Image of Randall Garrett


Lifetime: 1927 - 1987 Passed: ≈ 36 years ago




United States

Randall Garrett

Explore the captivating life and literary contributions of Randall Garrett, an American science fiction and fantasy author who left an indelible mark on the genre. This comprehensive essay delves into Garrett's principles, notable works, and his enduring legacy in the realm of speculative fiction.

Who was Randall Garrett?

Randall Garrett, born Gordon Randall Phillip David Garrett on December 16, 1927, was a prolific American author known for his contributions to science fiction and fantasy literature. During the 1950s and 1960s, he emerged as a prominent figure in the field, making significant contributions to renowned science fiction magazines, including Astounding.

Principles and Writing Style:

Garrett approached his writing with a deep appreciation for scientific accuracy and meticulous world-building. His stories often blended elements of science fiction, fantasy, and mystery, showcasing his versatility as an author. He believed in crafting engaging narratives that balanced thrilling adventures with insightful social commentary.

What was Randall Garrett famous for?

Randall Garrett gained fame for his extensive body of work in science fiction and fantasy, earning a dedicated readership and critical acclaim. He was particularly renowned for his collaborative efforts, teaming up with other notable authors to create captivating stories that pushed the boundaries of the genre. Some of his most notable works include the "Lord Darcy" series, which introduced an alternate history universe where magic coexists with technology, and the "Gandalara Cycle" series, blending science fiction with elements of sword and sorcery.

Philosophy and Themes:

Garrett's writings often explored the interplay between technology, society, and the human condition. His stories delved into moral dilemmas, political intrigue, and the consequences of scientific advancements, inviting readers to contemplate the ethical implications of progress. Garrett's philosophy embraced the power of imagination, encouraging readers to envision futures shaped by both human ingenuity and the consequences of their choices.

Death and Legacy:

Randall Garrett passed away on December 31, 1987, leaving behind a lasting legacy in the world of speculative fiction. He is remembered as a pioneering voice in the genre, known for his imaginative storytelling, complex characters, and intricate plots. His works continue to inspire and captivate readers, influencing subsequent generations of science fiction and fantasy authors.

Interesting Facts:

  • Randall Garrett's work extended beyond novels and short stories. He also wrote poetry and collaborated on radio dramas.
  • He was a versatile writer, exploring various subgenres within science fiction, including space opera, time travel, and alternate history.
  • Garrett had a keen interest in history and often drew inspiration from different time periods, infusing his stories with a sense of authenticity and historical richness.


Randall Garrett's contributions to science fiction and fantasy literature have left an indelible mark on the genre. His commitment to scientific accuracy, imaginative storytelling, and thought-provoking themes captivated readers and solidified his position as a visionary author. Garrett's writings continue to entertain and inspire, reflecting his belief in the power of speculative fiction to explore the depths of human imagination and challenge societal norms. His legacy lives on, ensuring that his unique voice and compelling narratives will be cherished by readers for generations to come.

Books by Randall Garrett

What The Left Hand Was Doing Cover image

What The Left Hand Was Doing

Science Fiction Novel
Murder History Truth Mystery Dark Magic Magic Danger Universe

This takes readers on a thrilling journey through an alternate history universe where magic and technology coexist. In this enchanting blend of science fiction and fantasy, Garrett weaves a gripping tale of intrigue, danger, and the complexities of a...

The Man Who Hated Mars Cover image

The Man Who Hated Mars

Science Fiction Novel
Mystery Reflection Planets Science Sanity Mars Psychological Universe

On the desolate, crimson expanse of Mars, where the sun casts eerie shadows and the wind whispers secrets, a man haunted by his past finds himself embroiled in an extraterrestrial mystery. Randall Garrett's captivating novel, "The Man Who Hated Mars,...

Damned If You Don't Cover image

Damned If You Don't

Science Fiction Novel
Power Revolution Society Journey Responsibility Ambition

Prepare to be captivated by Randall Garrett's "Damned If You Don't," a tale that blends science fiction and social commentary, challenging the boundaries of reality and questioning the very nature of human progress. In the year 1980, Sam Bending, a...

