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1922
Jon CrockerPerson was signed in when posted
11-21-2018
00:58 UT
Those are great suggestions - I admit I'm not strong enough in the 'classics' to instantly recognize the full impact all of those changes would make, but it gives great suggestions for historical reading.

At one point, I'd put something together to submit to GURPS for their 'infinite worlds' series, which was plainly based off paratime. I never did send it in, but I'll past the opening bit below.

"On Homeline, Douglas MacArthur was many things, but he was never President of the United States of America. The closest he came to the Oval Office was a declaration by Republican Senator Robert Taft of Ohio that, should the Senator win the Republican Nomination, he would chose the general as his running mate in the 1952 election.

On Homeline, a different general got there first – Eisenhower, but even that was a near-run thing. Senator Taft was an isolationist who wanted nothing more to do with Europe after two World Wars. General Eisenhower, on the other hand, thought that Western Europe needed assistance to defend itself against potential Soviet aggression and to guard against ending up like Eastern Europe. In an historic meeting with Taft, Eisenhower offered to sit out the nomination for the election if, in turn, Taft would support the American commitment to NATO. Taft declined, President Eisenhower had eight years in office, and Senator Taft died of cancer in July of 1953."

How would President MacArthur have done? I don't know, but if you read General Bradley's (posthumous) book A General's Life, I don't think General Bradley would have recommended it.
1921
David "PiperFan" JohnsonPerson was signed in when posted
11-20-2018
02:48 UT
~
From the Archives: Proposed Fourth Level Paratime sectors

Below, another message to the old PIPER-L mailing list from back in September 2001 (seventeen years ago this month):

---

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

PARATIME PROPOSALS

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:

https://web.archive.org/web/20080310095008...l&T=0&F=&S=&P=16938

As was often the case, John's message sparked a wide-ranging follow-on discussion. Plenty of additional sectors and subsectors were proposed by others Among other things, it also sparked some Piper fans to put together the information captured here:

http://www.zarthani.net/paratime_chronography.htm

Cheers,

David
--
"I was trying to show the results of the collapse of the Ottoman Empire after the First World War, and the partition of the Middle East into a loose collection of Arab states, and the passing of British and other European spheres of influence following the Second." - Edward Chalmers (H. Beam Piper), "The Edge of the Knife"
~
1920
David "PiperFan" JohnsonPerson was signed in when posted
11-14-2018
05:27 UT
~
John "Calidore" Anderson wrote:

> Forgive the lateness (and length) of this reply.

No worries. You've shared plenty of insight here that's been worth waiting for!

> Perhaps I misunderstand your meaning, but your first
> comment seems to suggest that the THFH is not an
> alternate history. Surely it is, whether or not Beam’s
> Venus is the romantic version? We didn’t have a WWIII
> in 1974, or a manned expedition to Mars in 1996.

Yes, of course. I understand that, at this point in time, much of the Terro-human activity Beam depicted has made his "future history" into an "alternate history." I merely meant that if we go with a "romantic" version of Venus--a difference that is more profound than simply that caused by different Terro-human activity, then Beam's Terro-human Future History was "alternate history" almost from the moment most of us began reading it!

> Besides, from “Omnilingual” we know that he used the
> romantic version of Mars in his Future History (a dying
> planet with empty cities and a worldwide ‘canal’ network),
> making it more than likely, in my opinion, that his
> Venus was conceptually from the same era (tropical,
> marshy planet).

I'm generally amenable to the idea of a "romantic Venus" but there is a bit of a difference here with respect to Beam's depiction of Mars. The "romantic Mars" of the Terro-human Future History occurs well in the past. What the early Federation explorers find are the extinct remnants of that "romantic Mars" (and thus a "contemporary"--for them--Mars that is closer to the "real life" understanding of Mars at the time Beam was writing).

To me, that suggests we have to allow for a similar sort of modification of Beam's "romantic Venus," one that falls somewhere in between the "romantic" version of "swamps-and pseudo-dinosaurs" and the more "scientific" version that was emerging by the time Beam was writing most of his Terro-human Future History yarns. That way, at least, we can preserve the assumption that Beam wasn't writing "alternate history" from the get-go.

> As for your second comment, the timing of his stories
> actually supports this. His Future History began with
> Uller Uprising, published in 1952; “The Edge of the Knife”,
> which mentions “the colonies on Mars and Venus”, was
> published in 1957; while “When in the Course”, which
> contains Roger Barron of Venus, was presumably
> written in 1959, since it was “finished on January 5,
> 1960”. (Carr, Piper Biography, p. 157) All these dates
> are when Venus was still plausibly thought to be
> earthlike, before our understanding underwent radical
> change.

I take your point--and your empirics--but read the balance of the then-contemporary evidence a bit differently. I think, by the time Beam was writing ~Space Viking~ and ~Junkyard Planet~--just before the first "real life" robotic probes reached Venus--the "romantic Venus" was already becoming untenable. Scientific understanding of the time didn't yet know about the terribly inhospitable surface temperatures and atmospheric pressure on Venus but they were reasonably convinced those early ~Venera~ and ~Mariner~ probes weren't going to find Arrhenius-esque swamps and pseudo-dinosaurs. . . .

> You may be right that Beam’s vagueness about his
> Future History Venus was deliberate, and he may
> have even been glad of it when our understanding of
> Venus changed so dramatically. The question then
> becomes, could he have adopted the new facts about
> Venus into his post-1962 Future History stories?
[snip]
> So all things considered, I think I'll stick with the
> romantic view.

Well, that's the idealized question but I think the more practical one is, what assumptions will we make about Beam's Terro-human Future History Venus? I choose to assume a sort of "middle ground." I think there's space, with enough imagination--a planet is a big place, for a Venus that would both look familiar to a science-fiction reader who grew up with the "romantic Venus" and yet still seem plausible to a budding planetary scientist working at the time Beam was writing his last Terro-human Future History yarns.

> If you mean “won’t stand for it politically”, I agree
> with that. Because the only place they can oppose
> Terra is in the Federation Parliament.

Yes, I mean politically, or at least political-economically. I think the Federation is a more complex society than we often realize. From what we read in Beam's work, institutions like that Federation Parliament don't seem to play a large role. For example, some of the Chartered Companies--likely modelled on historical examples like the Dutch and British East India Companies--might rival governments. A planet like Odin might not have much more formal power in the Federation Parliament than does Terra--perhaps even significantly less, if parliamentary representation is based in some way upon population--but what does its influence look like in the Banking Cartel? Heck, consider what might happen if a planet like Yggdrasil--or the investors in a company like the Chartered Yggdrasil Company, to be more accurate--decided, say, to stop shipping guano to Terra for the Reclamation Projects?

We can only guess but I think it's pretty clear, given what Beam shows us, that we can't take our understanding of contemporary national governments and map them easily on the (mature) Terran Federation.

> They couldn’t do anything about it militarily,
> because the Federation has the only Space Navy,
> the ultimate veto power.

Even this might be problematic. It certainly was by the time of the System States War: where else did the Alliance Navy (and Army) come from except from former Federation Navy (and Army) units which sided with the Alliance? Would Federation forces raised from a planet like Marduk or Aton _actually_ support a military action against their home world ordered by commanders on Terra?

Again, we don't know, but I don't think a good model is to think about regular U.S. military forces dealing with an imagined troublesome state governor. . . .

> But I think the main reason the Federation leaves
> Venus alone is that it has a fairly ‘relaxed’
> democratic government which allows its member
> planets considerable autonomy,

That may be the case later in the Federation era but I doubt it's the case when the early (second) Federation is waging those "wars of pacification and consolidation." And, presumably, the early (second) Federation wouldn't put up with too much "poor governance" for a fairly long period after the last Federation "pacification forces" leave Venus (which makes it hard to believe Barron's experience of Venusian politics would have already become commonplace).

Unless . . . there is some countervailing force _early_ in the (second) Federation which pushes the Federation to take a "hands-off" approach to local governance. A Federation comprised mostly of multiple "Member Republics" on Terra itself might do that.

