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Four Day Planet (Federation)

3.72  ·  Rating Details ·  397 Ratings  ·  35 Reviews
Four-Day Planet "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 ye
Hardcover, 172 pages
Published December 1st 2006 by Aegypan (first published 1961)
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(showing 1-30)
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Tommy Carlson
Oct 09, 2012 Tommy Carlson rated it really liked it
The eponymous planet, Fenris, has a slow rotation rate, causing days and nights lasting 1000 hours each. This forces the populace to live underground except around sunrise and sunset. And, while this odd planet provides the back-drop to the story, it isn't the story itself.

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
Jul 03, 2012 Jesse rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book has combined air / water craft, piloted by roughneck fishermen hunting sea monsters on an alien world. It's steampunk decades before the term was invented!

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
Dianne Owens
Jul 13, 2013 Dianne Owens rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Every so often I get an urge to read lots of science fiction books in a row. There is something so thrilling about seeing how other writers deal with stuff such as world-building. But most of all, I just love to see what action takes place on these worlds. Given my love of Mark Nelson's reading and H. Beam Piper's writing, Four-Day Planet seemed the obvious choice for my next book to read.

Fenris is a backwater planet with an only export of Tallow-Wax, a substance that comes from a rather da
Patrick Justo
Sep 09, 2015 Patrick Justo rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015
It is what it is: pulpy, 1950s Heinleinian science fiction aimed at nerdy young boys.

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
B. Zedan
Jul 22, 2008 B. Zedan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Folks who'd like a different spin on the intrepid kid cadet
Kid reporter! Mixed up in an uprising against a despot! Oh past future, you and your science-y vision of the newspaper world, with easily portable film cameras that relay back to the paper offices, and laser and UV plate engraving, to be cut out and hand pasted up. Mind you, two years after I worked hand paste up for the yearbook, I was using computers to lay out the school paper—while simultaneously taking an advanced graphics course that taught hand paste up. Sidebar: the word in the industry ...more
Sep 15, 2011 Becky rated it really liked it
Another one of my favorite works by H. Beam Piper. I love the harsh planets that he creates.

“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
Imagine a planet that only has four sunrises and four sunsets in a year. Night gets cold enough to freeze carbon dioxide, and daytime gets so hot you have to go outside in a fire suit. Welcome to Fenris, where the survivors of a not so successful colony have managed to carve out a small existence even in these harsh conditions. Now, meet a young seventeen year old reporter for the local news agency that takes us to all the news hotspots. The local self-appointed police are bought and paid for by ...more
Perry Whitford
The small population of the planet Fenris are a hardy bunch, enduring days of a thousand hours alternating between long periods of intense heat and freezing cold. As you can imagine, it's not exactly a desirable location.

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
Jan 09, 2014 Annette rated it liked it
Shelves: sci-fi, gutenberg
On a H. Beam Piper bender for a couple of weeks and quite enjoying it. In many ways, this is highly typical golden-era Sci-Fi, with its plucky, self-reliant young men, hostile planets, "interesting" governments (or in this case, lack thereof), and the like. The twist on the planet of Fenris is that, despite an Earth-length year, said year consists of only four days. Not surprisingly, life out of doors is untenable outside of a handful of days each quarter.
In most ways the planet's oddities are
Feb 03, 2013 Ross rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Heinlein fans
Fun story set on an fantastical planet with a 2000 hour long day/night cycle (and 4 such "days" a year). The planet is just window-dressing though, as the tale revolves around a plucky young reporter (the only one on the planet) covering a rebellion/uprising/revolt of the main populace (made up of equal parts fishermen/sea-monster-hunters and townspeople who survive because of the monster-trade) against the corrupt politicians that have run the government for so long that they don't even hold el ...more
Mar 02, 2014 Jim rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition

Four-Day Planet

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

Lance Keashly
Feb 26, 2014 Lance Keashly rated it liked it
Its got layers, the part I like is the planet with the odd rotation that makes living on it a huge challenge, a loose interstellar community with longish travel/communication times, and corrupt politicians. This is set in a technology still showing its roots from the time of fax machines, tape recorders, film cameras, and TV which is layered on the social structure were everyone smokes tobacco to relax, drinks hard liquor when thirsty, use guns for everyday wear, and men do everything important ...more
Jul 24, 2013 Margaret rated it it was amazing
Other than the size of the engines in the Subs and the details of the media technology, this book has not dated at all!
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
May 21, 2011 Lauren rated it liked it
This story was going well weeks ago, but I has to put it down when the ePub file became corrupted. Now Goodreads mysteriously has a button I can press that takes me straight to a built-in reader. I'll zip through the rest of this when I finally get done with Niven's Fleet of Worlds.

