H. Beam Piper was one of science fiction's most enigmatic writers. In 1946 Piper appeared seemingly from out of nowhere, already at the top of his form. He published a number of memorable short stories and successfully made the turn to major novelist. Even those who counted Piper among their friends learned very little about the man (or his previous life as a railroad yard bull in Altoona, Pennsylvania) before he committed suicide in November 1964.

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