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The Complete Paratime Paperback – March 1, 2001

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Editorial Reviews


He was a story teller...a man who could keep you up all night with his books and tales.... -- Jerry Pournelle

Piper at his top form. -- Lester Del Rey

About the Author

H. Beam Piper was the author of several science fiction stories and novels including Little Fuzzy, Fuzzy Sapiens, and Fuzzies and Other People, which have been collected in The Complete Fuzzy.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Ace (March 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0441008011
  • ISBN-13: 978-0441008018
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #789,425 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

35 of 35 people found the following review helpful By George R Dekle on October 9, 2001
Format: Paperback
H. Beam Piper was obsessed with reincarnation, time travel, and alternate worlds. He capitalized on that obsession by writing the Paratime stories, a loosely knit series of novelettes. Verkan Vall, of the Paratime Police, served as the central character of most of the Paratime stories, and he made a capable, likeable hero.
The best of the Paratime stories centered around another hero, Cpl. Calvin Morrison of the Pennsylvania State Police. Morrison figured in three short stories, "Gunpowder God," "Down Styphon," and a third unpublished story. The three were posthumously conjoined to form the novella "Lord Kalvan of Otherwhen."
The stories in which Cpl. Morrison takes no part were collected in "Paratime." The present book contains both "Paratime" and "Lord Kalvan of Otherwhen." It also contains a very interesting prologue in which John F. Carr discusses Piper's ideas on time travel, alternate worlds, and reincarnation. He offers Piper's firm belief in reincarnation as a possible explanation for Piper's suicide.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 14, 2001
Format: Paperback
H. Beam Piper,in this collection of stories, provides insight into a society that can leverage the resources from a near infinite number of worlds and the awesome responsibility that entails. The Paratime police force is tasked with monitoring the vast number of parallel worlds, many of which have had history take a different path then in ours.

Verkan Vall, one of the Paratime officers, deals with criminals intent on exploiting less advanced civilizations and the problems with civilizations more advanced then his own, while keeping the secret of paratime travel safe.

The longest story in this collection, Lord Kalvan of Otherwhen, describes the fate of a man from our 20th century Earth who is dropped accidentally into a parallel universe where different population migration patterns have resulted in a drastically different world. Coming into a world centuries behind his own, Calvin Morrison, once of the Pennsylvania State Police, ends up leading the beleagured nation of Hostigos against the corrupt theocracy that holds a monopoly on technology.

Another story in this collection include: "He Walked around the Horses," which offers a possible explanation on the disapperance of Benjamin Bathurst, a diplomat in Napoleonic Europe.

There are several other well paced stories in this collection. Most of the parallel worlds are described in tantalizingly little detail allowing the reader to imagine what other alternatives could be. If you like parallel world fiction, you'll get your fill with this collection.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Dave_42 on November 3, 2006
Format: Paperback
"The Complete Paratime" collects all the works from H. Beam Piper that deal with paratime, i.e. the existence of alternate universes and people either accidentally or purposefully crossing from one to another. This collection, published in 2001, contains a previous collection called "Paratime", which was published in 1981. The previous collection included five stories. Also included is the novel called "Lord Kalvan of Otherwhen" which was originally published in 1965 and itself was a collection of two previously published stories along with a new one.

"He Walked around the Horses" is Piper's first paratime story, and doesn't directly fit with the other stories collected in this book. This novelette was first published in April of 1948, and is the story of a British envoy to the court of Austria who vanished while en route from Vienna to Hamburg in 1809. The story is cleverly told as a series of statements from witnesses as being reported by the Minister of Police.

"Police Operation" is the first story to feature Verkan Vall, a Paratime policeman who in tracing someone, learns that they have broken the law by bringing along a pet from another time-line, which ultimately threatens to reveal the existence of paratime. This is another novelette which was first published in July of 1948, and it serves as a good introduction to the Paratime Police and Verkan Vall, both of which are present in the rest of the stories in this collection.

"Last Enemy" is perhaps the best of the stories in this collection. This novelette was first published in August of 1950. This novelette brings in the character of Dalla, and is an interesting story involving a time-line where reincarnation is considered an established fact.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Mike McGuirk on March 9, 2001
Format: Paperback
Piper's Paratime stories are great action adventure yarns with admirable lead characters and satisfying solutions. Each story is enjoyable in its own right, but having them all collected together will also allow the reader to enjoy them in the context of H. Beam Piper's "big picture", the society that discovered infinite probability worlds, and now exploits and protects them with its Paratime Police. The pinnacle of the Paratime stories is "Lord Kalvan Of Otherwhen" wherein a contemporary character is accidentally transported by the Paratime Police to a pike and musket society. He doesn't just survive, but lives a fuller and more important life than was possible before his "accident". Kalvan's adventures are continued in "Great King's War" and the just published "Kalvan Kingmaker", both written true to Piper by John F. Carr. Kudos to Ace for bringing all the original Piper stories together in one book.
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