> Traditionally corrupt politics on Venus are
> probably not enough for the Federation to get
> worked up about, much as the corrupt politics in,
> say, Tammany Hall New York or Daley’s Chicago
> were not enough for Washington to get worked
> up about.

Perhaps, but I think the "real life" U.S. government is a poor model for the (second) Terran Federation, not just because of the odd tidbit like it having a "parliament" but also because of what we know about its origins among a group of formerly independent nation-states who decided to band together to form a planetary government. (The best U.S.-related model for that sort of thing might be the weak, original federal government under the Articles of Confederation, before the new, Constitution-based government was created to "form a more perfect union.")

> My theory is that Venus is the first to unite all the
> former national colonies into a single planetary state.
> Possibly due to a natural growth of what could be
> called ‘planetarism’ (the feeling of a planet being a
> single political entity, as it is a single physical entity
> separated from other worlds by vast distances), and
> partly to offset unified Terra’s dominance of the
> Federation. After the Secession is defeated (my view),
> Terra goes on to ‘pacify and consolidate’ (defeat and
> unify) the other offworld colonies into planetary states.

In his essay "The Future History," Beam describes World War IV as the "First Interplanetary War," so I think the rebellious colonies on Venus and Mars are caught up in it somehow. This is the war which results in the "complete devastation of [the] Northern Hemisphere of Terra." That means the end of the U.S.-led (first) Terran Federation. Then the "Second Terran Federation [is] organized by South Africa, Australia and New Zealand, Brazil, the Argentine, etc." If there are any remnants of Northern Hemisphere nation-states left at this point--say, a rump American government based in post-Thirty Days' War settlements in Antarctica--they are taking terms from the new (second) Federation, not setting any agendas for the reformed Federation.

It is this (second) Federation which undertakes those "wars of colonial pacification and consolidation" and subsequently "imposes a System-wide pax." That doesn't sound like somebody on Venus--or Mars--uniting former colonies on their planet. That sounds like those colonies being "pacified and consolidated" by an off-planet, (second) Federation force.

We know Venus ends up as a "Federation Member Republic" (and I agree it's reasonable to assume a similar outcome for Mars) but that seems to be an outcome which is _imposed_ from off-planet, not one that unfolds organically.

> Thus, I believe that even though the Venusians lose,
> their Secession is the catalyst for the concept of
> planetary Member Republics.

Certainly a possibility. Not how I see it but I can't deny the possibility that this could be what happened.

> After the war, the phrase ‘Terran Federation’ (which
> originally referred to the semi-unification of Terra after
> WWIII and complete unification after WWIV), now refers
> more generally to a ‘Federation of Terrans’, or ‘Terran’
> Federation, on whatever planet they reside.

Well, Beam speaks specifically about "first" and "second" Federations, both in his yarns and in "The Future History" essay, so they are distinctly different entities. They oddly carry the same name--I tried to suggest an explanation for this in "The Satchel"--but are distinct entities nonetheless. Beam specifically identifies the "second" Federation as that entity organized by the Southern Hemisphere nations in the aftermath of the Fourth World War, which makes it distinct from the U.N.-replacing, U.S.-led "first" Federation described in "The Edge of the Knife" that fights the Thirty Days' War.

Bottom line is "Terran Federation" is not one thing, but rather two distinctly different things, which happen to have the same name. This distinction is so significant that it is still remembered many centuries later during the Viking era, long after the Terran Federation ceased to exist.

> The Federation has to keep an eye on the Chartered
> Companies, to make sure they aren’t breaking
> Federation law or violating the Constitution, and the
> Company home offices on Terra have to keep tabs on
> their employees on the various planets, which are
> usually six months travel time away. They can’t just
> pick up a videophone and call, so they have to have
> ‘undercover’ agents on site to do the job. It seems to
> be much the same in the real world. In America, we
> have local police, state police, the FBI, the SEC and
> various other organizations, political committees
> and private investigators keeping overt and covert
> tabs on various people and corporate entities. Yet
> we are still a free and democratic society.

Here, I think, are actually some good examples of why the American federal government--and American society generally--are poor models for the mature Terran Federation that we see in Beam's yarns. Yes, some federal agency might be investigating a company like Google, but they don't have "spies" masquerading as employees on the Google campus. Likewise, there are no Google employees working "undercover" at Apple. There might be a few _Chinese_ or _Russian_ "secret agents" working in Silicon Valley--and the executives of Фacebook might take this for granted in a way that's similar to what we see from Grego, but there are no such "foreign powers" in the Federation.

Now, there might have been various sorts of "secret agents" working both for national governments and employed by companies like the Dutch and British East India Companies, but those are governments--and companies--that functioned rather differently than does the contemporary American government and society. If we want to grasp what Beam was up to, we need to "think outside the box" of the United States of the 1950s and early 1960s in which he was writing. . . .

> But this is still the First Federation; the Second
> Federation is not formed until AE 183, almost a
> decade after the Secession of Venus, which occurs
> in AE 174 (timeline in Empire).

Alas, these dates from the ~Empire~ chronology don't fit with Beam's essay "The Future History." Here's the text:


Second Century
-------------
     World War IV (First Interplanetary War), 106-109 [AE]; minor wars for ten years thereafter. Complete devastation of [the] Northern Hemisphere of Terra. Second Terran Federation [is] organized by South Africa, Australia and New Zealand, Brazil, the Argentine, etc. Wars of colonial pacification and consolidation; the new Terran Federation imposes a System-wide pax.
     Keene-Gonzales-Dillingham Theory of Non-Einsteinian Relatively, AE 172.


Now, Beam doesn't specifically date the formation of the "second" Federation, but this suggests it's shortly after those "minor wars" which follow the end of the Fourth World War, i.e. circa, say, 125 AE (2068 CE), very near the 2070 CE date for a "single world sovereignty" from "The Edge of the Knife." In any event, it definitely occurs _prior_ to 172 AE.

Likewise, Beam doesn't precisely date any "revolt" of the colonies on Venus (and Mars) in "The Future History," but he does describe the Fourth World War as the "First _Interplanetary_ War," which suggests warfare on Venus and Mars. The previous entry in "The Future History" for the "First Century AE" includes the following text (immediately following a reference to the Cyrano Expedition of "Omnilingual"):


"Further explorations of Mars, Venus, Asteroid Belt and Moons of Jupiter. First Federation begins to crack under strains of colonial claims and counter-claims of member states."


Here Beam seems to be foreshadowing the "revolt of colonies on Mars and Venus" which revolt against the _first_ Federation near the end of the First Century, AE (or early in the Second Century).

> So Terra has been completely unified for about sixty
> years, and I think Venusian unification is, at least in
> part, an emulation of Terran unification. Probably in
> order to assert ‘equal’ stature for Venus as compared
> to Terra, whether outside the Federation (if the
> Secession succeeds) or inside (if it fails).
>
> Not trying to reignite an old argument, just showing
> an alternate option.

Understood, and I recognize how the ~Empire~ chronology contributes to this, but I think "The Future History" paints a pretty clear picture of the colonial revolts on Venus and Mars occurring much earlier as _part_of_ the Fourth World War, followed quickly by the formation of the "second" Federation which then goes on to "pacify and consolidate" those formerly rebellious colonies in short order. By the 174 AE/183 AE period from the ~Empire~ chronology, the (second) Federation has been in place and enjoying a "System-wide pax" for nearly half a century and is on the cusp of launching the first interstellar expedition to Alpha Centauri. . . .

> I agree with your thought that at least some of the
> ‘extra forty’ Alliance planets were Member Republics,
> with the caveat that others were colonized from the
> ‘parent’ planet of the system.

I agree there will be both types of arrangements. The difference, I think, gets back to the matter of whether or not the population of a planet can support itself with domestic agriculture. Those that can--because their biosphere is hospitable to humans and their livestock--will likely enjoy some independence. (What we can guess about what Beam understood about planetary formation suggests that such planets will nevertheless be rare in any given system.) Those planets that can't support their populations with domestic agriculture will likely always be captive to the planet in the system which _can_ feed its own people.

