“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.