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Welcome to the Zarthani.net H. Beam Piper mailing list and discussion forum. Initiated in October 2008 (after the demise of the original PIPER-L mailing list), this tool for shared communication among Piper fans provides an e-mail list and a discussion forum with on-line archives.
 
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1078
Tom Rogers
07-23-2014
17:09 UT
David Sooby wrote:

> I don't know if you've already identified the artist, but someone on the comic strip collector's discussion list said it is Leo Morey.

You are correct, Sir! It is indeed a piece by Leo Morey.
1077
David Sooby
07-23-2014
00:32 UT
On 7/20/2014 9:02 PM, QT - David Johnson wrote:
> Huh, turns out it's an interior illustration from the January 1962
> edition of ~Analog~ in which "Naudsonce" was published:
> http://www.gutenberg.org/files/19076/19076-h/19076-h.htm Odd (but I
> knew it looked familiar).


I don't know if you've already identified the artist, but someone on the comic strip collector's discussion list said it is Leo Morey.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Clear ether!
David "Lensman" Sooby
1076
David Johnson
07-21-2014
03:02 UT
~
> Aegypan ~Four-Day Planet~ cover illustration?

Huh, turns out it's an interior illustration from the January 1962 edition of ~Analog~ in which "Naudsonce" was published:
http://www.gutenberg.org/files/19076/19076-h/19076-h.htm

Odd (but I knew it looked familiar).

David
--
"You had a wonderful civilization here. . . . You could have made almost anything of it. But it's too late now. You've torn down the gates; the barbarians are in." - Lucas Trask (H. Beam Piper), ~Space Viking~ ~
1075
Spam deleted by QuickTopic 07-20-2014 06:08
1074
David "PiperFan" JohnsonPerson was signed in when posted
07-18-2014
15:24 UT
~
Jonathan Crocker wrote:

> And you're right that the Space Viking
> pinnaces could travel 'as far and as fast'
> as they ships they launched from, but you
> could argue that this was because they
> were new, like the yacht from "When in
> the course..." was a newer ship, and the
> Stellex was an old, worn down ship that
> had only been sold because the prior
> owners could no longer get her insured.

One thing to keep in mind is that the Space Viking era is a time of technological stagnation. Even with two billion people an independent "civilized world" like Marduk was in no position to maintain the same industrial enterprise as did the Terran Federation (or the Empire in the centuries afterward). It's likely that the Sword Worlds--and the "civilized worlds" of the Old Federation (which could not cooperate as they did when they were all in the Federation)--were doing everything they could simply to _maintain_ a given level of technological capability, including hyperspace drive.

Sure, perhaps there were minor variations in the capabilities of the ~Nemesis~ as compared to the ~Princess of Lyonesse~ which raided Beowulf sixty years earlier, but the fact remains that hyperdrive technology is the leading edge of technological capability in the Space Viking era. Indeed, it is the key distinguishing factor for a "civilized world" and even when a planet like Beowulf or Amaterasu developed their own hyperdrive ships, they did it on the basis of a combination of old Federation records and Space Viking assistance. No one was "innovating" hyperdrive technology in the Space Viking era.

Bottom line is, this is not the age to be making generalized assessments about hyperdrive technology or Beam's approach to technological capabilities generally in any given era. Beam was great at using subtle cues--consider the different roles played by women in the early Federation and the Space Viking era (there is no "Sachiko Koremitsu" among the Vikings!)--to illustrate the details of the different societies and civilizations he was portraying throughout the Terro-human Future History. Surely he did this with his portrayal of technology too.

Be well,

David
--
"A lot of technicians are girls, and when work gets slack, they're always the first ones to get shoved out of jobs." - Sylvie Jacquemont (H. Beam Piper), ~The Cosmic Computer~
~
1073
Jonathan Crocker
07-18-2014
04:46 UT

(sorry if the reply bits are out of whack, the board won't let me follow the link from my email so I copy and paste from the board.)

On 7/17/2014 22:24 UT, QT - David Sooby wrote:
>Note also that in /Space Viking/, the ill-maintained, older /Lamia/ travels right along with the brand-spanking-new /Nemesis/ on >their interstellar raids. Do you think Trask slowed down the /Nemesis/ so the /Lamia/ could keep up?

He would if he wanted them to work closely together.

And you're right that the Space Viking pinnaces could travel 'as far and as fast' as they ships they launched from, but you could argue that this was because they were new, like the yacht from "When in the course..." was a newer ship, and the Stellex was an old, worn down ship that had only been sold because the prior owners could no longer get her insured.

>That hardly seems likely, and if he did, then Harkaman would have been complaining about it.

Maybe he complained bitterly about it "off camera". Piper did leave some things out of the books, there were no bathroom scenes for example and even Real Space Vikings have to pee from time to time.

Maybe that was the reason the Lamia was refitted as a system defense monitor with her hyperdrives ripped out & replaced by weapons.

