Development of Piper's other work

"I do a lot of stories for the pulps. Space-Trails, and Other Worlds, and Wonder-Stories; mags like that. Most of it's standardized formula-stuff; what's known to the trade as space-operas. My best stuff goes to Astonishing. . . . What I do for Astonishing is really hard work, and I enjoy it."
— Pierre Jarrett (H. Beam Piper), Murder in the Gunroom

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A variety of commercial products and informal efforts exist which are based upon or expand on Piper's other work.

Frederik Pohl's 20 November, 1952, letter describing his submission of an unpublished Piper novella titled "Hour of Indecision" to Sam Moskowitz at (what was likely) Science Fiction Plus magazine. The yarn was not published in Science Fiction Plus.

Time Crime by H. Beam Piper and John F. Carr, cover illustration by Alan Gutierrez (2010)

Time Crime dust jacket illustration by Alex Gutierrez)

Time Crime, John F. Carr's expansion of Piper's original Paratime yarn "Time Crime," includes Piper's first published story as a prologue.  "Time and Time Again" is not generally considered to be a part of Piper's Paratime series, yet Carr has a very interesting project in mind.  The connecting material he has added between the two portions of Piper's original novella and the final, third section of the expanded novel added at the end does an excellent job of integrating Beam's first story, about a middle-aged man nearly killed in a nuclear war whose consciousness is somehow transported back in time to his teenage body, into the Paratime universe!

Daniel Eness's "A Suicide of Stars," an extremely creative take on what may have actually happened on the day that Piper died (from the Castalia House blog).

Development Claims for Piper's other work

"Should we do more exploring and claim some more of these places, or should we come home right away and start recruiting, and then come back with a large party . . . and explore and make further claims as we have time?"
— Conn Maxwell (H. Beam Piper), Junkyard Planet

Modeled after the Traveller Mailing List (TML) Landgrab, Piper Development Claims are personal, non-commercial efforts to develop background elements of H. Beam Piper's non-Terro-human Future History and non-Paratime settings.  Each background developer should report on the claimed setting in great detail.  The exact level of detail and degree of compliance with official canon is open to interpretation.  Each background developer should survey his or her claim (including gathering the relevant canonical information) and submit a Developer's Report to the Piper Mailing List.

There are some key guidelines for any development effort.  The first is captured in "Olson's Rule":

"Agreed that [Piper's Paratime and Terro-human Future History (TFH) yarns] could all fit together.  Does that mean that they do?  If you intend the definition of inclusion within Piper's future history to be 'one [which] would have little trouble fitting into the TFH as pre-30 Days War stories' then you've gotten too broad. . . .

"I think you need something a little more positive than mere non-contradiction."

While Mark was speaking specifically here about including Paratime yarns in the Terro-human Future History canon, the point holds for any development of Piper's work: there must be some explicit, non-generic (e.g. not simply a shared reference to a common place such as, say, "Mars") connection in any two Piper works for them to be considered to be part of the same, distinct setting.

A second key guideline is captured in "Newton's Rule":

"Perhaps, in keeping with the spirit of the Landgrab, and so that we can both stimulate creativity and remain careful about what Piper actually wrote, we should separate material into "Canon" and "Apocrypha"—with the latter segments being so titled to represent the fact that the author is not revealing but extending. . . ."

Steve's "Canon" and "Apocrypha" distinction should serve as a basic structuring element of any development effort.

The claims made thus far include:

Background Development Claim


Date of Claim

Hartley Yarns - The Epsilon Eridani Expeditions

David Johnson

January 2001

At the suggestion of Piper fan Tom Rogers, Piper Development Claims have been expanded to encompass the process of comparing various editions of Piper's work for consistency and differences in order to expand and clarify the canonical material used for development.  Developers in this area choose a given work and report on their comparison of the various editions.  The claims made so far include:

Canon Claim


Date of Claim

Null ABC / Crisis in 2140

Eric Gimlin

September 2001

"Hunter Patrol"

Tom Rogers

January 2002

If you wish to participate, stake your cliam on the Piper Mailing List.  If none oppose you, or if you prevail in an ensuing discussion, you too may become a background developer.

Background developers may lay their claim and/or provide links to their Developer's Report by posting an announcement to the Piper Mailing List.  Developers may have their Developer's Report hosted at by sending a request to the Development Claims Bureau.

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