each ~individual~ yarn to ~different~ editors over a period of ~decades~.

> One can get there by making several ~assumptions~
> about various bits of what Beam wrote,
[snip]
> but then you've wandered away / beyond
> from what Beam left us.
>
> Maybe, but no more so than those who postulate a
> “World Commonwealth of Nations” after WWIII,
> for which there is no explicit evidence in Piper,
> and which requires renaming the First Terran
> Federation the “Terran Federation of States”
> (Beam never called it that);

Of course, but I don't insist that the stuff I've "made up" (no matter how carefully I might try to ensure that it "fits" with what Beam left us) is ~actually~ what Beam had in mind.

I'm happy to admit it's ~my~ work, not Beam's.

Cheers,

David
--
"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
~
2222
CalidorePerson was signed in when posted
06-02-2021
17:53 UT
David “Piperfan” Johnson wrote,

>Beam doesn't simply fail to mention any "Martian origin" in his final Paratime work
>he also ~introduces~ the concept of differences in timelines being due to ~genetic~
>factors. Whatever the differences in timelines are in "Gunpowder God"--"variations"
>or "accidents"--their causes are ~genetic~. Beam has replaced one explanation—
>differences in timelines due to different outcomes of the Martian colonization attempt
>--with another explanation--differences in timelines due to different outcomes which
>have their origins in ~genetics~.

That is not accurate. In Lord Kalvan, the different timelines and sectors are caused by the usual alternate probabilities. Beam is quite clear on this. Tortha Karf says that Paratime consists of “a near infinity of worlds of alternate probability”. As an example, he cites “Aryan-Oriental; the Aryan migration of three thousand years ago, instead of moving west and south, as on most sectors, had rolled east into China.” On Home Time Line, a professor of Paratemporal History says, “Who knows what started the Aryan migration eastward on that sector, instead of westward as on all the others? Some tribal chief’s hangover; some wizard’s nightmare.” (LKO, pp. 2, 3, 106)

This is not a genetic variation, it’s an alternate probability. Someone making a different choice based on different causal factors. The same goes for Aryan-Transpacific, “an offshoot” of Aryan-Oriental, in which “some of them had built ships and sailed north and east along the Kuriles and the Aleutians and settled in North America” (ibid., pp. 3-4) No genetics here, either; just an alternate probability caused by some Aryans deciding to build boats and go exploring. On most of Aryan-Oriental, their drang nach osten was stopped by the Pacific Ocean, but on at least one timeline, a few of them apparently decided to continue it by other means, creating a new sector in the process.

I could add that Kalvan Subsector is not caused by a genetic accident, either; it is due to a paratemporal transposition accident. But that’s a rare and exceptional case.

>A "genetic accident" is not a way simply in which "accidents" might "happen differently."
>Beam is describing these accidents as being the result of ~genetic~ factors, of biological
>variations which give rise to differences in outcomes through evolutionary processes.
>To say that on one timeline a colonization attempt was successful while on another it
>was less so and then describe this difference in outcomes as a "genetic accident"
>misunderstands the words that Beam has left us.

>Beam didn't just fail to repeat the "Martian origins" explanation for differences in
>timelines in "Gunpowder God"; he also introduced a ~new~ and ~different~ explanation.

Yes, it is new and different, but it also doesn’t make much sense. Because what Beam is actually saying in Lord Kalvan is that four of the five Paratime levels devolved from low-probability genetic accidents, while Fourth Level (presumably) evolved to the maximum genetic variation. But since in Fourth Level, the various sectors, subsectors and timelines are still caused by alternate probabilities, the same should be true of the other four levels, which “devolved” from it. Seen as a whole, this system seems unnecessarily complex; a strange amalgam of two different concepts, with genetic accidents or variations creating the different levels, and alternate probabilities creating the different subdivisions within them.

Okay, for the sake of argument, let’s grant it anyway. But what genetic accidents create the other four levels? They should be major ones, if they create four entirely different outcomes. How is a First Level Paratimer genetically or biologically different from a Fourth Level Prole? More intelligent, greater mental abilities, taller, better looking, longer lived? Perhaps, but these don’t seem to be caused by genetic accidents, they’re due to the science and medicine of First Level, which is 100,000 years more advanced than that of the Fourth Level.

