Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Space Viking” as Want to Read:
Space Viking
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Read Book* *Different edition

Space Viking (Federation)

3.76  ·  Rating details ·  1,366 Ratings  ·  116 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, Reprint, 243 pages
Published September 1st 1983 by Ace Books (NY) (first published November 1st 1962)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Space Viking, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Space Viking

Community Reviews

(showing 1-10)
Rating details
Sort: Default
Jul 02, 2008 rated it really liked it
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
Feb 18, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: sf-fantasy
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.
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.
Jan 17, 2008 rated it it was ok
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
Sean Brennan
Feb 27, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf, sf-challenge
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
Jun 20, 2011 rated it it was ok
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
Aug 01, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
Sep 15, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: vintage-scifi
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 rated it it was amazing
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
Nov 27, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Madison Mega-Mara...: "Space Viking" by H. Beam Piper 1 1 Oct 03, 2013 04:06PM  
  • Sinister Barrier
  • Shield
  • Master Mind / Fighting Man (Barsoom, #6-7)
  • Iceworld
  • In Paul Klee's Enchanted Garden
  • Privateer (The Flight Engineer, #2)
  • Invid Invasion (#10)
  • The Dorsai Companion (Childe Cycle, #8)
  • Golden Witchbreed
  • Design for Great-Day
  • By Any Other Name
  • Pandora's Legions
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
  • Empire
  • Federation
“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
“It may just be," he added, "that there is something fundamentally unworkable about government itself. As long as Homo sapiens terra is a wild animal, which he has always been and always will be until he evolves into something different in a million or so years, maybe a workable system of government is a political science impossibility, just as transmutation of elements was a physical-science impossibility as long as they tried to do it by chemical means.” 1 likes
More quotes…