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Customer reviews

3.2 out of 5 stars
Four-Day Planet
Format: Paperback|Change
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on June 12, 2016
This is a good yarn about an unusual planet and its colonists. Written in Piper's style it is entertaining. A very good space opera.
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on August 6, 2009
I have to give Four Day Planet a lower rating as it leaves out the prelude of how Fenris came to be or anything about the future planet. The story as told through the eyes of a 17-year old "reporter" is sorely lacking. You never really get a true feel of Fenris. And, there is never any mention of women until the story is nearly 90% complete.

Not a good book for adults, but more for teenage sci-fi enthusiasts. Had I known that, I would not have read it at all.
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on July 28, 2016
Not overly complicated plot and some technology of future seems to be dated, but masterly written and entertaining to the very end. It is usually compared with better known Heinlein's juveniles, but the story would have worked well even had the main character been older and Heinlein usually didn't bother with details of economics and politics that make Four Day Planet that much fun. Definitely read it.

Points that are often pointed out:
i) some Piper's characters smoke heavily or drink liquor
ii) most of them wear guns and actually shoot at people or at least around them
iii) women play no important role in the plot

I am not sure whether Fenrisians should be tobacco and liquor free or use some more fancy stuff, whether they should shoot laser beams or abstain from violence and shoot arrows of love instead of bullets, whether women should play some minor role or dominate the plot completely, but there seems to be unanimous agreement about Four Day Planet being rather fifties-ish. Gee, it feels just fine as it is.
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on July 20, 2007
With the transition of much of H. Beam Piper's work into the public domain publishers like Wildside Press have finally begun to bring Piper's work back into print and for that fans of Piper owe them a debt of gratitude. This novel, set in Piper's Terrohuman Future History, takes place on Fenris, an unusual colony world that rotates only four times in its circuit of its sun. With each "day" lasting for an entire season Fenris suffers from harsh storms forcing settlement underground and underwater. The novel follows teenage newsman Walt Boyd as be becomes involved in the efforts of the local Monster Hunters--fishermen of a sort who make their living hunting Fenris' large sea creatures--to break free from the monopolist who controls the planetary market. In the course of his adventure Walt discovers a deeper plot that has interstellar dimensions. An exciting story for readers of all ages.

Also recommended from Piper's Terrohuman Future History are his novels Uller Uprising,Little Fuzzy,Junkyard Planet, and Space Viking, and the anthologies Federation and Empire edited by John F. Carr.
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VINE VOICEon January 16, 2011
H. (Henry) Beam Piper (1904-64) had published nine novels during his brief creative lifetime. Several of them are, even today, highly regarded and considered to be minor classics in the science-fiction field. In my opinion "Four Day Planet" is not one of them.

This book, published in 1961, was intended for the young-teen market and is plagued with stereotype characters and a wooden plot that limps along to a conclusion that has been telegraphed since the first chapter. The story of a fisherman's co-op plagued by dishonest leaders on an alien world is just plain dull. The fishermen hunt a whale like fish for a unique wax that is exported via the corrupt co-op. A fearless cub reporter equipped with a carbine and sleeping-gas cigarette lighter and a secret agent disguised as the town drunk bring the malcontents to justice and head off a civil war.

As a fan of Piper's books I plowed through this early work to satisfy my curiosity since it is such an obscure title. After it's initial 1961 printing in hard cover it was not republished as a paperback until 1979. Today the book is in the public domain and it can be downloaded to an e-reader for free.

I would definitely not recommend this title to new readers but suggest reading "Little Fuzzy" or "The Cosmic Computer".
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on November 24, 2006
H. Beam Piper apparently wrote this novel in imitation of Robert Heinlein's "juvenile" novels from the same period, in that it features a teenaged boy as the narrator of a crisis on the stereotypical misgoverned "colony planet." It works okay for a quick read, but like Heinlein's similar efforts it hasn't aged all that well.
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