Short Story Wednesday – “Oomphel in the Sky” by H. Beam Piper

Ministry of Disturbance and Other Science Fiction by H. Beam Piper, Adventure Paperback – April 1, 2007

“Oomphel in the Sky” by H. Beam Piper, originally published in Analog Science Fact and Fiction, November 1960, Aegypan 2007 trade paperback, 200 pages.

This is part of H. Beam Piper’s Future History series that he worked on throughout his SF writing years. This is the second story I’ve covered from this collection.

In this story, the natives of Kwannon practiced ritual magic under the watchful eyes of their Terran rulers. Hunting, farming, raising children–it all required the special spells only a powerful shoonoo could cast. But when prophesies of the end of the world send the natives of Kwannon swarming, it may also be the end for the Terrans. The natives, it seems, actually want the end of the world–for the promised afterlife will be far, far better. And who can argue with the shoonoon and their prophetic dreams? It’s up to Miles Gilbert, reporter for the Kwannon Planetwide News Service, to save the day. For only he can turn the natives from the course with the special magic of Earth, the machine-giving Oomphel (technology).

Though the story is, typically of Piper, more talk than action, I enjoyed it and am continuing to read this collection.


About Rick Robinson

Enjoying life in Portland, OR
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11 Responses to Short Story Wednesday – “Oomphel in the Sky” by H. Beam Piper

  1. Steve A Oerkfitz says:

    I remember enjoying Piper’s stories back in the sixties. Especially Omnilingual and He walked Around the Horses. I haven’t read him since than but do have a collection of his on my Kindle.

  2. tracybham says:

    This story sounds good and certainly very different from any I have read.

  3. 1412064gk says:

    I’ve only read a few of H. Beam Piper’s short stories. The FUZZY novels are not my favorites. The first Piper book I read was SPACE VIKING. Loved the cool cover on the 1963 ACE paperback.

  4. Patti Abbott says:

    Like George’s selection today, I have never read anything like this. I should at least try one.

  5. Jeff Meyerson says:

    I’ve never read one of his books or stories either.
    After hearing about it for years, I bought a copy of his MURDER IN THE GUNROOM, but must admit I have never read it.

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