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H. Beam Piper's Paratime

"Well, you need a man who'd know the historical background, and you'd need a man with a powerful creative imagination, who is used to using it inside rigorously defined limits."

— H. Beam Piper, "Crossroads of Destiny"

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Future History | Paratime | Other works | H. Beam Piper

Bibliography | Gallery | Chronography | Concordance | Development


Piper's conception of Paratime posits an infinite number of parallel timelines, distinct universes which have diverged from one another at some point in their history.  Many of these timelines are exploited by the parasitic inhabitants of the "Home" timeline who have discovered a way to transpose from one timeline to another.  Their Paratime Police are responsible for policing the timelines and for ensuring that the secret of paratime transposition is not discovered by the inhabitants of any other timeline.  The Paratime yarns consist of the novel Lord Kalvan of Otherwhen, several short stories and novellas originally published between 1948 and 1955 and collected in the anthologies Paratime and The Worlds of H. Beam Piper edited by John F. Carr, and the authorized Lord Kalvan of Otherwhen sequels by John. F. Carr and his occasional co-authors.

Piper's ideas about Paratime were apparently inspired by the non-linear time theories of British aeronautical pioneer John W. Dunne (1875-1949) which were first discussed in his book An Experiment with Time (1927).

Image - Last Enemy by H. Beam Piper, cover illustration by Walt Miller, Astounding, August 1950

"Last Enemy," cover illustration by Walt Miller from Astounding, August 1950.


Bibliography

A comprehensive list by date of publication of Beam's Paratime stories and novels, including republishings and reprintings.


Temple Trouble by H. Beam Piper, original Astounding Science Fiction edition cover illustration by Hubert Rogers (1951)

"Temple Trouble," cover illustration by Hubert Rogers from Astounding, April 1951.


Gallery

A gallery of cover and interior illustrations from Paratime stories and novels, including republishings and reprintings.


Time Crime by H. Beam Piper, original Astounding Science Fiction cover illustration by Kelly Freas (1955)

"Time Crime," cover illustration by Kelly Freas from Astounding, February, 1955.


Chronography

A complilation of the structure—the hierarchy of levels, sectors, subsectors, belts and timelines—of Paratime.


Gunpowder God by H. Beam Piper, original Analog Science Fiction--Science Fact cover illustration by John Schoenherr (1964)

"Gunpowder God," cover illustration by John Schoenherr from Analog, November 1964.


Concordance

A compendium of background and setting information from Beam's Paratime stories and novels, including characters and timelines.


Great Kings' War by Roland Green and John F. Carr, Ace edtion cover illustration by Alan Gutierrez (1985)

Great Kings' War, cover illustration by Alan Gutierrez, Ace 1985.


Development

Officially-sanctioned and fan efforts that expand upon Beam's Paratime yarns.


Home | Forum | Links | Emporium | Re-read | Contact

Future History | Paratime | Other works | H. Beam Piper

Bibliography | Gallery | Chronography | Concordance | Development



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