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Greylorn

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

Surprisingly good

If the front matter is to be believed, this is a very early work by Laumer. If so, it's surprisingly mature (and makes me wonder again how he got typecast as just the author of Retief).

The title character, Greylorn, an officer in Terra's space navy, commands a mission to find a l...more

The whole story was entertaining for me and held my interest to see how it would turn out. I was annoyed, though not surprised, that there werebno female characters, of course, abd then toward the end one character pops up with dialogue written in, um, dialect (sorry, can't think of the term to u...more

This is a novella from a classic age of science fiction. The Earth is dying from something (it was never clean explained). The only hope left is to find a long-lost colony deep in space and hope they (the colonists) developed sufficient level of technology to deal with the threat. Unfortunately,...more

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 wha...more

Love Laumer

I simply like reading Laumer. When I was in junior college I read A Plague of Demons and was hooked. I had not come across any of his writing until recently. It is not Stat Wars, but if you like the older science fiction writing you will like Laumer.

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 rathe...more

This is my first time reading/listening to a story by Keith Laumer. Not knowing anything about the story or author going in meant that I lacked any assumptions about either. It turned out to be a pleasant surprise.
To begin with we are introduced to the very determined Captain Greylorn, a man tha...more

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