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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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David Sooby
20:32 UT
"Did Piper's Foxx Travis inspire Norton's Travis Fox?"

Coincidences do happen. I think that unless Andre Norton and Piper were fairly close friends, then the chances that Norton would have read Piper's story before publication is extremely unlikely. Just because they were both SF writers of the era doesn't mean they directly communicated.

Occam's Razor says that we should assume this is a coincidence, unless there is some evidence to the contrary.

* * *

"Mr Bond, they have a saying in Chicago: 'Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. The third time it's enemy action'." -- Auric Goldfinger, GOLDFINGER by Ian Fleming

David Sooby
aka Lensman
David "PiperFan" JohnsonPerson was signed in when posted
20:04 UT
Did Piper's Foxx Travis inspire Norton's Travis Fox?

Foxx Travis, the Terran Federation military commander during the System States War, first appears in Piper's "Graveyard of Dreams," the short story which was subsequently expanded into the novel ~Junkyard Planet~. "Graveyard" was first published in ~Galaxy~ in early 1958 (Piper made the sale in 1957).

Piper's ~Lone Star Planet~, co-authored with McGuire, first appeared in ~Fantastic Universe~ in early 1957 (Piper and McGuire made the sale at the end of 1956). ~Lone Star Planet~ was subsequently reissued in 1958 (as ~A Planet for Texans~) as half of an "Ace double" with Andre Norton's ~Star Born~.

In 1958 Norton also published the second novel in her "Time Traders" series, ~Galactic Derelict~. The protagonist of this novel is named Travis Fox. Fox subsequently appears in the third "Time Traders" novel, ~The Defiant Agents~.

Is it possible that Norton's character, Travis Fox, was inspired by Beam's Foxx Travis? The timing seems almost too close. Norton must have been writing ~Derelict~ before ~Star Born~ was joined with ~A Planet for Texans~ so she likely would have had to have read "Graveyard" sometime before the "Ace double" appeared.

Perhaps the two names are simply a coincidence. Or perhaps both were inspired by some other source (fictional or non-fictional). Perhaps either Piper or Norton had seen an early draft of the other's yarn before either were published. I have no idea but it's difficult to take the "coincidence" explanation too seriously.

What do you think?

"Ideas for science fiction stories like ideas for anything else, are where you find them, usually in the most unlikely places. The only reliable source is a mind which asks itself a question like, 'What would happen if--?' or, 'Now what would this develop into, in a few centuries?' Or, 'How would so-and-so happen?' Anything at all, can trigger such a question, in your field if not in mine." - H. Beam Piper, "Double: Bill Symposium" interview
Jack Russell
15:30 UT


David "PiperFan" JohnsonPerson was signed in when posted
14:51 UT
Re: /m1309

Thanks, John.

I agree that "belt-group" is clunky. I was trying to follow the "basic sector-group" language that Beam uses a couple of times (in "Temple Trouble" and in "Time Crime") but any of your suggestions work for me.

It might even be that more than one "extra category" is needed: there's a lot of history to "diverge" from between the time when Columbus led a Spanish expedition to the Americas and when Pennsylvania trooper Calvin Morrison gets shanghaied by a paratemporal conveyor! Does it really make sense for a timeline where the War of the Spanish Succession didn't occur and another where the Confederacy didn't lose the American Civil War to simply be lumped together as parts of the Hispano-Columbian Subsector?

Down Styphon!

"As to Heisenberg compensators . . . I'd rather rely on reversing the polarity of the neutron flow." - Tom Rogers, H. Beam Piper Mailing List and Discussion Forum, July 15, 2015
19:58 UT
Hi David,
Interesting post....
In my writing about Paratime, I've resorted to using belt a lot, since there is no Piper structural division between subsector and belt....
And you're right: there should be.The best ones I could come up with are zone, region, area and section. Right now I'm leaning toward zone.
Belt-group is a little to clunky, to me.
Anyone else?
John Carr
David "PiperFan" JohnsonPerson was signed in when posted
03:39 UT
The Concept of a Paratime Belt-Group?

There seems to be a discrepancy in the chronography of Paratime. A Paratime sub-sector, like the Hispano-Columbian Subsector of the Fourth Level Europo-American Sector, has a divarication point that can be several centuries in the past, as was the discovery of the Minor Land Mass (America) by Christopher Columbus, a Fourth Level nautical explorer-conqueror commissioned by Spain, a nation on the North-West Continent (Europe) of the Major Land Mass (Afro-Eurasia). On the other hand, a Paratime belt typically has a divarication point in the recent past, usually measured in years rather than in centuries.

What's missing is some level of structural identification somewhere in between.

Perhaps the "belt-group." Not a Paratime belt of recent divarication, but a collection of earlier divarications--belts perhaps originally, but ones closely-enough related to be considered a cohesive group--that nevertheless don't rise to a sufficient degree of divarication to constitute a new sub-sector.

Down Styphon!

"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 (H. Beam Piper), "Police Operation"
David "PiperFan" JohnsonPerson was signed in when posted
02:56 UT
Tim T wrote:

> I thought I had missed a Piper book!

I noticed that too. Probably just a simply goof. At least he knew which Future History work was the first one--and that ~Uprising~ was first published in Pratt's ~The Petrified Planet~.

Znidd Suddabit!

"Do you know which books to study, and which ones not to bother with? Or which ones to read first, so that what you read in the others will be comprehensible to you? That's what they'll give you [at university]. The tools, which you don't have now, for educating yourself." - Bish Ware (H. Beam Piper), ~Four-Day Planet~
David "PiperFan" JohnsonPerson was signed in when posted
02:51 UT
Jonathan Crocker wrote:

> I don't know what the reviewer meant about it being hard to keep track of the
> supporting characters in Cosmic Computer, though. It's not like it was a cast
> of thousands!

Not thousands but there were plenty. All the townies that Conn went to Litchfield Academy with. All the townsmen in Fawn's gang. The business people in Storisende. Conn's fellow hypership-hunters of Koschei.

> I still remember the first time I opened the box for MegaTraveller, and I opened
> up the map, and heeyyyyy, that's the Sword Worlds down there!


For me it was the original ~Supplement 3: The Spinward Marches~. And then of course there were those ~Broadsword~ class mercenary cruisers--smaller versions of ~Nemesis~ and ~Corisande II~--in ~Journal of the Travellers' Aid Society~ No. 8.

Great stuff!

"Good things in the long run are often tough while they're happening." - Otto Harkaman (H. Beam Piper), ~Space Viking~
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