Henry Beam Piper’s book “Five Sci-Fi Short Stories“ is a collection of: The Answer, Temple Trouble, Flight From Tomorrow, Police Operation and Graveyard of Dreams. “The Answer” is about two nuclear scientists who have successfully made a very powerful weapon and are planning to drop it from space on un-expecting earthlings. The story is set in 1984, many years after a supposed nuclear war between the US and the Soviet Union had ended.
The stories "Temple Trouble" and "Police Operation" deal with alternate histories which is a theme that Piper is well known for. "Temple Trouble" has a very interesting religious undertone which many readers will surely be curious about and in "Police Operation," he introduces Varken Vall, one of the best characters that Piper brought to life.
"Flight From Tomorrow" and "Graveyard of Dreams" on the other hand are both set in the future. Like in all of Piper’s works, these stories have a simple narrative style and a very interesting storyline. Most of his main protagonists in these stories also have a common factor: they’re self-reliant persons who can deal with any kind of situation which they face.
Some experts believe that they’re a reflection of himself. Piper unlike most of the other writers during his time was largely self-educated and even worked various blue collar jobs before he became a successful writer. Piper’s "Five Sci-Fi Short Stories" is a good read for people who are interested in futuristic and alternate reality sci-fi stories.