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Janifer, Laurence M

Entry updated 13 February 2024. Tagged: Author.

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(1933-2002) US author in several genres and performing musician. Born Larry Mark Harris – a name used for his fiction until 1963 – he reverted to the old family name, which had been discarded by an immigration officer when Janifer's grandfather had gained entry to the America from Poland. Some of his non-sf books – mostly erotica – appeared under the pseudonyms Alfred Blake and Barbara Wilson; other pseudonyms (almost never for works in the fields of the fantastic) included Tom Beach, Andrew Blake, Robert J Cassiday, Bernal L Elliott, Laura Mae Jansen, William Logan, Kenneth Malone, Barry Miles and Thomas O'Connor. He began publishing work of genre interest with "Expatriate" for Cosmos in 1953, and wrote much of his earlier sf in collaboration. Works written with Randall Garrett include a bawdy mythological fantasy, Pagan Passions (1959) as by Randall Garrett and Larry M Harris, for the Beacon Books series of Galaxy Science Fiction Novels; plus the Kenneth Malone sequence, with both authors signing as Mark Phillips, which features confrontations between a secret-service agent and various Psi-Powered individuals: Brain Twister (September-October 1959 Astounding as "That Sweet Little Old Lady"; 1962), The Impossibles (April-June 1960 Astounding/Analog as "Out Like a Light"; 1963) and Supermind (November 1960-February 1961 Analog as "Occasion for Disaster"; 1963). The slightly later Angelo DiStefano series with S J Treibich comprises Target: Terra (1968 dos), The High Hex (1969 dos) and The Wagered World (1969 chap dos).

Janifer's first solo novel was Slave Planet (1963). The Wonder War (1964), though credited to Janifer alone, appears from the dedication to have been written in collaboration with Michael Kurland. You Sane Men (1965; vt Bloodworld 1968) describes a world where sadism is the aristocratic way of life. A Piece of Martin Cann (1968) features psi-assisted psychotherapy (see Psychology). Janifer's most ambitious novel was Power (1974), a study of the Politics of rebellion; similar themes were tackled in Reel (1983). The lively Gerald Knave, Survivor series – Survivor (1977), Knave in Hand (1979), Knave and the Game (coll of linked stories 1987), Alienist (2001), The Counterfeit Heinlein (2001) and Two (2003) – feature an interplanetary troubleshooter, Knave, who is somewhat in the mould of Keith Laumer's Retief; the last of them, with Knave now married, is perhaps the best. Janifer collected much of his best short fiction as Impossible? (coll 1968). He edited one anthology: Masters' Choice: The Best Science-Fiction Stories of All Time, Chosen by the Masters of Science Fiction (anth 1966; vt 2vols Master's Choice 1 1969 UK and Master's Choice 2 1969; vt 18 Greatest Science Fiction Stories 1971). [BS]

see also: Music.

Laurence Mark Janifer

born New York: 17 March 1933

died Oakland, California: 10 July 2002



Kenneth Malone

Angelo DiStefano

Gerald Knave, Survivor

  • Survivor (New York: Ace Books, 1977) [Gerald Knave, Survivor: pb/]
  • Knave in Hand (New York: Ace Books, 1979) [Gerald Knave, Survivor: pb/]
  • Knave and the Game (Garden City, New York: Doubleday and Company, 1987) [coll of linked stories: Gerald Knave, Survivor: hb/Margo Herr]
  • The Counterfeit Heinlein (Holicong, Pennsylvania: Wildside Press, 2001) [Gerald Knave, Survivor: pb/]
  • Alienist (Holicong, Pennsylvania: Wildside Press, 2001) [Gerald Knave, Survivor: pb/]
  • Two (Holicong, Pennsylvania: Wildside Press, 2003) [Gerald Knave, Survivor: pb/]

individual titles

works as editor


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