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Keith Laumer
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    (June 9, 1925-January 23, 1993)
    Born in Syracuse, New York
    American science fiction writer best known for his multiple novel series
    Series included: the Bolo series about super powerful and super intelligent army tanks; the Imperium series set in a empire spanning multiple alternate universes; and the Retief series about a star-hopping diplomat
    Other titles not part of any of his series include 'How to Design and Build Flying Models' (1960, revised 1970), 'A Tree of Memory' (1963), 'Earthblood' (1966), 'The Long Twilight' (1969), 'Dinosaur Beach' (1971), 'Star Colony' (1982), 'The Ultimax Man' (1978), 'End as a Hero' (1985), 'Judson's Eden' (1998), 'Odyssey' (2002), 'A Plague of Demons' (2002), 'Legions of Space' (2004)
    Graduate of the University of Illinois with two bachelor degrees, including one in Architecture
    Despite several nominations, he never won a major award for his writing.
    A TV movie and a couple of TV episodes are his only works to be filmed.
    Known for a volcanic temper, he once pulled a gun on a fan in front of the fan's nine year old daughter. (In his defense, he may have been suffering the effects of a stroke.)
    He fatuously said, 'The single most important thing a human being can do is establish mind to mind communication through speech or writing.'
    He would sometimes give his stories irritatingly ambiguous endings.
    He served in the army during WWII, seeing extensive action in Europe, and in the Air Force during the Korean conflict.
    While on a date as a young man, he and his date narrowly missed being killed by two separate (and unrelated) plane crashes in two different places.
    He and his work were well liked by other science fiction writers, especially Harlan Ellison, who wrote an introduction to one of his books and said he was the first first-class science fiction writer since Kurt Vonnegut.
    His Retief stories were very popular and drew on his experience working for the US State Department in the late 1950's.
    Over half a dozen graphic novels/comic book series have been based on his work.
    He suffered a stroke late in life that nearly destroyed his ability to write but was still pushed to write material that would have been far beneath him in his prime.
    During his life, he published over seventy books.

Credit: tom_jeffords

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