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Worlds of the Imperium  By  cover art

Worlds of the Imperium

By: Keith Laumer
Narrated by: Mark Douglas Nelson
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Publisher's Summary

When Brion Bayard was kidnapped and brought to the alternate world where Earth's history took a different turn, it was not a pleasant experience. It was, however, a startling experience. Here was a world that was just like the Earth he was taken from--with just a few subtle changes. On top of all this, Brion was given a puzzling assignment by his captors. He was to secretly enter a palace, and kill a dangerous and tyrannical dictator. There was one, small catch--the hated dictator in this world was the mirror image of Brion Bayard. For on an Alternate Earth, Brion's is his own worst enemy!
©1961 Public Domain (P)2009 Wonder Audiobooks

What listeners say about Worlds of the Imperium

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Like listening to someone read the phone book

The reader has no idea what a great sense of humor Keith Laumer has, and reads in a monotone expressive of nothing.
Laumer is easily my favorite Sci Fi author, and it's a shame to have his book read with zero attempt at fluidity, and no discernible understanding of the main character.

5 people found this helpful

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Lack of range on voices

I read this long ago and decided to re"read" it via Audible.

Still a good story, but the narrator had limited range on the different voices compared to other narrators lending their talents to Audible.

Overall, I do recommend, if you can get past the similarities in character voices.

5 people found this helpful

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Good 60s science fiction adventure story

Keith Laumer was at his best in the 1960s, writing some of his best science fiction adventure novels, usually with an interesting spice of his lone man against overwhelming odds philosophy. Worlds of the Imperium is a good one, and I thoroughly enjoyed this reading. Hope that Audible will follow up with Catastrophe Planet, A Plague of Demons, and Galactic Odyssey, Laumer's absolute best. And maybe Time Trap and the Retief stories, too. But Worlds of the Imperium is an excellent first step!

4 people found this helpful

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Appropriate for its time period

I can remember reading this tale, when it came out in an Ace double in the early 60's. It was
my first brush with parallel universes and became one of my favorite story lines.

2 people found this helpful

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Early multiverse concept, but a bit contrived

Keith Laumer's Worlds of the Imperium is a quaint, early 60's sci-fi offering positing the existence of multiple universes, each subtly and not so subtly different from each other. A diplomat is kidnapped and taken to a parallel world with a distinct timeline from our own. The have developed the technology to cross universes, but the technology is so dangerous that other worlds have tried, failed, and destroyed their worlds. Fearing another world may try to use the technology as a weapon, the kidnapped victim is intended to infiltrate this world and kill the dictator who turns out to be his homologue in that world. The plan goes awry from the start and the whole escapade turns into an inside job that he narrowly figures out and escapes from.

While conceptually, the multiverse idea is novel, the story has the mid century feel of sci-fi tales where gadgets and next-gen physics dominated over rich plots and character development. In spite of multiple timelines on multiple worlds leading to various geopolitical constructs everybody pretty much behaves the same and the hero doggedly persists until he overcomes the true evil-doers, despite his diplomatic skills not being of much use.

The narration is decent with some character distinction. This is quick listen more for historical context than hard core sci-fi.

1 person found this helpful

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Fun Story

Much Fun and Exciting Story. Great Sci Fi and Mark Nelson is a fabulous narrator.

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Far Cry Steampunk fun

Fun story. Sliders meets Far Cry meets Elizabethan Europe steam punk. extra words for dumb limit

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Good narration, bad story

To say I love Keith laumer is an understatement. His Bolo and Retief series were favorites in my youth. My youngest son is named after him! I was thrilled when I spotted this offering as I had missed it somehow growing up. Alas, it is easily the worst book of his I have experienced. The protagonist is belligerent and an idiot, reacting to situations without thinking. The premise is off the shelf and not well thought out. I'm so sad to give this a bad review but everyone has a failure now and then I suppose. I hope you like it though. Happy reading.

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Keith Laumer

This story is a fun one. It is followed by 3 sequels: "The Other Side of Time", " Assignment in Nowhere" & "Zone Yellow". The people who control the estate of Keith Laumer really need to have more of his books from this series and others released on Audible. His books are all very fun. Mark Douglas Nelson does a wonderful job with the narration on this as well.

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James Bond 0x007

Sci fi-ish James Bond: perfectly manly in a 1955 blood and guts way, misogynism at a minimum as he has just a couple cardboard women. A premise that could have been so much better even at that time.