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Keith Laumer

John 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. 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.

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A Plague of Demons: The dogs of war

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A Plague of Demons by Keith Laumer

Though little discussed today, back in the 1960s, Syracuse, N.Y.-born Keith Laumer was a hugely popular sci-fi author, largely by dint of his series featuring interstellar ambassador/mediator Jaime Retief, a series that began in ’63 and ultimately comprised some 18 novels and books of short stories. Somehow, I managed to miss the entire Retief bandwagon back when, and only recently realized that I still had not read a single Laumer book from any of his major series — the Retief series was just one of many — or even any of his stand-alone books. On a whim, I selected his 1965 offering A Plague of Demons, which was released as the author turned 40; a stand-alone novel that The Science Fiction Encyclopedia deems the best of his “taut, extremely efficient sf thrillers,” and one that Scottish cr... Read More