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Cosmic diplomacy and Machiavellian intrigue.
The official accounts of Terra’s efforts in the field of interstellar diplomacy during the 29th century are available for the dialing to anyone willing to pore through the records of the Corps Diplomatique Terrestrienne.
For those of sufficient discernment, however, it will be evident that the Corps records, incredibly voluminous though they be, fail to tell the whole truth – indeed to some degree must obscure it. Surely if it had been guarded solely by the efforts of such persons as Ambassadors Magnan, Thunderstroke and Grossblunder, Terra’s Sphere of Influence would have crumpled instantly before the diplomatic assaults of the Groaci. That it did not demonstrates that other factors were at work.
One such factor was a career diplomat named James Retief. Contained here are several accounts of his achievements, illustrating how a few able men were able to save the galaxy for Man.
“Cultural Exchange” (1962) • shortstory;
“Saline Solution” (1963) • shortstory;
“The Castle of Light” (1964) • novelette;
“Wicker Wonderland” (1965) • novelette (aka The City That Grew in the Sea);
“The Brass God” (1965) • novelette (aka Retief, God-Speaker);
“Mechanical Advantage” (1971) • novelette (aka Retief, the Long-Awaited Master);
“Dam Nuisance” (1966) • novelette;
“Grime and Punishment” (1969) • novelette (aka Clear as Mud);
“The Forbidden City” (1969) • novelette (aka Retief, War Criminal);
“The Piecemakers” (1970) • novelette;
“Ballots and Bandits” (1970) • novelette;
“Pime Doesn’t Cray” (1971) • novelette.