In “Time Crime”, Verkan Vall notes that the Fourth Level Prole woman Zinganna “could easily pass as a woman of his own race” (Paratime, p. 232). How can the Fourth Level produce a woman with First Level characteristics? This would seem highly unlikely, since the First and Fourth Levels should be very different, genetically speaking. It’s like saying a ‘Fourth World’ Brazilian or Melanesian aborigine is born looking very much like a First World American or European.

Of course, “Time Crime” mentions the Martian origin of the five levels, so Zinganna’s First Level looks are easily explained. They are most likely a ~genetic~ throwback to her level’s Martian origin. Through a ~biological~ quirk, she was born just about as Martian as the people of the completely-successful First Level. And true to her genes, she quickly becomes one of them, being adopted as a sister by Hadron Dalla, and engaged to Kostran Galth, a paracop. (ibid., p. 258)

Okay, then what about Lord Kalvan, where genetic accidents are mentioned? In Kalvan Subsector, there doesn’t seem to be any genetic difference between the Fourth Level characters Calvin Morrison and Princess Rylla, and the First Level characters Verkan Vall and Hadron Dalla. On the contrary, they all seem to be the same sort of people, and get along like gangbusters.

Or did Beam mean genetic variations of all organic life? In that case, there should be a wide variety of plant and animal species on the other levels and sectors, not found on our own Fourth Level timeline. In other words, Paratime would be like the Terro-Human Future History, with ‘alien’ Terras whose species and genera (including humans) are very different, paralleling the wide variety of organic life in the known galaxy. Humans (or humanoids) with three fingers and toes, or three eyes, or cute little furry primates like the Fuzzies; animals of strange and ferocious aspect; and weird and monstrous plant life never seen before. The possibilities are endless, since Paratime contains a near-infinity of timelines.

But that does not seem to be the case. All the Paratime levels appear to have the exact same types of organic life, including humans (except for Fifth Level). They even have the same weather. As Verkan Vall travels back to First Level, “The barn vanished; blue sky appeared above, streaked with wisps of high cirrus cloud. The autumn landscape flickered unreally. Buildings appeared and vanished, and other buildings came and went in a twinkling…For a while, there were vistas of deep forests, always set in the same background of mountains and always under the same blue cirrus-laced sky.” (ibid., p. 46)

All the other Terras of Paratime are just like ours, genetically, biologically and climatically speaking.
     
>Beam wasn't being "vague" in "Gunpowder God"; he was quite specific.
>He didn't write "'generic' accidents" but rather "~genetic~ accidents."

Piper was very specific on the five different outcomes of the Martian colonization premise. Yet he was indeed quite vague on the “genetic accident” premise. You even admitted that in your response to Tim Tow. (“I think they're arbitrary, mostly just subjective choices (both in-setting and out) about the differences in variation (which is likely why Beam never discussed this point in detail).”)

If Piper was firmly resolved to get rid of the Martian origin, as you believe, then one would think he would have been more specific—more detailed—on what the four different genetic accidents were that gave rise to the other four Paratime levels.

To me, it just doesn’t add up. The genetics premise seems odd, is in disharmony with the alternate probabilities of the sectors, subsectors and timelines, and is very nebulous compared with the Martian origins premise. It feels more like Beam playing with words to confuse or at least gloss over the issue, rather than a serious attempt to redefine how the Paratime universe came to be.

>There is nothing explicit from Beam to support a "Martian origin" in the Terro-human
>Future History. Indeed, if you read the Future History without considering Paratime
>this idea should never even occur to you.

First sentence, true. Second sentence, not necessarily. Because in “Omnlingual”, Piper mentions that the Old Martians died out 50,000 years ago, and at the height of their civilization they had discovered uranium, “knew about electron shells”, were “not quite” at the Bohr atom, but “did know about atomic energy”. (Federation, pp. 3, 38, 48) On Terra, uranium was discovered in 1789, the electron in 1897, and the Bohr model was created in 1913.

