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Book Title: Retief At Large|
Date of issue: May 1st 1985
ISBN 13: 9780441715077
The author of the book: Keith Laumer
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 860 KB
Read full description of the books Retief At Large:Cosmic diplomacy and Machiavellian intrigue.
The official accounts of Terra's efforts in the field of interstellar diplomacy during the 29th century are available for the dialing to anyone willing to pore through the records of the Corps Diplomatique Terrestrienne.
For those of sufficient discernment, however, it will be evident that the Corps records, incredibly voluminous though they be, fail to tell the whole truth - indeed to some degree must obscure it. Surely if it had been guarded solely by the efforts of such persons as Ambassadors Magnan, Thunderstroke and Grossblunder, Terra's Sphere of Influence would have crumpled instantly before the diplomatic assaults of the Groaci. That it did not demonstrates that other factors were at work.
One such factor was a career diplomat named James Retief. Contained here are several accounts of his achievements, illustrating how a few able men were able to save the galaxy for Man.
Cultural Exchange • (1962) shortstory
Saline Solution • (1963) shortstory
The Castle of Light • (1964) novelette
Wicker Wonderland • (1965) novelette (aka The City That Grew in the Sea)
The Brass God • (1965) novelette (aka Retief, God-Speaker)
Mechanical Advantage • (1971) novelette (aka Retief, the Long-Awaited Master)
Dam Nuisance • (1966) novelette
Grime and Punishment • (1969) novelette (aka Clear as Mud)
The Forbidden City • (1969) novelette (aka Retief, War Criminal)
The Piecemakers • (1970) novelette
Ballots and Bandits • (1970) novelette
Pime Doesn't Cray • (1971) novelette
Read information about the authorJohn Keith Laumer (9 June 1925–23 January 1993) was an American science fiction author. Prior to becoming a full-time writer, he was an officer in the U.S. Air Force and a U.S. diplomat. His brother March Laumer was also a writer, known for his adult reinterpretations of the Land of Oz (also mentioned in Keith's The Other Side of Time).
Keith Laumer (aka J.K Laumer, J. Keith Laumer) is best known for his Bolo stories and his satirical Retief series. The former chronicles the evolution of juggernaut-sized tanks that eventually become self-aware through the constant improvement resulting from centuries of intermittent warfare against various alien races. The latter deals with the adventures of a cynical spacefaring diplomat who constantly has to overcome the red-tape-infused failures of people with names like Ambassador Grossblunder. The Retief stories were greatly influenced by Laumer's earlier career in the United States Foreign Service. In an interview with Paul Walker of Luna Monthly, Laumer states "I had no shortage of iniquitous memories of the Foreign Service."
Four of his shorter works received Hugo or Nebula Award nominations (one of them, "In the Queue", received nominations for both) and his novel A Plague of Demons was nominated for the Nebula Award for Best Novel in 1966.
During the peak years of 1959–1971, Laumer was a prolific science fiction writer, with his novels tending to follow one of two patterns: fast-paced, straight adventures in time and space, with an emphasis on lone-wolf, latent superman protagonists, self-sacrifice and transcendence or, broad comedies, sometimes of the over-the-top variety.
In 1971, Laumer suffered a stroke while working on the novel The Ultimax Man. As a result, he was unable to write for a few years. As he explained in an interview with Charles Platt published in The Dream Makers (1987), he refused to accept the doctors' diagnosis. He came up with an alternative explanation and developed an alternative (and very painful) treatment program. Although he was unable to write in the early 1970s, he had a number of books which were in the pipeline at the time of the stroke published during that time.
In the mid-1970s, Laumer partially recovered from the stroke and resumed writing. However, the quality of his work suffered and his career declined (Piers Anthony, How Precious Was That While, 2002). In later years Laumer also reused scenarios and characters from his earlier works to create "new" books, which some critics felt was to their detriment:
Alas, Retief to the Rescue doesn't seem so much like a new Retief novel, but a kind of Cuisnart mélange of past books.
-- Somtow Sucharitkul (Washington Post, Mar 27, 1983. p. BW11)
His Bolo creations were popular enough that other authors have written standalone science-fiction novels about them.
Laumer was also a model airplane enthusiast, and published two dozen designs between 1956 and 1962 in the U.S. magazines Air Trails, Model Airplane News and Flying Models, as well as the British Aero Modeler. He published one book on the subject, How to Design and Build Flying Models in 1960. His later designs were mostly gas-powered free flight planes, and had a whimsical charm with names to match, like the "Twin Lizzie" and the "Lulla-Bi". His designs are still being revisited, reinvented and built today.
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