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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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CalidorePerson was signed in when posted
03:32 UT
David “Piperfan” Johnson wrote,

>Then I read for the first time, King Solomon’s Mines and it was obvious that
>Von Schlichten was modeled on Haggard’s Captain John Good, not just in
>how he looks, but his personality as well. It’s uncanny actually.

When I first read King Solomon’s Mines back around 2007, I made much the same connection. Not necessarily in personality; Captain Good is the least of Haggard’s three main characters, and seems to provide a greater share of the comic relief, unlike the more serious and lordly Sir Henry Curtis, or the worldly and practical Quatermain. In addition, John in unlucky in love in KSM and its sequel Allan Quatermain, while Carlos is successful with Paula Quinton. And finally, Good has two sets of false teeth (KSM, p. 6), while I’m pretty sure Carlos has all his natural dental equipment! (In this, Captain Good parallels Beam Piper rather than von Schlichten.)

But in outward appearance and profession, you’re right. Unlike the bearded Quatermain and Curtis, Captain Good is a clean-shaven military man, like General von Schlichten, and his immovable monocle definitely stands out. It stays put through all their journeys in southern Africa; across deserts, over mountains, through battles, and even during falls into rivers and down slopes. After the climactic battle in Kukuanaland between the forces of the usurper King Twala and the rightful King Ignosi, Quatermain and Curtis look for and find their friend. “Good did not move, and we concluded that our poor comrade was done for. Sadly we came towards him, and were indeed astonished to find him pale and faint indeed, but with a serene smile upon his face, and his eyeglass still fixed in his eye.” Later, the three escape from King Solomon‘s mines, “And yet it is a solemn fact that Good‘s eyeglass was still fixed in Good‘s eye. I doubt whether he had ever taken it out at all. Neither the darkness, nor the plunge in the subterranean river, nor the roll down the slope, had been able to separate Good and his eyeglass.” (ibid., pp. 157, 205)

Similarly, General von Schlichten’s monocle stays put through many events in Uller Uprising. Particularly several battles, which include Carlos engaging in hand-to-hand fighting against a mob of Ullerans in Konkrook and then King Firkked in Skilk. Even when King Yoorkerk turns Rakkeed the false prophet over to the Terrans, it doesn’t surprise von Schlichten enough for it to fall out. This causes one of his officers to lose a bet. “Pay me, Them; he didn’t drop it.” (UU, pp. 18-20, 128-129, 143)

Of course, we all know that von Schlichten finally loses his monocle at the end of the story. “I never expected to see it, but at that it took three A-bombs to blow you loose from your monocle.” But von Schlichten denies the eyepiece was forced out. “I didn’t lose it…I just jettisoned it. Don’t you know, lieutenant, that no gentleman ever wears a monocle while he’s kissing a lady?” (ibid., p. 185)

But that Carlos loses his monocle is perfectly appropriate, because Good finally loses his. Near the end of the sequel Allan Quatermain (spoiler alert), the three men are involved in another war, this time in central Africa. And Quatermain receives a wound that proves mortal. As his death draws near, Good weeps, and his monocle falls out. Allan tries to smile. “At last…I have seen Good without his eye-glass.” (AQ, p. 273)

So it’s an emotional outburst (great sadness) which forces Good’s monocle out, paralleled by the emotional outburst (great passion) which led Carlos to lose his monocle.

While Piper gives his main character a happier ending than Haggard, there is nonetheless another parallel. Because Captain Good is a lesser character; more of a parallel with the junior Terran officers than with General von Schlichten. And in AQ, the more lordly Sir Henry falls in love with Queen Nyleptha of the Zu-Vendi, and becomes King-Consort of the land after leading her forces to victory in a civil war. This is paralleled by Carlos von Schlichten, who falls in love with Paula Quinton, becomes King of Skilk through conquest, and leads his forces to victory over the Uprising. Paula says that “one of my great-grandmothers was a Freyan” (UU, p. 55), quite possibly making her a descendant of nobility, if not royalty. And once she marries Carlos, Paula will effectively become Queen of Skilk, paralleling Nyleptha.

Furthermore, Carlos’ title as Governor-General of Uller is confirmed after defeating the Uprising, essentially making him ‘king’ of the whole planet. In that sense, the Uprising can be considered a civil war, since some of the native rulers (such as King Kankad and King Jonkvank) fight alongside the Terrans against their fellow Ullerans. This parallels the Zu-Vendi, some of whom fight for Queen Nyleptha while others support her sister, Queen Sorais.

