Laser Books was a line of 58 paperback science fiction (SF) novels published from 1975 to 1977 by Canadian romance powerhouse Harlequin Books (http://www.eharlequin.com/). Laser published three titles per month, available by subscription as well as in stores. The books were limited to 50,000-60,000 words. They were numbered as a series, though each was a standalone novel. All the covers were painted by Hugo Award winning artist Kelly Freas.
Harlequin edited the Laser books to conform to the standards then imposed on the Harlequin Romances. This included prohibition of blasphemous and scatological words and explicit sexual scenes, but not of sexual situations and implied sex. There was also a tendency to edit to correct grammar and exclude slang in exposition but not in dialogue.
When Harlequin closed the Laser line, all rights were reverted to the authors. The Laser line was important to many beginning writers and greatly expanded the market for 50,000 to 60,000 word books. Many Laser books were later published by Pocket, Ace Books, and Tor. Some remain in print.
Back in the 70's these Laser titles showed up pretty much anywhere you could find a paperback rack (remember those?) I remember as a youngster coming across these books with some frequency. They all had gorgeous Frank Kelly Freas covers and they looked exciting. I never picked them up, at the time, though.
I can't remember exactly why because I do remember finding them very exciting books. I imagine it was probably a lack of pocket money that was responsible. My meagre funds were earmarked for purchasing Bantam DOC SAVAGE paperbacks or the James Blish STAR TREK novelizations or any and sundry PLANET OF THE APES books I could get my grubby little hands on.
Looking back I wish I had collected them. They are an interesting footnote in the sf publishing world.
Here is a complete list of all the Laser Books courtesy of the Wikipedia:
5. Walls Within Walls by Arthur Tofte, 1975, ISBN 0-373-72005-X
8. Caravan by Stephen Goldin, 1975, ISBN 0-373-72008-4
10. Falling Toward Forever by Gordon Eklund, 1975, ISBN 0-373-72010-6
12. The King of Eolim by Raymond F. Jones, 1975, ISBN 0-373-72012-2
20. Space Trap by Juanita Coulson, 1976, ISBN 0-373-72020-3
25. Scavenger Hunt by Stephen Goldin, 1976, ISBN 0-373-72025-4
26. To Renew the Ages by Robert Coulson, 1976, ISBN 0-373-72026-2
29. The Iron Rain by Donald Malcolm, 1976, ISBN 0-373-72029-7
32. Then Beggars Could Ride by R. F. Nelson, 1976, ISBN 0-373-72032-7
33. The Dreamfields by K. W. Jeter, 1976, ISBN 0-373-72033-5
36. Jeremy Case by Gene DeWeese, 1976, ISBN 0-373-72036-X
37. The Meddlers by J. F. Bone, 1976, ISBN 0-373-72037-8
38. Ice Prison by Kathleen Sky, 1976, ISBN 0-373-72038-6
42. Cross of Empire by Christopher Lampton, 1976, ISBN 0-373-72042-4
45. Finish Line by Stephen Goldin, 1976, ISBN 0-373-72045-9
46. Dance of the Apocalypse by Gordon Eklund, 1976, ISBN 0-373-72046-7
47. Epitaph in Rust by Timothy Powers, 1976, ISBN 0-373-72047-5
48. Rebels of Merka by Augustine Funnell, 1976, ISBN 0-373-72048-3
52. The Extraterritorial by John Morressy, 1977, ISBN 0-373-72052-1
54. The River and the Dream by Raymond F. Jones, 1977, ISBN 0-373-72054-8
55. Shepherd by Joan Hunter Holly, 1977, ISBN 0-373-72055-6
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