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Space Viking (Federation)

3.74 of 5 stars 3.74  ·  rating details  ·  962 ratings  ·  85 reviews
When his wife is murdered on his wedding day, Lucas Trask launches himself on a quest for revenge. Using his personal fortune, he buys a spaceship and becomes a Space Viking, raiding worlds while hunting for his wife's killer. But raiding is not his destiny, and he gradually becomes a trader, starting to build a galactic empire. Before he can achieve his new goals, however ...more
Paperback, 176 pages
Published March 30th 2007 by Wildside Press (first published November 1st 1962)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,564)
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Sep 18, 2008 Hotspur rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: lovers of Space Opera
Recommended to Hotspur by: found on Librivox
Shelves: science-fiction
A fun read, in that old-fashioned, chest-thumping, red meat eating and martini drinking fashion. I love a diversion into Space Opera now and again, and Space Viking is a fine example of the genre. The only H.B. Piper I can admit to reading so far has been LORD KALVAN OF OTHERWHEN (a great alt-history type novel, the first of the PARATIME series), plus some well-executed short stories. Space Viking wasn't extremely deep; Piper prefers the bludgeon to the rapier on some of the points he makes, but ...more
A sentimental three stars; this was space opera without too much philosophy...Reading his other stuff (particularly Uller Uprising), I found his politics laughably simplistic and increasingly tedious.
I read The Cosmic Computer and Space Viking.

The first is the better of the two, involving a man who uses a rumor of a super-computer on his home planet, once a planet-wide military base of the galactic Federation, to start a boom of reclaiming military salvage so that he can get a working hyperspace ship together so he can revitalize the planet by shipping luxury goods grown on his planet to Terra. Along the way, of course, he discovers the computer, which he thought was fictional, is real, and
Ok, so I’m a big fan of H. Beam Piper. Yes classic Sci-Fi requires a certain taste, it’s certainly not for everyone, and Piper was a bit more on the fringe of political discourse than many of his contemporaries. Space Viking does tend to exhibit Piper’s personal beliefs quite plainly, but it is so jam packed with space exploration and battles that it’s delicious.
Trask’s development as a character is realistic and interesting. Plus, I love series that span an immense amount of time in a create
B. Zedan
Jul 22, 2008 B. Zedan rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Folks who—Shit. SPACE VIKING!
Can we all bask for a moment in the glory of that title?

With Space Kings and their Space Feudalism! And Space Amish (sort of)! It's interesting and I think another example of how Piper (like another favourite of mine, David Drake) pulls from historic battles and whatnot. The only problem with Piper is that his books are great, I just don't want to ruin a fun story for someone else. This one has revenge, though—and a space ship named Nemesis. Oooh. By this point in time, colonising is out, along
Keith Jones
Takes a while to get going, and I was starting to worry that I wouldn’t get through it. Fortunately, they got their base of operations established and started trading with the other systems in the area, and the story really picked up. The evolution of their not really planned little empire was entertaining. I also liked the story’s thoughts on governments and civilizations, centering around how all systems are corruptible and all ultimately rely on the goodwill of the governed. The biggest risk ...more
My other half picked this at random to listen to on a long drive via Audiobooks on his cell phone. What a great find! We now want to go read all his other stuff.

I kept asking when the book was written, since all LibraVox recordings are in the public domain, yet this book discusses hyperdrives and nuclear power and Hitler... turns out it was written in 1963 but it really feels modern and timeless.

This book is partly a store of one man's quest for revenge and how his life didn't really go as plann
What starts as a Space Chase soon takes a back seat to a strange, demi-Randian commentary on governments and the manner in which they interfere with Strong, Sensible Men. Piper includes a couple of "well, who's to say" equivocations, but it's clear the reader is meant to align with the aristocratic Trask and historically-knowledgeable Harkaman, both of whom hold the opinion that if one wants to make an omelet, one has to firebomb a few thousand chicken coops. On top of this, seemingly the only t ...more
Thibaldo Manrique
This is definitely one of the classics of science fiction

I read this book for the first time in college. I recently fond it free to download on Kindle. It was a very happy coincidence.

It is a great space opera. A relatively short novella, but a great one at that. The characters are very well developed, the heros likable and the villains hateful. The women beautiful, intelligent and articulate, the men strong and heroic. The situations all resonate with history, in such a way that it all feels fa
Product Description

Space Viking is a science fiction novel written by H. Beam Piper and is set in his Terro-Human future history. It tells the story of one man's search for his wife's murderer and its unexpected consequences. The story was originally serialized in Analog magazine. Background Ten thousand refugees from the losing side of The Big War (The System States War of The Cosmic Computer) fled far beyond the boundaries of the Terran Federation and colonized the planet Excalibur. By the b

Watch this space. THIS SPACE!


