Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Worlds of the Imperium (Imperium, #1)” as Want to Read:
Worlds of the Imperium (Imperium, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Worlds of the Imperium

(Imperium #1)

3.68  ·  Rating details ·  361 ratings  ·  28 reviews
2nd Ace printing & 1st as a single book.
Worlds of the Imperium is a science-fiction novel by Keith Laumer originally published in 1962. It is an example of an alternate history novel in which a man from our reality becomes involved with another parallel world in which the American Revolution never happened and the secret of inter-world travel came under the control of
Paperback, 184 pages
Published August 1st 1977 by Berkley (first published February 1st 1961)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Worlds of the Imperium, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Worlds of the Imperium

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.68  · 
Rating details
 ·  361 ratings  ·  28 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Worlds of the Imperium (Imperium, #1)
Mar 14, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
For some reason, there aren't very many novels where Sweden rules the entire Universe. But this is one of them.
Brion Bayard, American diplomat, is kidnapped by the denizens of an alternate dimension (the Imperium). They want to use him to take down a third alternate dimension (the evil dimension) by impersonating its dictator (his alternate universe counterpart).

This novel was written in the early 1960s and it feels like it. The style is dry and matter-of-fact with little characterization, no back story, and not much emotion. Everything is lean, mean and to the point. There is no angst, which is good.
Pedro L. Fragoso
Jul 29, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Absolutely loved it. From a different time, about a different world (Sweden and Algeria, capitals of imperiums). Gallant hero, evil genius, a distinct lack of cynicism, lots of action and adventure (and in the mix a somewhat courageous, active and intelligent female sidekick). In short, a good romp.
Jun 21, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: sf
review of
Keith Laumer's Worlds of the Imperium
by tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE - June 21, 2013

Having just recently read my 1st bk by Keith Laumer, Time Trap, & having enjoyed it in an escaping-from-my-miserable-life-w/-an-entertaining-distraction kind of way, I picked up another 18 bks by him from a local bkstore where they were mostly selling for less than $2 apiece. SO, here goes, a Laumer spree.

Worlds of the Imperium was entertaining enuf, it did the trick, I read it in less than a day, I
Aug 13, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a parallel universe story, in which one world has discovered a way to enter other universes. It is a prequel to a book I read a loooong time ago, "Beyond the Imperium." In this story, an American, Bayard, is kidnapped by the mysterious Imperium who want him to carry out a mission for them.It turns out that the dictator on another world is his double on that world and the Imperials want him to replace the "bad" Bayard. But nothing is as simple as it seems.. A short, fast-paced story, I ...more
Al "Tank"
May 03, 2018 rated it liked it
The book starts out a bit slow. Yes, there's action on page one, but it drags through the first half. The second half is almost non-stop action of the type I've learned to expect from Laumer. If the entire book had been along that line, I'd have given it at least 4 stars (if not 5), but the first half, though interesting, dragged it down to 3 stars (okay, I'm being tough today, you may like all of it).
Apr 15, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
No he podido con él. He leído las últimas páginas casi en diagonal. Personajes planos y sin emociones. Solo una mujer, y ya sabemos cómo funcionan estas cosas (y cómo debemos contextualizarlas). La ciencia ficción que aquí aparece, aparte de mal explicada, es una mera excusa para escribir una historia de acción y aventuras repleta de puñetazos e intrigas. ¿Lo mejor? Sin duda, la portada (de la colección Super Ficción de Martínez Roca).
Gregory DeLaCastro
Fabulous Espionage Time Travel between dimensions by using scientific papers that were otherwise ignored. Reporter is sent back to another dimension to kill himself as the dictator of North Africa which in the post nuclear world is what is left of humanity. Then he finds that all has not been as he was told...a cliff hanger
Eric Secrist
Jan 18, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
Good story, lots of action, fun to read. The first bonus short story at the end is quote appropriate given the current gender wars. The second short story is full of some of the strangest similes I have ever read, but it's still fun if you are looking for some lighthearted reading entertainment.
Larry W
Feb 27, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good book

A good book that somewhat bogged down a bit past the halfway point but recovered in a remarkable ending. I enjoyed it.
3/10. Solo he leído este del autor.
Keary Birch
Oct 18, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018
Definitely of its time. Fun but very short.
This is the first in a series of books regarding an agency that polices time travel. Very interesting idea for a novel, and while I've heard of that concept before, this is the first novel I read that was centered around it.