> In the Space Viking period, I get the feeling that
> there is some sort of tacit understanding about
> system sovereignty.

Again, I think it comes down to domestic agriculture. What we see no examples of in ~Space Viking~ are systems with more than one planet that can feed its population on its own. This tendency will be more pronounced in the Old Federation during the Space Viking era because any planetary population which was unable to feed itself likely did not survive the Interstellar Wars. On the other hand, two planets in the same system which "decivilized" but remained able to feed their respective populations likely retain some level of "independence" once they're "re-contacted," whether by an expanding "civilized planet" or by the Space Vikings.

> By the time of the First Galactic Empire, this ‘unofficial’
> tendency toward system sovereignty (and its brief
> official existence among the Alliance) apparently
> becomes standard policy.

Perhaps, but again we see no examples of systems with more than one planet which can feed its own inhabitants. (Again, that's likely because Beam believed such systems would be rare.)

Cheers,

David
--
"We talk glibly about ten to the hundredth power, but emotionally we still count, 'One, Two, Three, Many.'" - Otto Harkaman (H. Beam Piper), ~Space Viking~
~
1919
Jon CrockerPerson was signed in when posted
11-14-2018
04:51 UT
Wow, that's a lot to cover - I was just going to say thanks for posting the pictures!
1918
CalidorePerson was signed in when posted
11-13-2018
23:24 UT
Gentlemen,

You raised some very interesting points. Forgive the lateness (and length) of this reply.

David “Piperfan” Johnson wrote,

>Well, that seems to be what Beam's earlier, Paratime-version of Venus
>was like but in truth he told us very little about the ecosphere of Venus
>in the Terro-human Future History. Nevertheless, I agree it's reasonable
>to assume that his Future History Venus may also be this sort of "planetary
>romance" version of Venus, if perhaps not quite a "Carson of Venus"
>sort of place--but that assumption places the Future History _unequivocally_
>in an "alternate history."

And,

>As I've said, I think we have to be careful to assume that Beam's Terro-human
>Future History Venus is the same as his Paratime Venus. The two portrayals
>occur a decade or more apart in time in Beam's career, with the Paratime Venus
>coming first. (Lay understanding of) planetary science progressed a lot in that
>decade-plus and it seems unlikely that Beam would have ignored that in his writing.
>I suspect this is why Beam was careful not to tell us much of anything about the
>ecosphere of the Future History Venus.

Perhaps I misunderstand your meaning, but your first comment seems to suggest that the THFH is not an alternate history. Surely it is, whether or not Beam’s Venus is the romantic version? We didn’t have a WWIII in 1974, or a manned expedition to Mars in 1996. Besides, from “Omnilingual” we know that he used the romantic version of Mars in his Future History (a dying planet with empty cities and a worldwide ‘canal’ network), making it more than likely, in my opinion, that his Venus was conceptually from the same era (tropical, marshy planet).

As for your second comment, the timing of his stories actually supports this. His Future History began with Uller Uprising, published in 1952; “The Edge of the Knife”, which mentions “the colonies on Mars and Venus”, was published in 1957; while “When in the Course”, which contains Roger Barron of Venus, was presumably written in 1959, since it was “finished on January 5, 1960”. (Carr, Piper Biography, p. 157) All these dates are when Venus was still plausibly thought to be earthlike, before our understanding underwent radical change.

“Up to 1959 its ground temperature was estimated (e.g., by V.A. Firsoff) to be an Earthlike 63 degrees Fahrenheit. In 1961, on the basis of radar measurements it was found to be 600 degrees Fahrenheit. F.D. Drake wrote, “We would have expected a temperature only slightly greater than that of earth, whereas the actual temperature is several hundred degrees above the boiling point of water.” ” (Immanuel Velikovsky, Stargazers and Gravediggers, p. 333) This was confirmed in December 1962, when Mariner 2 “bypassed Venus at only 35,000 km, and sent back information that was fatal” to the concept of Venus as a habitable, Earthlike planet. (Atlas of the Solar System, p. 103)

So until at least 1961, science fiction and science writers, including Isaac Asimov, Robert Heinlein and Willy Ley—and H. Beam Piper—portrayed Venus as an oceanic and/or marshy, warm tropical world. This conception apparently began in the early Twentieth Century. “In 1918, chemist and Nobel Prize winner Svante Arrhenius, deciding that Venus’ cloud cover was necessarily water, decreed in The Destiny of the Stars that “A very great part of the surface of Venus is no doubt covered with swamps” and compared Venus’ humidity to the tropical rain forests of the Congo. Because of what he assumed was constantly uniform climatic conditions all over the planet, the life of Venus lived under very stable conditions and didn’t have to adapt to changing environments like life on Earth. As a result of this lack of selection pressure, it would be covered in prehistoric swamps. Venus thus became, until the early 1960s, a place for science fiction writers to place all manner of unusual life forms, from quasi-dinosaurs to intelligent carnivorous plants. Comparisons often referred to Earth in the Carboniferous period…The Venus of Robert Heinlein’s Future History series and Henry Kuttner’s Fury resembled Arrhenius’ vision of Venus.” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Venus_in_fiction)

You may be right that Beam’s vagueness about his Future History Venus was deliberate, and he may have even been glad of it when our understanding of Venus changed so dramatically. The question then becomes, could he have adopted the new facts about Venus into his post-1962 Future History stories? Probably, but it would have made the colonization a whole lot harder. Venus has high wind velocities at the upper and middle reaches of its atmosphere, making the use of landing rockets (as on Mars in “Omnilingual”) fairly hazardous.

But the real problem is the high surface temperature (currently known to be almost 900 degrees F) and crushing pressure (90 atmospheres) at ground level. You can pretty much forget about strolling around in a space suit! It would require the use of well-armored vehicles (like those on Niflheim in UU) and collapsium-plated dome-cities or burrow-cities. And even assuming working on the surface is possible, building a dome city in 900 degree temperatures and 90 atmospheres doesn’t seem very practical; and Piper does not mention burrow-cities in regard to Venus, though he does for Mercury (in 4DP).

So all things considered, I think I’ll stick with the romantic view. Hell, I’d secede from the Federation just to keep me off the real Venus, no matter how much I resent being ruled by Terra! :)

>This suggests to me that there is something key about the autonomy of
>"Federation Member Republics" in the way the (second) Terran Federation
>is organized. The Terran Federation doesn't mess with Venus because other
>"Federation Member Republics" like Odin or Baldur or Marduk or Aton won't
>stand for it.

If you mean “won’t stand for it politically”, I agree with that. Because the only place they can oppose Terra is in the Federation Parliament. They couldn’t do anything about it militarily, because the Federation has the only Space Navy, the ultimate veto power. But I think the main reason the Federation leaves Venus alone is that it has a fairly ‘relaxed’ democratic government which allows its member planets considerable autonomy, rather like the early colonies of the British Empire, which the Federation is modeled on. It only intervenes when absolutely necessary. Traditionally corrupt politics on Venus are probably not enough for the Federation to get worked up about, much as the corrupt politics in, say, Tammany Hall New York or Daley’s Chicago were not enough for Washington to get worked up about.
 
Jon Crocker wrote,

>Could there be several Federation Member Republics in the Terra system?
>Terra would probably be able to argue that its system was a special case
>and get away with it. But, there's 'equal' and then there's equal - consider,
>Rhode Island and Texas have the same number of US Senators, but one
>would have a much easier time of throwing its weight around if it wanted to.

And David wrote,

>The interesting thing about Venus--and presumably also Mars--being a
>"Federation Member Republic" is what that might suggest about the early
>(second) Terran Federation. Do we really assume that the (second) Terran
>Federation was comprised of a Federation Member Republic of Venus, a
>Federation Member Republic of Mars (and perhaps also Federation Member
>Republics of Jovian Moons) _and_ a Federation Member Republic or Terra,
>with Venus and Mars ostensibly equal in stature to Terra? That seems more
>than a bit hard to believe.

