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Last Enemy by H. Beam Piper, Science Fiction, Adventure

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The story begins at a dinner party given by Garnon of Roxor. The party is a voluntary discarnation feast, or suicide party. Garnon has been planning his discarnation for years, but has decided to proceed now, to assist in the scientific experiment of Dallona of Hadron. Immediately after Garnon's death, a nearby sensitive, already placed in a hypnotic trance, begins to chan The story begins at a dinner party given by Garnon of Roxor. The party is a voluntary discarnation feast, or suicide party. Garnon has been planning his discarnation for years, but has decided to proceed now, to assist in the scientific experiment of Dallona of Hadron. Immediately after Garnon's death, a nearby sensitive, already placed in a hypnotic trance, begins to channel Garnon's spirit, giving proof positive that disincarnate individuals are fully conscious, telepathically sensitive, capable of telepathic communication and capable of exercising choice in the vehicle for their reincarnation.


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The story begins at a dinner party given by Garnon of Roxor. The party is a voluntary discarnation feast, or suicide party. Garnon has been planning his discarnation for years, but has decided to proceed now, to assist in the scientific experiment of Dallona of Hadron. Immediately after Garnon's death, a nearby sensitive, already placed in a hypnotic trance, begins to chan The story begins at a dinner party given by Garnon of Roxor. The party is a voluntary discarnation feast, or suicide party. Garnon has been planning his discarnation for years, but has decided to proceed now, to assist in the scientific experiment of Dallona of Hadron. Immediately after Garnon's death, a nearby sensitive, already placed in a hypnotic trance, begins to channel Garnon's spirit, giving proof positive that disincarnate individuals are fully conscious, telepathically sensitive, capable of telepathic communication and capable of exercising choice in the vehicle for their reincarnation.

30 review for Last Enemy by H. Beam Piper, Science Fiction, Adventure

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jazzy

    Surprisingly very hard to follow. Perhaps it was my lack of scientific knowledge and lingo, or maybe the complex plot line. I don't know which, but I could not fully grasp what was going on, even until the end. :( Surprisingly very hard to follow. Perhaps it was my lack of scientific knowledge and lingo, or maybe the complex plot line. I don't know which, but I could not fully grasp what was going on, even until the end. :(

  2. 4 out of 5

    Becky

    How do you kill your enemies, when they keep reincarnating? How would the knowledge of optional, and purposeful, reincarnation change the socio-political landscape of a world? If you forcibly disincarnate someone (the word for to kill, or murder in this short story), what are the ramifications. All these are questions that are addressed in this short story, and we see the return of some of our favorite paratime police.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jon

    Set in the Paratime Police series, this science fiction story delves into another dimension where reincarnation is not a religious ideology, but an objective reality. However, the nature of rebirth is uncertain and has lead to the creation of two distinct factions. That is, until the truth of the situation is discovered by a scientist and society breaks down. Good story with parallels to then-current times, but not exactly outdated for our modern society or political climate. Unfortunately, there Set in the Paratime Police series, this science fiction story delves into another dimension where reincarnation is not a religious ideology, but an objective reality. However, the nature of rebirth is uncertain and has lead to the creation of two distinct factions. That is, until the truth of the situation is discovered by a scientist and society breaks down. Good story with parallels to then-current times, but not exactly outdated for our modern society or political climate. Unfortunately, there isn't enough time to fully expand upon the introduced ideas. If the protagonist Verkan Vall serves as H. Beam Piper's Jubal Harshaw, acting as a mouthpiece instead of being an independent character, there are some problematic views on the atom bomb.