So Beam seems to have combined elements of Captain Good (military man, monocle) and Sir Henry Curtis (a great warrior who wins the heart of a queen and becomes a king) in the character of Carlos von Schlichten. He may have also included the worldliness and practicality of the iconic Quatermain, who sees things as they are and has no illusions about his fellow men, white or black. Because Carlos seems to be very much that sort of leader, whether it involves Terrans or Ullerans. Thus, although Piper used the Sepoy Mutiny as his historical model, I certainly agree that he included a Haggard element in Uller Uprising.

And after reading the first two books, I also agree that Haggard is well worth reading on his own account, not just in relation to Piper!

Gregg LevinePerson was signed in when posted
05:55 UT
Well stated and quoted Jon.

I've got a batch of books to read as it happens, I'm going to add the three Fuzzy books, in hardcopy to that. It happens I'm reading the Del Rey book "Nerves". He mentions in the book, (which first came out in 1942) an incident at a plant (Nuclear) in Croton. I've been wondering how the heck he figured we'd have a facility near there...... And look what happened in one of Piper's short stories on Nuclear power.

As for what you said after that DJ, I know you weren't. You were simply noting the confirmation of a factoid.

We know where the books are. Some of us own them in paperback, and some of us own the original hard copies. I wonder where the original manuscripts are stored.
Jon CrockerPerson was signed in when posted
01:18 UT
For the "Colonel Klink" image, I guess I was going more off of the comment Sid Harrington made towards the end of chapter two - "Why don't you invite her (Paula Quinton) to make the trip with you? You can be quite attractive to young ladies, when you try." But, I guess Mrs. Klink thought the Colonel handsome enough.
David "PiperFan" JohnsonPerson was signed in when posted
01:07 UT
Gregg Levine wrote:

> So I am allowed to error in caution, here. However the
> circumstances were correct.

My apologies, Gregg. It was not my intention to criticize you.

That tidbit may very well also appear in one of Wolf's books. I pointed to the original, Piper source because, as I said, it's always struck me as being at odds with much of the rest of Beam's work.


"I saw a man shot once on Mimir, for calling another man a son of a Khooghra. The man who shot him had been on Yggdrasil and knew what he was being called." - Jack Holloway (H. Beam Piper), ~Little Fuzzy~
Gregg LevinePerson was signed in when posted
15:25 UT
Remember DJ, when I wrote that I was working from memory. I normally remember the things I've read. But with these Piper books, which I have, I have not read then in a longish while.

So I am allowed to error in caution, here. However the circumstances were correct.
David "PiperFan" JohnsonPerson was signed in when posted
14:31 UT
Gregg Levine wrote:

> Somewhere in one of Wolf's Fuzzy books, it is mentioned
> that Von finds himself becoming the Governor General of
> Uller, because of the company via its offices back here. I
> won't cite the obvious, but we know that the AE date is
> 526 for Uller, that means that the events there, take
> place well before t the events of the Fuzzy books.

"The Chartered Uller Company was taken over by the Government after the Uprising, in 526; the Government simply confirmed General von Schlichten as governor-general and payed off the stockholders at face value."

- Leslie Coombes (H. Beam Piper ), ~Fuzzies and Other People~, p. 28.

I have wondered though whether that bit, and the bit that follows about Fenris, wasn't perhaps added to the posthumously-discovered text by an (Ace?) editor. These sorts of fully-detailed tags to other Terro-human Future History works don't really seem like Beam's style.

Then again, Beam was likely not in a good place by the time he was writing this one, so who knows how that might have affected his writing?


"The Federation Government owns a bigger interest in the Company than the public realizes, too. . . ." - Carlos von Schlichten (H. Beam Piper), ~Uller Uprising~.
Gregg LevinePerson was signed in when posted
02:47 UT
For all of my efforts in understanding Uller Uprising, as published by those clods at Ace, and also now available from Gutenberg, I'd always thought he would look rather like a younger version of the actor behind Klink. And yes because of his monocle. Having not read Rider Haggard's best known work, I would have to agree with you based on your statement. Somewhere in one of Wolf's Fuzzy books, it is mentioned that Von finds himself becoming the Governor General of Uller, because of the company via its offices back here. I won't cite the obvious, but we know that the AE date is 526 for Uller, that means that the events there, take place well before the events of the Fuzzy books.
Edited 08-16-2019 04:41
David "PiperFan" JohnsonPerson was signed in when posted
02:46 UT
Tim Tow wrote:

> One thing I just noticed from the cover illustrations
> posted is that the cover illustration for Uller Uprising,
> showing the robot heads with women inside them, was
> from the Space Science Fiction magazine cover and
> probably is for another story. Right?