>That leaves me wondering if, perhaps, that there might be a "Federation
>Member Republic of Australia" (which perhaps includes New Zealand), a
>"Federation Member Republic of Brazil," a "Federation Member Republic
>of South Africa," a "Federation Member Republic of the Argentine," etc.
>Those are political divisions in which separate "Member Republic" status
>for colony worlds like Venus and Mars (and perhaps the Jovian moons)
>would make a bit more sense.

These are topics I discussed in my essays in The Rise of the Terran Federation. Some of the member states in the early First Federation (which as David notes is comprised of nation-states) may be called Federation Member Republics (FMR of America, FMR of France, etc.), but I suspect that at least some nations (for example Britain and Japan) still have monarchial forms of government. So ‘Federation Member State’ might be a better term. But after WWIV, Terra becomes a “Completely unified world, abolition of all national states under a single world sovereignty”; all of Terra becomes one nation. The former nations of Brazil, Argentina, South Africa and Australia would then no longer be Member States, since Terra itself is one big state. Instead, they become political subdivisions (or ‘states’, with a small s) of what would, only now, truly become a ‘Federation of Terra’. The off-planet colonies, however, are not nation-states, and therefore Venus, Mars, the moons of Jupiter, Titan, etc. probably remain a patchwork quilt of former national colonies, now Federation colonies.

My theory is that Venus is the first to unite all the former national colonies into a single planetary state. Possibly due to a natural growth of what could be called ‘planetarism’ (the feeling of a planet being a single political entity, as it is a single physical entity separated from other worlds by vast distances), and partly to offset unified Terra’s dominance of the Federation. After the Secession is defeated (my view), Terra goes on to ‘pacify and consolidate’ (defeat and unify) the other offworld colonies into planetary states. So I do feel that there is a Federation Member Republic of Mars; though what the smaller bodies are called is debatable. There could be Member Republics of Ganymede and Callisto, for example; though since these are only Moon-sized objects they could be consolidated into a Member Republic of Jupiter, with its capital perhaps on Ganymede.

Thus, I believe that even though the Venusians lose, their Secession is the catalyst for the concept of planetary Member Republics. After the war, the phrase ‘Terran Federation’ (which originally referred to the semi-unification of Terra after WWIII and complete unification after WWIV), now refers more generally to a ‘Federation of Terrans’, or ‘Terran’ Federation, on whatever planet they reside. Since Terra would then be only one among several unified planets, it probably does become a Federation Member Republic, theoretically equal with the Member Republics of Venus, Mars, etc. Though as the capital and most populous planet, it undoubtedly retains a special status.

Jon wrote,

>And to step back a few, I hadn't thought that Anton Gerrit would be a
>company official - he could be. Or, he could have been a division chief
>and ran that section as his own private feifdom. On the third hand, he
>could have been in charge of a private contractor, and if the Company
>didn't have much in the way of oversight, could have gotten away with
>the Enslavements before word got out.

I agree that several options are possible. Gerrit as a ‘behind the scenes’ villain jibes fairly well with the situation on Fenris, where Mort Hallstock is the Mayor of Port Sandor (essentially President of Fenris), while Gerrit/Ravick is merely the boss of the Hunter’s Cooperative. Though as the boss of the biggest business concern on Fenris, Gerrit also parallels a Company head, as per David’s suggestion. So it could go either way.

The ‘division chief’ angle is a nice one. In that case, Gerrit could parallel Science Division Chief Leonard Kellogg, who would have been the one responsible for proving the Fuzzies nonsapient, thereby paving the way for their extermination. And Kellogg as the ‘front-man’ in this effort might have given Victor Grego plausible deniability for the crime. Likewise, the Company head on Loki might have tried to deny all responsibility for the enslavement of the natives, putting the blame squarely on ‘division chief’ Gerrit; but since the Company’s charter was revoked, that attempt to shift the blame, if it occurred, failed.

David wrote,

>Perhaps. On the other hand, Beam did describe the Lokians as "faun-like"
>rather than "antelope-like" (which might have amounted to the same thing
>in terms of conveying an image).

Right, horned animal-like beings.

>In context Beam's comparison to the Amazon is due to its size/length,
>not specifically its tropical clime.

True. I simply believe that the two references together were his subtle way of hinting at Loki’s climate.

>I'm with you except for the tropical climate. If the ecosphere can support
>flora which are edible then there will be a substantial agriculture enterprise—
>if for no other reason than to keep the Terran colonists from having to waste
>mining profits importing food. An agricultural enterprise means a sustainable
>(Terran) business class interested in stability and long-term viability. Loki
>doesn't seem to have that.

And,

>I think the key factor for an attractive settlement planet is an ability to support
>an agricultural enterprise. Without that, the Terran settlers spend a lot of
>whatever they making money from on their planet importing food instead.
>That's bad whether you're an individual or a resource extraction corporation.
>Any tropical planet is going to be one that supports an agricultural enterprise,
>unless there's some reason Terrans and their livestock can't eat the local plant life.

And,

>If it has a biosphere where plants grow and those plants are edible for Terrans
>and their livestock then there will be a domestic agricultural enterprise. That
>will tend to make the Terran population self-sustaining which will encourage
>a sort of stability over time. I think what we know about Loki suggests that
>there _isn't_ a domestic agricultural enterprise that enables the Terran
>colonists to avoid importing food.

And,

>Over time, even a society of "misfit and criminals" will evolve a stable society
>if they're working as farmers to feed themselves. (Think of Australia.) If society
>-as-a-whole on Loki remains unstable and "uncivilized" over a period of centuries
>there needs to be an on-going source of stress. Tough to imagine what that
>centuries-long stress might be on Loki if the local Terrans can support themselves
>with agriculture.

These are excellent points. I still believe Loki’s climate to be a warm one, but you have convinced me that it must have some element(s) not conducive to human life. Loki is the god of mischief, so the planet may have been named for the biological, geological and/or climatic ‘tricks’ it was playing on the first Terran settlers. And multiple anomalies or abnormalities might make for an interesting story of the discovery and settlement of Loki, if anyone were inclined to take that on.

>This is a keen observation. It points out yet another way in which Terran
>Federation civilization is so odd. The Federation has no external adversaries
>and yet it has this huge security and war-fighting enterprise--one that doesn't
>even seem to be involved in "exploration" (say like Trek's Starfleet), at least
>not until the era of "Naudsonce."

>Why are there all those secret agents? Why is there a Terran Federation
>Army large enough to muster out a bunch of veterans to serve in the Chartered
>Uller Company army? (Try counting the number of _colonels_ on Uller _before_
>Paula Quinton gets her field commission.) Why is there a handy Terran
>Federation Navy base on Gimli that can spare a destroyer to take Gerrit
>back to Terra? What are that Federation Army and Navy _doing_?
>More importantly, why do Federation taxpayers _support_ them?

>We've discussed some of this before. Perhaps the Federation armed forces,
>particularly the Navy, aren't as large as we might have assumed. Perhaps
>those "couple of destroyers" at Gimli are all the naval warships anywhere
>along the "milk run," except perhaps at Terra and Odin.

>Bottom line though, it means the Federation government is spending a lot
>of "treasure" warding off security threats which exist _within_ the Federation.
>At the same time, something like training all those veterans on Uller is a huge
>subsidy to the Uller Company. (It's sort of the collegiate football system to
>the National Football League.)

And Jon wrote,

>Either way, I'm sure the Enslavements were one of the reasons for all of the
>secret agents mentioned in Little Fuzzy - I re-read the book a while ago,
>and found their prominent mention a little puzzling. Of course, a couple
>characters were agents, so it made sense to set the stage for them.

