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Paratime Concordance

"He was not afraid of death—none of the Akor-Neb people were; their language contained no word to express the concept of total and final extinction. . . .

— Yirzol of Narva (H. Beam Piper), "Last Enemy"

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A compendium of background and setting information from H. Beam Piper's Paratime stories and novels, and gleanings from Paratime works not yet in the public domain.

A - B - C - D - E - F - G - H - I - J - K - L - M - N - O - P - Q - R - S - T - U - V - W - X - Y - Z

A

• Akor-Neb: Second Level Sector civilization, "a fairly high culture-order, . . . [an] atomic-power, interplanetary culture . . . [with] gravity-counteraction, direct conversion of nuclear energy to electrical power, that sort of thing. . . . They have a single System-wide government, a single race, and a universal language. They're a dark-brown race, which evolved in its present form about fifty thousand years ago; the present civilization is about ten thousand years old, developed out of the wreckage of several earlier civilizations which decayed or fell through wars, exhaustion of resources, et cetera." [LE]

B

• Bathurst, Benjamin: British diplomat, killed while trying to escape custody of the Prussian Ministry of Police in Berlin. [HWH]
• Belt: areas of paratime "within sub-sectors where conditions are the result of recent alternate probabilities." [PO]

C

• Christian Avengers: "one of those typical Europo-American race-and-religious hate groups; . . . belongs in a belt that is the outcome of the Hitler victory of 1940." [PO]

D

• Dhergabar: First Level Home Time Line city, location of Paratime Police Headquarters. [PO, LE, TC]
• Dhergabar Equivalent: Facility on Fifth Level Police Terminal spatially equivalent to First Level Home Time Line Dhergabar. [TC]
• Dhergabar, University of: First Level Home Time Line university. [LKO]

E

• extraphysical ego component: sometimes just "extraphysical component" or EPC. Accordiong to Rhogom's Doctrine, that component of the ego which "passes from the ego existing at one moment to the ego existing at the next" throughout the life span. "During unconsciousness, the EPC is 'time-free'; it may detach, and connect at some other moment, with the ego existing at that time-point." Occasionally, this process of detachment and connection can even occur across two adjacent time lines. [PO]

F

• Farnor of Yand: renowned gunsmith of the Second Level Akor-Neb civilization.  Garnon of Roxor gave a pistol made by Farnor of Yand, along with a knife forged and tempered on Luna, to his Assassin, Dirzed, as gifts, shortly before Dirzed fired the bullet, from the pistol, which discarnated him.  [LE]

• Fasif: Great God of Second Level Khiftan civilization. [PO, TC] "Fangs of Fasif!" [TC]

• Fifth Level: time-lines descend from "the probability of complete failure [of the attempt to colonize Terra seventy-five thousand years ago]—no human population established on [Terra], and indigenous quasi-human life evolved indigenously." [PO] Time-lines descend from "the probability of a world without human population . . . [with] narrow paratime belts on which [Home Time Line] civilization had established outposts—Fifth Level Commercial, Fifth Level Passenger, Industrial Sector, Service Sector; . . . while the conveyer heads of the commercial and passenger companies were scattered over hundreds of Fifth Level time lines, those of the Paratime Police were concentrated upon one; . . . the uniform green of the uninhabited Fifth Level." [TC] "[On] a few sectors [of Fifth Level], 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.." [LKO]


G

• Ghaldron-Hesthor field-generator: the formal name of a paratime transpostion conveyor. [PO, TT, TC, LKO]
• Ghaldron Karf: co-discoverer, with Hesthor Ghrom, of the Ghaldron-Hesthor transtemporal field, the basic element of paratime transposition. [PO] "Ghaldron was working to develop a spacewarp drive, to get us out to the stars. . . ." [LKO]

H

• Hesthor Ghrom: co-discoverer, with Ghaldron Karf, of the Ghaldron-Hesthor transtemporal field, the basic element of paratime transposition. [PO] "Hesthor was working on the possibility of linear time-travel, to get back to the past, before his ancestors had worn the planet out; . . . somehow Hesthor read some of Rhogom's old papers, and he'd heard about what Ghaldron was working on and got in touch with him. Between them, they discovered paratemporal transposition." [LKO]

