The following gives a brief flavour of the worlds and themes in which the various books are set and hopefully encourage you to want to read more about them.
In his Paratime series, H. Beam Piper postulated an almost infinite number of parallel earthly worlds or timelines, but in each time-line events occurred differently. These outtime time-lines are exploited by the parasitic inhabitants of the Home Time Line who have invented a way to transpose from one time-line to another. The Paratimers use that ability to trade and steal goods, rare artworks, cultural artifacts and raw materials their own exhausted earth can no longer provide.
The Paratime series features the Paratime Police who are responsible for policing the timelines and for ensuring that the secret of Paratime Transposition is not discovered by the inhabitants of any other timeline. The Paratime stories all feature the adventures of the Paratime Police top troubleshooter Verkan Vall and his wife, Dalla, who has a penchant for attracting trouble.
Terro-Human Future History
H. Beam Piper's Terro-Human Future History spans over six thousand years of human stability and turmoil: the Third and Fourth World Wars on Earth, the First and Second Federation and the colonization of the solar system and hundreds of worlds, the System States Alliance, the Interstellar Wars, the Neo-Barbarian Age, the Sword-World Incursions, the formation of the League of Civilized Worlds, the First, Second, Third and Fourth Galactic Empires. The First Empire is described as containing 3,365 worlds, 1.5 trillion people and 15 intelligent races. Unfortunately, Piper's untimely death prematurely halted his development of the Terro-Human Future History. Still, Piper left behind an important body of work with the majority of his stories and novels taking place in his Terro-Human Federation.
Piper himself had a cyclical view of human history, one based on his study of history and influenced by Arnold Toynbee, the great English historian whose "A Study of History" had a great impact on the mid-twentieth century view of history. For example, when Piper was working on story ideas for his short story A Slave is A Slave, Mike Knerr writes in his unpublished biography, "PIPER": "Piper dug out his copy of Toynbee's 'A Study of History,' searching for something to write about."
The Terro-Human Future History is one of Science Fiction's richest and one of the most detailed SF future histories, comparable to Robert Heinlein's Future History and Jerry Pournelle's Empire of Man. Piper was a master at fleshing out his stories with background and historical tidbits; all without slowing down the narrative pace. Legendary Editor John W. Campbell said best: "'Space Viking' itself is, I think, one of the classics-a yarn that will be cited, years hence, as one of the science-fiction classics. It's got solid philosophy for the mature thinker, and bang-bang-chop-'em-up action for the space-pirate fans. As a truly good yarn should have!"
John F. Carr is continuing Piper's Terro-Human Future starting with his new sequel to "Space Viking" ("The Last Space Viking") and has plans for more Space Viking books as well as a continuation of "Cosmic Computer."
The War World series revolves around the violent history of a single worldlet, named Haven by its original founders, the Church of New Universal Harmony. Haven, the marginally habitable moon of a super-giant planet called Cat's Eye, is the fourth planet in the Byers Star System. Haven is synchronically tide-locked to its primary, giving it an 86 hour 43 minute long day-night cycle with respect to Byers' Star and a 131 hour 55 minute Dimday/night cycle with respect to Cat's Eye. It has a thin but breathable atmosphere; this, combined with its distance from Byers' star, makes surface conditions on most of Haven very cold and dry, so much so that initial habitation is limited to a single large valley at the equator.
Over a year's spaceflight from Earth, Haven was a peaceful colony until ruthlessly taken over by the CoDominium as an end of the line prison planet and dumping ground for malcontents, exiles and undesirables of all types for the Bureau of ReLocation. When shimmer stones, a new and extremely rare gemstone, are discovered criminal gangs, with off-planet support, attempt to subvert the colony until the CoDominium Marines are sent to bring peace to a planet everyone considers a hellhole.
Haven was at war with itself even before the CoDominium collapsed and the Patriotic Wars began. During the interregnum between the CoDominium and the First Empire, Haven is plagued by a series of revolts and wars, some reaching off-world as Haven's soldiers are used as mercenaries for distant planetary wars and revolutions. After a long struggle the First Empire subdues Haven and it becomes the breeding ground for some of the Empire's finest soldiers, including the elite 77th Imperial Marine Division, most famously known as the 'Land Gators.'
Many of the later stories involve battles between Haven's people and the ruthless genetically engineered race of supersoldiers called Saurons. Following the defeat of the Saurons and the destruction of their Homeworld by the forces of the First Empire, a remnant of the Sauron forces occupy Haven as the last forgotten refuge. The Saurons are not just bred but are designed for battle. These genetic supersoldiers have but one goal: the destruction of humanity. After their defeat at the Battle of Sauron, a single ship of survivors retreat to this distant and forgotten moon. The surviving Saurons greatest desire is to destroy the First Empire; however, first, the Saurons must conquer Haven before they can turn it into their new Sauron Homeworld and revive their war of extermination against normal humans.
But Haven, home of humanity's fiercest and most unforgiving warriors, has a few surprises of its own.
Jerry Pournelle and John F. Carr, at the urgings of publisher Jim Baen, created the War World series in the late 1980s. The War World books take place in Pournelle's CoDominium/Universe of Man future history, one of the most original and best detailed future histories in science fiction. The initial series consisted of five anthologies and two novels, featuring stories by Jerry Pournelle, Poul Anderson, Larry Niven, Don Hawthorne, Mike Resnick, John F. Carr, Roland Green, Chuck Gannon, Susan Schwartz, S. M. Stirling, Harry Turtledove, ER Stewart, Leslie Fish and William F. Wu. As Analog Book Reviewer, Tom Easton, put it: "The stories were as diverse as their authors, ranging from pure military strategy to humor to surprisingly tender fables. The last volume, the novel "Blood Vengeance," appeared in 1994, and the fun was over."
In 2007 John F. Carr revived the series with Don Hawthorne when Pequod Press published a new War World novel, "War World: The Battle of Sauron" by Carr and Hawthorne. Since the original volumes published by Baen Books jumped back and forth through Haven's history, more by happenstance than by design, Carr decided to bring back the entire series in chronological order, starting with the discovery of Haven and it's founding by the Harmonies. These new collections will thoroughly cover Haven's early history and work their way up to the Sauron invasion and into new territory. Each volume will consist of a majority of new stories with a few key reprints included. Published in 2010, "War World: Discovery" was the first of these new War World reissues.
In the fall of 2011, Pequod will publish the next volume, "War World: CoDominium Take-Over", which will be followed by "War World: Jihad!" in 2012.