>Likewise, the scene where Trask's armada travels from Tanith to attack Marduk makes it clear that all the ships, regardless of >what world they were built on, travel at exactly the same speed, and all arrive simultaneously.

They did coordinate a bit, I'm certain.

But again, you can make what you like of it - you can decide that the physical laws only allow travel at a certain speed through hyperspace and any engine over a certain minimum is up to the job.

Or you can decide that the Vikings liked to build all their ships with a good power-to-mass ratio that let them move fast and raid quickly, and that Harkaman was chewing the walls so much at the slow speed his ship was forced to adopt that he never operated with the Lamia again. And he had her drives ripped out to make sure of it, by the expurgated unprintability!
1072
David Sooby
07-18-2014
03:55 UT
On 7/17/2014 9:34 PM, QT - David Sooby wrote:
> Well, that certainly disproves what I was asserting: that all ships of
> an era traveling at exactly the same speed. Doesn't seem to match
> anything at all in /Space Viking/, however...


Upon reconsideration, I think I came to the wrong conclusion here. The reference cited where ships had different speeds in hyperspace based on mass/power ratio is from "When in the Course--", which is not listed in Piper's "The Future History" article. I've always been a bit
uncomfortable about accepting that as a canonical story, as Piper decided not to publish it, and re-wrote it as the first Kalvan story.

Unless someone comes up with a citation in another THFH story where different ships are said to have different speeds, or that the speed is dependent on something individual to the ship (power/mass ratio or anything else), then I'm going to assume Piper didn't feel bound by what he had written in a story he decided not to publish. I'm going to revert to my original interpretation, which is that in the Piperverse, every ship of the era had the same speed thru hyperspace.


~~~~~~~~~~~~
Clear ether!
Lensman
1071
David "PiperFan" JohnsonPerson was signed in when posted
07-18-2014
03:50 UT
~
Jonathan Crocker wrote:

> Nancy asks "Wait a minute. How long's
> this voyage going to take? Six months,
> isn't it?"
>
> "No, that's what it would take the Stellex.
> Voortrekker has a lot lower mass-to-power
> ratio, and better Dillinghams. About four
> months."
>
> That would imply a lot of variables, just like
> you'd expect from someone with Piper's eye
> to detail.

Back on the old Piper List someone (I want to say it was William Taylor, but my memory is hazy) posted a table that showed the progression of hypership speeds throughout the course of Federation-Space Viking-Empire history that showed, with lots of caveats and exceptions, a general increase in (reported) hypership speed over time.

Beam wasn't always consistent across the dozen or so yarns he published between 1952 and 1964 (especially given that he did not write them in chronological order) but it seems clear he accounted for variations in hypership speeds/capabilities over time and among different types of ships in any given era.

Be well,

David
--
"We talk glibly about ten to the hundredth power, but emotionally we still count, 'One, Two, Three, Many.'" - Otto Harkaman (H. Beam Piper), ~Space Viking~
~
1070
David Sooby
07-18-2014
03:34 UT
On 7/17/2014 6:53 PM, QT - Jonathan Crocker wrote:
> But I was able to find a few facts. In the short story
> Federataion, Nancy asks "Wait a minute. How long's this voyage
> going to take? Six months, isn't it?"
>
> "No, that's what it would take the Stellex. Voortrekker has a
> lot lower mass-to-power ratio, and better Dillinghams. About
> four months."
>
> That would imply a lot of variables, just like you'd expect from
> someone with Piper's eye to detail.
>
> And earlier in the story the doctor was waxing poetic about how
> "We and the Freyans started from two different puddles of living
> slime seven hundred light-years apart."
>
> So - Stellex at six months travels at 0.162 light years per
> hour, while the yacht Voortrekker can make 0.243 light years per
> hour, much less than the speed of a ship in Space Viking.


Well, that certainly disproves what I was asserting: that all ships of an era traveling at exactly the same speed.


Doesn't seem to match anything at all in /Space Viking/, however, where even a pinnace appears to have the same travel time from Marduk to Tanith as a capital Viking warship. Unless we want to just throw up our hands and say Piper was being inconsistent-- which perhaps he was, but this hardly helps us develop a self-consistent interpretation of canon-- then it appears the technology of hyperdrive changed rather radically between that earlier Federation era story, and /Space Viking/.


~~~~~~~~~~~~
Clear ether!
Lensman
1069
David Sooby
07-18-2014
03:24 UT
On 7/17/2014 11:03 AM, QT - David PiperFan Johnson wrote:
> it seems silly to assume that all ships in a given era travel at the
 > same top speed, if for no other reason than that at any given time > all of the operating starships would not have been laid down at the > same time, with possibly years or even decades separating the oldest > from the newest.


Hmmm... David, I suggest you go back and skim thru /Space Viking/. Interstellar travel times for ships are always estimated on the distance alone, with no account taken for what ship it is. In many cases, those doing the estimating have no idea what ship is doing the traveling, so even if everyone has a reference book of ships to consult with each ship's precise speed clearly stated... which seems rather unlikely... it still wouldn't be sufficient to explain how everyone can always
accurately estimate another ship's travel time.


