Saturday, February 7, 2009

Space Viking by H. Beam Piper

My Mixed Book Bag has Space Opera today.

H Beam Piper published his first Science Fiction story in 1948 and continued to write and publish until his death in 1964. Space Viking was published as a serial in Analog in 1963. The copyright has expired on the book and it is available free on Gutenberg as are all of Piper’s books. Many of the books have also been republished in paperback. I picked Space Viking up at library book sale. This edition was published by Cosmos Books and looks to be fairly recent.

Piper wrote adventure mixed with the lessons of history. Space Viking has quite a bit of commentary on government and why it fails. His comments are as relevant today as they were in the 1960’ when he wrote the book. This is space opera full of action and adventure and all political comments are skillfully woven into the story line. It makes for an enjoyable fun read. The book suffers in one regard. Women have little or no significant role in the story. As this was true of most Science Fiction written in the 1960’s I just overlooked the lack and enjoyed the story.

Pick up Space Viking and follow Lucas Trask as he starts out to avenge his wife’s murder and ends up founding and ruling a new star nation.

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