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Great Kings' War
Here is the entire text (with an added prologue for new readers) of the Ace Books' paperback first edition of Great Kings' War, as a way of introducing new readers to the Kalvan Saga.
This is not the revised second edition hardcover which Pequod Press published in 2007, with an additional dozen new chapters, but the original paperback book version that was published by Ace Books in 1985. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as Roland Green and I enjoyed writing it.
John F. Carr
An Atlas of Piper's Galaxy
This atlas, by John Anderson, represents the first comprehensive attempt to chart the Terro-Human Future History of H. Beam Piper. Bringing together the historical models Piper used, the evidence of distances and trip times in his stories (while identifying and solving their various discrepancies), and knowledge about the man and the real galaxy as known in his time, upwards of 30 maps have been created.
The first displays the proper orientation of Beam's galaxy, from which the other maps are derived. These color-coded charts include the expansion and internal configuration of the Terran Federation, including its 'Norse Core'; the location and size of the System States Alliance; major campaigns of the System States War; the flight of the Alliance refugees from Abigor; the configuration of the Tanith-Xochitl-Gram triangle and how it reveals the location of the Sword-Worlds; the physical arrangement of the "Helm"; the Tanith-Khepera-Amaterasu-Beowulf quadrilateral and the locations of other Space Viking base and trade planets in the Old Federation; the creation and growth of the League of Civilized Worlds and other spheres of influence; the First Galactic Empire and the reason for its pork chop shape; the Empire's ten viceroyalties and its late expansionist phase; and estimates as to the sizes of the Second through Fifth Galactic Empires, plus the possible locations of their capitals.
A timeline of the Future History is also provided, from AE 1 to 30,000, showing the approximate lengths of Piper's universal states and the interregna separating them.
While this atlas attempts to be comprehensive, it cannot claim to be canonical. Given the substantial lack of specific information in Beam's Future History (what is unknown is far greater than what is known), plus his long-standing habits of vagueness, secrecy and confusing the issues, many assumptions had to made along the way. Other interpretations of the evidence are therefore entirely possible, in which case the current work may at least serve as a resource for those wishing to construct maps and atlases of their own.
Part 1 of An Atlas of Piper's Galaxy
Part 2 of An Atlas of Piper's Galaxy