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BY H. Beam Piper

Henry Beam Piper (March 23, 1904 c. November 6, 1964) was an American science fiction author. He wrote many short stories and several novels. He is best known for his extensive Terro-Human Future History series of stories and a shorter series of "Paratime" alternate history tales.

Piper did not live to see how influential he was to other science fiction writers.

Michael McCollum's first novel, A Greater Infinity, was inspired by Piper's notion of the Paratime Police (and to a lesser extent by Isaac Asimov's The End of Eternity). The Paradox Patrol, in a series of stories by F. Gwynplaine MacIntyre published in Analog Science Fiction and Fact, are a parody of Piper's Paratime Police, although they also pay homage to Alfred Bester in their enforcement of "Bester's Law".

Robert Adams' Castaways in Time is similar in many ways to Piper's Lord Kalvan of Otherwhen. Adams' book has a group of late-1970s Americans transported to an alternate medieval England where the Roman Catholic Church controls the supply of gunpowder. Jerry Pournelle's Janissaries series is an obvious tribute to Lord Kalvan, with several early scenes being very close echoes of scenes in Piper's work. Charles Stross's Merchant Princes series explicitly acknowledges H. Beam Piper's Paratime as an influence.

Piper's story Omnilingual has been much reprinted and has been referred to in many subsequent stories dealing with the translation of alien languages.

Ursula K. Le Guin's Hugo-winning novella The Word for World is Forest shows similarities to Piper's Little Fuzzy. Elizabeth Bear has stated that her novel Undertow was inspired by Little Fuzzy.

We present Five short stories by classic science fiction writer H. Beam Piper.


Flight From Tomorrow

Police Operation (part 1)

Police Operation (part 2)

Police Operation (part 3)

The Answer

Graveyard of Dreams

Read by Mark Nelson

Approx run time 5 1/4 hours
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