Perhaps it’s me, but I don’t think it strange that there are spies of various sorts in the Federation. Victor Grego takes it for granted that there are people watching him, and its seems rightly so. The Federation has to keep an eye on the Chartered Companies, to make sure they aren’t breaking Federation law or violating the Constitution, and the Company home offices on Terra have to keep tabs on their employees on the various planets, which are usually six months travel time away. They can’t just pick up a videophone and call, so they have to have ‘undercover’ agents on site to do the job. It seems to be much the same in the real world. In America, we have local police, state police, the FBI, the SEC and various other organizations, political committees and private investigators keeping overt and covert tabs on various people and corporate entities. Yet we are still a free and democratic society. My impression of the various agents is more along the lines of the 'checks and balances' category of regulating an interstellar society, rather than something odd or untoward.

As for the Space Navy, I believe it follows from one of Beam’s underlying assumptions--that unity is good, and disunity breeds chaos. Conn Maxwell says that “The Federation didn’t fight that war for profits…They fought it because if the System States had won, half of them would be at war among themselves now. Make no mistake about it, politically, I’m all for the Federation.” (Fed, p. 197) So the Federation has a Space Navy in order to maintain unity, and thus prevent interplanetary wars from occurring. If they don’t keep some ships handy, the various planets will begin drifting toward independence, with the consequent beginnings of unchecked social and interplanetary conflict. This actually happens in CC, for after the Federation begins its final decline, the Space Navy is nowhere to be seen, and Poictesme is beset with criminal elements and even the threat of interplanetary annihilation from Koshchei.

I think David is right that this peacekeeping role probably does not require too many ships, at least in the early interstellar years when all the extrasolar planets are newly colonized and have low populations. Since the Federation is modeled on the British Empire, the Space Navy would parallel the Royal Navy during the middle decades of the Nineteenth Century, when it essentially had no great rival navy to worry about. So it is probably not until the System States War that the Federation actually builds up a huge Space Navy (paralleling the great expansion of the Union Navy during the Civil War), and that is to reconquer the System States and restore unity.

One might reasonably conclude that the Federation was foolish to launch a huge interstellar war, and essentially bankrupt itself, just to prevent a bunch of little interstellar wars from happening later. But if the System States’ secession had been allowed to succeed, other planets still in the Federation might have been tempted to declare independence as well. So it may be that the Federation really had no choice; it felt politically compelled to invade the Alliance.

>One thing to keep in mind is that there was no "Terra" when the (second)
>Terran Federation was being formed. Instead, there were the nations of
>"South Africa, Australia and New Zealand, Brazil, the Argentine, etc.," the
>remnants of the old U.S.-led (first) Terran Federation (itself a confederation
>of nation-states), the remnants of whatever the "adversary combatant" was
>in the Fourth World War (perhaps another confederation of nation-states),
>the rebellious colonies on Venus and Mars, maybe other settlements in the
>Asteroid Belt and on the Moons of Jupiter and perhaps even some of those
>early "burrow-cities" on Luna, Mercury and Titan.

>The establishment of the (second) Terran Federation, abolishing "all national
>states" and creating a "single world sovereignty," is followed by wars of
>"colonial pacification and consolidation" until the new (second) Terran
>Federation "imposes a System-wide pax." This suggests the new (second) Terran >Federation--presumably comprised of "Federation Member Republics" based
>upon those former nations of the Southern Hemisphere--goes on to conquer
>the rest of the Solar System. Presumably, it is in the aftermath of that
>"pacification and consolidation" that new members, like the "Federation Member
>Republic of Venus," are admitted to the (second) Terran Federation.

Here I disagree, as you and I have very different theories on the timeline of events for the early Future History. In my view, when the Second Federation is formed, Terra has been completely unified for many decades. Terran unification occurs somewhere in the years “2050 and 2070 AD” (AE 107-127), placing it soon after WWIV (AE 106-109) destroys the Northern Hemisphere. In the aftermath of WWIV, Terra is “Completely unified”; the former sub-planetary members are abolished, probably to eliminate the rivalries of nation-states with nuclear weapons which caused WWIII and WWIV. As Carlos von Schlichten puts it, “we made one nation out of all our people, and vowed never to commit such [Atomic War] crimes again”. (UU, p. 64)

But this is still the First Federation; the Second Federation is not formed until AE 183, almost a decade after the Secession of Venus, which occurs in AE 174 (timeline in Empire). So Terra has been completely unified for about sixty years, and I think Venusian unification is, at least in part, an emulation of Terran unification. Probably in order to assert ‘equal’ stature for Venus as compared to Terra, whether outside the Federation (if the Secession succeeds) or inside (if it fails).

Not trying to reignite an old argument, just showing an alternate option.

>Here's an interesting thought. According to Klem Zareff, there were "ninety
>systems, a hundred and thirty inhabited planets" in the System States Alliance.
>Would that have been just ninety former "Federation Member Republics" or
>might some of those other forty inhabited planets have also been Federation
>Member Republics?

>We know from the example of the Venus that being a Federation Member
>Republic doesn't mean your "republic" extends throughout the local solar
>system. This doesn't help us with possible "sub-planetary" Federation
>Member Republics on Terra but it doesn't seem unlikely that there might
>have been instances where there were more than one Federation Member
>Republic in the same system.

Referring to my essays again, I think that, after whole planets are unified in the early Federation, the next step larger is to unify a solar system. So during most of the Federation period, the Member Republics only control their own planet. But over the centuries, population growth, scientific expeditions, and malcontent emigration (etc.) should lead to other bodies of the extrasolar systems becoming inhabited, in a parallel fashion to how the Solar System was colonized.

By the time of the Alliance, many planets, especially older ones like Odin and Baldur, may have colonized other bodies in their systems. Thereby making them ‘proto-system states’, though this is probably not recognized under Federation law. Piper’s use of the capitalized term ‘System States’ suggests to me that the rebellious planets are the first to ‘officially’ assert sovereignty over their whole system. Thus, any Federation outposts in these systems, including naval bases, would become a form of ‘foreign occupation’, and legitimate targets of attack. And since the System States War is modeled on the US Civil War, at least one of these Federation naval bases in Alliance territory would parallel Fort Sumter.

I agree with your thought that at least some of the ‘extra forty’ Alliance planets were Member Republics, with the caveat that others were colonized from the ‘parent’ planet of the system. But I assume these are all unified by system when the Alliance secedes. Since the Confederate Constitution included special clauses guaranteeing certain State’s Rights, the Alliance Constitution may have clauses guaranteeing certain Planet’s Rights. That might make it more palatable for the inhabitants of multiple-planet systems to unite into one System State, since they would not completely give up the sovereignty of their own world.

In the Space Viking period, I get the feeling that there is some sort of tacit understanding about system sovereignty. Marduk appears to consider its outer planet Abaddon as Mardukan territory, although it is not occupied by them. Beowulf has colonies on other planets in its system, which would certainly be a legitimate basis for claiming the whole system. And Lucas Trask sends ships to investigate the other bodies in Tanith’s system for the presence of enemy vessels, asserting at least a ‘moral’ authority over them. If they had been there, the Space Vikings of Tanith would likely view them as ‘foreign warships in “our” system’.

By the time of the First Galactic Empire, this ‘unofficial’ tendency toward system sovereignty (and its brief official existence among the Alliance) apparently becomes standard policy. Prince Trevannion says to the Adityans that “We’d better make the limits of your sovereignty the orbit of the outer planet of this system.” (Empire, p. 88) So instead of Member Planets, with the Federation controlling the spaceways (but not all hyperdrive craft), we now have what could be called ‘Member Systems’, with “All hyperspace ships, and all nuclear weapons” controlled by the Empire. (ibid., p. 89)
 
John
1917
David "PiperFan" JohnsonPerson was signed in when posted
11-12-2018
00:05 UT
~
New Piper Illustrations at Zarthani.net

I've just posted some new illustrations for Beam's Paratime yarn "Last Enemy," done by artist Bradley McDevitt for the ~Thousand Suns~ role-playing-game supplement ~Transmissions from Piper~, near the bottom of the Paratime Gallery page here:

http://www.zarthani.net/paratime_gallery.htm

Jeff Preston's illustration of a Thoran Household Guardsman from "Ministry of Disturbance" for the same supplement--which was was previously posted here on the Mailing List Forum--is also now available near the bottom of the Future History Gallery page here:

http://www.zarthani.net/future_history_gallery.htm

Preston did a couple of other neat illustration for "Ministry of Disturbance" but I've not yet been able to find them online.

