H. Beam Piper's Space Viking


There’s an audio book at librivox as well.


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I haven’t thought of this book in years, I think it may be time to dust it off again.

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Love it to bits. I’d hate to think how many times I’ve reread this.

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Thanks for the tip on the free eBook! I haven’t thought about H. Beam Piper in such a long time. Little Fuzzy made me a Piper fan. I still have my old, well-read, much-loved and handled “Little Fuzzy” paperback. YEEK! (I am still so sad about Piper’s decision to end his life, though.)

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In the Seventies and Eighties Piper was on my look for list when hitting used book stores. He had nothing (or very little) in print and it took years to accumulate the novels and back issues of Astounding for the short stories.
Now you can get just about everything he wrote for a buck or less, even free, instantly.
Who says we don’t live in the age of miracles?

Mr. Piper wrote an excellent series of books and is one of my favorites. I am glad to see his books featured here on Boing Boing. I just recently reread LORD KALVAN OF OTHERWHEN which is part of the PARATIME series. COSMIC COMPUTER is another good one as well as FUZZY SAPIENS which is the sequel to LITTLE FUZZY.

Piper’s books, along with Doc Smith’s, are big favorites of mine from when I first started reading SciFi as a kid. Fondly remember them all, and they actually hold up fairly well over time.

Look for a coming reminder/short review like this on Lord Kalvan of Otherwhen. I looooove that Paratime story.

Don’t forget the Uller Uprising. The thought of a bunch of space faring engineers pouring over a steamy bodice ripper romance novel for tips on building a atom bomb is rather memorable.

i love this book, and everything he wrote. i already have my copy, but it’s nice to have the free links to share with people
i got started on scifi very young, with Piper. my dad gave me the michael whelan illustrated childrens’ book of little fuzzy. every time i’ve spotted one of his books, i’ve gotten it, although it was the mid 90’s when i got the last one, a rerelease of the lost manuscript: Fuzzies and Other People.
had a VERY interesting conversation once when i ran into a filmmaker who made some movies that included a federation, and an empire, a space cowboy, some short, squeaky, fully furred aboriginal people - i said “have you ever read any H Beam Piper?” and he said “Yes, yes I have”
he may have been lying to get rid of me, but i like to think he wasn’t

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I used to be a fan of the RPG, Traveller, and a lot of the other fans cited H. Beam Piper as an influence on the setting, Space Viking in particular. So, I read it, and I found it appalling.

In the first place, the protagonists insist upon an unqualified “might makes right” ideology, with “might” understood as the possession of advanced military technology.

In the second place, the antagonists are described, repeatedly, as having modelled themselves upon Nazis, despite not resembling Nazis at all. In fact, they’re described as a mass populist movement with a knee-jerk antipathy towards technology. This sounded very much like the way conservatives tended to describe hippies in the late 1960s – just when the book was published.

At the beginning of the novel, we see the protagonist dispatching soldiers to machine-gun a crowd of political demonstrators – because, you see, if you don’t use extreme violence to suppress popular movements, they’ll turn into Nazis – i.e., democratic pacifists who long for a simple agrarian lifestyle.

Somehow, I also managed to force myself to read another H. Beam Piper book, “Fuzzy Sapiens”, in which it’s discovered that the dominant life form on a colonized planet is actually sapient, so instead of being hunted, they’re captured and made into house pets.

As a side note, Piper anticipated one of John Rawls’ thought experiments.
From his 1950 story The Answer:

“The Statisticalist party believes that reincarnation is a statistically random event, and as such private property and wealth should socialized to give everyone an equal opportunity. The Volitionalist party, on the other hand, believes that everyone reincarnates as they please, or of their own volition, so they favor the present system of private property and capitalism”

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