I

• Illyalla: Third Level civilization with "baroque amatory practices" of which Verkan Vall was familiar. [PO]

J

• Jardine, Bertram: secretary of Benjamin Bathurst. [HWH]

K

• Khift: Second Level civilization. Verkan passed through "a belt of intermittent nucleonic bombing" on Khiftan Sector; Tortha supposed "the intra-family enmities of the Hvadka Dynasty have reached critical mass again; Fasif, Great God of Khift; an acid-bath [by] the Khiftan priests." [PO] Verkan recalls the "ground-hugging dome cities" of Khiftan civilization. [LE] "Fringed robes and cloth-of-gold sashes and conical caps" are typical Khiftan dress; . . . Khiftans are "a dark, heavy-featured, black-bearded" people; . . . "a Khiftan torture rack; . . . electric whips . . . of braided copper or silver wire and powered with a little nuclear-conversion battery in the grip; . . . the priests of Fasif." [TC]

L

• Level: one of "five main probability levels, derived from the five possible outcomes of the attempt to colonize [Terra] seventy-five thousand years ago." [PO]

M

• Mars: original homeworld of humans who colonized Terra. "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 [on Terra]; . . . the ruined buildings of the ancient and vanished race of Mars who were the ancestors of Terran humanity." [LE] "Third Level [time-lines descend from the] probability of [an] abortive attempt to colonize [Terra] 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." [TC]
• Mavrad: Home Time Line noble title. "Verkan Vall, blue-seal noble, hereditary Mavrad of Nerros." [PO] "Verkan Vall, Mavrad of Nerros. . . ." [TT] "His Valor, the Mavrad of Nerros." [TC] "Thalvan Dras . . . Mavrad of Mnirna and Thalvabar. . . ." [TC]

N

• Nerros: hereditary fief of Verkan Vall. [PO, TT, TC] Verkan offered "an obscene Spanish blasphemy he had picked up among the Fourth Level inhabitants of his island home of Nerros, to the south" of Pennsylvania (possibly Cuba?). [PO]

O

• Olirzon: assassin hired by Verkan Vall when working undercover on Akor-Neb; killed at Starpha Dome during Assassins' Truce by Tarnod, a Starpha family gamekeeper. [LE]

P

• Police Terminal: Fifth Level time line dedicated to Paratime Police operations. Abbreviated as "PolTerm." [TC, LKO]
• PolTerm: see Police Terminal. [TC]

R

• Rhogom's Doctrine: "The basis of most of [Home Time Line] psychical science. We exist perpetually at all moments within our life-span; our extraphysical ego component passes from the ego existing at one moment to the ego existing at the next. During unconsciousness, the EPC is 'time-free'; it may detach, and connect at some other moment, with the ego existing at that time-point. That's how we precog. We take an autohypno and recover memories brought back from the future moment and buried in the subconscious mind." [PO] "Rhogom had worked up a theory of multidimensional time, to explain the phenomenon of precognition." [LKO]

S

• 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 [on Terra]." [LE] "Second Level civilizations which are our own equal in every respect but knowledge of paratemporal transposition; . . . one Second Level civilization which is approaching the discovery of an interstellar hyperspatial drive, something [Home Time Line civilization has] never even come close to." [TT]
• Sector: area "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." [PO]

T

• Third Level: time-lines descend from the "probability of [an] abortive attempt to colonize [Terra] 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." [TC].

U

• Uncle Wolf: informal title given to priests of Galzar. [LKO]

V

• Varnis: machinist's helper, "pert little" female member of crew of the Martian ship sent to Terra; after the loss of her child to an attack by the Hairy People she suffered from emotional and mental incapcity. [Gen]

W

• Wizard Traders: local name for paratemporal slaver on Kholghoor Sector; used by the Paratime Police to refer to the entire gang until they learned that it called itself the Organization. [TC]

X

Xanx:

Y

Yee Ho Li:

Z
Zarvas Pol:



