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Parallel Worlds, Time Travel, Reincarnation, High Adventure
on October 9, 2001
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 Morrison figured in three short stories, "Gunpowder God," "Down Styphon," and a third unpublished story.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.