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Imperium Hardcover – May 3, 2005

4.3 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

A legendary creator of space opera and military science fiction adventures, Keith Laumer was a captain in the U.S. Air Force and later an officer in the U.S. diplomatic corps, serving throughout the world—all of which activity provides a solid background for his crackling adventure tales as well as his justly famous epic satirical comedies featuring Retief, the galaxy’s canny, two-fisted diplomat. Also among Laumer’s best-loved creations are the Bolos, gigantic tanks controlled by artificial intelligences who fight to protect mankind against both alien and human enemies.  --This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Baen (May 3, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743499034
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743499033
  • Product Dimensions: 6.7 x 1.4 x 9.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,725,640 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

By Peter Dykhuis VINE VOICE on April 29, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I picked this novel up with some trepidation. I am not usually one who enjoys omnibus editions of older works. I can get prejudiced by three or four supposed novels only taking up about 300 pages total. In this case there are three novels written by a writer who once was of some fame who is today nearly forgotten. Keith Laumer.

The books all deal with the concept of parallel universes. The concept is relatively well thought out by Laumer and given to us in more detail then I expected he would do in such short novels. The stories deal with the conflicts played out between the worlds of these parallel universes and how they impact each other both knowingly and unknowingly.

Overall I thought this was a really good read. The pace of the stories was fast and what one would expect of a tightly written story. It always amazes me how much thicker today's science fiction novels tend to be versus those of 30 or 40 years ago. Could it be as simple as the art of tight writing and a strong editor are lost today?

The characters are not that strongly developed and this seems to be the sacrifice Laumer makes to keep the stories to the point. The characters are developed only as absolutely necessary to the story so of course the only character we are attuned to is the single main character.

Of the three books in this omnibus I enjoyed the first two the best. The last had the main character in it but as a supporting role. I did not think the third book was written as strongly as the other two.

This was the first time I remember reading Laumer although his works have been on my bookshelf for years. The experience was one that I enjoyed enough that the next book I picked up to read was Laumer's Legions of Space.

I recommended and if you enjoy the genre at all I think you will enjoy the novel as well.
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Format: Hardcover
This book reprints 3 classic stories by Laumer, about alternate history and a multi-universe spanning organisation. If you have read and enjoyed the works of H Beam Piper and his Paratime universes, and Poul Anderson's Time Patrol, then Laumer's stories will be a great treat.

The first story of the book starts off the series, explaining how an American diplomat in our universe, in the years after World War 2, gets kidnapped by the Imperium, based in a Sweden [!sic] that benignly rules another Earth. The stories are now some 40 years old. But they hold up well. Plenty of action, without drowning you in the cyberpunk pervasive computing of more recent science fiction. Laumer had a gift for combining the spy novel with high technology in a fluid synthesis that sweeps the reader along.

The only pity is that Laumer never wrote many stories in this series.

Flint and the publisher are to be thanked for bringing these stories back into print for a new generation of readers.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Imperium (2005) is the first SF omnibus in the Imperium series This volume contains Worlds of the Imperium, The Other Side of Time and Assignment in Nowhere. It starts in Stockholm a decade or more after the end World War II.

Brion Bayard is the son of French emigres who had died in a plane crash. He was a Major in the US Army during the war. Now he is a forty-two year old diplomat.

Manfred Rittmeister is Friherr of Richthofen and the Head of German Intelligence.

Worlds of the Imperium (1961) is the first novel in this series. Brion is kidnapped by agents of Imperial Intelligence. He is rushed into a boxy vehicle and it moves away. He eventually learns from Winter that the Imperium is a crosstime polity.

Brion is taken to Stockholm Zero-Zero. He is interviewed by four men of importance to the Imperium: Bernadotte, Bale, Richthofen, and Goering. Bale doesn't seem to like him and the feeling is mutual.

Bernadotte introduces himself as a Swedish general. He explains the history of the Imperium and its rise after the invention of the Maxoni-Cocini drive. He says that the blight surrounding Zero-Zero -- the home world of the Imperium -- has resulted mostly from mistakes by other inventors of the drive.

However, there are three known undamaged timelines within the Blight: Zero-Zero, Blight-Insular 2 and B-I 3.

B-I 2 was discovered by the Imperium over a decade previously.
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