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David Hines [userpic]

OMG yay!

February 21st, 2009 (05:25 pm)

John F. Carr, who's been accumulating H. Beam Piper information for years, has published his long-awaited biography of my favorite SF writer. I am a few chapters in, and so far it is terrific, with tons of great information, stories and photographs, totally the book on Beam Piper that I always wanted.

What could possibly make this even better? I AM QUOTED IN IT! Years ago, I did a fact-finding trip to Piper's stomping grounds, and corresponded with Carr about my findings. And so "Piper researcher David Hines" is quoted several times in Chapter 1. Another of my contributions, though it's not attributed to me in the book, is the inventory of H. Beam Piper's gun collection, by himself, from a letter to the Lycoming County Historical Society of June 12, 1956, which is reproduced as an appendix. So it's not volumes of stuff, but I made some meager contributions to the biography of my favorite SF writer. Yay!

And Carr has done a *fantastic* job of amazing and substantive research, greatly aided by the family of Ferd Coleman, a longtime friend of Piper's whose archives -- thank Ghu! -- contained tons of letters between the men. And it's great, great stuff, down to Piper's recipe for Katinkas (he insisted that cocktail was properly stirred, not shaken), photos of Piper I've never seen anywhere, even pictures of the man's dachshund. If you are a fan of H. Beam Piper, BUY THIS BOOK. You will not regret it in the slightest.


Posted by: I'm not fluent in your dialect of crazy (dine)
Posted at: February 21st, 2009 11:24 pm (UTC)
booky - jchalo

oooh, that looks excellent! my budget's tight, but I've wishlisted it for the next little windfall - thanks so much for pointing it out

Posted by: David Hines (hradzka)
Posted at: February 22nd, 2009 02:55 pm (UTC)

I assure you: it will be TOTALLY WORTH IT.

Posted by: trebor1415 (trebor1415)
Posted at: February 21st, 2009 11:44 pm (UTC)

Just out of curiosity, what was in Bean's gun collection?

Posted by: David Hines (hradzka)
Posted at: February 22nd, 2009 12:21 am (UTC)
303 british

Let's put it this way: the detailed answer is too long for an LJ comment. His letter to the Lycoming County Historical Society of June 12, 1956, when he offered his guns for loan and exhibition, lists 74 guns (a wheel-lock and twenty flintlocks, some dating back to the seventeenth century; sixteen percussion pistols, nine Colt percussion revolvers dating between 1848 and 1860; nine percussion revolvers from other manufacturers, including a Colt-patent-infringing Wesson & Leavit; three metallic cartridge pistols; seven metallic cartridge Colt revolvers; and nine metallic cartridge revolvers from other manufacturers). Also, "A number of bullet-moulds, pistol horns and pistol flasks."

Or, as my late friend Gharlane put it on seeing the inventory, "*OY.*"

Posted by: stalkere (stalkere)
Posted at: February 22nd, 2009 01:54 am (UTC)
One more reason I like you

Congratulations on getting mentioned - alays good to see your name in a book. Only thing better is your name in the authors space.

I remember searchinng out H Beam Piper books in used book stores when I was a kid...then my disappointment when I found out that he'd committed suicide at about the same time I started reading his work...bummer.

Posted by: David Hines (hradzka)
Posted at: February 22nd, 2009 02:54 pm (UTC)
jim with pipe

Yeah, it's a terrible shame. Carr goes into detail on what Beam faced; there were days when his food intake was nil or next to it. One dinner: a small bag of peanuts and tapioca gruel flavored with cinnamon. That was his meal for the day.

And when he got money, he would go out and blow half of it a new tailored suit. The last half of Carr's book you pretty much spend in anguish for him.

I wish like hell he'd been able to summon the fortitude to live with his wife (later ex) in France, even though he hated it, because he loved her until the day he died. She had a good, viable career and died leaving a very respectable estate. If Beam had only been more practical, more willing to accommodate -- not to mention swallow the injury to his pride of letting his wife support him while he wrote -- things could have gone ever so much better for him. And his audience. But he was proud and self-centered, so.

Posted by: lyonie17 (lyonie17)
Posted at: February 22nd, 2009 03:27 am (UTC)
Librarians of Time and Space - Pratchett

Hiya. This is some fantastic news! Congrats!

Posted by: David Hines (hradzka)
Posted at: February 22nd, 2009 02:56 pm (UTC)

Thanks! This is the book I've always wanted, so it's a delight to know that I helped out in a very small way.

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