Zarthani.net banner

Chronography: The Structure of Paratime

"Sectors are areas of paratime on any level in which the prevalent culture has a common origin and common characteristics. They are divided more or less arbitrarily into sub-sectors. Belts are areas within sub-sectors where conditions are the result of recent alternate probabilities."

— Verkan Vall (H. Beam Piper), "Police Operation"

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

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

Bibliography | Gallery | Chronography | Concordance | Development



First Level of Paratime Probability

"There are five main probability levels, derived from the five possible outcomes of the attempt to colonize this planet, seventy-five thousand years ago.  We're on the First Level—complete success, and colony fully established." — Verkan Vall, "Police Operation"


Second Level of Paratime Probability

"Second Level . . . time-lines descend from the probability of one or more shiploads of colonists having come to Terra from Mars about seventy-five to a hundred thousand years ago, and then having been cut off from the home planet and forced to develop a civilization of their own here." — Verkan Vall, "Last Enemy"

"Second Level that had been civilized almost as long as the First, but there had been dark-age interludes. Except for paratemporal transposition, most of its sectors equaled First Level. . . ." — H. Beam Piper "Gunpowder God"


Third Level of Paratime Probability

"Third Level; probability of abortive attempt to colonize this planet from Mars about a hundred thousand years ago.  A few survivors—a shipload or so—were left to shift for themselves while the parent civilization on Mars died out.  They lost all vestiges of their original Martian culture, even memory of their extraterrestrial origin." — Verkan Vall, "Time Crime"

"The Third Level civilizations were more recent [than Second Level], but still of respectable antiquity and advancement." — H. Beam Piper "Gunpowder God"


Fourth Level of Paratime Probability

"There are five main probability levels, derived from the five possible outcomes of the attempt to colonize this planet, seventy-five thousand years ago. . . .  On the Fourth Level, the colonists evidently met with some disaster and lost all memory of their extraterrestrial origin, as well as all extraterrestrial culture.  As far as they know, they are an indigenous race; they have a long pre-history of stone-age savagery." — Verkan Vall, "Police Operation"

"Fourth Level had started late and progressed slowly; some Fourth Level genius was first domesticating animals long after the steam engine was obsolescent all over the Third. . . .  Fourth Level was the big one. The others had devolved from low-probability genetic accidents; it was the maximum probability.  It was divided into many sectors and subsectors, on most of which human civilization had first appeared in the valleys of the Nile and Tigris-Euphrates, and on the Indus and Yangtze." — H. Beam Piper "Gunpowder God"


Fifth Level of Paratime Probability

"There are five main probability levels, derived from the five possible outcomes of the attempt to colonize this planet, seventy-five thousand years ago. . . .  The Fifth Level is the probability of complete failure—no human population established on this planet, and indigenous quasi-human life evolved indigenously." — Verkan Vall, "Police Operation"

"And Fifth Level on a few sectors, subhuman brutes, speechless and fireless, were cracking nuts and each other's heads with stones, and on most of it nothing even vaguely humanoid had appeared." — H. Beam Piper "Gunpowder God"


Thanks to Piper fans John W. Braue III, and Erik Fischer for their work to identify the "chronography" of Paratime.



Paratime sources:



Home | Forum | Links | Hoard | Re-read | Sitemap

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

Bibliography | Gallery | Chronography | Concordance | Development



Please support Piper content at Zarthani.net


©1999 - 2017 by Zarthani.net.  The contents of this Web site are for personal, non-commercial use only.  Any use of copyrighted material or trademarks anywhere on this site and its files should not be viewed as a challenge to those copyrights or trademarks.  In addition, any material displayed on or served by this site cannot be republished or distributed without explicit consent from Zarthani.net.