H. Beam Piper was one of my earliest discoveries, and he quickly became one of my favorite SF writers. I snapped up every book with his name on it in the mid-70s, all Ace paperback editions with gorgeous Michael Whelan covers.
Piper committed suicide a few months after I was born, in November 1964. But his work has endured, and as recently as 2011 John Scalzi published Fuzzy Nation, a retelling of Piper’s most famous novel Little Fuzzy. Last year editor John F. Carr assembled an anthology of a handful of Piper’s Federation and Paratime Police tales, and invited Wolfgang Diehr, David Johnson, and Jonathan Crocker to contribute fiction set in Piper’s universe. He added a pair of essays by John A. Anderson, The Early History of the Terran Federation and Chartered Companies of the Terran Federation, and his own preface, The Terro-human Future History, and the result was The Rise of the Terran Federation, published in hardcover by Pequod Press. Here’s the description.
The Rise of the Terran Federation is new collection of new and old stories chronicling the rise of H. Beam Piper’s Terran Federation. With story introductions and essays on the establishment of the Federation, this book is the ultimate overview of the beginning of Piper’s crowning creation, the Terro-Human Future History. This collection will include some of Piper’s early Federation stories, like “Edge of the Knife” and Omnilingual.”
This collection also contains new stories about the aftermath of the Third and Fourth World Wars, the Thorans and life on Baldur. The Rise of the Terran Federation is an essential work for fans of Piper’s future history and his unique view of what lies ahead for mankind.
There are precious few SF writers whose work has endured five decades. Piper didn’t live long enough to see it, but his stories have entertained three generations of SF fans, and I expect them to still be in print 50 years from today.
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John F. Carr edited four volumes of Piper’s future history tales for Ace, including three in 1981: the collections Federation, Empire, and Paratime.
There were several other Ace reprints, including the collection The Worlds of H. Beam Piper (edited by Carr in 1983), and the novels Four-Day Planet and Lone Star Planet, collected in an omnibus paperback edition in 1979. See complete details of Carr’s Piper anthologies at Zarthani.net, a site dedicated to the works of H. Beam Piper.
Ace was also responsible for the Fuzzy reprints, starting with Little Fuzzy in 1976.
The Rise of the Terran Federation is a love letter to Piper and his literary accomplishment. It includes the Paratime story “Genesis” and the long Federation novella “The Edge of the Knife,” among others. Here’s the complete Table of Contents.
Terro-Human Future History Chronology, by John F. Carr
Preface: The Terro-human Future History, by John F. Carr
“Genesis,” by H. Beam Piper (Future, September 1951)
“Second Genesis,” by Wolfgang Diehr
The Early History of the Terran Federation, by John A. Anderson
“The Condottieri,” by H. Beam Piper and David Johnson
“The Edge of the Knife,” by H. Beam Piper (Amazing Stories, May 1957)
“The Spine of the Knife,” by David Johnson
“Omnilingual,” by H. Beam Piper (Astounding Science Fiction, February 1957)
“The Satchel,” by David Johnson
“Grandfather Encounter,” by David Johnson
Chartered Companies of the Terran Federation, by John A. Anderson
“The Sample,” by Jonathan Crocker
Much of Piper’s work remains in print from Ace, including all three Fuzzy novels and his Paratime stories. They’re available in handsome omnibus editions that have both been in print for over a decade.
Our previous coverage of H. Beam Piper includes:
John F. Carr and Pequod have published several additional books that build on Piper’s work, including the Space Viking novels The Last Space Viking (2011) and Space Viking’s Throne (2012), and The Merlin Gambit (2014), a sequel to Piper’s The Cosmic Computer. See more details here.
The Rise of the Terran Federation was published by Pequod Press on May 4, 2017. It is 414 pages, priced at $36 in hardcover and $7.99 for the digital edition. The cover is by Alan Gutierrez.
See all of our recent New Treasures here.