Source codes:
• Gen = "Genesis," H. Beam Piper, Future combined with Science Fiction Stories, September 1951, Vol. 2, No. 3, pp. 8-21.
• HWH = "He Walked Around the Horses," H. Beam Piper, Astounding Science Fiction, Vol. XLI, No. 2, April 1948, pp. 53-70.
• LE = "Last Enemy," H. Beam Piper, Astounding Science Fiction, Vol. XLV, No. 6, August 1950, pp. 5-60.
• LKO = Lord Kalvan of Otherwhen, H. Beam Piper, New York: Ace, 1965.
• PO = "Police Operation," H. Beam Piper, Astounding Science Fiction, XLI, No. 5, July 1948, pp. 8-35.
• TT = "Temple Trouble," H. Beam Piper, Astounding Science Fiction, Vol. XLVII, No. 2, April 1951, pp. 6-34.
• TC = "Time Crime," H. Beam Piper, Astounding Science Fiction, Vol. LIV, No. 6, February 1955, pp. 8-49, and Vol. LV, No. 1, March 1955, pp. 85-131.



Gleanings from Piper's Paratime works

Give me what you think it indicates, remembering that you're probably trying to analyze a large situation from a very small sample."

— Verkan Vall (H. Beam Piper), "Time Crime"

In addition to his fascinating storytelling one of the joys of Piper's work is the rich background setting he paints for the yarn he is telling.  These settings were particularly well developed when Piper wrote multiple yarns in the same setting, such as the Paratime yarns.

Most of Piper's Partime yarns are now in the public domain and available at Project Gutenberg.  The gleanings here are from those remaining Paratime yarns which have not yet passed into the public domain.

"Gunpowder God" | "Down Styphon!" | Lord Kalvan of Otherwhen


Image - Gunpowder God by H. Beam Piper, cover illustration by John Schoenherr, Analog, November 1964

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


"Gunpowder God"
By H. Beam Piper

"Gunpowder God" tells the story of Pennsylvania state trooper Calvin Morrison who is inadvertenly wisked away to an Aryan-Transpacific Sector timeline where a sword-and-musket princedom is battling the minions of a god whose priests hold the secret for making "fireseed"—gunpowder.  This yarn was subsequently combined with "Down Styphon!" and expanded into the novel Lord Kalvan of Otherwhen.

Plot Summary

[text forthcoming]

Specific Citations

[text forthcoming]

Characters, in order of appearance:

[text forthcoming]


Image - Down Styphon by H. Beam Piper, cover illustration by Kelly Freas, Analog, November 1965

"Down Styphon!," cover illustration by Kelly Freas from Analog, November 1965.


"Down Styphon!"
By H. Beam Piper

A sequel to "Gunpowder God," the yarn "Down Styphon!" continues to follow the exploits of formern Pennsylvania state trooper Calvin Morrison, inadvertenly wisked away to an Aryan-Transpacific Sector timeline, where he helps the sword-and-musket princedom of Hostigos to battle the minions of the god Styphone, whose priests used to hold the secret for making "fireseed"—gunpowder.  This yarn was subsequently combined with "Gunpowder God" and expanded into the novel Lord Kalvan of Otherwhen.

Plot Summary

[text forthcoming]

Specific Citations

[text forthcoming]

Characters, in order of appearance:

[text forthcoming]


Image - Lord Kalvan of Otherwhen by H. Beam Piper, cover illustration by Michael Whelan, Ace 1977

Lord Kalvan of Otherwhen by H. Beam Piper, cover illustration by Michael Whelan, Ace 1977.


Lord Kalvan of Otherwhen
By H. Beam Piper

An expanded version of the combined yarns "Gunpowder God" and "Down Styphon!" this novel tells the story of Pennsylvania state trooper Calvin Morrison who is inadvertenly wisked away to an Aryan-Transpacific Sector timeline, where he helps the sword-and-musket princedom of Hostigos to battle the minions of the god Styphon, whose priests used to hold the secret for making "fireseed"—gunpowder.

Plot Summary

[text forthcoming]

Specific Citations

[text forthcoming]

Characters, in order of appearance:

[text forthcoming]



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

Bibliography | Gallery | Chronography | Concordance | Development



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