(There are also some neat illustrations of the Svants from "Naudsonce" by Alfredo Lopez, Jr. in that supplement but I've not yet been able to track them down online either.)

Cheers,

David
--
"Why, here on Odin there hadn't been an election in the past six centuries that hadn't been utterly fraudulent. Nobody voted except the nonworkers, whose votes were bought and sold wholesale, by gangster bosses to pressure groups, and no decent person would be caught within a hundred yards of a polling place on an election day." - Emperor Paul XXII (H. Beam Piper), "Ministry of Disturbance"
~
1916
David "PiperFan" JohnsonPerson was signed in when posted
11-04-2018
16:05 UT
~
Jon Crocker wrote:

> Perhaps the head of the Loki Company wasn't as capable
> as Victor Grego? Perhaps the reason Victor was a fairly
> active 'young' man was due to the bad example of the
> Loki Company, when head office back on Terra didn't
> realize that the Loki head of the company hadn't been
> outside his sick rooms for months, and Garrit had
> blackmail tapes on a few of the department heads to
> keep them from investigating his operation? Of
> course, no one knew what Garrit was really up to, out
 > on Omicron continent, half the world away, until the
> story broke.

It would certainly make for a more interesting story if the local CLC chief was in some sort of literal or metaphorical "figurehead" role and Gerrit was running the enslavement "under the table."

> The man certainly had a good plan to take over the
> Hunters' Cooperative once he got to Fenris. One could
> argue that Garrit was too good at 'front line operations'
> to have been one of the lofty HQ people of the Loki
> Company,

Beam often has his characters complaining about the "incompetence" of the people back on Terra, especially during the later Federation era, but the truth is, as he actually portrayed them, the folks who were running the Federation--likely not the top elected officials and the chief public administrators but rather the folks who got those officials elected and appointed--were running a remarkable racket that makes Gerrit's Hunter's Cooperative grift on Fenris look like a parlour game. These are folks who have the Federation Army training their private security forces and the Federation Navy putting down restive locals--Federation citizens all--who threaten their interstellar investments. One might quarrel with their _morality_ but it's tough to quarrel with their _competence_.

Cheers,

David
--
"That's what happened to the Terran Federation, by the way. The good men all left to colonize, and the stuffed shirts and yes-men and herd-followers and safety-firsters stayed on Terra and tried to govern the galaxy." - Otto Harkaman (H. Beam Piper), ~Space Viking~.
~
1915
David "PiperFan" JohnsonPerson was signed in when posted
11-03-2018
17:25 UT
~
Jon Crocker wrote:

> Could there be several Federation Member Republics in
> the Terra system? Terra would probably be able to argue
> that its system was a special case and get away with it.

Here's an interesting thought. According to Klem Zareff, there were "ninety systems, a hundred and thirty inhabited planets" in the System States Alliance. Would that have been just ninety former "Federation Member Republics" or might some of those other forty inhabited planets have also been Federation Member Republics?

We know from the example of the Venus that being a Federation Member Republic doesn't mean your "republic" extends throughout the local solar system. This doesn't help us with possible "sub-planetary" Federation Member Republics on Terra but it doesn't seem unlikely that there might have been instances where there were more than one Federation Member Republic in the same system.

Cheers,

David
--
"We talk glibly about ten to the hundredth power, but emotionally we still count, 'One, Two, Three, Many.'" - Otto Harkaman (H. Beam Piper), ~Space Viking~
~
1914
David "PiperFan" JohnsonPerson was signed in when posted
11-03-2018
17:10 UT
~
Jon Crocker wrote:

> Could there be several Federation Member Republics
> in the Terra system? Terra would probably be able to
> argue that its system was a special case and get away
> with it.

One thing to keep in mind is that there was no "Terra" when the (second) Terran Federation was being formed. Instead, there were the nations of "South Africa, Australia and New Zealand, Brazil, the Argentine, etc.," the remnants of the old U.S.-led (first) Terran Federation (itself a confederation of nation-states), the remnants of whatever the "adversary combatant" was in the Fourth World War (perhaps another confederation of nation-states), the rebellious colonies on Venus and Mars, maybe other settlements in the Asteroid Belt and on the Moons of Jupiter and perhaps even some of those early "burrow-cities" on Luna, Mercury and Titan.

The establishment of the (second) Terran Federation, abolishing "all national states" and creating a "single world sovereignty," is followed by wars of "colonial pacification and consolidation" until the new (second) Terran Federation "imposes a System-wide pax." This suggests the new (second) Terran Federation--presumably comprised of "Federation Member Republics" based upon those former nations of the Southern Hemisphere--goes on to conquer the rest of the Solar System. Presumably, it is in the aftermath of that "pacification and consolidation" that new members, like the "Federation Member Republic of Venus," are admitted to the (second) Terran Federation.

> But, there's 'equal' and then there's equal - consider,
> Rhode Island and Texas have the same number of US
> Senators, but one would have a much easier time of
> throwing its weight around if it wanted to.

Or Ontario and Prince Edward Island, for that matter. ;)

Cheers,

David
--
"That's probably why the Southern Hemisphere managed to stay out of the Third and Fourth World Wars." - Carlos von Schlichten (H. Beam Piper), ~Uller Uprising~
~
1913
Jon CrockerPerson was signed in when posted
11-03-2018
16:33 UT
>Gerrit was described as the mastermind of the Loki enslavement and the only way to be the "mastermind" of an
>operation that is too big to hide from the chief factor is to _be_ the chief factor, it seems to me (unless
>the chief factor was a figure-head of some sort).

That's a good point, but it wouldn't have taken that much room to add "and former head of the CLC" to the description of "mastermind".

Perhaps the head of the Loki Company wasn't as capable as Victor Grego? Perhaps the reason Victor was a fairly active 'young' man was due to the bad example of the Loki Company, when head office back on Terra didn't realize that the Loki head of the company hadn't been outside his sick rooms for months, and Garrit had blackmail tapes on a few of the department heads to keep them from investigating his operation? Of course, no one knew what Garrit was really up to, out on Omicron continent, half the world away, until the story broke.

Or perhaps Garrit was a contractor, his company worked for the CLC in an area pretty far from the HQ building on Freya.

The man certainly had a good plan to take over the Hunters' Cooperative once he got to Fenris. One could argue that Garrit was too good at 'front line operations' to have been one of the lofty HQ people of the Loki Company, and that he was so good at it meant that his original position was a lot lower on the organizational chart.

None of which speaks well of the Loki company, and would again support the presence of all those agents reporting on everything.
1912
David "PiperFan" JohnsonPerson was signed in when posted
11-03-2018
04:26 UT
~
Jon Crocker wrote:

> Either way, I'm sure the Enslavements were one of the
> reasons for all of the secret agents mentioned in Little
> Fuzzy - I re-read the book a while ago, and found their
> prominent mention a little puzzling. Of course, a
> couple characters were agents, so it made sense to
> set the stage for them.

This is a keen observation. It points out yet another way in which Terran Federation civilization is so odd. The Federation has no external adversaries and yet it has this huge security and war-fighting enterprise--one that doesn't even seem to be involved in "exploration" (say like Trek's Starfleet), at least not until the era of "Naudsonce."

Why are there all those secret agents? Why is there a Terran Federation Army large enough to muster out a bunch of veterans to serve in the Chartered Uller Company army? (Try counting the number of _colonels_ on Uller _before_ Paula Quinton gets her field commission.) Why is there a handy Terran Federation Navy base on Gimli that can spare a destroyer to take Gerrit back to Terra? What are that Federation Army and Navy _doing_? More importantly, why do Federation taxpayers _support_ them?

We've discussed some of this before. Perhaps the Federation armed forces, particularly the Navy, aren't as large as we might have assumed. Perhaps those "couple of destroyers" at Gimli are all the naval warships anywhere along the "milk run," except perhaps at Terra and Odin.

