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Preview — Four Day Planet by H. Beam Piper
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Four Day Planet (Federation)
Fenris isn't a hell planet, but it's nobody's bargain. With 2,000-hour days and an 8,000-hour ye ...more
The story itself revolves around the conflict between corrupt local politicians and the equivalent of earthly whale hunters. And, damn, but it's a lot of fun.
The novel is an example of old-skool sci-fi with competent manly men ...more
Beyond the outstanding throwback technology, this is a compact adventure, centering around a plucky young newspaper reporter raised on a climactically brutal planet, working to uncover corruption in the small-time government running the place. This deserves a read for anyone interested in what science fiction looked like in the pre-t ...more
Fenris is a backwater planet with an only export of Tallow-Wax, a substance that comes from a rather da ...more
The "four day planet" is Fenriss, a planet with a 2000 hour rotation rate. That is, any given spot on the planet is in darkness for 1000 hours, and sunlit for another 1000. Piper accurately describes the weather extremes that this would lead to: baking hot temperatures at noon, causing wild anabatic winds, followed by evening storms coming in off the ocean, followed by nighttime storms, followed by seriously bel ...more
“When people have to stay underground most of the time to avoid being fried and/or frozen to death, they have a lot of time to kill, and reading is one of the cheaper and more harmless and profitable ways of doing it. And travel books are a special favorite here. I suppose because everybody is hoping to read about a worse place than Fenris.”
Fenris is basically an unlivable planet, but people persist i ...more
Their only export is a wax taken from the belly of huge sea monsters which they hunt in submarines which can also fly. As our seventeen year old narrator Walt Boyd explains, there are 'twenty-odd thousand of us, and while we are still very poor, we are very tough, and we brag ab ...more
In most ways the planet's oddities are ...more
Four-Day Planet . . . where the killing heat of a thousand-hour "day" drives men underground, and the glorious hundred-hour sunset is followed by a thousand-hour night so cold that only an Extreme Environment Suit can preserve the life of anyone caught outside.
Fenris isn't a hell planet, but it's nobody's bargain. With 2,000-hour days and an 8,000-hour year, it alternates blazing heat with killing cold. A planet like that tends to breed a special kind of person: tough enough
The social commentary is at least as relevant today as when it was written ... the intervening decades might as well not have existed.
As for said media tech: although he got the mechanics wrong, his concept of the positive and negative impacts of instant universal access to information and communication was vindicated recently in the flash looting in many UK cities, together wit ...more
I've taken to thinking of H. B. Piper as an erratic spinner of yarns, and though the ending of this particular tale seemed sudden and clumsy, some of the characters were richly-drawn and compelling. The story was more ...more
The young man Walt, the only reporter on a treacherous planet tells the news on a dangerous planet. He dreams of one day being honored with the ability to be able to hunt for monsters and the profitable wax that come from them. He also yearns to be taken seriously by the leaders of his community, through his truthful telling of the news. The story explores the dissemination of language; what language needs to be heard in order to maintain civilization in a cultural outpost. The book fell flat ha ...more
Numerous times, I had to chuckle at the corny substitutes for cuss words. I've never actually seen "blankety blank" in print before! And of course, the pivotal riot started with "Who are you calling a so-and-so, you thus-and-so-ing such-and-such?!" How times have changed in the past few decades!
I was kind o ...more
Many references to Moby Dick and the transference of that society's economy to the Four Day Planet.
Overall a rather tired story of good guys vs bad guys.
This was a pleasant listen.