Posts Tagged ‘H Beam Piper’

Crossed another milestone in the year end milestones. The 4000 pages record has now been bumped out to over 4200 pages. With probably another 5 pages to go today finished up 1,260,809 words. What will be the next milestone before the end of the year?

As I achieved this victory, I was looking at Apple’s iBookstore and found a wealth of books that Project Gutenberg ProjectGutenberg-freeebooksonlinedownloadforiPad%2CKindle%2CNook%2CAndroid%2CiPhone%2CiPodTouch%2CSonyReader.agh4YJXRHTgx.jpg had transcribed. Little did I think I would find one of my favorites there, and one that I had been thinking of rereading. Little Fuzzy by H. Beam Piper which should still be under copyright. It is not 75 years since publication, though Piper did kill himself in the sixties.

I wrote a review for it at LibraryThing in my copy of the Fuzzy Papers


This is a dual book combining Little Fuzzy and Fuzzy Sapiens, and though I have read it several times, my memory, specifically is a little fuzzy. Charming, heart-warming are keywords that I can attribute to these tales. It deals with our human expansion to the stars and our encountering those little green martians we have always expected. Accept they are not what we have thought.

That have not always been there in their UFO’s spying on us, or are part of a xenocidal race that wants our extinction. If anything man wants to see the end of the alien. Perhaps bleeding heart liberals would be the thought of the defender of the Fuzzy, but Piper writes of Fuzzy in such a way as to make then an endearing race. Part little child, part puppy dog, if my memory is correct.

The conflict is that if there are alien intelligences out there, who owns that world. We have seen Cherryh look at this from a distance in Downbelow Station, and the same with Weber in On Basilisk Station, but those books were not focused on the thought of someone speaking up for that Alien’s rights and ensuring that they are protected. That is the plot line here. We have a company world that wants to exploit the world, we have a native intelligence that needs to be defended working within the system, but unable to articulate for themselves their defense. Hence a really great set of books that led to two additional authors writing books about them, and then years after Piper’s death, a third tome being unearthed and published.

Here are 4 pictures of this work from the Internet
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Downloading the manuscript onto my iPhone, I was thus able reread this work that has stuck with me for more than 30 years once more, my copies of the books in the series are in storage. It took an hour here, and another there and went pretty quickly. The screen size of the iPhone only allowing 3 or 4 sentences per page.

In comparing my review to the reread the book is dated and the editing, while the subject matter does reflect science fiction of he sixties, a great deal of time is spent on the subject of sapience in the creatures, who are more cat like then puppy-dog like. Perhaps Piper had a kitten at the time he wrote the book. The conflict is there, and there are heartwarming scenes. Point of view changes too drastically sometimes. And some character could be better fleshed out. Once the action shifts to the courtroom and the scientists, we become victims of the sixties and their exploration of things that had not been worked on before.

A great deal of the court room drama is over the scientists definition of sapience, which had been discussed when our lovable aliens had first been met. Now as a forty year old instead of in my teens so much closer to when the book was first written, I see the technical mistakes as well as see that the scenes could have been better worked on. To heighten the drama there are red herrings and these probably need some more interaction, or build up so that the areas that are thick with science can be reduced.

We love these Fuzzies and though I know having read this many times that the Fuzzies have to be regarded as sentient, there should be more drama showing that it is not going to be a homerun. More doubt, less assurance. That would sharpen it.

Yet still a great way to spend a few hours with a book nearly fifty years old and a story though dated, still brings tears to my eyes and a giant smile at all the right times.

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It seems like just a few days ago that I gave a long over due update of my successes of the last few months, so what am I doing writing again so soon? Well on last sunday, about 1, I finished the 2010 NaNoWriMo book. Not the 50,000 words, I went past that on Monday the 8th. No, by the 14th I finished which was seven or eight days better than 2009. 93,720 words for You Ought to Trust Your Mother.


