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Keith Laumer

Book Overview: 

Commander Greylorn has a problem. No, actually he has two of them. It’s not enough that the remaining residents of Earth have pinned their last hope of salvation on him and his mission. He has to find a colony that presumably was established at an unknown star two centuries before and beg their help. But first, he has the small matter of a mutiny on board his starship, and people are trying to kill him!

Written in an era when radios used vacuum tubes, the scientific component of the story is quaint and dated. But Laumer makes the centerpiece of his tale the retelling of how, four years out on the voyage, his crew decides it wants to give up and go home when it meets an alien race… that apparently breeds humans in captivity as food animals!

Beating the aliens, shanghaiing the crew, finding the colony and saving Mother Earth – just the ingredients for a rattling good yarn

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .I moved back into clear air and called for reports from all sections. The worst of the damage was in the auxiliary power control room, where communication and power lines were slashed and the panel cut up. The danger of serious damage to essential equipment had been very close, but we had been lucky. This was the first instance I had heard of encountering an object at hyper light speed.

It was astonishing how this threat to our safety cleared the air. The men went about their duties more cheerfully than they had for months, and Kramer was conspicuous by his subdued air. The emergency had reestablished at least for the time the normal discipline; the men still relied on the Captain in trouble.

Damage control crews worked steadily for the next seventy-two hours, replacing wiring, welding, and testing. Power Section jockeyed endlessly, correcting air motions. Meanwhile, I checked almost hourly with Survey Section, hoping for good news to consolidate the impr. . . Read More

Community Reviews

Greylorn is a novella that was originally published in the April 1959 issue of Amazing Stories, which was edited by Cele Goldsmith. Goodreads lists it as part of the Retief series, but I didn't see any real connection. It's set on a future Earth that's threatened by ecological disaster by the Red Ti

So old
Was written before the invention of transistors and chips and still pure joy.

It’s like a Captain Kirk adventure.

One of the most important parts of a short story is balance. Greylorn manages to balance a powerful main character complete with emotion and purpose with humanity's desperation and a plot that thrives in its own sci-fi environment. This could easily have been a longer book with the entire story bein

A short story that, hidden in a sci-fi setting, sort of tells you how to look at the army or so. The story is told from the perspective of the captain. There is a mutiny on the rise, but why people are so dedicated to risk their life is not very convincing. Apparently, the captain has no clue what r

I have a hard time rating this one, because I know there are more Greylorn stories out there that I haven't read and I wonder if my reading experience would have been better had I had that background. Nonetheless, this single story is what I read, and so I must evaluate it on its own merits rather t

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