Jame Retief is the main character in a series of satirical science fiction stories by Keith Laumer. The stories were written over a span of thirty years beginning in the early 1960s, without much regard for chronology or any particular scheme.
In the course of the stories, Retief encounters and resolves problems, usually between multiple parties, on numerous worlds. Whether establishing new missions on alien worlds, dealing with the clash of self-determination with established interests, preventing war, or solving cultural clashes, the devil is in the detail. He is master of derring-do, a cunning, fast-thinking, smooth-talking, tough brawler, solving problems through the rapid application of clever dealing, judicious violence, and complete disregard for the directives of the Corps and his immediate superiors.
Space Opera is a subgenre of science fiction that emphasizes space warfare, melodramatic adventure, interplanetary battles, chivalric romance, and risk-taking. Set mainly or entirely in outer space, it usually involves conflict between opponents possessing advanced abilities, futuristic weapons, and other sophisticated technology.
The term has no relation to music, as in a traditional opera, but is instead a play on the terms "soap opera", a melodramatic television series, and "horse opera", which was coined during the 1930s to indicate a formulaic Western movie. Space operas emerged in the 1930s and continue to be produced in literature, film, comics, television, and video games.
The Golden Age of Pulp Magazine Fiction derives from pulp magazines (often referred to as "the pulps") as they were inexpensive fiction magazines that were published from 1896 to the late 1950s. The term pulp derives from the cheap wood pulp paper on which the magazines were printed. In contrast, magazines printed on higher-quality paper were called "glossies" or "slicks".
The pulps gave rise to the term pulp fiction. Pulps were the successors to the penny dreadfuls, dime novels, and short-fiction magazines of the 19th century. Although many writers wrote for pulps, the magazines were proving grounds for those authors like Robert Heinlein, Louis LaMour, "Max Brand", Ray Bradbury, Philip K. Dick, and many others. The best writers moved onto longer fiction required by paperback publishers. Many of these authors have never been out of print, even long after their passing.
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