Having finished this story so quickly and now at over 1.1M words for the year, 3600+ pages, I have returned to the Conquest story, which is over 57,000 words and nearly half way. A second climatic battle scene is in the offing and at chapter 9. The story is one of intrigue, politics, the success of the man of the hero and how one man can change things. I remember Robert Adams taking using some of the themes of H Beam Piper’s Kalvan of Otherwhen PastedGraphic1.YGKDvQk8PnR9.jpg series in his Horseclans seriesPastedGraphic2.tTxbX2etgehM.jpg. The concept of the middle kingdoms he added as an area that had many petty kingdoms. Albert Nofi put out a game that also had many medieval kingdoms fighting for each other. This concept led to my idea that the shattered remnants of the empire, having not been united for three hundred years, has two cores of power. One in the north and one in the south, with several realms in between. The powers are content to let the small countries grow and shrink as long as they do not get too big. Then they step in with a variety of ways to keep them small. Asimov though showed us in the Foundation series PastedGraphic3.YKUKOMmNg7zH.jpg the one man can make a difference as we have seen in history with The Mule. Thus comes into play our hero.

I had to deconstruct where ideas came from for my last writers discussion and this might be a good exercise for the next writing group. The Brea Borders Writers Group is now a shlep for me as we are in Riverside on our way to Hemet. Probably moved in by the end of January. How does one have an idea and then develop it? Perhaps spending some time with this is important in the journey to a novel because there are writers who just start typing on the blank page. I do that but I have the chapter synopsis written, though it might be one or two sentences. It might develop further by the books later chapters into a bulleted list of the scenes in the chapter with the points I want to remember to get across.

Twenty years ago, I might have started with the first part of the idea. In the case of Conquest it would have been Hero becomes King. Well, now I have a more in depth structure to that, and a road that will take me there. I know several of the steps along the way and the world had been fleshing out for the last five years with the elements I cited above.

A sample of the world map I am using, partially filled in:


Again the opening of a story:

Cold of the Night

Franklin, though all called him Frank, quickly stamped his feet for they were cold. Very cold and he realized he had been standing still so long that the blood had slowed throughout his body. He needed to get the circulation going or he would be no good for anything.

He didn’t mind the cold, well he didn’t mind being in the cold for this mission. He would have preferred that his feet were warm, but someone had to stand out in the cold and wait for the men of Duke Lawrence to attack. Not that it was a sure thing that they would attack this night. Nor the next. What was assured was that they would attack. Lawrence wanted to be a Prince as sure as Count Michael was content about being a count forever. That was what Sir Henry said and he had met the Count many times. The village of Northford was part of Sir Henry’s demesne. It was also one of the closer villages to Duke Lawrence’s land.

The old Duke had died some months before and his nephew had succeeded him. Sir Henry said the old Duke was a kind old soul and could be counted to keep the peace in the inner realms. Peace was what all wanted except the lords. They wanted to fight and they wanted men to fight for them so they could get more land without actually fighting themselves. It had been a lot of years since Count Michael had feared for anything greater than a border skirmish.

Frank rubbed one foot atop the other and then switched the right for left. He couldn’t stamp as loud as he wished for that might make too much noise. The forests here was not filled with a great dense growth, but they were high up the Forbright River’s source. There were tall established trees and new off shoots, ferns at the bases of the biggest, and rock outcroppings everywhere on the hill. The river fully formed some five hundred paces below but here above an old logging camp, were paths that led over the mountain into Duke Lawrence’s domain.

He had been in service just since Duke Lawrence had taken over the Duchy of Lasmark. Count Michael had asked that each of his barons supply five hundred more men and each baron had gone to his knights for the additional men. Sir Henry had come to his father at the glassworks and had gone to others as well.

To his father, Sir Henry had said, “You have four sons, is that not so?”

“Yes, it is true. All good boys. They have never been a problem for me or your worship.”

