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Space Viking

H. Beam Piper

Book Overview: 

A galactic war has left the Terran Federation in ruins. Formerly civilized planets have decivilized into barbarism. Space Vikings roam the wreckage, plundering and killing for gain.

Lord Lucas Trask of Traskon was no admirer of the Space Vikings, but when murder takes his wife on his wedding day, Trask trades everything he has for his own Space Viking ship and sets out on a galaxy-wide quest for revenge.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .ations board; it was still uniformly red-lighted. Everything was on full combat ready. He summoned a mess-robot, selected a couple of dishes, and began to eat. After the first mouthful, he called to Alvyn Karffard:

"Is Paul getting anything new?" he asked.

Karffard checked. A little contragravity-field distortion effect. It was still too far to be sure. He went back to his lunch. He had finished it and was lighting a cigarette over his coffee when a red light flashed and a voice from one of the speakers shouted.

"Detection! Detection from planet! Radar, and microray!"

Karffard began talking rapidly into a hand-phone; Harkaman unhooked one beside him and listened.

"Coming from a definite point, about twenty-fifth north parallel," he said, aside. "Could be from a ship hiding against the planet. There's nothing at all on the moon."

They seemed to be approaching the planet more and more rapidly. Actually. . . Read More

Community Reviews

This is the first of Piper's books that I've read. Having seen his "Little Fuzzy" in bookstores over the years, I had no desire to check him out. However I recently read the assertion that this book was one of many influences on the Traveller role-playing game. Since I'm a fan of Traveller, and of t

A sentimental three stars; this was space opera without too much philosophy...Reading his other stuff (particularly Uller Uprising), I found his politics laughably simplistic and increasingly tedious.

Can we all bask for a moment in the glory of that title?

With Space Kings and their Space Feudalism! And Space Amish (sort of)! It's interesting and I think another example of how Piper (like another favourite of mine, David Drake) pulls from historic battles and whatnot. The only problem with Piper

A fun read, in that old-fashioned, chest-thumping, red meat eating and martini drinking fashion. I love a diversion into Space Opera now and again, and Space Viking is a fine example of the genre. The only H.B. Piper I can admit to reading so far has been LORD KALVAN OF OTHERWHEN (a great alt-histor

This book starts out well, but with a lot of philosophical muttering and self justification with what amounts to genocide. In the end our hero seems to wind up more on the side of the bad guys than the good guys, in a universe where achievement equates with firepower.

There’s plenty of rip-snorting adventure in Beam Piper’s SPACE VIKING: raiding, pillaging, space battles, political coups, gunfights in underground bunkers. Mainly, though, the novel serves as a platform for Piper’s political ideas. The planetary democracies in the book (like Marduk) he describes as

Ok, so I’m a big fan of H. Beam Piper. Yes classic Sci-Fi requires a certain taste, it’s certainly not for everyone, and Piper was a bit more on the fringe of political discourse than many of his contemporaries. Space Viking does tend to exhibit Piper’s personal beliefs quite plainly, but it is so

What starts as a Space Chase soon takes a back seat to a strange, demi-Randian commentary on governments and the manner in which they interfere with Strong, Sensible Men. Piper includes a couple of "well, who's to say" equivocations, but it's clear the reader is meant to align with the aristocratic

I read The Cosmic Computer and Space Viking.

The first is the better of the two, involving a man who uses a rumor of a super-computer on his home planet, once a planet-wide military base of the galactic Federation, to start a boom of reclaiming military salvage so that he can get a working hyperspace

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