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H. Beam Piper

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .eavier than the one which had preceded it, throwing them all down again. As they rose, a new voice was shouting over the public-address system:

"Abandon ship! Abandon ship! The converters are backfiring, and rocket-fuel is leaking back toward the engine-rooms! An explosion is imminent! Abandon ship, all hands!"

Kalvar Dard and Seldar Glav grabbed the girls and literally threw them through the hatch, into the rocket-boat. Dard pushed Glav in ahead of him, then jumped in. Before he had picked himself up, two or three of the girls were at the hatch, dogging the cover down.

"All right, Glav, blast off!" Dard ordered. "We've got to be at least a hundred miles from this ship when she blows, or we'll blow with her!"

"Don't I know!" Seldar Glav retorted over his shoulder, racing for the controls. "Grab hold of something, everybody; I'm going to fire all jets at once!"

An instant later, while Kalvar Dard and the girls clung to stanchio. . . Read More

Community Reviews

Loved this story which actually was the beginning of all his subsequent works whereby a spaceship crashes on a planet and the survivors find themselves at war with the local indigenous humanoids, contains a marvellous twist at the end.


About the Author: H. (Henry) Beam Piper was born in Altoona, Pennsylvania, in 1904, and died, an apparent suicide, in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, in 1964. Piper's first published story, "_Time and Time Again_" (Astounding Science Fiction, April 1947), was adapted for radio and aired on

This is a story of the perils of a band of people struggling to make a living in a new world, much as settlers and colonists have done throughout history. These perils include the environment, wild beasts, and hostile sentient creatures. This is a theme we have seen in many stories since this was pu

Well-written, fun origin story of the human race. It's become (?) a sci-fi trope by now, not sure if H. Beam Piper originated this one or not, but either way, it's a solid installment in the genre.

A five star short story about the alternate origins of mankind on planet Earth. Excellent.

2019 grade A

Kindle mega-pack

Out of date but great. The harsh reality of a small band surviving on a new planet with some slightly predictable twists at the end.

Speculative, on why a certain humanoid species suddenly appeared in the historical record. Short (only a few chapters) read. Interesting.

Origin story for Level 4 paratime (us).

It was very thought provocing. I downloaded it from ManyBooks for my Nook.

Nice twist at the end