Story was written before 1980s - perhaps from the 50s or 60s involving a character who takes an illegal drug that temporarily turns him into a super genius.

I believe that part of the story involved an ancient alien maze which the character uses the drug to navigate. I'm a little sketchy on this part.

The story is not Rogue Moon.

  • 3
    Might be this answer
    – Joe L.
    Commented Jan 9, 2016 at 6:21
  • I have The R-Master (my version is actually titled The Last Master). I can't find any mention of an alien maze, and the effect of the drug RIV is permanent not temporary. Commented Jan 9, 2016 at 10:46

1 Answer 1


One of Keith Laumer's Retief books (I'm pretty sure it was "Retief and the Warlords", published 1978) has a character use an alien drug that ended up temporarily making him super fast (like fast enough everything else stands still).

I think the drug was originally supposed to give him a slight edge, maybe think or react a bit quicker - but obviously had an exaggerated reaction cross-species. I believe he uses it to compete in an arena, and later race over terrain to mess with an army (not specifically recalling a maze, but it could be).

I realize super smart is not the same thing as super fast, but the character is also portrayed as pretty much a genius, out thinking and out plotting others in the series, and he does use the drug to navigate scenarios where he could not have done otherwise - and the scenario sounded similar enough to me I thought it was worth offering as an outside possibility. I hope you find it.

  • Don't think you're right, but I loved that particular Retief story. The part where he lifts a car by virtue of f=ma was a blast.
    – docwebhead
    Commented Aug 14, 2017 at 20:07

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