Tuesday, August 30, 2011


Does anyone remember LASER BOOKS?

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:

0. Seeds of Change by Thomas F. Monteleone, 1975, ISBN 0-88950-900-X
1. Renegades of Time by Raymond F. Jones, 1975, ISBN 0-373-72001-7
3. Crash Landing on Iduna by Arthur Tofte, 1975, ISBN 0-373-72003-3
4. Gates of the Universe by Robert Coulson with Gene DeWeese, 1975, ISBN 0-373-72004-1
5. Walls Within Walls by Arthur Tofte, 1975, ISBN 0-373-72005-X
6. Serving in Time by Gordon Eklund, 1975, ISBN 0-373-72006-8
7. Seeklight by K. W. Jeter, 1975, ISBN 0-373-72007-6
8. Caravan by Stephen Goldin, 1975, ISBN 0-373-72008-4
9. Invasion by Aaron Wolfe (pseudonym of Dean R. Koontz), 1975, ISBN 0-373-72009-2
10. Falling Toward Forever by Gordon Eklund, 1975, ISBN 0-373-72010-6
11. Unto the Last Generation by Juanita Coulson, 1975, ISBN 0-373-72011-4
12. The King of Eolim by Raymond F. Jones, 1975, ISBN 0-373-72012-2
13. Blake's Progress by R. F. Nelson, 1975, ISBN 0-373-72013-0
14. Birthright by Kathleen Sky, 1975, ISBN 0-373-72014-9
15. The Star Web by George Zebrowski, 1975, ISBN 0-373-72015-7
16. Kane's Odyssey by Jeff Clinton, 1976, ISBN 0-373-72016-5
17. The Black Roads by J. L. Hensley, 1976, ISBN 0-373-72017-3
18. Legacy by J. F. Bone, 1976, ISBN 0-373-72018-1
19. The Unknown Shore by Donald Malcolm, 1976, ISBN 0-373-72019-X
20. Space Trap by Juanita Coulson, 1976, ISBN 0-373-72020-3
21. A Law for the Stars by John Morressy, 1976, ISBN 0-373-72021-1
24. Ruler of the World by J. T. McIntosh, 1976, ISBN 0-373-72024-6
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
27. The Horde by Joseph Green, 1976, ISBN 0-373-72027-0
28. The Skies Discrowned by Timothy Powers, 1976, ISBN 0-373-72028-9
29. The Iron Rain by Donald Malcolm, 1976, ISBN 0-373-72029-7
31. Galactic Invaders by James R. Berry, 1976, ISBN 0-373-72031-9
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
34. Seas of Ernathe by Jeffrey Carver, 1976, ISBN 0-373-72034-3
35. I, Aleppo by Jerry Sohl, 1976, ISBN 0-373-72035-1
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
39. Brandyjack by Augustine Funnell, 1976, ISBN 0-373-72039-4
40. Master of the Stars by Robert Hoskins, 1976, ISBN 0-373-72040-8
41. Future Sanctuary by Lee Harding, 1976, ISBN 0-373-72041-6
42. Cross of Empire by Christopher Lampton, 1976, ISBN 0-373-72042-4
43. Spawn by Donald Glut, 1976, ISBN 0-373-72043-2
44. But What Of Earth? by Piers Anthony and Robert Coulson, 1976, ISBN 0-373-72044-0
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
49. Tiger in the Stars by Zach Hughes, 1976, ISBN 0-373-72049-1
50. West of Honor by Jerry Pournelle, 1976, ISBN 0-373-72050-5
51. Mindwipe! by Steve Hahn, 1976, ISBN 0-373-72051-3
52. The Extraterritorial by John Morressy, 1977, ISBN 0-373-72052-1
53. The Ecolog by R. Faraday Nelson, 1977, ISBN 0-373-72053-X
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
56. Gift of the Manti by J. F. Bone and Roy Myers, 1977, ISBN 0-373-72056-4
57. Shadow on the Stars by Robert B. Marcus Jr., 1977, ISBN 0-373-72057-2

I've been here and there. I've drawn a lot of pictures. I've written a bit, too. I'm not good at this self-promotion thing. Look, you want to know about me? just visit these websites. Okay?

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