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Four-Day Planet

H. Beam Piper

Book Overview: 

Fenris isn't a hell planet, but it's nobody's bargain. With 2,000-hour days and an 8,000-hour year, it alternates blazing heat with killing cold. A planet like that tends to breed a special kind of person: tough enough to stay alive and smart enough to make the best of it. When that kind of person discovers he's being cheated of wealth he's risked his life for, that kind of planet is ripe for revolution.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .of these pillar-buildings, and we have the whole thing to ourselves. In a city built for a quarter of a million, twenty thousand people don't have to crowd very closely on one another. Naturally, we don't have a top landing stage, but except for the buttresses at the corners and solid central column, the whole street floor is open.

Tom hadn't said anything after we left the stacks of wax and the men guarding them. We came up a vehicle shaft a few blocks up Broadway, and he brought the jeep down and floated it in through one of the archways. As usual, the place was cluttered with equipment we hadn't gotten around to repairing or installing, merchandise we'd taken in exchange for advertising, and vehicles, our own and everybody else's. A[41] couple of mechanics were tinkering on one of them. I decided, for the oomptieth time, to do something about cleaning it up. Say in another two or three hundred hours, when the ships would all be in port and work would be slack. . . Read More

Community Reviews

On a H. Beam Piper bender for a couple of weeks and quite enjoying it. In many ways, this is highly typical golden-era Sci-Fi, with its plucky, self-reliant young men, hostile planets, "interesting" governments (or in this case, lack thereof), and the like. The twist on the planet of Fenris is that,

The eponymous planet, Fenris, has a slow rotation rate, causing days and nights lasting 1000 hours each. This forces the populace to live underground except around sunrise and sunset. And, while this odd planet provides the back-drop to the story, it isn't the story itself.

The story itself revolves

This book has combined air / water craft, piloted by roughneck fishermen hunting sea monsters on an alien world. It's steampunk decades before the term was invented!

Beyond the outstanding throwback technology, this is a compact adventure, centering around a plucky young newspaper reporter raised on

Another good installment in the Terro-future history series. Piper has some really interesting writing, and I'm honestly amazed I had never heard of him before this year. Based on what I've read so far, he seems to have been very influential on the authors I grew up reading (Niven, Pournelle, Barnes


Typical H. Piper Beam fare. Heroic pioneers on a harsh world carve out a living by catching monstrous fish while at the same time battling the oligarchs who would enslave them. Written with a YA focus. It wasn't special but it wasn't terrible so a solid 2.5 stars, right in the middle. Pretty dat

Have you ever read a book and thought this book is not written for me? This was written in the 1960's. I am sure it was written for teenage boys. There is heavy description about guns and high tech gear. Every time someone fired a gun, you knew the millimeter of the barrel. The story takes place on

Rating: 3.5* of five

The Publisher Says: Four-Day Planet . . . where the killing heat of a thousand-hour "day" drives men underground, and the glorious hundred-hour sunset is followed by a thousand-hour night so cold that only an Extreme Environment Suit can preserve the life of anyone caught outside

Another one of my favorite works by H. Beam Piper. I love the harsh planets that he creates.

“When people have to stay underground most of the time to avoid being fried and/or frozen to death, they have a lot of time to kill, and reading is one of the cheaper and more harmless and profitable ways

If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review.

Luminiferous Aether: "Four-Day Planet" by H. Beam Piper

“I went through the gateway, towing my equipment in a contragravity hamper over my head. As usual, I was wondering what it would take, short of a revolution, to get the city of Port S

It is what it is: pulpy, 1950s Heinleinian science fiction aimed at nerdy young boys.

The "four day planet" is Fenriss, a planet with a 2000 hour rotation rate. That is, any given spot on the planet is in darkness for 1000 hours, and sunlit for another 1000. Piper accurately describes the weather ext

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