Short Story Wednesday – “Diplomat-At-Arms” by Keith Laumer

“Diplomat-At-Arms” by Keith Laumer, from Fantastic, January 1960. Source: Keith Laumer’s Retief (Giants of Sci-Fi Collection Book 4), 2020 Kindle ebook

This ebook collection of Retief stories collects the earliest 16 of Laumer’s stories featuring what will become his most enduring character. Most of the stories originally appeared in Worlds of If magazine, though this one did not

The stories were written soon after Laumer left the Foreign Service.

In this one, Retief is sent to a world in hopes he can end a growing sentiment for war by an Emperor who has recently appeared, supposedly back from exile. It’s clever and fun. I enjoy Laumer’s stories a lot and there’ll be more of them on Short Story Wednesday.

About Rick Robinson

Enjoying life in Portland, OR
This entry was posted in Anthology, At Home in Portland, Books & Reading, Mystery. Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Short Story Wednesday – “Diplomat-At-Arms” by Keith Laumer

  1. tracybham says:

    This sounds good, Rick. I don’t know anything about the author, but he sounds like trying. I purchased the Kindle edition.

  2. Jeff Meyerson says:

    I bought three of the Baen Books Laumer collections a few years ago, including Retief!, which has this as the first story, but…and I bet you could see this coming – I haven’t read them yet. Maybe this will get me started.

  3. Prashant Trikannad says:

    Never read these stories, Richard, though I have enjoyed reading Fantastic, Worlds of If and other magazines,from that period.

  4. Todd Mason says:

    Cele Goldsmith was the first to publish Laumer–his brother March Laumer (the Laumer parents had some ideas, clearly) brought some of his work into her office on his brother’s behalf while he was still in the service…and Frederik Pohl eventually set up Laumer’s more adventurous stories as an IF staple, as that was part of the feel he wanted for IF…

  5. Jerry House says:

    Laumer was a talented, enjoyable writer in his early career and just a tad less so after his stroke (which evidently had an adverse effect on his personality and his later writings. The early Retief stories are great reading.

  6. Patti Abbott says:

    Ebooks have really allowed us to try authors without big purchases. And, yes, my kindle is loaded too. Few books aren’t worth a couple of bucks.

  7. JohnnyMac says:

    When I first read some of Keith Laumer’s Retief stories 40 odd years ago I thought of them as clownishly broad, over the top satire. Having learned a lot more since then about how the U. S. Foreign Service and other diplomatic organizations around the world actually operate his stories now look delicately ironic and highly realistic.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s