Bottom line though, it means the Federation government is spending a lot of "treasure" warding off security threats which exist _within_ the Federation. At the same time, something like training all those veterans on Uller is a huge subsidy to the Uller Company. (It's sort of the collegiate football system to the National Football League.)

The Federation may be the ultimate corporate state. We get bits and pieces here and there about the government itself being a major shareholder in some of the larger interstellar corporations. Then there's that shady "Banking Cartel," whatever in the world that's supposed to be. There may be cross-holdings among the various interstellar companies which would make Japanese ~keiritsu~ and Korean ~chaebol~ jealous with envy.

And then, of course, all of those competing interests are spying on each other, officially when they've "captured" a given government agency and "commercially" as a matter of course.

Beam shows us characters like Victor Grego who seem to be "captains of industry" but in truth Grego is just a corporate factor out in the hinterland somewhere, someone else's employee. The true "captains of industry" in Federation society are the folks back on Terra--and elsewhere, perhaps--who put up the investment for an undertaking like the Chartered Zarathustra Company and who reap the profits from it when it's successful. And they seem to be a sneaky, distrustful bunch who treat the institutions of government--even the Army and the Navy--as the instruments of their own private interests.

Cheers,

David
--
"The Federation Government owns a bigger interest in the Company than the public realizes, too. . . ." - Carlos von Schlichten (H. Beam Piper), ~Uller Uprising~.
~
1911
David "PiperFan" JohnsonPerson was signed in when posted
11-03-2018
03:51 UT
~
Jon Crocker wrote:

> I hadn't thought that Anton Gerrit would be a company official
> - he could be. Or, he could have been a division chief and ran
> that section as his own private feifdom. On the third hand, he
> could have been in charge of a private contractor, and if the
> Company didn't have much in the way of oversight, could have
> gotten away with the Enslavements before word got out.

You and John make several good points and it's certainly possible that Gerrit _wasn't_ the CLC boss. On the other hand, I keep trying to envision what a twenty or thirty thousand person--native or otherwise--operation on pre-Fuzzy Zarathustra would look like that Victor Grego didn't know about--but I simply can't imagine such a thing.

Gerrit was described as the mastermind of the Loki enslavement and the only way to be the "mastermind" of an operation that is too big to hide from the chief factor is to _be_ the chief factor, it seems to me (unless the chief factor was a figure-head of some sort).

YMMV, of course.

David
--
"You know what Lingua Terra is? An indiscriminate mixture of English, Spanish, Portuguese and Afrikaans, mostly English. And you know what English is? The result of the efforts of Norman men-at-arms to make dates with Saxon barmaids." - Victor Grego (H. Beam Piper), ~Fuzzy Sapiens~
~
1910
David "PiperFan" JohnsonPerson was signed in when posted
11-03-2018
03:20 UT
~
John "Calidore" Anderson wrote:

> My impression is that Loki is not “pretty temperate for
> Terrans”. Piper's mention of Bush Dwanga is suggestive
> of sub-Saharan Africa,

Perhaps. On the other hand, Beam did describe the Lokians as "faun-like" rather than "antelope-like" (which might have amounted to the same thing in terms of conveying an image).

> while his comparison of the Fa'ansare River with the
> Amazon is likewise indicative of a tropical climate.

In context Beam's comparison to the Amazon is due to its size/length, not specifically its tropical clime.

> So I've always felt that Loki is a bit warmer than Terra.
> Possibly rain forests at the equator, with large tracts
> of savannah to the north and south. While certainly
> habitable, such a planet might be too warm to attract
> a large number of Terran colonists.

Well, savannah would be great for livestock grazing so that wouldn't seem to be enough to preclude a substantial Terran agricultural enterprise (even if the livestock had to be imported)--unless, again, there was something in the biosphere that made it difficult for imported livestock to survive.

> So the gentle, faun-like Lokians may be Beam's version
> of the stereotypical ‘indolent’ native of tropical climates,
> who were often enslaved by Europeans, and became
> their labor-force in the colonial era.

I'm with you except for the tropical climate. If the ecosphere can support flora which are edible then there will be a substantial agriculture enterprise--if for no other reason than to keep the Terran colonists from having to waste mining profits importing food. An agricultural enterprise means a sustainable (Terran) business class interested in stability and long-term viability. Loki doesn't seem to have that.

> I assume there is a similar dynamic at work in the
> Federation, with most emigrating colonists settling on
> the more Terra-type planets.

In general, sure, especially early in the Federation era when Loki was settled. Later on, you get worlds like Kwannon which get settled. . . .

> The temperate types are probably those which more
> often turn out to be major worlds; like Odin, Baldur and
> Marduk.

I think the key factor for an attractive settlement planet is an ability to support an agricultural enterprise. Without that, the Terran settlers spend a lot of whatever they making money from on their planet importing food instead. That's bad whether you're an individual or a resource extraction corporation. Any tropical planet is going to be one that supports an agricultural enterprise, unless there's some reason Terrans and their livestock can't eat the local plant life.

> Planets like Venus and Loki are likely backwaters in
> comparison.

I agree they're backwaters and that this must have a lot to do with a relatively inhospitable ecosphere, where "inhospitable" means "difficult to grow things to eat." That's a bit more extreme than something like the Amazon rainforest and the Tanzanian Serengeti,

> Jack Holloway's comment about the Lokians becoming
> Native Agency bums reminds me of Verkan Vall's
> description of the Venusian “natives” (who I assume are
> actually humans) in “Last Enemy”. Pretending to be a
> Venusian planter, Vall says to Assassin-President
> Klarnood, “If you'd see the bums who hang around our
> drying sheds, on Venus, cadging rejected leaves and
> smoking themselves into a stupor, you'd be frugal in
> using [zerfa] too.” (Paratime, pp. 94, 117)

As I've said, I think we have to be careful to assume that Beam's Terro-human Future History Venus is the same as his Paratime Venus. The two portrayals occur a decade or more apart in time in Beam's career, with the Paratime Venus coming first. (Lay understanding of) planetary science progressed a lot in that decade-plus and it seems unlikely that Beam would have ignored that in his writing. I suspect this is why Beam was careful not to tell us much of anything about the ecosphere of the Future History Venus.

> Thus, Loki may be a planet with a hotter-than-Terra
> climate (though perhaps not as hot and/or humid as
> Venus), and not much in the way of natural resources.

If it has a biosphere where plants grow and those plants are edible for Terrans and their livestock then there will be a domestic agricultural enterprise. That will tend to make the Terran population self-sustaining which will encourage a sort of stability over time. I think what we know about Loki suggests that there _isn't_ a domestic agricultural enterprise that enables the Terran colonists to avoid importing food.

> So I think you're right that, aside from gold, Loki has
> “little else of value to the interstellar economy of the
> Federation.”

A domestic agricultural enterprise might not be enough for Loki to prosper in the interstellar economy but it would be enough to support and encourage a stable Terran population. Loki doesn't seem to have that so it seems unlikely there's a domestic agricultural enterprise. That only makes sense if the Terrans and their livestock can't eat the local plant life.

> This, plus a presumed intemperate climate, would not
> make it an attractive destination for Terro-Human
> colonists,

Well, it seems to have been the gold mines which drew Terrans to Loki in the first place.

> and that could explain why Loki never does “evolve into
> a more stable, civilized place”. The humans who end
> up living there are more likely to be outcasts, misfits,
> criminals and “irreconcilable minority-groups who want
> to get away from everybody else” (Federation, p. 58)
> than average citizens.

Over time, even a society of "misfit and criminals" will evolve a stable society if they're working as farmers to feed themselves. (Think of Australia.) If society-as-a-whole on Loki remains unstable and "uncivilized" over a period of centuries there needs to be an on-going source of stress. Tough to imagine what that centuries-long stress might be on Loki if the local Terrans can support themselves with agriculture.

Cheers,

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"
~
1909
Jon CrockerPerson was signed in when posted
11-03-2018
02:25 UT
Some good points.

