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John Keith Laumer (Syracuse, June 9, 1925 – January 23, 1993) was an American science fiction writer; Before becoming a professional writer, he was an officer of the United States Air Force and a diplomat of that country.
Laumer is best known for his stories about “Bowling,” a kind of tanks with artificial intelligence larger than a warship; he was also known for his satirical stories about James (Jamie) Retief, an interstellar diplomat from the distant future where he incorporated his own experiences, such as those he lived in London and Rangoon.
During his career he received several nominations for the Hugo and Nebula awards, although he never received any.In his years of greatest literary production (1959-1971), he wrote a constant stream of entertainment stories; Regarding the genre novel, these can be divided generally into two types:
- Spatial and futuristic adventures that emphasize a solitary warrior style character, sometimes with super latent abilities, who have made a great personal sacrifice;
- Comedies, many of them particularly oriented towards Retief.
As a pastime, Laumer was an enthusiastic model-airplane practitioner, of whom he wrote a book in 1960; his designs are still under construction.
Accident and later life
In 1971 he suffers a serious stroke while working on the novel The Ultimax Man, and was diagnosed with the possibility that in a few years, he would no longer be able to write. He refused to accept it and underwent a rigorous and painful alternative therapy, in addition to an exercise routine, so, in the mid-1970s he had a partial recovery, although he maintained serious sequelae. The cerebral hemorrhage caused a partial paralysis that resulted in a change in his personality: he became a bit paranoid, in fact, Laumer was always quite irascible, but now he could have fits of anger without an apparent reason.
Laumer wrote again, but it did not reach a level similar to the one he had before his accident never again. In addition, he devoted himself to work and revise his previous work, which would be reprinted in the 1980s.
Apart from the effects on his career, the health of the writer was also affected by diabetes and morbid obesity due to his immobility; All this made Keith Laumer a bitter man who often tyrannized his surroundings. He died after a heart attack in 1993.
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