Note also that in /Space Viking/, the ill-maintained, older /Lamia/ travels right along with the brand-spanking-new /Nemesis/ on their interstellar raids. Do you think Trask slowed down the /Nemesis/ so the /Lamia/ could keep up? That hardly seems likely, and if he did, then Harkaman would have been complaining about it. Likewise, the scene where Trask's armada travels from Tanith to attack Marduk makes it clear that all the ships, regardless of what world they were built on, travel at exactly the same speed, and all arrive simultaneously.


Yes, ships centuries later-- in the Imperial era-- travel faster. We don't know if ship speeds increased extremely gradually, or if there was some sudden tech improvement that increased speed substantially all at once. But either way, I think it's inescapable to conclude that the ship's speed is dependent only on the technology existent when its Dillingham drive was built, or last rebuilt. And that nothing else affects its speed; not its size, mass, or how much freight it's loaded with.

Regarding the increase in speed between Federation era stories and those in the later Imperial era, there is more than sufficient time between those two eras for every ship still operating to have been upgraded, possibly multiple times. And if you think about it, that makes sense. If a ship is worth paying the expense of upkeep and operating it, then it's worth upgrading. If it's not upgraded, then it will cease to be competitive with ships which have been upgraded... and hence, it's no longer worth operating.


~~~~~~~~~~~~
Clear ether!
Lensman
1068
Jonathan Crocker
07-18-2014
00:53 UT
I had a quick look through a couple books, but there aren't that many simple declarative statements about ship speeds through hyperspace. Viking's ships seem the quickest at one light-year per hour.

But I was able to find a few facts. In the short story Federataion, Nancy asks "Wait a minute. How long's this voyage going to take? Six months, isn't it?"

"No, that's what it would take the Stellex. Voortrekker has a lot lower mass-to-power ratio, and better Dillinghams. About four months."

That would imply a lot of variables, just like you'd expect from someone with Piper's eye to detail.

And earlier in the story the doctor was waxing poetic about how "We and the Freyans started from two different puddles of living slime seven hundred light-years apart."

So - Stellex at six months travels at 0.162 light years per hour, while the yacht Voortrekker can make 0.243 light years per hour, much less than the speed of a ship in Space Viking.

Both are still faster than a Traveller jump-6 ship, the best available drive. And, as shown in Viking, Piper's ships can travel for months at a time without a break.
1067
David "PiperFan" JohnsonPerson was signed in when posted
07-17-2014
17:03 UT
~
Talking a lot more about Traveller than Piper, David Sooby wrote:

> So, in Traveller, there are very fast ships for
> couriers, relatively fast ships for top-rate
> passenger ships, and probably slow ships for
> bulk freighters. So that's another difference
> between the universes of Traveller and the
> Piperverse.

Actually, we don't know this is a difference and it seems an odd assumption to assume so. The best we ever get in the Terro-human Human Future history are general statements about the speed of starships (and almost never about military ships, particularly in the Federation era--well there is the TFN ~Simon Bolivar~ which takes Anton Gerritt back to Terra, but it's not clear whether that ship actually travels at a higher speed than commercial liners like ~Cape Canaveral~ or merely makes fewer intermediate stops along the way).

What we do get are indications that there are different "classes" or "quality" of ships--like the "tramp freighter" ~Andromeda~ which ends up being locally-chartered to explore the Gamma system, a very different sort of ship from the ~City of Asgard~ which brought Conn home to Poictesme. We have no idea whether or not these two ships have the same top speed but it seems silly to assume that all ships in a given era travel at the same top speed, if for no other reason than that at any given time all of the operating starships would not have been laid down at the same time, with possibly years or even decades separating the oldest from the newest.

What seems more likely is that there are faster and slower starships in any given era--and it's certainly even possible that the government and other "advanced" users likely have starships that travel faster than the "generally reported" speed we hear about in any given yarn.

Indeed, even when Klem Zareff talks about "communications lag" during the System States War we get no indication whether or not the speed of this "lag" is comparable to that experienced by other, non-military efforts of the same era.

YMMV,

David
--
"I was born in Antarctica, on Terra. The water's a little too cold to do much swimming there. And I've spent most of my time since then in central Argentine, in the pampas country." - Glenn Murell (H. Beam Piper), ~Four-Day Planet~
~
1066
David Sooby
07-17-2014
04:03 UT
On 7/16/2014 8:51 PM, QT - Jonathan Crocker wrote:
> By the time of Space Viking, Piper's ships are actually much
> faster than anything in Traveller - a ship in hyperspace logged
> a light-year per hour. All Traveller jump drives take a week
> for jump so 168 hours +/- 10%, and the jump-1 drive jumps you
> one parsec [3.26 light years] all the way up to jump-6 taking
> you 6 parsecs.
>
> Which means a top-flight jump-6 drive gets you 19.56 light years
> in 168 hours. By that time, the Nemesis has hypered in, sacked
