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H. Beam Piper bio 
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Heinlein Nexus

Joined: Fri Jul 24, 2009 8:05 am
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Post H. Beam Piper bio
John Carr has published this with MacFarlane. It was incredibly well-researched, and probably represents the zenith of this subject. I can't imagine new information cropping up in substantial quantities. It is a bit repetitive at times, and there were times I was both charmed and repulsed by Piper, but it does lay to rest the rumors of his suicide.

Oddly, it does so by not addressing the rumors of his suicide....

Worth reading.

Robert James


Mon May 10, 2010 1:33 pm
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Heinlein Nexus

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Post Re: H. Beam Piper bio
Oh, and there are a couple of minor Heinlein refs, including a diatribe by Piper that says "Heinlein wastes plots!"

Not quite sure what that meant, except to suggest that Heinlein packed so much into one book, whereas Piper would have used the same plots to make more books.


Mon May 10, 2010 1:35 pm
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Post Re: H. Beam Piper bio
What rumors does it not address? My understanding is that he was broke, he saw no future success, and being too proud to beg from anyone he put one of his extensive gun collection to work. (It may be a rumor that new contracts showed up in the mail in the next few days.)

Piper also represents the epitome of the "one idea, one story" era. Heinlein was far ahead of the curve in using more than one oyster per stew.

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"Hier stehe ich. Ich kann nicht anders." - Luther
In the end, I found Heinlein is finite. Thus, finite analysis is needed.


Mon May 10, 2010 2:34 pm
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Post Re: H. Beam Piper bio
You only have to look at the extensive 'mining' he did all the time, taking, sub-plots in one story and using it elsewhere or the reverse, encapsulating the plot of another story into a different one, ("The Long Watch" comes to mind), and in some cases, using almost throwaway lines in one story and fleshing it out elsewhere.

But I don't think that plot was ever his main focus. It was the people and their action/reactions in relation to the events, IMO


Mon May 10, 2010 3:05 pm
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Heinlein Nexus

Joined: Fri Jul 24, 2009 8:05 am
Posts: 375
Post Re: H. Beam Piper bio
Jim, the persistent rumor is that his wife and his agent hid income from him, and that money woes were thus the result of this conspiracy against him.

The bio makes it clear that Piper's money woes were from his own poor choices.

And David, I tend to agree with you about plot and Heinlein -- it's more about ideas and character and style.


Tue May 11, 2010 9:58 am
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