Keith Laumer

John Keith Laumer (June 9, 1925 – January 23, 1993) was an American science fiction author. Prior to becoming a full-time writer, he was an officer in the United States Air Force and a diplomat in the United States Foreign Service.[2] His older brother March Laumer was also a writer, known for his adult reinterpretations of the Land of Oz (also mentioned in Laumer’s The Other Side of Time). Frank Laumer, their youngest brother, is a historian and writer.

Books written in order of publication:


Books concerning the Bolo self-aware tanks. Co-author book credits also indicated at Bolo (tank).


Satirical adventures of Retief, the galactic diplomat. Most are collections; novels are shown as (n).

  • Envoy to New Worlds (1963) (see Retief Unbound (1979)) later expanded as Retief: Envoy to New Worlds (1987)
  • Galactic Diplomat (1965)
  • Retief’s War (1966) (n)
  • Retief and the Warlords (1968) (n)
  • Retief: ambassador to space; seven incidents of the Corps diplomatique terrestrienne (1969)
  • Retief of the CDT (1971)
  • Retief’s Ransom (1971) (n)
  • Retief: Emissary to the Stars (1975)
  • Retief at Large (1978)
  • Retief Unbound (1979) (inc Retief’s Ransom and five of the six stories from Envoy to New Worlds) (see Retief: Envoy to New Worlds (1987))
  • Retief: Diplomat at Arms (1982)
  • Retief to the Rescue (1983) (n)
  • The Return of Retief (1984) (n)
  • Retief in the Ruins (1986) (three stories, two original including the title story)
  • Retief and the Pangalactic Pageant of Pulchritude (1986) (including Retief’s Ransom and the original title story)
  • Retief: Envoy to New Worlds (1987) (Envoy to New Worlds plus one story) (see also Retief Unbound)
  • Reward for Retief (1989) (n)
  • Retief and the Rascals (1993) (n)
  • Retief! (posthumous, ed. Eric Flint) (2002) (Envoy to New Worlds, Galactic Diplomat, Retief’s War, plus the first Retief story, “Diplomat-at-Arms” (1960))


Books set in the Imperium mythos: a continuum of parallel worlds policed by the Imperium, a government based in an alternate Stockholm. In the science fiction novel Worlds of the Imperium, the Imperium is formed in an alternate history where the American Revolution did not occur, and the British Empire and Germany merged into a unified empire in 1900. The protagonist, American diplomat Brion Bayard, is kidnapped by the Imperium because the Brion Bayard in a third parallel Earth is waging war against his abductors. Further adventures follow after Bayard decides to remain in the service of the Imperium.

  • Worlds of the Imperium (1962)
  • The Other Side of Time (1965)
  • Assignment in Nowhere (1968)
  • Beyond the Imperium (omnibus edition of The Other Side of Time and Assignment in Nowhere) (1981)
  • Zone Yellow (1990)
  • Imperium (omnibus edition of Worlds of the Imperium, Assignment in Nowhere and The Other Side of Time, ed. Eric Flint) (2005)

Time Trap

  • Time Trap (1970)
  • Back to the Time Trap (1992)

Lafayette O’Leary

A comic equivalent of the Imperium mythos, in which the hero has the ability to travel to feudal/magical alternate Earths.

  • The Time Bender (1966)
  • The World Shuffler (1970)
  • The Shape Changer (1972)
  • The Galaxy Builder (1984)
  • The Universe Twister (2008) (reprint of The Time Bender, The World Shuffler, and The Shape Changer, edited by Eric Flint)

The Avengers (based on the TV series)

  • #5: The Afrit Afair (1968)
  • #6: The Drowned Queen (1968)
  • #7: The Gold Bomb (1968)

The Invaders (original novels based on the TV series)

  • The Invaders (UK title The Meteor Men: A Story of Invaders published as by Anthony LeBaron) (1967)
  • Enemies From Beyond (1967)
  • Army of the Undead by-lined Rafe Bernard (1967) is often mistakenly attributed to Laumer because it is the third entry in the Pyramid Books Invaders novel series as published in the US, but in fact “Bernard” (a pseudonym for Reginald Alec Martin) was one of the two British authors commissioned by Corgi Books in the UK to pen original novels based on the TV show (the other was Peter Leslie). The book appeared as the third title in Corgi’s UK line as The Halo Highway. Evidence seems to indicate a reciprocal reprint deal Pyramid worked out with Corgi for use of a single title, since only the Bernard book, but not the Peter Leslie ones, saw print in the United States; while only Laumer’s first Invaders title, but not his second, saw print in the United Kingdom. (Verification can be found in Kurt Peer’s book TV Tie-Ins (1967, Neptune Publishing and, later, TV Books).

