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". . . I put through a call to Allan Hartley, President Hartley's son.  He owes us a break, after the work we did in Puerto Rico."
— Duncan MacLeod (H. Beam Piper), "The Mercenaries"


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Canon: The Hartley Yarns

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Piper's yarn "Time and Time Again" introduces Allan Hartley and his father, Blake Hartley, in 1945, planning to take advantage of Allan's knowledge of the future to avert the Third World War by getting the elder Hartley elected President in 1960.

The Hartley's appear in two other Piper yarns. In "The Mercenaries," set in 1965, Blake Hartley is President and his son Allan Hartley is a patron of the MacLeod Research Team, which is working on the Western Union's Philadephia Project aimed at sending a spaceship to the Moon and building a lunar military base.

In "Day of the Moron," set in 1968, a Hartley, presumably Blake still, is President when the Melroy Engineering Corporation, which had previously worked on the Philadelpia Project, becomes embroiled in a labor-management dispute at the Long Island Nuclear Reaction Plant.

Hartley Yarns and Piper's Terro-human Future History

Some Piper fans believe that the Hartley yarns are part of Piper's Terro-human Future History (TFH) despite the fact that Piper himself does not mention any of the Hartley yarns in his delination of the TFH yarns in his interview "The Future History."  The principal reason one might be inclined to include Piper's Hartley yarns in his TFH is the mention of an "Islamic Caliphate" in the TFH story "The Edge of the Knife" and the mention of an "Islamic Kaliphate" (sic) in "The Mercenaries."  But the Islamic Caliphate of "Edge of the Knife" is friendly to the United States and eventually joins the U.S.-led Terran Federation while the Islamic Kaliphate of "The Mercenaries" is an adversary of the U.S.-led Western Union.  (These two different U.S.-led blocs, Terran Federation and Western Union, suggest distinct settings too.)

Another possible commonality between the Hartley Yarns and the TFH is the Third World War, which according to "Time and Time Again" occurs in Allan Hartley's "original timeline" in 1975.  A Third World War is also mentioned in several TFH yarns and "Edge of the Knife" dates this war circa 1975.  But the Third World War of "Edge of the Knife," known as the "Thirty Days' War," is a brief conflict consisting primarily of strategic missle exchanges between the United States and its foes.  On the other hand, the Third World War in "Time and Time Again" is a much more protracted conflict which includes a "transpolar air invasion" of Canada, the subsequent fall of Ottawa, Ontario, to enemy forces, and an eventual siege of Buffalo, New York (where Hartley originally meets his demise).  These are two very different Third World Wars which can only occur in separate settings.

A final potential connection is the centrality of the Philadelphia Project, intended to launch a spaceship to the Moon and build a lunar missile base.  In "Edge of the Knife" the Philadelphia Project was the effort by the United States to build a strategic missile base on the Moon. Ultimately this effort enables the U.S. to prevail in the Third World War.  Likewise, both "The Mercenaries" and "Day of the Moron" mention the Philadelphia Project which is described in "The Mercenaries" as a U.S.-led effort to launch a spaceship to the Moon and to build a lunar military base.  But there is an important difference between these two Philadelphia Projects.  While several competing Moon efforts by U.S. adversaries are mentioned in "The Mercenaries" (even the Islamic Kaliphate has one) there is no mention of any competing efforts in "Edge of the Knife."  Indeed, one of the provocations that lead to the Third World War in "Edge of the Knife" are protests on the part of U.S. adversaries about its efforts to build a military facility on the Moon.  One would hardly expect such protests if those adversaries, as is the case in "The Mercenaries," were themselves involved in their own lunar undertakings.

Other than the Philadelphia Project, nowhere in any of the TFH yarns Piper delineates in "The Future History" do we see references to any of the characters or events portrayed in the Hartley Yarns.  No mention of Allan Hartley or his father Blake.  No mention of the MacLeod Research Team or of the "Free Scientists" more generally.  No mention of the Melroy Engineering Company or of the disaster at the Long Island Nuclear Reaction Plant appears in any TFH yarn.  And the Islamic Kaliphate — or Caliphate  — notwithstanding, there is no mention in any TFH story of the Western Union, the Fourth Komintern, the Ibero-American Confederation or any other in-setting political entity which appears in a Hartley yarn.  Likewise, there is no mention in any Hartley yarn of the Terran Federation, the Thirty Days' War, Operation Triple Cross or the lunar spaceship Kilroy from  "The Edge of the Knife."  The absence of such linkages, which are so very characteristic of Piper's TFH yarns, confirms what Piper himself implies in "The Future History": the Hartley yarns are not part of his Terro-human Future History.



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