The only other Laumer novel I read before this was Galactic Odyssey, written four years after this, but I can already see a difference in his writing. Odyssey was very subtle with its social commentary. While I absolutely love the commentary in this book, it's far from
Apr 01, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This alternate world/multiverse novel is a bit heavy on info dumps, which makes sense as the first in a series, but I wish the explanation of Laumer's particular take on the multiverse thing had been handled more skillfully. Indeed, after the initial set-up and some surprising choices of parallel world counterparts (e.g. Hermann Goering) not much is really done with the concept and the story turns into a fairly pedestrian (and rather dated) action/thriller. Nevertheless, it was intriguing enough ...more
Erik Graff
Oct 04, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Laumer fans
Recommended to Erik by: no one
Shelves: sf
I've stumbled upon this book by chance while looking for Laumer's Ultimax Man. The cover arrested my attention as it had fascinated me back in junior high when I read it. This was back in the day when I still believed in the New Frontier, supported our wars against communist dictatorships and wanted to grow up to do my part in the global struggle. The novel may be terrible--tho its description makes it sound rather interesting--but I loved it then, so five stars for memory's sake!
David Nichols
One may profitably skip this early novel by the author of BOLO and the Retief novels. Laumer's premise - a war between alternate earths, each capable of traveling to hundreds of parallel worlds - is promising enough, but the novel's plot is an uninspired commando story, replete with insipid slang and socks to the jaw. Laumer also does a poor job of evoking the settings of the two alternate Earths that his main character visits.
May 09, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
First in the series dealing alternate universes. Brion Bayard who has quit his American diplomatic career, is kidnapped and brought to the alternate world where Earth's history took a different turn. His captors have a strange task for him designed to save their alternate Earth timeline. The story deals with Brion's effort to do this, adjusting to life in this new reality as well as dealing with internal politics.
Presley Acuna
Straight up Sci-Fi, 1950s style. Action Adventure with a crisp plot and satisfying ending. Typical Analog magazine style period entry. It was a good, quick read, if you're in need of some straight up plot with a sci-fi flavoring. The multiverse concepts were actually fascinating and integral to the story.
Love of Hopeless Causes
Love the cover art. Had this as a kid. Didn't like it back then, and I'm not risking a time travel book now. However, I think this is a German-Japan wins alternative history prior to Phil K. Dick's, "Man in the High Castle."
Apr 03, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Typical Laumer-A very entertaining read

I read this story 25 years ago, but I had forgotten the majority of the plot. It was one part fun and two parts nostalgia but all parts worthwhile. I think I will get another of his works to enjoy on a grey day in Pittsburgh.
Keith Davis
Nov 29, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fun SF adventure about a man recruited into a war between alternate realities and sent to assassinate a global dictator who just happens to be an alternate version of himself.
Squid Christ
Incredible Sci-fi from a great hack writer. If you want some sweet ass dollar store sci fi with no grounding in the realm of reality then this is the book for you!
Aug 02, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
a parallel world book. Very good.
I actually enjoyed this even though the story has many holes and is bit dated now
Marc Hobbs
Jun 02, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
A decent tale that taps into what would later become Steampunk. Entertaining and sometimes campy.
Stefan Vucak
Mar 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Superb story!
Brick Marlin
Aug 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another great read from Mr. Laumer's collection! This tale has a lot of action, twists, and turns! A very quick read!
Robert James
rated it it was amazing
Apr 28, 2017
Dennis Hearon
rated it really liked it
May 07, 2016
John Worpenberg
rated it liked it
Sep 10, 2016
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Little Bookshop on the Seine (The Little Paris Collection, #1; The Bookshop, #2)
  • Gideon Falls, Vol. 3: Stations of the Cross
  • Farmhand, Vol. 2: Thorne in the Flesh
  • Outer Darkness, Vol. 2: Castrophany of Hate
  • Thick as Thieves (The Queen's Thief, #5)
  • FreakAngels, Volume 3
  • Aliens: Dust to Dust
  • When You Come to a Fork in the Road, Take It!: Inspiration and Wisdom from One of Baseball's Greatest Heroes
  • Agent X (Steve Vail, #2)
  • Polar, Vol. 0: The Black Kaiser
  • Divide Me By Zero
  • Charlie Thorne and the Last Equation
  • Little Bird: The Fight for Elder's Hope
  • FreakAngels, Volume 4
  • Dispel Illusion (Impossible Times, #3)
  • I Am C-3PO: The Inside Story
  • The Officially Unofficial Files of Dr. Gordon B. Gray
  • White Hot Silence (Paul Samson #2)
See similar books…
John Keith Laumer was an American science fiction author. Prior to becoming a full-time writer, he was an officer in the U.S. Air Force and a U.S. diplomat. His brother March Laumer was also a writer, known for his adult reinterpretations of the Land of Oz (also mentioned in Keith's The Other Side of Time).

Keith Laumer (aka J.K Laumer, J. Keith Laumer) is best known for his Bolo stories and his

Other books in the series

Imperium (4 books)
  • The Other Side of Time (Imperium, #2)
  • Assignment in Nowhere (Imperium, #3)
  • Zone Yellow (Imperium, #4)