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Space Viking by H. Beam Piper, Science Fiction, Adventure, Space Opera Hardcover – March 1, 2007
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About the Author
Henry Beam Piper (1904 - 1964) was an American science fiction author. He wrote many short stories and several novels. He is best known for his extensive Terro-Human Future History series of stories and a shorter series of "Paratime" alternate history tales.
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So why did I like Space Vikings.
I cut my reading teeth on Heinlein's youth books. In fact at 9, I was still a virtual non-reader. That is, until a school librarian caught me hiding in the corner of the library, sitting quietly, NOT picking a book. She talked me into reading "Red Planet", and I've been an avid reader, of most anything, ever since. I stormed through Heinlein, Clark, Asimov and anything sci fi, space or techy, and I still do. This book has that old science fiction 'ring' to it, the kinds of terms I grew up reading. They may seem archaic or anachronistic to the the Gen X, Gen Y, gotta have a smart phone to breath crowd, but without these stories, we'd have none of our modern tech toys. This book has the same kinds of terms and space stories that turned boys into engineering students, and engineering students into NASA Engineers in the 1960's.
How then, did I miss ever seeing these Piper books?!
I don't know how or why it happened, but I liked this book well enough, that I'm headed out of this review, to go buy the the "H. Beam Piper Mega Pack, 33 Stories..." in the Kindle version. When I'm trough binge reading THAT, I'll review it too.
Space Vikings are pirates that prey on mainly defenseless worlds of the old Federation that have become decivilized to one degree or another as a result of the collapse of the Federation.
Lucas Trask was critical of Space Vikings until the murder of his fiancee, whereupon he became one in the hopes of tracking down her killer. Fortunately the book becomes more than just a revenge story as Trask learns that trade partners are better than piracy.
Missing, however, is any commentary on religion, faith, allegiance or aversion to a higher power. Man has always made reference in some form to a higher power and its influence in their lives. Unfortunately that element was avoided in this work.
Kindle version is next to flawless in form and function, and has an active table of contents.
Besides the grand themes that covers planetary governments & space battles involving solar system there's a gripping personal story that runs throughout the book which is the genesis of the plot.
I'll always feel fortunate that Space Viking was one of my 1st introductions to SF, a genre that affected my life in numerous beneficial ways.