Standalone books

  • A Trace of Memory (1963)
  • The Great Time Machine Hoax (1964)
  • A Plague of Demons (1965)
  • Catastrophe Planet (1966)
  • Earthblood (with Rosel George Brown) (1966)
  • The Monitors (filmed in 1969) (1966)
  • Galactic Odyssey (1967)
  • Planet Run (with Gordon R. Dickson) (1967)
  • The Long Twilight (1969)
  • The House in November (1970, expanded from the If serial The Seeds of Gonyl)
  • The Star Treasure (1971)
  • Dinosaur Beach (1971) (originally serialized as The Time Sweepers in 1969)
  • The Infinite Cage (1972)
  • Night of Delusions (1972)
  • The Glory Game (1973)
  • The Ultimax Man (1978)
  • Star Colony (1982)
  • End as a Hero (1985)
  • Judson’s Eden (1991)
  • Beenie in Oz (with March Laumer, Tyler Jones, Michael J. Michanczyk) (1997)


  • Nine by Laumer (1967)
  • The Day Before Forever and Thunderhead (two short novels) (1969)
  • Greylorn (1968)
  • It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad Galaxy (1968)
  • Five Fates (1970) (Laumer is lead writer on a concept five authors wrote about)
  • Once There Was a Giant (title story appeared as a “short novel” in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction in November 1968) (1971)
  • The Big Show (1972)
  • Timetracks (1972)
  • The Undefeated (1974)
  • The Best of Keith Laumer (1976)
  • The Breaking Earth (1981) (Catastrophe Planet plus a pair of essays)
  • Knight of Delusions (Night of Delusions plus two short stories) (1982)
  • Chrestomathy (1984) (collection including many excerpts)
  • Once There Was a Giant (1984) (collection of two novellas plus an appreciation by Sandra Miesel; not related to the 1971 collection of the same name)
  • The Other Sky and The House in November (collection of two novellas) (1985)
  • The Star Treasure (1986) (the 1971 novel plus three short stories)
  • Alien Minds (1991)
  • Odyssey (posthumous omnibus, ed. Eric Flint) (2002) (includes Galactic Odyssey and Dinosaur Beach and five short stories)
  • Keith Laumer: The Lighter Side (posthumous omnibus, ed. Eric Flint) (2002) (includes Time Trap and The Great Time Machine Hoax and eight short stories, including the 1966 short story “The Body Builders”[5]
  • A Plague of Demons and Other Stories (2003) (posthumous omnibus, ed. Eric Flint; A Plague of Demons and seven short stories)
  • Future Imperfect (2003) (posthumous omnibus, ed. Eric Flint; includes Catastrophe Planet and six short stories)
  • Legions of Space (2004) (posthumous omnibus, ed. Eric Flint; includes A Trace of Memory and Planet Run and three short stories)
  • The Long Twilight and Other Stories (2007) (posthumous omnibus, ed. Eric Flint; includes The Long Twilight and Night of Delusions and four short stories)
  • Earthblood and Other Stories (2008) (posthumous omnibus, ed. Eric Flint; includes Earthblood (with Rosel George Brown), three Laumer stories, and six of Brown’s stories)

Short stories

  • “Doorstep”. Galaxy, February 1961.
  • “The King of the City”. Galaxy, August 1961.
  • “Gambler’s World”. If, November 1961.
  • “End as a Hero”. Galaxy, June 1963.
  • “A Bad Day for Vermin”. Galaxy, February 1964.
  • “War Against the Yukks”. Galaxy, April 1965.
  • “The Body Builders”. Galaxy, August 1966.
  • “Thunderhead”. Galaxy, April 1967.
  • “The Big Show”. Galaxy, February 1968.


  • How to Design and Build Flying Models (non-fiction) (1960, revised in 1970)
  • Embassy (1965)
  • Deadfall (alternative title Fat Chance, filmed as Peeper in 1975) (1971)

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