“True, very true. Why during harvest, your son Frank has earned extra coin helping the farmers near by has he not?”

“Yes sir, he helps them with the figures for your bailiff and as well as carting the heavy bales to the counting stone.” There the farmers goods were parceled out as well as the lords. Sir Henry was entitled to three parts in twenty, and he had to give 1 part in ten to Baron Jason who held the lands from Count Michael. The Count getting a part of all that was grown on all the lands.

“Strong then, and a good head. I here he also holds onto the shield during the war training each year.” During summer from the time a boy was ten till he was too old to stand straight, one night each week the men-at-arms of Sir Henry would try and teach all the men of the Northford to hold a shield and use a spear. Shoot an arrow if they had any skill or their labors followed that path. Those with quick wrists were even shown the sword.

“Aye, he is a good hand there as well. You be needing men for the levy for how long?” Frank’s father was the only glazier in the village and served all of Sir Henry’s lands which had four other small villages as well. He was no fool either, though Frank was not so sure about his brothers. Only two could become glazers for master and journeyman, that was all that wages and coin would support. Frank did not want to spend his life in the workshop making glass till he was an old grandser.

The Gratitude Log

  1. Parents–P1000826.I2lYDUi8FlAy.jpgWithout their help, it would be tough to get by. Having declared bankruptcy we can’t buy a house to live in and of course we have been foreclosed and kicked out of our house. All that equity was just rent that we paid all these years. It is not a savings account as the great american myth has made it out to be. Obama has not helped the common american, that is a myth. He has helped the banks and his interests. There is no difference between democrats and republicans in office except that the democrats shout louder that they are for the people when they allow the interests that pay into their election funds to get as much as the republicans. The biggest contributors to the democrats in 2008 and Obama, was wall street. Who do you think gets payback then? So we little guy homeowners who watched it all bleed away because the money people raped us by making low interest and no interest homes available so that later a big faction could default and take down those who had good jobs supporting a whole other infrastructure fail as well. I could have paid less for Aspen for they would have been at an economic factor lower than they were. Bill Clinton and George Bush and now Obama are far too concerned with be well liked then with doing what needs to be done as a president. The president has to be like Lincoln, tough enough to do things that people hate enough to war over but in the end make a much better country. Let the Representatives talk a game of populist support and let the Senate examine the big picture of our nation and keeping us number one. Leadership is like parenting. Doing the things that sometimes your children do not like

                My folks though are able to help us out now and help us get a house and as soon as we are employed we can start paying them back. Now all we need is for Obama to get off his rump and really create jobs.
2)        HemetPastedGraphic.8Lzbgv6rvhte.jpgA less expensive housing community to wade out the recession. It may be hot, but it is also why our family is in Southern California. My great grandmother, sometime after the war, was at Gilman Hot Springs to relax. She broke something (Back, leg???) and had to go next door to the hospital in Hemet. My mother’s parents came down to fetch her and fell in love with Southern California. They moved her and that got mom here, who met dad eventually. You know genetics, if that leg or back hadn’t broken and Great-grandma (she was called-Lala) had not mended in Hemet, we would never have been here. No David, no writing.

  1. Costco1__%23%24%21%40%25%21%23__PastedGraphic1.BKDewGx3JFwG.jpgso while moving, my glass frames broke. Of course I do not have a prescription, does the optometrist ever give them out, or do they always keep them? Inexpensive Glasses. I checked Lenscrafters, Costco, Sears, and Costco won.
  2. Trader Joes 1__%23%24%21%40%25%21%23__PastedGraphic3.ShBLF5wOfY5c.jpg Chinese Chicken Salad–For years one of my favorite meals, easily dinner once every other week
  3. The Wheel of Time-PastedGraphic4.w0LfeSrGkzjn.jpgStill one of the best fantasy series ever written. Jordan is dead but Sanderson is doing well finishing the last 20% of it. The penultimate book was recently released and now only one more, due next year.

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