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
Jul 30, 2015 Jon rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Despite the same rating, my second H. Beam Piper novel left me more fulfilled than the first in his Federation series. While there may have been less action than its predecessor, the political intrigue and newspaper angle to this story produced greater characterization for our protagonist and supporting cast. That, combined with the little twist at the end, made for a more entertaining read all around. I'm looking forward to reading more by this oft-forgotten science fiction writer. For a pulp n ...more
Gregory Rothbard
Nov 07, 2011 Gregory Rothbard rated it it was ok

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
This reminds me of some of Heinlein's Juvenile fiction - at least, the fiction Heinlein wrote before he became a dirty old man. It's a light hearted, action filled romp with decent characters.

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
Warren Liebeman
Jan 28, 2012 Warren Liebeman rated it liked it
I like to occasionally read old SF to catch anachronisms and insights to technologies that exist now. Many mentions to AV and film and WWII weapon caliber. Emphasis on the value of a higher education and a society of laws.

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.
Brent Mair
Feb 12, 2013 Brent Mair rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Old Sci-Fi Fans
Definitely better than 3 but not nearly a four on the star rating. I'm enjoying reading this old science fiction to see all the anachronistic items these writers put in. Must be difficult to predict future technology.

This was a pleasant listen.
Aug 02, 2016 Megan rated it it was amazing
This book just felt like classic science fiction in the best way possible. Humans surviving on a totally inhospitable planet, ships that are submarines but spaceships at the same time, weird creatures that are quite dangerous, and add in some civil uprising, and you have an exciting tale.
Robyn Paterson
Oct 26, 2011 Robyn Paterson rated it really liked it
A fun young adult sci-fi novel about a teen reporter on a planet where monster whale hunting is the main occupation. A great fun read that really brings alive the setting to the point where you feel like you could walk down the street of the place. Good ending too.
Henri Moreaux
Jan 06, 2013 Henri Moreaux rated it liked it
I find these 'visions of the future' written back in the 50s quite interesting really. Whilst this story was a little slower at the beginning than some of HB Piper's other works it got up and moving about 1/4 of the way through and was a good read overall.
Dec 19, 2007 Tracey rated it it was ok
Shelves: e-text
Action-adventure juvie with socio-economics thrown in. More entertaining than it sounds.. Heinleinesque, if you're into that sort of thing.
Nov 23, 2010 Heather rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: fans of Heinlein's juvenile books
3.5 stars if I could. It's a whaling adventure novel...IN SPACE!!!1!! Reads a lot like the juvenile Heinleins with our intrepid and humble late-teen hero.
Feb 13, 2011 Lindsay rated it liked it
Shelves: sci-fi, kindle, z2011
An interesting read with some great characters and themes.
Jonathan Stevens
Jul 11, 2016 Jonathan Stevens rated it really liked it
Like a heinlein juvenile with intrigue, monsters, and guns. Great.
Jul 01, 2007 Steve rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classic, ebook, i-own
Light read. Didn't leave much of an impression.
Brett's Books
Jul 31, 2011 Brett's Books rated it did not like it
Not really science fiction, instead the book is an economic/political thriller set on a planet that happens to have only 4 days in a (365 day) typical calendar year. I didn't like it.
Sean Brennan
Actually thought this is the weakest Piper I have read so far! Still worth a read though it is a bit too much like a boy's adventure story to my tastes.
Mar 12, 2013 katbethell rated it really liked it
Highly entertaining, complete with sea monster hunt, shipwreck, and intrigue -- all from the point of view of a 17-year-old reporter.
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Madison Mega-Mara...: "Four Day Planet" by H. Beam Piper 1 1 Jun 01, 2013 10:44AM  
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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.
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Federation (1 - 10 of 12 books)
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“I had a lot of other ideas, now and then, but every time I took a second look at one, it got sick and died.” 2 likes
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