At the very least, this places the Old Martians at an early Twentieth Century-equivalent level of technology, somewhere between 1897 and 1913. It was probably higher/later than that, since the Terrans in “Omnilingual” discover that the Martians possessed very durable silicone-based paper, advanced bullet-proof glass, and “radically different” refrigeration units. (ibid., pp. 14, 21-22, 29) This suggests the Terrans have some things to learn from the long-extinct Martians. And the higher level of Martian technology could certainly have included space travel, since the less-advanced Terrans have it.

But for the sake of argument, let’s leave the Old Martians at a circa 1905-equivalent level. In Piper, the Cyrano Expedition to Mars occurs in 1996. That’s less than 100 years between the Bohr atom and interplanetary travel. So even with no regard to Paratime, it is quite possible for the Old Martians in the THFH to have developed atomic power and space flight during the century after the murals in Kukan were painted. For their first interplanetary expedition, their destination would certainly have been Terra, a warmer, younger and more verdant world than slowly-dying Mars. This ancient voyage would therefore have occurred sometime prior to 48,000 BC, meaning that the perfectly human-looking Martians could have become the ancestors of Terro-Humanity.

And of course, that’s exactly what we see in “Genesis”.

>One can get there by making several ~assumptions~ about various bits of what Beam
>wrote, including things which he himself didn't mention when he identified his Future
>History yarns in his ~Zenith~ interview, but then you've wandered away / beyond
>from what Beam left us.

Maybe, but no more so than those who postulate a “World Commonwealth of Nations” after WWIII, for which there is no explicit evidence in Piper, and which requires renaming the First Terran Federation the “Terran Federation of States” (Beam never called it that); not to mention the 'ancient alien race of seeders' concept, which is indeed ‘alien’ to Beam’s writings, as he himself never created a sapient alien race superior to Terro-Humanity. :)

Regards,

John
2221
CalidorePerson was signed in when posted
06-02-2021
17:47 UT
Gregg Levine wrote,

>What about the remains of the Martians in the work "Omnilingual"? I'd always
>thought that the ones who survived, before the bitter end was described there,
>did move someplace else.

and

>I was suggesting that before things got to be that badly, it could have happened.
>In fact, being that it was a short story, I suspect a lot was left out by Piper. It would
>be interesting to see if any notes were made and survived during the time period
>in question when it was written.

That is my view as well. Beam was not explicit, but to me the evidence certainly suggests that he used the same ‘Martian origins’ premise in the THFH that he did in Paratime. In this scenario, a few Martians made it to Terra but met with disaster, as in “Genesis”. But unlike Paratime, the Old Martians in the THFH did not give up trying to emigrate after their first attempt failed, and a later group settled Freya before they became extinct on Mars.

I believe that is also the opinion of Wolfgang Diehr (and possibly others), while David Johnson and David Sooby (and possibly others) believe that parallel evolution and an ancient alien race of seeders are the explanation.

Jimmyjoejangles wrote,

>Omnilingual is pretty explicitly supporting the Martian origins. IT means we have a
>common language. If we call iron iron and they call iron hufflepop, knowing that they
>call it hufflepop wouldn't lead us to a translation just by looking at the table.

If you change “explicitly” to “implicitly”, I agree. Piper’s “overt” or story answer is that the omnilingual is the Table of Elements, or the language of science in general, which allows the Terrans to begin translating Old Martian into modern English. But you're right; his “covert” or hidden twist seems to be that the Terrans are simply relearning the language of their ancestors who migrated to Earth. The omnilingual of science enables the translation of the ancient omnilingual of Martio- and Terro-Humanity.

Tim Tow wrote,

>So what do the Paratime levels represent then? Maximum genetic diversity.
>Would it be true at all levels that the Martians did make it to Earth but lost all
>of their technology a la Genesis?

>If so then the Martians in Omnilingual are the ancestors of Earth people.

That is another possibility, since Beam’s “genetic accidents” statement is so vague. I believe the Martians are the ancestors of Terro-Humanity, in any case. For a variety of reasons; including the subtle connections between “Genesis” and “Omnilingual”, the Federation spaceships named Cyrano and Schiaparelli, which point to an extraterrestrial and indeed Martian origin for Terro-Humanity, and the Burroughs influence on Beam.

