Help me identify a pulp sci-fi/fantasy book from around the 1970's
January 11, 2011 11:46 AM   Subscribe

Help me identify a pulp sci-fi/fantasy book from around the 1970's w/a male protagonist who ends up in a fantasy land and can "shift" objects to make them appear when he needs them.

Identifying characteristics:
Main character is an adult male who lives in the real world in a boarding house. He "shifts" himself into a fantasy realm. There is a princess and a pretender to the throne who wants to marry the princess. There is also a wizard/advisor.

If the main character doesn't "know" that something isn't there he can make it appear - ie. if he checks his right pocket for a key and it isn't there he can focus hard on the "fact" that it IS in his left pocket and when he reaches in it will be there.

There is a scene where he's in a secret passage and he reaches onto a shelf in the dark, doesn't find a key and focuses and reaches further and the key is there.

There is a desert, and at some point he makes a dragon or dinosaur appear in the desert.

The wizard/advisor is NOT from the land they're in, and uses a modern telephone at some point, in the end it turns out that the main character is the lost prince from this land.
posted by dadici to Media & Arts (4 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
It doesn't match up precisely, but Zelazny's first (and superior) Amber series does bear many of the hallmarks of what you are talking about.
posted by edgeways at 11:53 AM on January 11, 2011 [3 favorites]

Response by poster: it is not the Amber series, but you're right that does sound very similar.

I always got the feeling that this book was part of a series as well, but I don't know that.

Also, there is a part about 2/3 of the way through the book where the wizard explains that the stuff he's making appear has to come from somewhere real, and that he's creating a deficit or debt - then the main character gets booted back to the 'real" world, he try's to call the wizard from a phone booth to get back to the land.
posted by dadici at 12:06 PM on January 11, 2011

Best answer: You're looking for the Lafayette O'Leary series, by Keith Laumer.

The first novel is Time Bender.
posted by notbuddha at 12:27 PM on January 11, 2011

Response by poster: That's it! I've been looking for this book for 3 years, you solved it in less than an hour, I'm really excited to see that there are more books in the series!

Thanks so much
posted by dadici at 12:35 PM on January 11, 2011

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