A Deeper Look into Paratime

A Brief Overview:


While on duty, Pennsylvania State Policeman Calvin Morrison is unceremoniously picked up by a cross-time conveyer and dropped off at Hostigos, a small princedom on Aryan-Transpacific, Styphon's House Subsector. Using his advanced knowledge of military tactics, leadership abilities and knowledge of chemistry, to make gunpowder, Lord Kalvan - as Calvin is called by the locals - does whatever it takes to save Hostigos from its ruthless invaders led by Styphon's House, a nasty religious theocracy. Due to his premature death, Piper never finished the Kalvan story. John has picked up where Piper left off and continued the Kalvan Saga, starting with Great Kings' War which he wrote with Roland Green, and his own solo Kalvan continuations, Kalvan Kingmaker, Siege of Tarr-Hostigos, The Fireseed Wars and Gunpowder God - with more to follow. (from hostigos.com)

About the Authors

H.Beam Piper

H. Beam Piper was born March 23, 1904, the only issue of Harriet L. (Mauer) Piper and Herbert Orr Piper. He had no formal education and at age eighteen went to work as a watchman for the Pennsylvania Railroad's Altoona yards. Piper was very protective over his personal privacy and had a Victorian view of publicity and self-promotion. He was largely self-educated; he obtained a deep knowledge of science and history "without subjecting myself to the ridiculous misery of four years in the uncomfortable confines of a raccoon coat."

He started writing as a teenager, but didn't sell his first story, Time and Time Again, until he was 32 years old. To others Piper appeared suddenly and from out-of-nowhere in 1947 at the top of his form and went on to write a number of memorable short stories in the premier science fiction magazine of the time, Astounding Science Fiction, under legendary editor John W. Campbell.

On November 6th, 1964, H. Beam Piper shut off the utilities in his apartment at 330 East Third Street in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, placed painter's drop cloths over the walls and floor and shot himself with a .38-caliber pistol. (from Hostigos.com)


John F. Carr

He is the author of over a dozen novels and some thirty theme anthologies and short story collections. These include the 2001 Prometheus Hall of Fame Award Winner, The Survival of Freedom. His other anthologies include, Nebula Award Stories Sixteen, The Science Fiction Yearbook, nine volumes of There Will Be War, four volumes of The Endless Frontier, three volumes of Imperial Stars and seven volumes of the shared-world anthology series, War World. John was also the Editor of The Bulletin of the Science Fiction Writers of America, the Publisher of Sticky Fingers Magazine, the Managing Editor of the Far Frontiers paperback magazine and SF editor of Popular Computing.

Carr is the recognized authority on the life and works of H. Beam Piper and his Piper biography, "H. Beam Piper: A Biography" was published by McFarland and Company on March 30, 2008. He also edited and wrote the introductions to all five Ace Books H. Beam Piper short story collections, "Federation", "Empire", "Paratime", "The Worlds of H. Beam Piper" and "The Complete Paratime".(from Hostigos.com)

The World of Paratime:


Piper and Carr's Paratime is a fictional world (or worlds) of two parts. The first is the highly advanced civilization of Paratimers. A civilization which has achieved the ability to transport itself across parallel time lines in order to syphon off resources to keep themselves alive while doing anything to keep their presence on other timelines and their timeline hopping technology a secret. First appearing in Piper's short story Police Operation (though later implied ot be involved in his earlier story He Walked Around the Horses) Piper would write several more short stories about the Paratimers before involving them in Lord Kalvan of Otherwhen(LKOW). Though coming after the Paratimers, the world of Lord Kalvan of Otherwhen has perhaps overshadowed the Paratimers to a certain degree. While many of the Paratime characters make frequent appearences in the Kalvan series and the Paratime subplot continues throughout the series, the story of the "Foruth Level Aryan-Transpacific Syphon House Subsector" and the Paracops most fortuitous accidental pickup Calvin Morrison has been the main focus of the Paratime series since Piper's novel. The world of LKOW best resembles 16th century Europe in its appereance and levels of technology though the story is mainly set in a version of the Eastern United States in the 1960s. In addition the world of LKOW has its own language and culture, which is touched on in a seperate page.


What is in these pages:

The goal of these pages is to provide insight into the rich worlds of the Paratime series both for the sake of readers interested in how the world and stories function as well as for people interested in how this world is written and would perhaps like to write something in the universe themselves like Carr, Roland Green, and Jim Landau(whose stories in the Paratime Universe are found in box #11 of the collection) have done. To that end there are three pages linked at the bottom of this one. One page delves into the world of Lord Kalvan and his friends and enemies, another takes a deeper look at Home Time Line and the Paratimers, and the third page is a more analytical overview of some of the more technical aspects of the stories.*

*A brief disclaimer: though the information on this and the subsequent pages draws from all of Piper and Carr's stories as well as additional material given to the university by Carr. The pages presuppose the reader has no knowledge of the plot outside of the basic world information(much of which provided) and a general idea of the beginning of Piper's LKOW and thus will attempt to avoid spoiling details of subsequent stories. Though naturally the page analyzing the books will by neccesity be more in depth and potentially revealing than the others.


Suggested Reading and Where to Find it:


The Complete Paratime by H. Beam Piper [Paperback]

Carr 10.2-09 [on bookshelf]

Physical Description:

A collection of H. Beam Piper's Paratime stories, including Lord Kalvan of Otherwhen, published by Ace Books.


The Complete Paratime [Hardcover]

Carr-25-35 (located on the bookshelf)

Physical Description:

The Complete Paratime: All of the Classic Paratime Police Stories in One Volume: Paratime and Lord Kalvan of Otherwhen, by H. Beam Piper. Introduction by John F. Carr. Ace Books, 1981.


Great King's War

(Several copies are in the university collection but have yet to be offically added)


Kalvan Kingmaker [hardcover book]

461 pages


Physical Description:

This is a First edition copy of the novel, which was limited to 1,000 copies.  Pequod Press published this novel in 2000.  The artist for the dust jacket artwork is Alan Gutierrez.  No visible damage or markings to the pages or dust jacket.  The Friedsam Memorial Library added this novel to the Carr Collection.


Siege of Tarr-Hostigos [hardcover book]

468 pages


Physical Description:  

This is a First edition copy of the novel, which was limited to 1,000 copies.  Pequod Press published this novel in 2003.  The artist for the dust jacket artwork is Alan Gutierrez.  No visible damage or markings to the pages or dust jacket.  This novel was added to the Carr Collection by the Friedsam Memorial Library.


The Fireseed Wars [Hardcover]

Carr-25-23 (located on the bookshelf)

Physical Description:

The Fireseed Wars by John F. Carr published in 2009 by Pequod Press, First Edition limited to 1,000 copies.


The Hos Blethan Affair

(Several copies are in the university collection but have yet to be offically added)


Gunpowder God [Hardcover]

Carr-25-24 (located on the bookshelf)

Physical Description:

Gunpowder God by John F. Carr published by Pequod Press in 2011 first edition limited to 500 copies.


Down Syphon!

(Several copies are in the university collection but have yet to be offically added)


Time Crime [Hardcover]

Carr-25-29 (located on the bookshelf)

Physical Description:

Time Crime by H. Beam Piper and John F. Carr published in 2010 by Pequod Press.



The World of Lord Kalvan

Home Time Line

Writing in Paratime


John Carr Collection Homepage