Jimmyjoejangles wrote,

>Either Verkan or Hartley or both, been a while since I read them, said that everything
>is always happening. It was one of the first Piper works I read, so naturally I carried
>that ethos into all of his work, hence the Piper verse. Pointing at a Q and A where
>no one asked if they were connected and saying they aren't connected isn't enough
>for me. Piperverse.

Verkan Vall says, “All time-lines are totally present, in perpetual co-existence.” (Paratime, p. 52) And Tortha Karf says that Paratime consists of “a near infinity of worlds of alternate probability”. (LKO, p. 2)
 
So you seem to be saying that, since Paratime contains a near-infinity of timelines, in which just about every possible outcome happens, Piper’s other stories, like “The Answer”, “Operation R.S.V.P”, and the three Hartley tales could be considered other timelines in the Fourth Level, Europo-American Sector of Paratime.

If so, I agree.

Beam did not explicitly connect the two series. John Carr considers them separate, and so do I. But had Piper chosen to overtly connect them later (as Asimov later went on to connect his Foundation and Robot series in the 1980s), there would have been little or no difficulty in incorporating his two main series and other stories into one big “Piperverse”, as you call it. “Crossroads of Destiny” is essentially a Paratime story already; the only thing missing is how the man from our timeline got on one in which the American Revolution failed. The obvious answer is another paratemporal transposition accident, like the one which brought Calvin Morrison to Aryan-Transpacific.

“Genesis”, with its subtle connections to “Omnilingual”, would serve as the connecting link between the Paratime and Future History universes. Indeed, I think the reason Beam did not explicitly name it either a Paratime or THFH story is because it is effectively both. “Genesis” explains the origin of the Fourth Level of Paratime, as well as the Martian remains in “Omnilingual”.

“Flight from Tomorrow” could find a home, too, as a story which begins in the far future of a Europo-American timeline. I don’t think it would fit in the THFH, because in that timeline Terra is “bombed back to the Stone Age” during the Interstellar Wars (Empire, p. 181). This occurs around AE 1100, while the Terra of the “Flight” timeline is still civilized—and has a system-wide government—in AE 10,000. (Worlds, pp. 112, 114, 131, 134)

And yes; the unified Piperverse could also include Beam’s non-fiction, since he himself could be considered a character who lived on our own Fourth Level, Europo-American timeline, among the near-infinity of alternately probable Earths.

John
2220
David "PiperFan" JohnsonPerson was signed in when posted
05-30-2021
00:56 UT
~
James "jimmyjoejangles" Romanski wrote:

> The negamatter was natural in The Answer, not an attack.

Ah, ah, ah. In the "JimmyJoeJangles-verse" it's both, right? Plus several others we haven't even thought of. Shoot, on one "JJJ-verse timeline" Richardson and Pitov are just tied into some Matrix-like simulation. . . .

Grüße,

David
--
"And there were the Australians, picking themselves up bargains in real-estate in the East Indies at gun-point, and there were the Boers, trekking north again, in tanks instead of ox-wagons. And Brazil, with a not-too-implausible pretender to the Braganza throne, calling itself the Portuguese Empire and looking eastward." - Lee Richardson (H. Beam Piper), "The Answer"
~
2219
jimmyjoejanglesPerson was signed in when posted
05-29-2021
22:17 UT
I never said the "Paratimers did it" ever. I said everything is happening in one multiverse, like Piper said multiple times. So yeah all of it's in there even his list of guns that he got published because it all ties into our common history. The negamatter was natural in The Answer, not an attack. AS for the rest, you don't seem to know what timeline means.
2218
David "PiperFan" JohnsonPerson was signed in when posted
05-29-2021
19:42 UT
~
James "jimmyjoejangles" Romanski wrote:

> Either Verkan or Hartley or both, been a while since I
> read them, said that everything is always happening.

Well, whichever it was, they didn't say it in "~Omnilingual~."

