Night of delusions [Keith Laumer] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. An SF Gateway eBook: bringing the classics to the future. Knight of Delusions by Keith Laumer – book cover, description, publication history .
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Please try again later. As a reading experience, I might actually have given Knight of Delusions a lower score. On the other hand, I give Laumer credit for developing a virtual reality story years before it was commonly attempted A tough guy detective named Florin gets a very strange assignment.
He is supposed to guard a senator during a last ditch effort to restore the senator’s mental health. Or perhaps he is trying to guard the senator against the advisors who are actually trying to kill him?
Or maybe he has some kind of future with the girl who seems to keep appearing in the bar with him? Or perhaps it really is all linked to giant alien lizards after all? The prose is interesting, as Laumer uses the diction of hard-boiled detective fiction to take on a science fiction subject.
It mostly works well, although there are times that it ends up making the description feel abbreviated, and not much time is spent exploring the world s the character moves through.
My larger quarrel is with the plotting. It almost seemed as though Laumer had a really good idea, and then painted himself into a corner trying to work it out. Knight of Delusions may well be a good read for people with a particular interest in treatments of virtual reality.
The Tor edition comes bound with two other stories: In the early s, Alexei Panshin made the offhand remark that if he were an editor, he would sit down with Keith Laumer and have a long talk with him about writing a serious novel.
Night of Delusions
I don’t know if an editor actually had that conversation with Laumer. Alas, I fear that my first impressions were overly enthusiastic. Let us take the basics first. The first two stories are solidly crafted pieces– one involving an alien invasion and one involving one of his Bolo war delusios that will give you good value for your money. The third story is about a fellow who seems to be a tough private eye who is hired to look after the welfare of a Delusikns who may or may not be insane.
That “seems to be” is not just an accidental phrase. Who the characters are, what their motivations are, and the nature of reality is constantly changing. Readers who are expecting Laumer to reveal a final reality will be disappointed. So far, so good. The problem is the style, which resembles neither the diamond hard style of Dashiell Hammett nor the poetic elegance of Raymond Chandler. It is loaded with hard boiled similes [“The silence after the punch line hung as heavy as a washer load of wet laundry” 11 ; delusiohs spoke in a voice as soft as a last wish and didn’t wait for my answer” 17 delusiins, hyperboles [“It was locked, frozen harder than a Nazi’s Swiss account” 55 ], and sarcastic comments [“Neat Are you any good at card tricks?
In another story by Laumer, “A Trip to the City,” he does much better with a surrealistic laumee. I believe that it has something to do with his choice of heroes. He hasn’t seen it all yet. He is just discovering the ways of the world.
The hero of “Knight of Delusions” is somebody who has already been around the bend several times at the outset of the story. The style of “Knight” is concocted to fit the jaded hero, and it creaks. The collection as a whole is worth your attention. Deluions the title story must be considered something of a disappointment.
The fact that I still remember this and other Laumer stories decades after I first read them stands as a testament to his thought provoking ideas even if some might slight his prose.
When I looked up ‘Knight of Delusions’ I was surprised lamer many of Laumer’s books I have read in the past and count as my favorite novels. Sometimes memories of these stories have haunted a dream [day or night] without me quite remembering where they came from. Why can’t we get Hollywood to make a decent movie that isn’t a comic hero or a sequel?
One person found deelusions helpful.
The alternate or simulated reality within reality idea has become almost a genre unto itself these days, but this was one of the earliest works I know of to explore the idea. Given that, is easy for paumer to forgive the fact that a sense of closure was difficult to achieve, or perhaps none was intended. I read this long ago, but I do recall feeling a bit lost and unsatisfied at the end.
Night of Delusions by Keith Laumer – Books – Hachette Australia
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