Thursday, February 21, 2013

Lord Kalvan of Otherwhen sequels... Ebook format!

    I have previously written about my fondness for H. Beam Piper's great Paratime adventure story, "Lord Kalvan of Otherwhen", set in a Thirty-Years War like technology alternate timeline North America, in which the composition and manufacture of Gunpowder is a secret used by the Temple of Styphon to meddle extensively in the squabbling politics and wars of the many princedoms and Great Kingdoms dotting the landscape. The staus quo is shattered when Calvin Morrison, a Pennsylvania State trooper, is accidentally caught up in a Paratime conveyor, and deposited in the backwater princedom of Hostigos (in the vicinity of Here and Now State College, PA). Kalvan rapidly befriends the Prince of Hostigos (and falls in love with his beautiful and spirited daughter, Rylla ). Hostigos is under the Ban of Styphon, cut of from all gunpowder supplies by the temple, and worse, the temples gold is used to support an invasion by Hostigos' neighbors. Kalvan's outime knowledge is used to manufacture their own gunpowder, which proves to be better than the  Temple version. Other innovations follow, and Klavan soon earns the lasting hatred of Styphon's House, as they start to lose their grip on the gunpowder monopoly. The original novel has several excellent battles and other combats in it, and is a great read. It has, unfortunately  long been out of print, although it is usually available second hand at a reasonable price.

  John Carr, who happens to be a fellow wargamer as well as a science fiction author, has written four excellent sequels continuing the Kalvan Saga. In order:


Continuing after Lord Kalvan, the new Great King of Hos-Hostigos finds that hios headaches only increase as his lands are trargeted by the forces of Styphon for destruction.

Kalvan takes the offensive against the House of  Styphon, and seeks out new allies in the Sea of Grass. 


In the 2nd sequit looks like Kalavan will accomplish the impossible and defeat the vast Host of Styphon, and  spare his people the horrific the "investigation" of  Styphoni Archpriest Roxthar. 


Facing the bitter necessity of leaving behind their homes, Kalvan's army and many of his people commence a vast relocation, hoping to find a new home away from the clutches of Styphon's House.


Having relocated in the Upper Midwest, with a new capitol at the site of Here and Now Detroit, success seems to load only to new and greater challenges for Kalvan and his people. 


    My older daughter, (sometimes aka "The Princess" to my "Emperor"), asked what I wanted for Christmas, and I took advantage of a sale that Peqoud Press was having, and had her acquire the two latest Kalvan Sequels by John Carr, "which I just finished reading: The Fireseed Wars (534 pages) and "Gunpowder God" (517 pages). Both were great reads, with further development of the characters of Kalvan's companions and his enemies, as well as a developing crisis on Home Time Line for the keepers of the Paratime Secret, the Paratime Police.  There is plenty of intrigue, battles (including the first naval action of the series), innovations, and more among the pages of these novels, which I tore through in rapid succession.

    These hardcover are produced to a very high standard, and the cover illustrations are excellent. The books are quite pricey, though, at $36 per copy plus shipping. Thus, I was pleased to discover on John's newly redesigned website that, the first three sequels are now available as E-books for just $8.99, which is quite affordable. There is even a free download of the first edition of Great king's war (the 2nd edition is revised and has 12 additional chapters). Also newly available in E-book format are the two sequels to H. Beam Piper's "Little Fuzzy", as well as Piper's own "Space Viking" and two sequels to that great yarn by John, all for even less than the Kalvan E-books.

    I can't recommend these books highly enough to Wargamer-readers, especially those with an interest in the Pike and Shot era. It is hard to read these books without getting the urge to recreate some of the many actions therein on the tabletop, with your rules of choice!

Down Styphon!

Peter

11 comments:

  1. Yeah, grand books! I still prefer Piper's original to the sequels, but you won't get a better story run.
    There's even a set of wargames rules for this, although I'm not sure it's any better than any others. It's just geared for wargaming the books.

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    1. John, you refer to mike Gilbert's rules, Down Styphon! I have a copy from way back when, 25+ years ago.

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  2. Lord Kalvan, Little Fuzzy....great stuff!

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  3. "set in a Thirty-Years War like technology alternate timeline North America"

    ?? Certainly different

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  4. The premise is that there are great many alternate time lines on earth, where an event happened differently, and a major change in History occurred - Alexander didn't die in Egypt but returned to Macedonia to rule over a united empire; the Roman Republic was snuffed out by the Etruscans before it could reach critical mass; or in this case, the Aryan races migrated across the Pacific into North America ("Aryan Transpacific), and for a variety of reasons, technology evolved much more slowly than in the "Here and Now". The Rise of Styphon's house and there Gunpowder monopoly makes it Styphon's House, and Kalvan's arrival disrupt things to such a agree that new timeline starts then - Aryan TransPacific, Styphon's House sector, Kalvan sub-sector. The Home Time line of the Paratime Police both zealously guards the Paratime secret, and exploits those many other timelines for material, economic, and personal advantage.

    If you have not read the original by H. Beam Piper, do so soon!

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  5. Shame about Piper - his stuff did not become popular until after his "untimely" death. I think I have the original paperback somewhere of Lord Kalvan of otherwhen, glad to see some sequels although I am not a strong supporter of ebooks. Without electricity they are frankly useless.

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    1. I prefer print myself, but the cost of the e-books is a fifth of the hard cover deluxe editions once you include postage!

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  6. Also i think I read the Great Kings war when it was published throught the Science Fiction bookclub (Both were great books.)

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  7. I just did a reread of the entire series published to date, trying to work in the Hos Blethan afair. It led me to think that the war-game, Medieval 2 Total War, might be adaptable for this and thus could be a computer simulation of it.

    But to do it right I could use the map references of first, what was solely in Lord Kalvan, battles of Fyk in Sask and the campaign (2 days) of fighting against Nostor.

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    1. David,

      John Carr would be the one to communicate with - His website is Hostigos.com, and IRC his email is Otherwhen@aol.com

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