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August 4th, 2008, 10:45 AM
I'm pretty sure this was a series at least 10 years ago, probably closer to 20. At least one of the books was a book of short stories, but it's possible all the books had short stories as part of them. The main character was a diplomat to alien races, he started low on the totem pole and worked his way up, I think he made Ambassador in the last book. He was always running into problems because of either the alienness of the races (they tended to be very alien, physically at least) or the stupidity of his boss... usually the latter I believe. He was one of those that were always cool and calm no matter what the situation. Most of the time the situations were fairly ridiculous, I do remember the series as being funny, not serious at all.

I know it's not much to go on, but any help would be appreciated.

acton bell
August 4th, 2008, 01:03 PM
Retief by Keith Laumer. It's a GREAT series! Mostly short stories, but one or two novels I think. My favorite of the bunch is the short story "Sealed Orders," though the novel Retief's War is pretty good too.

August 4th, 2008, 01:41 PM
Thank you! I thought for sure I owned them, but couldn't find them (a problem of having over a thousand books just in sci-fi/fantasy). I actually only own two of them, but I can at least read those two.

Thanks again, this has been driving me nuts! ^_^

August 7th, 2008, 03:34 AM
There are rather more than a few Retief novels. I think there may be more than ten. I have 7-8 of them and I wouldn't be surprised if there were more.