Okay, so this book has a lot to recommend it--even if the GR summary contains SPOILERS for events that happen (to be fair) pretty early in the book. But not at the very beginning, so. Spoilers. Anyway. Mostly a disquisition on the questions of civilization versus barbarism, plus plenty of space ships, space battles, space politics, space vengeance, and of course the titular vikings! IN SPACE!

Given the period in which it was written, some of the way cool future te
Sean Brennan
I have always enjoyed Piper's Terra Federation books and even praised Piper as one of the unsung heroes of SF, but this I had major problems with.

Piper states that both Democracy and Government stemming from it are historically flawed concepts, I have no problem with that. Piper's solution is quite frankly authoritarian to the extreme and also contradictory.

"Then your democracy is a farce,and the people only free on sufferance. if their ballots aren't secured by arms, they're worthless"

Then lat
Incredible. Space opera cum philosophy.

Written over fifty years ago, but as relevant as today's headlines. The science is better than many contemporary SF novels, despite being written while we were still struggling to dependably orbit a man.

Great pen and ink illustrations in the Gutenburg edition.

Longer review to follow after i've digested this for a few weeks.

A great read.
Rollie Reid
Space opera at its finest. Okay, maybe not, but it was a fun read and it was free on Kindle. When Lucas Trask's wife is murdered at their wedding, he gives up his estate, the Barony of Traskon for a ship and declares himself a Space Viking. His vow is to track down and kill the murderer of his wife. Things don't turn out quite the way he imagined. He arrives at the planet Tanith hoping to find his adversary, but what he finds is an opportunity. He comes eventually to lead more than just one ship ...more
I listened to this novel as a Librivox free, public domain audio book. It is competently narrated by Mark Nelson. He's not in the league of the good professional audio book readers, but he's much better than some of the Librivox volunteer readers.

As for the novel itself, it is a fairly typical early 1960s space opera.
This book starts out well, but with a lot of philosophical muttering and self justification with what amounts to genocide. In the end our hero seems to wind up more on the side of the bad guys than the good guys, in a universe where achievement equates with firepower.
A competent, occasionally thought provoking little look back at history presented in the guise of a far-future science fiction tale.
I don't often do well with "anti-heros," and therefore had a little trouble adjusting to a main character who is a self-proclaimed professional murderer and thief - i.e. a member of the Space Vikings who make their living by plundering planets who have lost high (and often even mid) technology. The story, however, made up for this highly unsavory profession by maki
Sarah Wilson
Oh, it was written in 1984.

I don't even remember how I ended up with this book on my Kindle. But the title sounded amazing, so I picked it to start reading. I found it difficult to follow - there was a lot of world development without explanation. It felt like I was thrown into the middle of a book and missed the intro that explained how everything worked. Overlooking that, I didn't care about any of the characters and wasn't emotionally involved on any level. I eventually gave up about 76% of t
David Stiles
Turned out much deeper than I expected. There is a Machiavellian subplot with an analysis of democracy. Some of the other reviews I've seen have said a lot of things that, now that I've read the book, really seem like the reviewer didn't even read the book. It's not a difficult read, there's no complexity to unravel. There are a lot of characters introduced in the beginning at one time, which can be a little hard to keep track of, but I believe it illustrates a point - that the protagonist is no ...more
Baron Greystone
This is the first of Piper's books that I've read. Having seen his "Little Fuzzy" in bookstores over the years, I had no desire to check him out. However I recently read the assertion that this book was one of many influences on the Traveller role-playing game. Since I'm a fan of Traveller, and of the series of books that was a major influence on the game (EC Tubb's Dumarest saga), I thought I'd check out Space Viking.

There is a group of worlds in the Traveller universe called the Sword Worlds.
This story is in the genre of Space Opera, or even what is now called YA, though when Piper wrote it was most likely called Juvenile Fiction. It stays in print, people buy it, people reread it. I have read it virtually every other year for nearly thirty years. Not that it is great literature, but that it is a fun read. There are bad guys and good guys, quests, and evil deeds.