Highest Treason Cover image

Highest Treason

Set in a future in which humanity’s dream of total equality is fully realized and poverty in terms of material wealth has been eliminated, humanity has straight-jacketed itself into the only social system which could make this possible. Class differe...

Judas Valley Cover image

Judas Valley

Why did everybody step off the ship in this strange valley and promptly drop dead? How could a well-equipped corps of tough spacemen become a field of rotting skeletons in this quiet world of peace and contentment? It was a mystery Peter and Sherri h...

Spaceship Named McGuire Cover image

Spaceship Named McGuire

Can a spaceship go crazy? Well, yes it can if it has a brain. And the new MG (magnetogravitic drive) experimental robot space ship does indeed have a 'brain'. Completely bewildered as to why the first six models of their supposedly perfect new ship m...

Nor Iron Bars A Cage ... Cover image

Nor Iron Bars A Cage ...

Iron bars do not confine a Man—only his body. There are more subtle, and more confining bindings, however....Police methods of the future will naturally use complex new technology but police will still need to deal with the same old sad human nature,...

Anything You Can Do... Cover image

Anything You Can Do...

An alien crash lands on Earth, and for ten years terrorizes the planet, hiding, periodically killing and eating people and stealing materials for some unknown purpose. The only hope is Bart Stanton, a medically-engineered superman, designed for the s...

That Sweet Little Old Lady Cover image

That Sweet Little Old Lady

Randall Garrett had this story first published in Astounding Science Fiction September and October of 1959. His twisted sense of humor and gift for the bizarre situation with believable characters shines here. In the not too distant future, Ken Malon...

Supermind Cover image


FBI agent Kenneth Malone lives in a world where psionic powers such as telepathy and teleportation exist. He must cope with them as well as an FBI Director who leaves Malone continually confused about what situation he is being asked to handle and wh...

But, I Don't Think Cover image

But, I Don't Think

The title is obscure and a bit unsettling I admit; what could it possible mean? Randall Garrett wrote a story here that had me blissfully going in the wrong direction until he quietly yanked the rug from under my feet and made me fume a bit with ir...

Penal Cluster Cover image

Penal Cluster

What do you do with telepaths? Chain them to an asteroid of course and just leave them there ..... but why? Wait a minute ... did I just say that the punishment for being a telepath in the future earth was to be chained to an asteroid 50 million mi...

His Master's Voice Cover image

His Master's Voice

This is a follow up story to Randal Garrett's original story, A Spaceship Named McGyer. The intrepid protagonist, now that he has become the completely unintended and unwilling master of the robot spaceship McGyer, is called in by the owners, very...

Randall Garrett: 3 Science Fiction stories Cover image

Randall Garrett: 3 Science Fiction stories

The irrepressible Science Fiction author Randall Garrett wrote a wide array of short stories for the SF magazines of his day poking fun at many of the then current cherished beliefs, but he had a habit of writing under many different names. These thr...

Anchorite Cover image


Randall Garrett sticks a sharp needle into our government and society in this wonderful story. He projects the current trends towards paternalistic government into the future. Yes, we have attained a world government and everyone is equal whether t...

Pagan Passions Cover image

Pagan Passions

'Adult' Science Fiction? Well, why not? Science Fiction deals imaginatively with odd and unsettling subjects, why not sex? In this novel, the The Gods and Goddesses of Ancient Greece and Rome had returned to Earth—with all their awesome powers int...

Despoilers of the Golden Empire Cover image

Despoilers of the Golden Empire

A handful of men, and an incredible adventure—a few super-men, led by a fanatic, seeking to conquer a new world! The story appears to be about an expedition through space to a planet inhabited by a civilized but technologically backward people, whom...

Impossibles Cover image


FBI Agent Kenneth Malone is back with another case, this one involving a gang of car thieves that only steal Red 1972 Cadillacs. The only problem is that the thief, or thieves as the case may be, seem to have the ability to make themselves invisible....