H. Beam Piper and The Lycoming College Canon
"Beam started doing volunteer work at the Museum after the Grand Army of the Republic Hall moved a bunch of material to Lycoming College. The college didn't know what to make of the stuff, so they looked for an expert in old guns, and somebody said, "Hey, how about Beam Piper?"
So Beam was helping clean and identify the guns. In the collection, they came across a sentry cannon, circa 1850, and while they were cleaning it up Beam got a gleam in his eye and said, "You know, there's no reason this couldn't be fired."
John wasn't certain. The sentry cannon was a cast-iron gun and he wasn't sure it would take a charge of gunpowder. Not that this mattered one whit to Beam, the elder statesman and authority, so they got some black powder and took the cannon outside. They loaded the cannon up, using Kleenex for wadding, and then nervously looked at each other as they realized that now one of them had to actually light the damn thing. The prospect of an unfortunate explosion had them scared sh**less.
And up strode Beam Piper, gleefully, match in hand...
After that, he became the designated cannon-firer at home games when the Lycoming College team scored a touchdown."
H. Beam Pipers Books
His first published story appeared in the 1947 issue of Astounding Science Fiction. He went on to write some of science fictions "most popular and beloved stories", and many believe his Little Fuzzy series inspired the Ewoks of Star Wars. He also wrote Lord Kalvan, Otherwhen, Space Viking, and a series of Paratime Police Stories, among many others.
During his lifetime, his writing received mixed reviews and received no awards. After his death, he would gain a great cult following.
In 2011, author John Scalzi wrote Fuzzy Nation, which he described as "a twist on an older Sci-Fi Classic, Little Fuzzy by H. Beam Piper. Scalzi says he kept fans of the original work and the Piper estate at the forefront of his mind when selling Fuzzy Nation. "I'm also raising the profile of H. Beam Piper. Here is somebody who was a pretty influential figure in science fiction in his time, why don't you check out some of the other stuff he did?"
H. Beam Piper Planned To Write A Triology On The Fair Play Men
In January of 1928 Piper wrote in a letter:
"I received Otzinachson.... and I am delighted with it. I'd say off hand, that it is worth all that I am going to pay for it ($15) both as a history of the valley in which I spent some of the happiest days of my life, and as a source of information and material for my projected series of three novels dealing with the Fair Play Men. As to the latter, I think it will serve as the foundation, to which I will build up my other research into old records, oral traditions, and such." Read Otzinachson, A History Of The West Branch Valley by Megginess here
H. Beam Piper & Walt Disney
Piper wrote "Rebel Raider", the story of John S Moby, The Confederate Guerilla, of which Walt Disney purchased the rights.
"Why Walt Disney bought the movie rights to that article, I've never figured out," Piper remarked. "Will Colonel Mosby be played by Mickey Mouse, and General Phil Sheridan by Donald Duck? It's baffling. However, I was glad to get the check."
Very much later, the background material in the article was incorporated into Disney's "Willie and the Yank," a Roger Mobley vehicle.
H. Beam Piper & Star Wars
Pipers Fuzzies are said to have inspired the Ewoks in Star Wars.
"Who's Got The Fuzzies?
The Fuzzies are little golden-furred creatures who predated George Lucas' cuddly ewoks by two decades when they first appeared in H. Beam Pipers fantaty novel "Little Fuzzy". Poper, whose book and it's sequel enjoyed great success along the lines of JRR Tolkiens "Lord Of The Rings" series, told friends jsut before he died in 1963 that he had completed a third book but no one could ever find it. That is, until Pipers friend Michael Knerr began working on a biography of the author and came across a carbon of the third book hidden away in a trunk of junk. The found treasure, called "Fuzzies And Other People" will be published in August by Ace Science Fiction & Fantasty books, continuing the intelligent fuzzballs adventures in the untamed forests of Zarathustra."
The Latrobe Bulletin
June 27 1984