Keith Laumer: Golden Age Space Opera Tales
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.
Keith Laumer is known for the Bolo and Retief stories. Stories from the former chronicle the evolution of super tanks that eventually become self-aware through the constant improvement resulting from centuries of intermittent warfare against various alien races.
Space Opera is a subgenre of science fiction that emphasizes space warfare, melodramatic adventure, interplanetary battles, chivalric romance, and risk-taking. Set mainly or entirely in outer space, it usually involves conflict between opponents possessing advanced abilities, futuristic weapons, and other sophisticated technology.
The term has no relation to music, as in a traditional opera, but is instead a play on the terms "soap opera", a melodramatic television series, and "horse opera", which was coined during the 1930s to indicate a formulaic Western movie. Space operas emerged in the 1930s and continue to be produced in literature, film, comics, television, and video games.
The Golden Age of Pulp Magazine Fiction derives from pulp magazines (often referred to as "the pulps") as they were inexpensive fiction magazines that were published from 1896 to the late 1950s. The term pulp derives from the cheap wood pulp paper on which the magazines were printed. In contrast, magazines printed on higher-quality paper were called "glossies" or "slicks".
The pulps gave rise to the term pulp fiction. Pulps were the successors to the penny dreadfuls, dime novels, and short-fiction magazines of the 19th century. Although many writers wrote for pulps, the magazines were proving grounds for those authors like Robert Heinlein, Louis L'Amour, "Max Brand", Ray Bradbury, Philip K. Dick, and many others. The best writers moved onto longer fiction required by paperback publishers. Many of these authors have never been out of print, even long after their passing.
- A Bad Day for Vermin
- The Desert and the Stars
- Aide Memoire
- Gambler's World
- The Madman From Earth
- Retief of the Red-Tape Mountain
- It Could Be Anything
- End as a Hero
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