> your home base, and has gone home for tea before the Traveller
> ships have completed one leg of the trip.
>
> But the time lag is crucial in both universes, leading to
> decentralized states.


Thanks, Jonathan... I was too lazy to dig out my Traveller rules and check the actual speeds.


And I could kick myself for forgetting until after I made my last post that in Traveller, not all ships travel at the same speed in hyperspace. Jump-6 is six times faster than jump-1? That's quite a difference indeed, and even jump-6 isn't the top speed, altho it's the speed used by the mail service. (I got the impression in the original Traveller that the mail service used jump-6 because faster ships were
prohibitively expensive, but MegaTraveller has another explanation, possibly a retcon: That the Imperial family and possibly super-rich merchant princes enjoyed the advantage over the common folk of having their mail/messages delivered even faster, by a secret network of ultra-fast courier ships.)


So, in Traveller, there are very fast ships for couriers, relatively fast ships for top-rate passenger ships, and probably slow ships for bulk freighters. So that's another difference between the universes of Traveller and the Piperverse.


But okay, Traveller ships are slower. But here's another difference: In Traveller, ships travel in "jumps". Not instantaneous to an outside observer, but-- I'm pretty sure I'm remembering this correctly-- inside the ship, no time passes during a jump. So, Traveller ships need far less in life support, and food and water carried. Only enough to go from planet to the distance necessary to enter hyperspace, and then on the other end of the jump, from the re-entry point to landing on the planet. Plus whatever they think is necessary for emergency supplies.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Clear ether!
David "Lensman" Sooby
1065
David "PiperFan" JohnsonPerson was signed in when posted
07-17-2014
03:06 UT
~
Jonathan Crocker wrote:

> Another big difference would be the scale
> of the ships - players in Traveller can easily
> own merchant ships of 100 or 200
> displacement tons, but they're roughly a
> hundred feet long, a far cry from the 1000
> foot globe of the Stellex that found Freya,
> or the 3000 foot globes of later times.

There's a pretty cool essay--with a wonderful comparative graphic--here:

http://www.enderra.com/2011/10/14/starsship-sizes/

Enjoy,

David
--
"We talk glibly about ten to the hundredth power, but emotionally we still count, 'One, Two, Three, Many.'" - Otto Harkaman (H. Beam Piper), ~Space Viking~
~
1064
Jonathan Crocker
07-17-2014
02:51 UT
Wow, "adventures in amortization" - that's just odd. Why, I can't believe you didn't go back - the second session was probably life insurance policies for the party members - don't forget the 'death by misadventure' rider!!!

I don't think the stories would change much in Piper's universe if the economics were different, he'd have just found different details to use to set up the story he wanted to tell. I thought it was interesting though.

By the time of Space Viking, Piper's ships are actually much faster than anything in Traveller - a ship in hyperspace logged a light-year per hour. All Traveller jump drives take a week for jump so 168 hours +/- 10%, and the jump-1 drive jumps you one parsec [3.26 light years] all the way up to jump-6 taking you 6 parsecs.

Which means a top-flight jump-6 drive gets you 19.56 light years in 168 hours. By that time, the Nemesis has hypered in, sacked your home base, and has gone home for tea before the Traveller ships have completed one leg of the trip.

But the time lag is crucial in both universes, leading to decentralized states.

I had forgotten about some of the one-industry worlds - Yggdrasil and Fenris and the like. I think the two setups are very similar, just the Piper universe doesn't have worlds clustered as thickly.

Another big difference would be the scale of the ships - players in Traveller can easily own merchant ships of 100 or 200 displacement tons, but they're roughly a hundred feet long, a far cry from the 1000 foot globe of the Stellex that found Freya, or the 3000 foot globes of later times.
1063
David "PiperFan" JohnsonPerson was signed in when posted
07-16-2014
15:40 UT
~
Jonathan Crocker wrote:

> In Piper's Federation, a colony world was settled, it
> imported everything, then as it grew its own
> industries [remember Victor Grego's pride at his
> Company Report to the Terran stockholders, listing
> everything the CZC now produced] matured to the
> point that the only things that world needed to
> import were the luxuries that couldn't be had
> locally.

Yes, that was the model on a world like Zarathustra where there was no major natural resource extraction effort. Terrans settled (a planet like) Zarathustra because it had pleasant ecosphere and then exported luxury local items--sunstones, in the case of Zarathustra -until it developed its economy to a point of self-sufficiency. (One suspects this took a very long time when things like financial services are taken into account. Perhaps worlds like Zarathustra--and Poictesme--never escaped the tendrils of the off-world Banking Cartel.)

But on other worlds natural resources extraction was the primary economic activity. Niflheim (or "Nifflheim" in most yarns except ~Uller Uprising~ and "Graveyard of Dreams") is the best example but this was also the case on other inhabitable worlds, particularly those with a native sophont species which was displaced in order to get at local natural resources.