> It was one of the first Piper works I read, so naturally
> I carried that ethos into all of his work, hence the
> Piper verse. Pointing at a Q and A where no one
> asked if they were connected and saying they aren't
> connected isn't enough for me. Piperverse.

That's an interesting, if unorthodox approach. It would "solve" lots of conundrums: how did inter-fertile humans get to Freya? Paratimers. How did Fuzzies not suited to the local ecology get to Zarathustra? Paratimers. What happened to the "Maxwell / Merlin Plan"? Paratimers. What happened to Trask's "League of Civilized Worlds"? Paratimers. What happened to faster-than-light communication using "micropositos"? Paratimers.

Is "Rebel Raider" part of the "Piperverse" too? "Flight from Tomorrow"? (What happened to linear time travel? Paratimers.) "Operation R.S.V.P."? "Dearest"? "The Answer"? (What happened to the negamatter-wielding extraterrestrials? Paratimers.) What about the McGuire collaborations: ~Null-ABC~, "The Return," ~Lone Star Planet~ and "Hunter Patrol"?

An "it's all Piperverse" premise would still fail though to resolve the internal inconsistency which arises with the new explanation for the differences in timelines introduced by Beam in "Gunpowder God."

There's also this bit from Beam's ~Zenith~ interview: "Nothing else, with the possible exception of a novelette called "The Edge of the Knife," ~Amazing~, May 1957, belongs to the History of the Future." I don't know but "nothing else . . . belongs" seems like a pretty definitive statement, from Beam himself, that the Terro-human Future History is a stand-alone setting. Neither Verkan Vall or Allan Hartley appear in any of the Future History yarns Beam mentions in that interview.

Remember Ashmodai! Remember Belphegor!

David
--
"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)
~
2217
jimmyjoejanglesPerson was signed in when posted
05-29-2021
18:57 UT
Either Verkan or Hartley or both, been a while since I read them, said that everything is always happening. It was one of the first Piper works I read, so naturally I carried that ethos into all of his work, hence the Piper verse. Pointing at a Q and A where no one asked if they were connected and saying they aren't connected isn't enough for me. Piperverse.
2216
David "PiperFan" JohnsonPerson was signed in when posted
05-29-2021
15:03 UT
~
James "jimmyjoejangles" Romanski wrote:

> Omnilingual is pretty explicitly supporting the
> Martian origins.

How so?

> IT means we have a common language. If we call
> iron iron and they call iron hufflepop, knowing
> that they call it hufflepop wouldn't lead us to a
> translation just by looking at the table.

Right, but I don't think the expectation in the story is that they will be able to "read Martian" simply by translating the Periodic Table. Rather, once they have the words for elements in the Periodic Table--calcium, copper, gold, iron, lead, mercury, oxygen, silver, sulphur, tin--they will be able to use those words to translate other bits of writing.

Cheers,

David
--
"Do you know which books to study, and which ones not to bother with? Or which ones to read first, so that what you read in the others will be comprehensible to you? That's what they'll give you [at university]. The tools, which you don't have now, for educating yourself." - Bish Ware (H. Beam Piper), ~Four-Day Planet~
~
2215
Gregg LevinePerson was signed in when posted
05-29-2021
02:10 UT
Okay thank you folks. Whilst I was aware of that book on our friend Mr. Carr's press, I did find one by Wolf that completes his Fuzzy Trilogy and proves to be a humdinger if the description is a good guide.
2214
jimmyjoejanglesPerson was signed in when posted
05-29-2021
01:52 UT
Omnilingual is pretty explicitly supporting the Martian origins. IT means we have a common language. If we call iron iron and they call iron hufflepop, knowing that they call it hufflepop wouldn't lead us to a translation just by looking at the table.
2213
David "PiperFan" JohnsonPerson was signed in when posted
05-29-2021
01:49 UT
~
Gregg Levine wrote:

> I was suggesting that before things got to be that badly,
> it could have happened. In fact, being that it was a
> short story, I suspect a lot was left out by Piper. It would
> be interesting to see if any notes were made and
> survived during the time period in question when it
> was written.

Lots of info about Beam's writing process here:

https://www.pequodpress.com/book_info.php?id=PP_26

Cheers,

David
--
"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
~
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