  4. 4 out of 5

    SciFiOne

    2019 grade B Kindle mega-pack

  5. 5 out of 5

    Akrabar

    great story

  6. 5 out of 5

    Perry Whitford

    A sci-fi short story from the "golden age" by a noted practitioner of the time, The Last Enemy is an inter-dimensional tale of political intrigue, reincarnation and institutionalized assassination, told with a lively sense of humour. When a time traveling scientist from a technologically advanced time-line decides to aid an inferior culture prove the existence of reincarnation. Success opens up a veritable Pandora's Box of social and political ramifications, leading to her disappearance and a ci A sci-fi short story from the "golden age" by a noted practitioner of the time, The Last Enemy is an inter-dimensional tale of political intrigue, reincarnation and institutionalized assassination, told with a lively sense of humour. When a time traveling scientist from a technologically advanced time-line decides to aid an inferior culture prove the existence of reincarnation. Success opens up a veritable Pandora's Box of social and political ramifications, leading to her disappearance and a civil war. A policeman (and ex-lover) from her own Level One of 'Paratime' is sent on a rescue mission to square things off if he can. He operates a little like a Special Circumstances agent, the secret police of Iain Baink's celebrated Culture series of novels, only this lot work across multiple time-lines. They can artificially alter their appearances and attributes in order to visit alternative levels incognito. However, in line with the Prime Directive from Star Trek they aren't supposed to conspicuously interfere with the indigenous species. It's a fun read and many of the ideas here wouldn't appear old-fashioned in a contemporary story. The social, political and theological ramifications of the story, though not investigated in any depth, were well handled. It was spoiled somewhat by an endless litany of silly-sounding names (Garnon of Roxor etc) which brought a unwelcome stiffness to the narrative. That quibble aside, the writer's tongue was never that far away from the region of his cheek. Of course, as with all good science fiction there were also clear parallels to contemporary history in the story (e.g. 1950s Earth is called Fourth Level Europo-American Sector, where the enemies are communists and creationists!), but the overall moral - that scientists are ultimately above blame for the consequences of their work - was not one I can agree with. Reading Piper's page on Wikipedia I learnt that he wrote a series of stories about these Paratime Police, as well as a whole load of other stories and a handful of novels, some of which can be found online at Project Gutenberg. He also committed suicide the Heming-way, with a shotgun.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Jesse Whitehead

    This is one the books in H. Beam Piper’s Paratime Police universe. As usual Piper is brilliant. Surprisingly, for a book written in the fifties, this book features a female scientist who, though she does need to be rescued, actually has a personality and does a good deal of the rescuing herself. There are also black people who are not predominantly bad-guys, also surprising for a book from the fifties. One of the themes of this book is reincarnation. The Paratime Police, apparently, have proven s This is one the books in H. Beam Piper’s Paratime Police universe. As usual Piper is brilliant. Surprisingly, for a book written in the fifties, this book features a female scientist who, though she does need to be rescued, actually has a personality and does a good deal of the rescuing herself. There are also black people who are not predominantly bad-guys, also surprising for a book from the fifties. One of the themes of this book is reincarnation. The Paratime Police, apparently, have proven scientifically that people can reincarnate and do so at will. This means that killing somebody is called discarnating them. They’ll be back in a few decades or centuries. The conceit made for an interesting set of political and cultural differences that were believably strange. However the whole thing made me feel a little sick inside. H. Beam Piper killed himself at the height of his career, as so many great artists do. I can’t help but wonder if the themes he explores in this book are justification to himself for his actions. We’ll probably never know but it made the people who discarnated for awhile when they got tired of living more than a little creepy and extremely disconcerting.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Lynn

    This novella features the hero of H. Beam Piper's paratime stories,(Paratime Police: Complete Sci-Fi Series: Police Operation, He Walked Around the Horses, Last Enemy, Temple Trouble, Genesis, Time Crime, Lord Kalvan of Otherwhen & Down Styphon ) Verkun Vall. He is an action hero in the style of Edgar Rice Burroughs' John Carter, with a dash of a film noir detective thrown in. This is the third in the paratime series. I liked the first and second much more: He Walked Around the Horses and Police This novella features the hero of H. Beam Piper's paratime stories,(Paratime Police: Complete Sci-Fi Series: Police Operation, He Walked Around the Horses, Last Enemy, Temple Trouble, Genesis, Time Crime, Lord Kalvan of Otherwhen & Down Styphon ) Verkun Vall. He is an action hero in the style of Edgar Rice Burroughs' John Carter, with a dash of a film noir detective thrown in. This is the third in the paratime series. I liked the first and second much more: He Walked Around the Horses and Police Operation. This one got lost a bit in theoretical reincarnation, but the golden age science fiction motifs are still there. I will continue the series. I hope numbers four and beyond go back to being more like number two.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Briana

    Read on LibriVox (free audio books in the public domain).

