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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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Jon CrockerPerson was signed in when posted
06:04 UT
Here's a question - how long have Verkan and Dalla been together this time?

In 'Last Enemy', after Verkan has the duel with the three Statisticalists, Verkan gets a note from Dalla. He smiles at the postscript, and remembers that it had been "twenty years ago, when he'd been eighty and she'd been seventy." They then rekindle their relationship after the romantic shootout towards the end of the story.

I couldn't find a time reference in 'Time Crime', I may have missed one, but they're still together.

In 'Lord Kalvan of Otherwhen' at the end of chapter 8, when defending his choice of outtime hobby locations, Vall says "I'm only a hundred and thirty" which could mean they were together for a good thirty years.
Jon CrockerPerson was signed in when posted
02:55 UT
I don't want to get into current real-world politics. I will say that no one ten years ago who posited this current US political situation would have been likely to get many people to believe them. It's like that bit in Back to the Future - "Who is the President of the United States in 1985?" So I can sympathize with Piper, attempting to come up with something reasonable for a 'short haul' of 50 years or so.

Some things Piper seemed bang-on about - there was the bit in Lord Kalvan when, not long after his arrival, ex-Officer Morrison realized that he wouldn't need to get a shave and no one would take him for a beatnik or an Amishman. Which seems much like what a police officer might be worried about.
David "PiperFan" JohnsonPerson was signed in when posted
18:49 UT
From the Archives: "Hartley's America"

Below, another message to the old PIPER-L mailing list, from eighteen years ago, way back in October 2001, which examined Beam's depictions of America's "future history":


Subject: Hartley's America
From: Steve Newton
Date: Wed, 31 Oct 2001 00:13:59 -0500

Having returned from what someone called "lurker mode" once. . . .

It seems to me that in looking at Piper's Hartley stories and how they fit
today's situation (at least in tone), there are a couple of points worth

Piper arguably saw the US is a death-struggle with Communism to be played
out through nuclear war or the threat thereof. While he was evoking the
Cold War, there are a lot of similarities to the current mindset vis a vis
the war on terrorism. But what interests me is the underlying assumptions
Piper makes about what will be necessary to win such a war. . . .

First, he assumes a significant militarization of the US under an
increasingly authoritarian government. In Moron we get a vision of nuclear
power plants guarded by US Army troops, anti-rocket defenses, Atomic Power
Police, legions of undercover agents, and everyone in management sworn in
as a pistol-packing Federal deputy marshal. Ground Forces Command sits in
the middle of Manhattan. The Philadelphia Project has involved just about
every scientific resource in the country, and one can only contemplate the
money necessary to build the redundant resupply launch sites for the
moonbase. In "Hunter Patrol" he visualizes a war that goes on for longer
than a decade, in which Americans are routinely rotated in and out of
combat on foreign soil. There is very little room for, or mention of, any
political dissent; in Day of the Moron a strong undercurrent is not just
that there are morons, but that organized labor pursuing its goals in an
essentially wartime situation is both unpatriotic and imbecilic. I wonder
at the state of civil liberties in this particular country.

Moreover, in Piper's future America this concentration on nuclear power and
the Philly Project are not without their consequences. You can write some
of these elements off to Piper's personal failure to discern future trends,
but I think it is instructive to note that, by our standards,

Computers never--even in the Federation period--achieve the development
we've actually accomplished by the end of the 20th Century.

There is no interstate system, and based on several references to travel in
Moron and EotK, the road system is nothing to write home about, most people
in urban areas have to use mass transit, and the upper class professionals
get around it all by flying private aircraft. . . .

Between Piper's Hartley stories and his Federation stories there is a
distict line regarding ethnic mixing. All those mixed-race/mixed-culture
characters that begin showing up in Uller are conspicuously absent in his
American pre-1973. I would suspect that there was never a civil rights
movement, per se, in Hartley's America.

All of which is by no means an attempt to paint Piper as favoring any of
these developments, but instead I suspect he saw them as consequences of
the centralized government power that would have to be marshalled in order
to win the nuclear arms race and WW3. That's also why I see the 30 days
war as ending, in Piper's mind, in a very Toynbeean US-dominated universal
state with all the stagnation and authoritarian power that implied.

In other words, it is interesting to wonder where, absent the cold war,
technological and social developments would have taken us, and it is
important to speculate about the costs of this new war. In neither case am
I arguing that either the Cold War nor the Terror War should not be (or
have been) prosecuted, I'm just pointing out that, as Piper consistently
showed, large historical events have significant (usually unintended and
often undesirable) consequences.



Steve's original message is available here:



"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~
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