Keith Laumer

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(June 9, 1925 – January 23, 1993)

John Keith Laumer was an SF author whose first work appeared in 1959. Prior to becoming a full-time writer, he was an officer in the U.S. Air Force and a U.S. diplomat.

Laumer is known for his Bolo and Retief stories. Stories from the former chronicle the evolution of super tanks that become self-aware. The latter stories deal with the adventures of a cynical spacefaring diplomat who constantly has to overcome the failures of others. The Retief stories were greatly influenced by Laumer's career in the U. S. Foreign Service. He usually wrote as Keith Laumer, but occasionally used the pen name of Anthony Lebaron.

In addition to his Bolo and Retief stories, Laumer's more serious adventures included the subjects of time travel and alternate-world adventures such as found in his The Other Side Of Time, A Trace Of Memory, and Dinosaur Beach.

He was first to use the term Clarke Orbit in an sf story, and encouraged others to do so.

In 1971, he suffered a devastating stroke that left him unable to write. He eventually recovered enough to return to writing, but not to his earlier standard. Further, he underwent personality changes that made him extremely volatile. Fans stopped inviting him to appear on convention programs.

Laumer’s older brother, March, was also a writer, known for his adult reinterpretations of the Land of Oz. Frank Laumer, their younger brother, is an historian who also writes.

Awards, Honors and GoHships:


Person Reasonator 19251993
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