  10. 5 out of 5

    Chris

    These Paratime stories are usually hard to follow, especially initially, but overall they are really enjoyable. As always, this story tackles a concept (proof of reincarnation) and follows it to an interesting conclusion, especially the impacts that scientific proof has on a society.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Herman Gigglethorpe

    This Paratime story is about a universe where reincarnation is a proven fact, humanity has interstellar travel, everyone is brown-skinned, and a war is about to start between Statisticalists (Communists) and Volitionists (Capitalists). A Paratime scientist and natives from that timeline discover how to record memories of past lives, and discover evidence that dead people have some choice as to what form they will take. Death is an inconvenience at worst, and people kill themselves at "suicide pa This Paratime story is about a universe where reincarnation is a proven fact, humanity has interstellar travel, everyone is brown-skinned, and a war is about to start between Statisticalists (Communists) and Volitionists (Capitalists). A Paratime scientist and natives from that timeline discover how to record memories of past lives, and discover evidence that dead people have some choice as to what form they will take. Death is an inconvenience at worst, and people kill themselves at "suicide parties" when they grow tired of their current form. The communists believed that people reincarnated randomly, and this new evidence makes their position invalid. There's a statement to the effect that the proletariat won't overthrow the nobility if they aspire to reincarnate as them. The Paratime people think about how not everyone can become nobility, and the answer given is that people get bored when they are dead and they are willing to take on a new body, no matter how disadvantaged. The communists wage a civil war to maintain their power, and the nobles plot against the Paratime people as well (should status stay with the bloodline, or the reincarnation of a noble). The dramatic tension comes not so much from death, but from the potential revelation of the Paratime secret if an agent dies and learns about his or her past life. Even though our world is a Fourth Level timeline, Verkan Vall has worked there often and occasionally uses heavy-handed analogies with our history. Vall even recommends nuclear war to prevent overpopulation and environmental issues (I wonder how much Piper knew about radiation or "nuclear winter"). It's a fairly entertaining and short read overall, and most of Piper's stories are free on Project Gutenberg (except Lord Kalvan of Otherwhen and the Little Fuzzy sequels).

  12. 4 out of 5

    Sean Brennan

    Don't get we wrong I love Piper's stories, and this is no exception concened here with two ideologies in conflict over the nature of reincarnation, what I do have a problem was with his dubious(to say the least)political views. the arrogant, cocksure, ambitious, LEFTIST politician, who knows what is best for everybody better than anybody else does yes everyone is entitled to their own opinion you might add. Towards the end of the book Piper's answer to over population, A series of all out Atomi Don't get we wrong I love Piper's stories, and this is no exception concened here with two ideologies in conflict over the nature of reincarnation, what I do have a problem was with his dubious(to say the least)political views. the arrogant, cocksure, ambitious, LEFTIST politician, who knows what is best for everybody better than anybody else does yes everyone is entitled to their own opinion you might add. Towards the end of the book Piper's answer to over population, A series of all out Atomic Wars is just what this sector needs (our own world}, to bring down their population down to their world's carrying capacity Ahem. A tad extreme.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Jim

    Product Description The book has no illustrations or index. Purchasers are entitled to a free trial membership in the General Books Club where they can select from more than a million books without charge. Subjects: Fiction / Science Fiction / General; Fiction / Science Fiction / General; Fiction / Science Fiction / Adventure;

  14. 5 out of 5

    Brian

    Part of the long running Paratime Police series, enjoying this short story centres around accepting the premise that reincarnation is scientifically provable. Get over that hurdle, and the rest is fun with (almost) two party politics, an armed and dueling populace and some YA-ish gunplay. Personally I hate the bit with the table close to the end, but other than that it's a fun read. Part of the long running Paratime Police series, enjoying this short story centres around accepting the premise that reincarnation is scientifically provable. Get over that hurdle, and the rest is fun with (almost) two party politics, an armed and dueling populace and some YA-ish gunplay. Personally I hate the bit with the table close to the end, but other than that it's a fun read.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Lindsay

    I just never really got into this one. It was a kind of confusing storyline and I didn't really connect with the characters. I just never really got into this one. It was a kind of confusing storyline and I didn't really connect with the characters.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Ozgur K

  17. 5 out of 5

    David Stuckey

  18. 4 out of 5

    Sean Hennessey

  19. 5 out of 5

    Matt Krueger

  20. 5 out of 5

    Alex

  21. 4 out of 5

    Michael Roseman

  22. 4 out of 5

    D.L. Thurston

  23. 4 out of 5

    George Farrants

  24. 5 out of 5

    Patrick Gibson

  25. 5 out of 5

    Joe Gonzales

  26. 4 out of 5

    Mika

  27. 4 out of 5

    Path

  28. 4 out of 5

    Bryan

  29. 4 out of 5

    Timothy Evavold

  30. 4 out of 5

    Dan

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