In other words, the economy of the Terran Federation was remarkably diverse. We get few first-hand details of major Federation worlds like Terra but apparently they were rapacious industrialized worlds which required basic natural resources (like uranium) in amounts large enough to support interstellar trade. Luxury goods--like Zarathustran sunstones or Poicstesme liquors--just "came along for the ride."

> This process had dictated the first economic
> slump on Poictesme, for example. Piper's
> interstellar trade cost so much that whenever
> something could be produced locally, it was.

I think this was because the Terran Federation economy was basically a core of industrialized worlds supported by "colonies" from which natural resources were extracted. Everything else we see--Zarathustran sunstones, Poictesme liquors, tallow-wax from Fenris--was "gravy."

One suspects, as well, that there was a political element to this as well. The economic dependence of colonial worlds upon Terra for manufactured goods and advanced services fostered the political control of the Terran Federation.

> Contrast this with the economic setup in
> the Traveller game - the 11 000 worlds of
> the Third Imperium, many of them ruthlessly
> specialized to export goods in a certain
> niche to maximize production and maximize
> trade volume and therefore profits.
>
> Both entirely fictional, both make sense
> within the ground rules established in their
> respective universes.

I think this "Traveller" model is actually more like the "Terran Federation" model than it might seem at first. The main difference is that there were many "industrial hubs" spread throughout those 11,000 worlds of Traveller's Third Imperium. In some sense, the Terran Federation could be seen as a sort of economic microcosm or regional setting of the Third Imperium. (This shouldn't surprise us as Beam's Terro-human Future History was a source of inspiration for the folks who created Traveller.)

Be well,

David
--
"We talk glibly about ten to the hundredth power, but emotionally we still count, 'One, Two, Three, Many.'" - Otto Harkaman (H. Beam Piper), ~Space Viking~
~
1062
David Sooby
07-16-2014
11:46 UT
On 7/15/2014 11:02 PM, QT - Jonathan Crocker wrote:
> --QT-------------------------------------------------------------
> Reply by email or visit
> http://www.quicktopic.com/42/H/tnfVKeAH3s4T/m1061
> ------------------------------------------------------------- ---
>
> Interstellar trade.
>
> <snippage>
>
> Granted, in the Traveller game, the universe was built so that
> players could make their characters earn money.
>
> But given the amount of trade increase from the 40s and 50s when
> Piper wrote, to the late 70s/early 80s when Traveller came out,
>
> http://www.statista.com/statistics/264682/worldwide-export-volum
> e-in-the-trade-since-1950/
>
> is this less of a storytelling device than it is a product of
> the times they were written?


Well, I played Traveller a few times, but thank FooFoo (or, if you prefer, the Flying Spaghetti Monster... bless His noodly appendages!) we never got into the mechanics of financing trade. I did play one session of another spacefaring role-playing game-- was that "Space Quest" or "Star Quest"?-- in which most of the players were teenage rich kids. During our first playing session, they spent literally hours discussing the fine points of how to amortize the group's starship, completely ignoring us two older fans (myself an another friend who was also a long-time role-playing gamer) when we pointedly complained that "Games are supposed to be fun; this isn't fun." Not surprisingly, neither my friend nor I bothered to return to that group.

I guess the relevant question here is: How would the Piperverse be different if interstellar trade was faster and cheaper? I'm not sure it's actually that much cheaper in Traveller-- maybe so, maybe not-- but it certainly is faster, and that alone would increase trade. If nothing else, it would reduce the amount you'd have to pay crews per trip, and it would make returns on investments that much faster... which means more profitable. Well, obviously if it was faster and/or cheaper, there would be a lot more of it. A lot more interstellar passenger travel, too. Therefore a lot more emigration, a lot more of people moving from one world to another to find work. Note how the military situation would be very different if interstellar travel was a lot faster. Much of the plot of /Space Viking/ depends on the slow pace of information traveling from one world to another. Much faster communication would change things a lot, and would change that story a lot.

Faster interstellar communications would make centralized control of a Federation/Empire a lot easier. Perhaps the Federation wouldn't have fallen apart, or at least it would have taken a lot longer to break down after it started to decline. Central control is a lot easier to maintain if you can quickly send large fleets from your navy to put down rebellion. I would argue that the System States war would never have happened; the insurrection would have been put down long before it grew to an interstellar alliance. (But I suppose that scenario could still work, if the rebellion was planned by a small number of leaders and Navy officers, who were able to keep their plans secret for some years.)
Traveller also has an imperial service specifically dedicated to carrying mail, with a standard ship design for starships carrying that mail. Again, interstellar communication in that universe is much faster and generally more reliable. Realistically, it's hard to imagine the Piperverse doesn't have such mail ships. Heck, in our own history, carrying air mail was a very important part of the development of airplanes and companies that made them. In a previous era, mail was carried on regular overseas routes by fast packet ships. That, at the very least, is something we should see in the Federation, even if they don't have a fleet of interstellar ships dedicated to carrying mail.
