this is the 200th in my series of forgotten or seldom read books
The Complete Paratime by H. Beam Piper, Ace, 2001, trade paper, science fiction – Paratime Police series
“These stories, first published in Astounding Science Fiction during the late forties and early fifties, are the foundation of Piper’s reputation as one of the great sf adventure writers. Together they display Piper’s lifelong interest in history and alternate worlds, and the time theories of J.W. Dunne.”
– from the introduction by John F. Carr
This is one of those trade sized collections that I find so hard to resist, I bought it a few years back. I’d read other H. Beam Piper stories including the ones featuring Fuzzy, and liked them well enough, but the Paratime Police tales are superior.
This collection contains five longish Paratime Police stories and the short novel Lord Kalvan of Otherwhen. Of the stories, I think the best are “Police Operation” and “Time Crime” but the best reading, and to me the most entertaining, was the Lord Kalvan. It’s one of those fun stories in which a modern man goes into the past and is able to use his knowledge to advantage.
In this case the modern man is a Pennsylvania State Trooper circa 1964 who is “drafted into the Paratime Police and is sent to a parallel timeline with a civilization about equivalent to 16th century Europe. Isn’t it lucky he studied history in college and his favorite topic was the history of weapons? Comes in mighty handy.
This was an easy, fun read. I was sorry when I turned the last page, I would have liked more if it.