Could there be several Federation Member Republics in the Terra system? Terra would probably be able to argue that its system was a special case and get away with it. But, there's 'equal' and then there's equal - consider, Rhode Island and Texas have the same number of US Senators, but one would have a much easier time of throwing its weight around if it wanted to.

And to step back a few, I hadn't thought that Anton Gerrit would be a company official - he could be. Or, he could have been a division chief and ran that section as his own private feifdom. On the third hand, he could have been in charge of a private contractor, and if the Company didn't have much in the way of oversight, could have gotten away with the Enslavements before word got out.

Either way, I'm sure the Enslavements were one of the reasons for all of the secret agents mentioned in Little Fuzzy - I re-read the book a while ago, and found their prominent mention a little puzzling. Of course, a couple characters were agents, so it made sense to set the stage for them.
1908
David "PiperFan" JohnsonPerson was signed in when posted
11-02-2018
04:40 UT
~
John "Calidore" Anderson wrote:

> If so, then Loki would be somewhat similar to Venus,
> which Beam, in keeping with the 1950s view, made a
> hot, swampy planet.

Well, that seems to be what Beam's earlier, Paratime-version of Venus was like but in truth he told us very little about the ecosphere of Venus in the Terro-human Future History. Nevertheless, I agree it's reasonable to assume that his Future History Venus may also be this sort of "planetary romance" version of Venus, if perhaps not quite a "Carson of Venus" sort of place--but that assumption places the Future History _unequivocally_ in an "alternate history."

> Aside from the Secession, which has a major political
> impact on the early Federation, Venus never seems to
> develop into anything much, and it has a continuing
> problem with criminal behavior. Third Century
> politicians like Roger Barron are "indicted for corrupt
> practices" as soon as they leave office, because "There
> were no other kind in Venusian politics." (Federation,
> p. 209) And as you note, even six centuries later Port
> Oberth on Venus is a lawless place. That's essentially
> right next door to Terra, the capital and most powerful
> planet of the whole Federation, which one would think
> could clean up Venus if it wanted to.

This suggests to me that there is something key about the autonomy of "Federation Member Republics" in the way the (second) Terran Federation is organized. The Terran Federation doesn't mess with Venus because other "Federation Member Republics" like Odin or Baldur or Marduk or Aton won't stand for it.

The interesting thing about Venus--and presumably also Mars--being a "Federation Member Republic" is what that might suggest about the early (second) Terran Federation. Do we really assume that the (second) Terran Federation was comprised of a Federation Member Republic of Venus, a Federation Member Republic of Mars (and perhaps also Federation Member Republics of Jovian Moons) _and_ a Federation Member Republic or Terra, with Venus and Mars ostensibly equal in stature to Terra? That seems more than a bit hard to believe.

That leaves me wondering if, perhaps, that there might be a "Federation Member Republic of Australia" (which perhaps includes New Zealand), a "Federation Member Republic of Brazil," a "Federation Member Republic of South Africa," a "Federation Member Republic of the Argentine," etc. Those are political divisions in which separate "Member Republic" status for colony worlds like Venus and Mars (and perhaps the Jovian moons) would make a bit more sense.

Unfortunately, we have no details from Beam about any of this. He never even confirms that Mars is a "Federation Member Republic" but it is an intriguing idea that, for me, at least, is a bit more believable than Venus and Terra being considered nominal "equals" in the early days of the (second) Terran Federation.

Cheers,

David
--
"The Astrographic Commission won't accept Helleno-Roman names for anything outside the Sol System. They prefer names from Norse mythology, as long as they last." -- Karl Zahanov (H. Beam Piper), "When in the Course--"
~
1907
CalidorePerson was signed in when posted
11-01-2018
22:52 UT
My impression is that Loki is not “pretty temperate for Terrans”. Piper’s mention of Bush Dwanga is suggestive of sub-Saharan Africa, while his comparison of the Fa’ansare River with the Amazon is likewise indicative of a tropical climate. So I’ve always felt that Loki is a bit warmer than Terra. Possibly rain forests at the equator, with large tracts of savannah to the north and south. While certainly habitable, such a planet might be too warm to attract a large number of Terran colonists.

If so, then Loki would be somewhat similar to Venus, which Beam, in keeping with the 1950s view, made a hot, swampy planet. Aside from the Secession, which has a major political impact on the early Federation, Venus never seems to develop into anything much, and it has a continuing problem with criminal behavior. Third Century politicians like Roger Barron are “indicted…for corrupt practices” as soon as they leave office, because “There were no other kind in Venusian politics.” (Federation, p. 209) And as you note, even six centuries later Port Oberth on Venus is a lawless place. That’s essentially right next door to Terra, the capital and most powerful planet of the whole Federation, which one would think could clean up Venus if it wanted to.

So the gentle, faun-like Lokians may be Beam’s version of the stereotypical ‘indolent’ native of tropical climates, who were often enslaved by Europeans, and became their labor-force in the colonial era. This was because they always had difficulty persuading their own citizens to emigrate to the tropical colonies. Most Europeans leaving the Continent preferred to move to more temperate climates, such as southern Canada and especially the United States in North America; and northern Argentina, Uruguay and southern Brazil in South America. I assume there is a similar dynamic at work in the Federation, with most emigrating colonists settling on the more Terra-type planets. The temperate types are probably those which more often turn out to be major worlds; like Odin, Baldur and Marduk. Planets like Venus and Loki are likely backwaters in comparison.

Jack Holloway's comment about the Lokians becoming Native Agency bums reminds me of Verkan Vall’s description of the Venusian “natives” (who I assume are actually humans) in “Last Enemy”. Pretending to be a Venusian planter, Vall says to Assassin-President Klarnood, “If you’d see the bums who hang around our drying sheds, on Venus, cadging rejected leaves and smoking themselves into a stupor, you’d be frugal in using [zerfa] too.” (Paratime, pp. 94, 117)

Thus, Loki may be a planet with a hotter-than-Terra climate (though perhaps not as hot and/or humid as Venus), and not much in the way of natural resources. So I think you’re right that, aside from gold, Loki has “little else of value to the interstellar economy of the Federation.” This, plus a presumed intemperate climate, would not make it an attractive destination for Terro-Human colonists, and that could explain why Loki never does “evolve into a more stable, civilized place”. The humans who end up living there are more likely to be outcasts, misfits, criminals and “irreconcilable minority-groups who want to get away from everybody else” (Federation, p. 58) than average citizens.

Your P.S. is a very interesting observation. It makes sense that Anton Gerrit would at least be a Company man, possibly going to extremes to generate profit for the shareholders of a marginal planet (as I assume Loki is). I tend to doubt that he was the actual head of the Loki Company; one would have expected Bish Ware to mention it if he were. But even if he weren’t, his treatment of the natives must have been sanctioned (or at least tolerated) by the Company leadership, which could also explain why their charter was revoked. If they didn’t know what Gerrit was doing, they should have; and if they did know, they are as guilty as he is of violating the Federation Constitution.

On the other hand, if Gerrit WAS the Company head on Loki, that would actually place him in good (or rather, bad) ‘company’. Because Victor Grego, the head of the Chartered Zarathustra Company, proposes similarly egregious criminal intent toward a native population. In his case, the complete genocide of the Fuzzies, and this is AFTER learning that they are “probably” sapient! (Little Fuzzy, pp. 46, 47) If he had successfully carried out this scheme, Grego might have avoided prosecution—hard to prove Fuzzy sapience when they’re all dead—but in truth he would have been an even bigger criminal than Gerrit, who despite being a mass-murderer at least did not intend to exterminate the Lokians.

The difference seems to be that Anton needed Lokian labor to work the mines, while Victor didn’t need the Fuzzies for anything, since Zarathustra was becoming a handsomely profitable planet by the time they were discovered. (ibid, pp. 8-9) Plus, the Fuzzies were a direct threat to the CZC’s charter, while one would guess that the natives were already known when the Loki Company’s charter was granted.

John
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