Note also that Merlin's ability to predict future events was limited by the slow pace of information traveling from distant worlds. With faster interstellar communication, Merlin's predictive ability improves.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Clear ether!
David "Lensman" Sooby
1061
Jonathan Crocker
07-16-2014
05:02 UT
Interstellar trade.

A conversation with a friend got me thinking. In Piper's Federation, a colony world was settled, it imported everything, then as it grew its own industries [remember Victor Grego's pride at his Company Report to the Terran stockholders, listing everything the CZC now produced] matured to the point that the only things that world needed to import were the luxuries that couldn't be had locally. This process had dictated the first economic slump on Poictesme, for example. Piper's interstellar trade cost so much that whenever something could be produced locally, it was.

Contrast this with the economic setup in the Traveller game - the 11 000 worlds of the Third Imperium, many of them ruthlessly specialized to export goods in a certain niche to maximize production and maximize trade volume and therefore profits.

Both entirely fictional, both make sense within the ground rules established in their respective universes.

Granted, in the Traveller game, the universe was built so that players could make their characters earn money.

But given the amount of trade increase from the 40s and 50s when Piper wrote, to the late 70s/early 80s when Traveller came out,

http://www.statista.com/statistics/264682/...e-trade-since-1950/

is this less of a storytelling device than it is a product of the times they were written?
1060
David "PiperFan" JohnsonPerson was signed in when posted
07-07-2014
23:11 UT
~
Tom Rogers wrote:

> > So, I'm guessing, "Khalid ib'n Hussein" was very
> > much an assumed name intended to harken back
> > both to Hussein ib'n Ali and to the early Caliphs
> > of the 7th Century.
>
> Indeed. Today, back on out timeline, Caliph Ibrahim
> announced his true name ... Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi
> al-husseini al-qurashi...

Which, again, simply attests to Beam's craft as a writer: his attention to detail, with even a relatively small idea--in this case, that of the Islamic Caliphate in the run-up to the (first) Terran Federation--being rich in historical insight.

Be well,

David
--
"Oh, my people had many gods. There was Conformity, and Authority, and Expense Account, and Opinion. And there was Status, whose symbols were many, and who rode in the great chariot Cadillac, which was almost a god itself. And there was Atom-bomb, the dread destroyer, who would some day come to end the world. None were very good gods, and I worshiped none of them. - Calvin Morrison (H. Beam Piper), ~Lord Kalvan of Otherwhen~
~
1059
Tom Rogers
07-07-2014
12:09 UT
A nice piece on Harry Turtledove in The Atlantic which cites and quotes Piper's "He Walked Around The Horses."

http://www.theatlantic.com/international/a...picks=true#comments
1058
Tom Rogers
07-07-2014
02:33 UT
~

David Johnson wrote (in response to David Sooby's post):

>Point taken. Let's recall that "Hussein" (ib'n Ali) was the name of the Hashemite monarch who proclaimed what historians call the "Sharifian Caliphate" after the >Ottoman Caliphate was abolished. Thus "ib'n Hussein"--"son of Hussein"--might be a name that was chosen by a successor of the old Caliph Hussein. And Khalid
> ib'n Walid, the "Sword of Allah," was a Companion of the Prophet and commander of the military forces of the early Caliphates which followed the death of >Mohammed. So, I'm guessing, "Khalid ib'n Hussein" was very much an assumed name intended to harken back both to Hussein ib'n Ali and to the early Caliphs of >the 7th Century.

Indeed. Today, back on out timeline, Caliph Ibrahim announced his true name ... Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi al-husseini al-qurashi... and claimed to be a descendant of The Prophet. Your parsing of the name "Khalid ib'n Hussein" would work just as well with our own aspiring caliph. Abu Bakr was the first successor to The Prophet (his father-in-law, first of the "Rightly Guided" caliphs), and represents the claim to legitimacy, especially Sunni legitimacy, as Sunnis regard Abu Bakr as the first legitimate successor while the Shia hold that Ali should have been so nominated. The name al-Baghdadi could refer to the situs of the great Abbasid Caliphate, which ruled from Baghdad and which was, in large part, the last Sunni arab-controlled caliphate (the Fatimids, who followed, were Isma'ili Shia). The al-husseini refers to the claimed descent from The Prophet - Hussein was the third son of Ali and also a successor caliph, and Ali was the cousin and son-in-law of The Prophet and also was the fourth of the Sunni accorded "Rightly Guided" successors to The Prophet. Hussein' death at the Battle of Karbala finalized the Sunni-Shia split. Al-qurashi refers to descent from The Tribe of the Prophet, the Quraysh. In all, it is a total and complete claim by name to the title of, and right to be, Caliph. It also clearly puts him in the Sunni side of the great sectarian rift.
Edited 07-07-2014 02:36
1057
David "PiperFan" JohnsonPerson was signed in when posted
07-03-2014
23:31 UT
~
David Sooby wrote:

> Not necessarily. The person known as "Khalid