Yep. That's an unrelated cover illustration by Alex Ebel from the issue in which the original serialization of "Ullr Uprising" appeared:


> That Uller Uprising illustration is it actually the cover of
> a book as it is also shown as the cover image for the
> Uller Uprising hardback on sale on Amazon?

Yeah, AEgypan goofed there, using the unrelated ~Space Science Fiction~ illustration--and mis-crediting it to Paul Orban, who did the original "Uprising" interior illustrations--for their print-on-demand reprint of ~Uprising~:


Still, AEgypan--and Wildside--were the first publishers to re-issue Beam's work when it went into the public domain--often publishing a given work within months of each other--and we can thank them for much of Beam's public domain work that's now in (POD) print.


"I believe the first one, also a General von Schlichten, was what was then known as a war-criminal." - Carlos von Schlichten (H. Beam Piper), ~Uller Uprising~
David "PiperFan" JohnsonPerson was signed in when posted
02:20 UT
A while back, Jon Crocker wrote (about the Paul Orban illustration for "Ullr Uprising" on the lower portion of the page here

http://www.zarthani.net/future_history_gallery.htm ):

> I have to say that the artist who did the two panel
> picture of Uller Uprising from Project Gutenburg had
> a very different take on General Von Schlicten. For
> some reason the General I pictured looked something
> more like Sean Connery, that one looks like he was
> Himmler's stunt double.

For a long time, after I'd first read ~Uprising~, I'd always assumed Von Schlichten looked something like Col. Klink from ~Hogan's Heroes~, mostly because of Klink's monocle.

Then I read, for the first time, ~King Solomon's Mines~ and it was obvious that Von Schlichten was modelled on Haggard's Captain John Good, not just in how he looks, but his personality as well. It's uncanny actually.

~Mines~ is a good read too!

Znidd Suddabit!

"I was going to write like James Branch Cabell, which would have taken a lot of doing. Before that, I was going to write like Rafael Sabatini, and like Talbot Mundy, and like Rider Haggard, and even, God help us all, like Edgar Rice Burroughs. . . . Eventually I decided to write like H. Beam Piper, only a little better. I am still trying." - H. Beam Piper, "Double: Bill Symposium" interview
Tim TowPerson was signed in when posted
13:05 UT

Interesting find on absolute primogeniture in the Sword-Worlds. Piper merits so much close reading.

One thing I just noticed from the cover illustrations posted is that the cover illustration for Uller Uprising, showing the robot heads with women inside them, was from the Space Science Fiction magazine cover and probably is for another story. Right? Unless my memory is failing me as it did with Cosmic Computer, that scene wasn't in the book.

But then again I don't remember robot dogs in Space Viking either. :)

That Uller Uprising illustration, is it actually the cover of the Amazon hardback on sale on Amazon?
Edited 08-14-2019 13:22
David "PiperFan" JohnsonPerson was signed in when posted
04:17 UT
Absolute Primogeniture in the Sword-Worlds

Though we never see a Sword-World or Space Viking ruler who is female it seems the Sword-Worlders did indeed practice absolute primogeniture, where the succession of a noble position goes to the eldest child, regardless of gender.

It is Andray Dunnan who tells us this, in laying an informal, unrecognized claim to the ducal throne of Wardshaven. Dunnan's mother is the younger sister of Duke Angus--as far as most people are concerned--but Dunnan "claims that his mother was born a year and a half before Duke Angus and the true date of her birth falsified to give Angus the succession."

If the Sword-Worlds practiced "ordinary" or "traditional" primogeniture, where the succession went to the eldest male child, Dunnan's claim about his mother's earlier birth would not matter. The succession would have gone to Angus as the eldest male child. Dunnan's mother--Angus's sister--only enters into the line of succession if it's absolute primogeniture which determines the right of succession.


"You are my chieftain. That's another mark of the barbarian." - Otto Harkaman (H. Beam Piper), ~Space Viking~
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