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Published: 1959
Language: English
Wordcount: 20,509 / 65 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 82.9
LoC Category: PS
Downloads: 4,428
Added to site: 2007.10.14 18536

Keith Laumer is a writer new to science fiction. In this story he displays the finesse, artistry and imagination of an old pro. Here is one of the tightest, tautest stories of interplanetary adventure in a long while:

Show Excerpt

a few weeks before, but the idea had spread through the crew like wildfire. Now, I couldn't afford drastic action, or risk forcing a blowup by arresting ringleaders. I had to baby the situation along with an easy hand and hope for good news from the Survey Section. A likely find now would save us.

There was still every reason to hope for success in our search. To date all had gone according to plan. We had followed the route of Omega as far as it had been charted, and then gone on, studying the stars ahead for evidence of planets. We had made our first finds early in the fourth year of the voyage. It had been a long tedious time since then of study and observation, eliminating one world after another as too massive, too cold, too close to a blazing primary, too small to hold an atmosphere. In all we had discovered twelve planets, of four suns. Only one had looked good enough for close observation. We had moved in to televideo range before realizing it was an all-sea world.

Now we had five new m

Reader Reviews

Average Rating of 4.7 from 6 reviews: *****
JoJo Biggins

One of the more enjoyable reads on this site. Unique premise, and very good writing. The ending wasn't bad, but wasn't extremely satisfying, otherwise I would have awarded 5 stars.

Paulo Respighi

An interesting short story of an Earth space ship searching for a lost colony that encounters a ship piloted by two-ton oysters. Oh, and the Earth ship is undergoing a mutiny.

The story is well-plotted, imaginative, and has good description and characterization. And no women.

The ending is a bit abrupt.


Excellent SF novelette. Plenty of action, interesting story line and deep characters.


Probably no one wrote more exciting, action-packed science fiction than Keith Laumer, and "Greylorn" is a great example of his style. It puts you in the mood for more of Laumer's work, and I would suggest "A Plague of Demons" as your next stop. Not in the public domain, I believe, but one of the most kick-butt sci-fi novels ever writen.


Keith Laumer is not new to science fiction and was an old pro who had written some of the best and most humorous science fiction adventures stories ever written. His best works are from before 1970 but wrote some interesting works until his passing in 1990.

Greylorn is a fun romp but if you want to read his best, try the Retief stories as well as Time Trap, Dinosaur Beach and Earthblood,

R Stephan

Interesting (hard / military) SF novelette featuring a commander in a mutiny plus contact situation, with surprise at the end. The after-the-fact explanations are a bit shaky technologically but the plot is lively, the contact scenario interesting, and it's a fast, exciting read.



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