> ib'n Hussein" on Chalmers' timeline could have
> been born on a very great number of timelines
> (theoretically including ours), without ever
> rising to the position of leader of a Caliphate
> on most of those timelines. We don't even
> have to stipulate that Kalid ib'n Hussein was
> his birth name. It could have been a name he
> assumed after a life-altering event, such as
> being inspired by a vision.

Point taken. Let's recall that "Hussein" (ib'n Ali) was the name of the Hashemite monarch who proclaimed what historians call the "Sharifian Caliphate" after the Ottoman Caliphate was abolished. Thus "ib'n Hussein"--"son of Hussein"--might be a name that was chosen by a successor of the old Caliph Hussein. And Khalid ib'n Walid, the "Sword of Allah," was a Companion of the Prophet and commander of the military forces of the early Caliphates which followed the death of Mohammed. So, I'm guessing, "Khalid ib'n Hussein" was very much an assumed name intended to harken back both to Hussein ib'n Ali and to the early Caliphs of the 7th Century.

But given that in the "actual world" no leaders in the region were talking about a "Caliphate" when Beam was writing "Edge of the Knife" in 1956-57, it's very likely that the life of whomever created the Islamic Caliphate and had a son old enough to be away at school in Britain when he was assassinated in 1973 was already very different from that of his "actual world" counterpart by the late 1950s.

Another interesting thing about Khalid ib'n Hussein and his Islamic Caliphate is that its capital seemed to be at Basra, in southern Iraq. Basra is in the Shia-dominated south of Iraq and the Shia generally rejected the idea of a Caliphate (which came to be understood to be a Sunni institution). It may be that Khalid put his capital in Basra as a concession to the Iraqi (and other) Shias, of course, but at the end of the day there simply isn't enough information in the yarns for us to know. Whether or not Beam understood this conundrum is uncertain. (He never mentions the Sunni and Shia branches of Islam.)

YMMV,

David
--
"Good things in the long run are often tough while they're happening." - Otto Harkaman (H. Beam Piper), ~Space Viking~
~
1056
David Sooby
07-03-2014
22:24 UT
On 7/2/2014 9:43 PM, QT - David PiperFan Johnson wrote:
> --QT-------------------------------------------------------------
> Reply by email or visit
> http://www.quicktopic.com/42/H/tnfVKeAH3s4T/m1055
> ------------------------------------------------------------- ---
>
> Even for someone like me, who believes that the Terro-human
> Future History and Paratime settings are distinct and separate,
> it's still possible to consider the Terro-human Future History
> setting an "alternate history," especially today, half a century
> after Beam was writing the yarns.
>
> The "actual world" clearly diverged from Beam's understanding of
> the Terro-human Future History but the interesting thing is that
> this happens much earlier than the late 1950s when Beam realized
> this himself. For example, someone like Khalid ibn Hussein must
> have been born _before_ the time when, say, Edward Chalmers was
> running afoul of his university administration--and the Central
> Intelligence Agency--and foreseeing Khalid in his own "future,"
> which means that the actual divergence point must have come no
> later than sometime early in the 20th Century (or First Century,
> Pre-Atomic)--in other words, well before the time in which _any_
> of the earliest Terro-human Future History yarns are set (or
> when Beam was writing them).


Not necessarily. The person known as "Khalid ib'n Hussein" on Chalmers' timeline could have been born on a very great number of timelines (theoretically including ours), without ever rising to the position of leader of a Caliphate on most of those timelines. We don't even have to stipulate that Kalid ib'n Hussein was his birth name. It could have been a name he assumed after a life-altering event, such as being inspired by a vision.

Now, that's not to say that your larger point isn't correct, David. Quite possibly the divergence point was earlier than Piper ever
realized. I just don't agree that the divergence point must have been when any single person was born.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Clear ether!
David "Lensman" Sooby
1055
David "PiperFan" JohnsonPerson was signed in when posted
07-03-2014
03:43 UT
~
David Sooby wrote:

> But just because the current attempt to found a new
> Caliphate doesn't match what Professor Chalmers saw,
> doesn't mean that his vision (perception?) of a future
> isn't occurring on -some- timeline, perhaps onr not
> too terribly distant crosstime from our own.

Even for someone like me, who believes that the Terro-human Future History and Paratime settings are distinct and separate, it's still possible to consider the Terro-human Future History setting an "alternate history," especially today, half a century after Beam was writing the yarns.

The "actual world" clearly diverged from Beam's understanding of the Terro-human Future History but the interesting thing is that this happens much earlier than the late 1950s when Beam realized this himself. For example, someone like Khalid ibn Hussein must have been born _before_ the time when, say, Edward Chalmers was running afoul of his university administration--and the Central Intelligence Agency--and foreseeing Khalid in his own "future," which means that the actual divergence point must have come no later than sometime early in the 20th Century (or First Century, Pre-Atomic)--in other words, well before the time in which _any_ of the earliest Terro-human Future History yarns are set (or when Beam was writing them).

