Henry Beam Piper was an American science fiction author. He wrote many short stories and several novels under the name H. Beam Piper, and is best known for his extensive Terro-Human Future History series of stories and a shorter series of Paratime alternate history tales. Piper’s work falls into two camps: stark space operas, such as Space Viking, or stories of cultural conflict and misunderstanding, such as Little Fuzzy and the Paratime stories.
Piper’s characterization was rooted in the notion of the self-reliant man: an individual able to take care of himself and both willing and able to tackle any situation which might arise. This is perfectly exemplified in a bit of dialogue found in his short story Oomphel in the Sky“: “He actually knows what has to be done and how to do it, and he’s going right ahead and doing it, without holding a dozen conferences and round-table discussions and giving everybody a fair and equal chance to foul things up for him.“