Along the way we are treated to what piper often does in the Terro-Human Federation stories, and that is get a glimpse of
William Gerke
It took me a while to get into it, but then I couldn't put it down. Absolutely delightful, "Space Viking" is classic space opera at its finest, full of men being real men, women being background characters (except for two implied moments of real courage and heroism that pass by really quickly), space ships, atomic weapons, battles, planning, betrayal, revenge, and historical parallels. Reminded me a lot of Glen Cook at his best with some really amazing logistical military and political challenge ...more
I guess part of this year’s reading has been visiting the “old masters”. Earlier it was Heinlein and Delany, and now it’s a free e-book version of H. Beam Piper’s Space Viking. My lone regret regarding the e-book is that it doesn’t have the really cool cover the paperback edition had when I first saw it in Crown Books (I might have just dated myself with that reference).

The sound bite plot summary is this. The Federation fell years ago and some planets fell in barbarism, others near barbarism, a
John Faherty
Space Viking -H Beam Piper

This adventure takes place in a dark age several hundred years after the demise of the great Terran Federation and a few hundred years before the rise of the first galactic empire. This like Mr. Pipers other works takes its cues from our own history. Like the Vikings of old, the space Viking make their living by raiding and pillaging the remnants of the old federation. By doing so, the wealth and best technology are concentrated into the hands of these unlikely builder
Aaron Meyer
What a great story! As soon as I started reading it I was gripped by its prose. You can see many influences, historical, at play throughout these pages. It is like a commentary of the medieval period in Europe where the tired old civilized kingdoms were preyed upon by vikings which in turn saved civilization by their actions. As well you have another underlying influence coming from WWII. With this book being published in the early 60's it was obviously very fresh in the author's mind indeed. Th ...more
Todd Martin
I’d never heard of or read anything by H. Beam Piper, but evidently, though he was not particularly successful as a writer, he supposedly had an influence on the science fiction genre, though this book didn’t provide any clues as to why this might be the case. Space Viking was first published in 1963 and has been made available for free at Amazon (Kindle edition) at:

Space Viking is a short space opera involving the protagonist Lucas Trask and a search for
The aptly named 'Space Viking' is about a quest for vengeance when a scorned lover murders his former love after her wedding and steals a ship, blasting off to the barbarous Old Federation planets. The true-love husband (of 30 minutes) sets off trying to stage a trap and find the murderer, mercilessly raiding 'barbarous' planets to quicken his plans. He civilizes one of the Old Federation planets as his base and slowly reorganizes the region into the new sector of commerce and activity.

The book
Jesse Whitehead
H. Beam Piper did not write a lot of books. Little Fuzzy was the height of his short career that ended abruptly when he shot himself.

I've read several of his books, when I can find them, and I've enjoyed all of them. Some more than others. They all have a certain kind of 1940's feel to them.

There are a lot of men, very heroic men, who also know a lot of things and have a lot skills. Piper believed in the very capable man. There are usually women, though not many of them. They are always side cha
Richard Tongue
Reading this review will be eating up valuable time that you should be using reading the book. So go and get it – for heaven's sake, it's on Gutenberg – and read it. You want to read the review instead? Sigh. I'll say at the outset that I am a huge Beam Piper fan, and Space Viking is one of my favourite books, certainly in the top ten. It provides such a rich picture of a setting, detailed in history and canon, but does it with none of that getting in the way, no prior knowledge needed, and with ...more
Herman Gigglethorpe
This is my least favorite H Beam Piper book so far, even though this seems to have a lot of fans. Several writers have made fan sequels to Space Viking.

Space Viking is set long after the fall of the Terran Federation. Occasional privateers from the "Sword Worlds" launch raids on the remnants of the Federation and loot them for the Sword World nobility. Lucas Trask is about to marry his love Elaine, though the insane noble Andray Dunnan attacks their wedding and kills her. Lucas Trask sells his p
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Henry Beam Piper was an American science fiction author. He wrote many short stories and several novels. He is best known for his extensive Terro-Human Future History series of stories and a shorter series of "Paratime" alternate history tales.
More about H. Beam Piper...

Other Books in the Series

Federation (1 - 10 of 12 books)
  • Uller Uprising
  • Graveyard of Dreams: Science Fiction Stories
  • Ministry of Disturbance and Other SF
  • Ministry of Disturbance
  • Oomphel in the Sky
  • Four Day Planet
  • A Slave Is A Slave
  • The Cosmic Computer (aka Junkyard Planet)
  • Empire
  • Federation
Little Fuzzy (Fuzzy Sapiens, #1) Fuzzy Sapiens (Fuzzy Sapiens, #2) The Fuzzy Papers (Fuzzy Sapiens, #1-2) Lord Kalvan of Otherwhen (Paratime Police) Fuzzies and Other People (Fuzzy Sapiens, #3)

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“Vengeance is a strange human motivation --- it can drive a man to do things which he neither would nor could achieve without it ... and because of that it lies behind some of the greatest sagas of human literature!” 3 likes
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