Be well,

David
--
"I remember, when I was just a kid, about a hundred and fifty years ago--a hundred and thirty-nine, to be exact--I picked up a fellow on the Fourth Level, just about where you're operating, and dragged him a couple of hundred parayears. I went back to find him and return him to his own time-line, but before I could locate him, he'd been arrested by the local authorities as a suspicious character, and got himself shot trying to escape. I felt badly about that. . . ." - Tortha Karf, "Police Operation"
~
1054
David "PiperFan" JohnsonPerson was signed in when posted
07-03-2014
03:31 UT

~
Tom Rogers wrote:

> Piper
> clearly understood, from an historical perspective at least, the
> deep-seated attraction and desire of many people in that part of
> the world for such a political arrangement. I just find it
> extremely interesting to see a variant of it actually attempting
> to become reality at this time.

I think this speaks to the depth of Beam's understanding of the history of the region and his grasp of the deep-seated political, economic, and social (including religious) dynamics at play. In this regard, "Edge of the Knife" is a fascinating yarn. There is so much geopolitical stuff going on in this region in that story (like the way that Beam means a portion of Iran when he mentions "an Eastern-inspired uprising in Azerbaijan") in the run up to the Thirty Days' War and the formation of the (first) Terran Federation.

Be well,

David
--
"You either went on to the inevitable catastrophe, or you realized, in time, that nuclear armament and nationalism cannot exist together on the same planet, and it is easier to banish a habit of thought than a piece of knowledge." - H. Beam Piper, ~Uller Uprising~
~
1053
Tom Rogers
07-03-2014
01:24 UT
On 7/2/14 David Sooby wrote:
> Thanks to both of you for a fascinating summary of what is (and isn't!) going on over there!

>But just because the current attempt to found a new Caliphate doesn't match what Professor Chalmers saw, doesn't mean that his vision
>(perception?) of a future isn't occurring on -some- timeline, perhaps onr not too terribly distant crosstime from our own.

Hiya Lensman!

All thanks to David for his usual sterling analysis of the historical underpinnings of Beam's works.

My two shekels are simply the ramblings of one who has a keen interest in the mytho-religious aspects of what often passes for current events/ history. There are so many layers to what appears to be gonig on in the greater Levant right now. I almost feel dirty watching the events unfold given the real level of human misery being doled out.

Tom
1052
David Sooby
07-02-2014
05:59 UT
On 7/1/2014 7:46 PM, QT - Tom Rogers wrote:
> Hey David,
>
> Nice post and summary of Beam's version of the Caliphate. I
> absolutely agree with your assesment of the situation and doubt
> that whatever is taking shape in Iraq/Syria in our timeline [ ;
> ) ] will even remotely resemble Piper's vision.


Thanks to both of you for a fascinating summary of what is (and isn't!) going on over there!


But just because the current attempt to found a new Caliphate doesn't match what Professor Chalmers saw, doesn't mean that his vision
(perception?) of a future isn't occurring on -some- timeline, perhaps onr not too terribly distant crosstime from our own.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Clear ether!
Lensman
(aka David Sooby)
1051
Tom Rogers
07-02-2014
01:46 UT
Hey David,

Nice post and summary of Beam's version of the Caliphate. I absolutely agree with your assesment of the situation and doubt that whatever is taking shape in Iraq/Syria in our timeline [ ; ) ] will even remotely resemble Piper's vision.

Many years ago on the Piper-l list I mentioned that the creation of a caliphate was the goal of the insurgencies (read: al quaeda) then active in the region; I remember you asking me , in response to my assertion, for clarification. I don't remember clarifying anything, but my then-point was that the resurrection of some kind of unified islamic politico-religious state has been a long held dream in many circles and that said dream was very much alive. Recent developments in our timeline indicate that the dream has found a new proponent in the ISIL or DAISH. From a current events standpoint, this is big news. From a humanitarian standpoint, the sectarian strife is horrific and immensely troubling. From a geopolitical and historical standpoint, it is utterly fascinating and disquieting. Piper clearly understood, from an historical perspective at least, the deep-seated attraction and desire of many people in that part of the world for such a political arrangement. I just find it extremely interesting to see a variant of it actually attempting to become reality at this time.

One last thought - it of worth to note that last real caliphate (that of the Ottomans; Faisal's was but a pipe-dream) was abolished by Ataturk in the creation of the modren Turkish state. This has never sat well with the Arab world for at least two reasons: first, true caliphs should come from the family or tribe of The Prophet (which the Ottomans were not), and, secondly, the assumption of the caliphic role by Turks or any non-arabs at any time will never sit well with the faithful of arabic descent. To believers in the caliphic system, for such non-arabs to first "usurp" the caliphic role and then to "abolish" it is a two-fold blasphemy. What I hear coming out of the pronouncements of ISIL very much carries the echoes of these old grievances.

Personally, I'd prefer Piper's version.

Tom
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