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With all resources in doubt, the Royal Manticoran Navy is on the brink of extinction. But there is still threat without, and Travis Long is about to discover that it's in the worst of time that heroes are born!

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The classic novel about a bored superman in a future utopia from Science Fiction Grand Master Robert A. Heinlein.

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When push comes to genocidal shove, our species' survival may depend on one lowly Chaplain's Assistant named Harrison Barlow. Stranded behind alien enemy lines, Harrison must fight for the human race itself.

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Tales of giant-sized monsters by authors with reputations just as big, including David Drake, Sarah A. Hoyt, Wen Spencer, and Arthur C. Clarke.

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1636: the United States of Europe struggle to survive in the growing up-timer/down-time city of Magdeburg. There’s murder afoot, and the battle for freedom in war-torn Europe won’t be over until the fat lady sings.

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In an alternate Renaissance, roguish and resourceful captain Benito Valdosta of Italy must deal with gods, goddesses and warfare in order to save his daughter at the siege of Constantinople.

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These are stories of the warriors and civilians who get things done in extreme situations. A hard-hitting collection of the best fiction and nonfiction of Michael Z. Williamson.

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Sophia and Faith Smith have had to grow up fast in a world overrun with the mindless, ferocious infected. Daughters of Wolf Squadron leader Steve Smith, they’ve become zombie hunters of unparalleled skill in their own right. And it is they who may hold the keys to the rebirth of civilization on a devastated planet. The thrilling conclusion to the Black Tide Rising Series from multiple New York Times best-selling master of military science fiction John Ringo.

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Private Investigator Justis Fearsson has a gift: a wizard’s powers and the ability to see the paranormal world. But the gift comes with a catch—when the moon is full, Justis looses his grasp of reality and becomes a magical danger to self and others. Now, because of his rare abilities, he may be the only cop in the city able to capture a serial killer who leaves a gruesome calling card: the victims’ eyes burned out by the most powerful magic Justis has ever encountered.

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The means streets of Undercity, the enormous capital of a vast star empire. Here former Imperial Space Command officer turned Private Investigator Major Bhaajan must sift through the shadows to find answers to an incredible secret that may change the future itself forever. An all-new science fiction detective series set in the Skolian Empire from Nebula award winner Catherine Asaro.

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October Contest

Insectoid creatures—think giant man-crushing pincers and hive-mind unity—have invaded. Our weapons barely have an effect and Earth's defenses are crumbling. We need your mad science genius! In a short paragraph, come up with the most original way to beat a massive horde of implacable insectoid/arachnid alien invaders. Giant roach hotels don't work. The aliens only move in and engorge themselves on room service. The delivery guys, not the food. All other methods are up for grabs. Save us! And win a signed edition of The Chaplain's War by Brad R. Torgersen as your thanks from a grateful humankind.

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The Honorverse is getting even bigger! Check out the new additions to the worlds of David Weber here.

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Cover artist Alan Pollack chats with Baen about creating eye-catching book covers, how he came to be a professional artist, and why Larry Correia’s books are so much fun to illustrate.

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Check out the Baen Teacher's Guide to Treecat Wars, the latest in our popular series of teacher’s guides for Baen books that might be appropriate for high school or college classroom reading. These includes synopses, discussion questions, quizzes, and more. Our latest reader’s group guide is 1636: The Devil’s Opera Reader's Group Guide, useful for your book club, online reading group, and to enhance your own enjoyment of the book.

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When Law Monroe gets a call telling her she has to find snow in the middle of June, she assumes the caller is either crazy or pulling her leg. But she’s about to find out that, like so many things on the Planet Elfhome, “snow” is not what—or who—it seems. Soon Law and her pet porcupine Brisbane will set out to find a place called Fairywood and find they've become the deadly sport of an ancient elven evil. An all-new story from Wen Spencer, set in the Elfhome universe!


Bare Snow Falling on Fairywood

by Wen Spencer

Law had just hooked a three-foot waewaeli when her phone started to ring. She ignored it as she fought the twenty-pound fish. "Not, now, not now, go to voice mail!" Only a half-dozen people had her phone number and at the moment, she didn't want to talk to any of them. It stopped ringing for a minute, only to start again. And again. And again.

"Who the frigging hell?" She'd lost too many phones trying to cradle them on her shoulder and reel in a fish. She would need at least one hand free to answer the phone. Finally she locked the reel and jerked her phone out of her breast pocket.

"What?" she cried as her rod bent as the big fish fought the line.

"Who is this?" a female voice asked.

"Law!" she shouted. "Law Munroe." At least that was the name she was using most recently. The joy of having a mother who had been married ten times meant that even close family friends weren't sure what your real, real name was. "Who is this?"

"Oh good. You'll be a perfect match. Go to Fairywood and find snow."

"What?" Law cried. "It's in the middle of freaking June! Mid-summer eve is less than a week! There's no snow!"

"Fairywood. F. A. I. R. Y. Wood. It's next to Windgap. Just out of the Rocks—if there was still a bridge. Lots of urban prairie. You need to find snow. Collect snow up and get someplace safe. All hell is going to break loose regardless but let's not give anyone a nice little goat, shall we?"

And the connection went dead and her line snapped.

"Who? What? Hello?" She glared at her phone. Not only had she lost the fish but she lost her streamer fly, too. A Clouser deep minnow. She handmade her flies, so she wasn't out money, just time. She needed one more fish before her ice chests were full and she could visit her customers. If she didn't land another big fish, she'd have to short someone because she could only put off deliveries for so long.

"I thought there was some kind of rule against crazy people on Elfhome!" Grumble as she might, her experiences with her family confirmed it was only diagnosed crazy people who had been deported back to Earth. All the unknown crazies were free to terrorize their relatives and random people. At least with strangers, she could ignore the phone call. "Not my circus. Not my monkeys."

She was standing knee-deep in Chartiers Creek in Carnegie. It was about six miles from where the stream met the Ohio River. In the summer, that section of the Chartiers was too shallow in the summer for river shark and jumpfish to navigate the water. She took another fly from her hat and tied it to her line. She'd dropped coolers alongside of Campbells Run and Chartiers Creek every few hundred feet. Parking at the end of Glass Street before dawn, she'd walked back to Campbells Run. In the last hour, she'd worked her way down to where the smaller stream joined the larger one, slowly making her way back to her truck. She had her biggest coolers full of trout and crayfish from traps on other streams, but she enjoyed angling for the waewaeli. Summer was her favorite time to be a professional forager since she could devote much of her time to the sport of fishing. The dry hot months meant that the Chartiers was shallow enough to wade. She was too far upstream to worry about river sharks and jumpfish; they needed at least four feet of water to navigate a channel. The undergrowth lining the creek screened the ruins of the abandoned neighborhood. The play of water and singing birds masked out any distant noise of civilization. It was her and the fish, one on one, just the way she liked it.


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Astronauts get all the glory—and if David Bowie is to be believed, everyone wants to know where they buy their shirts. But how about those guys and gals that stay planet-side? You know the ones staring at a computer screen in Johnson Space Center? No one cares where they do their shopping. But maybe we should. Former Houston mission ballistics officer Terry Burlison sets the record straight on who’s really in charge, and provides and in-house view of ground central control for the American space program.



Behind the Scenes at Mission Control

by Terry Burlison

Astronauts get all the glory: interviews, their pictures in the paper, the starry-eyed space groupies, those cool flight suits.

Mission controllers, however, rarely get mentioned—at least not positively. (Internet joke: “You might be a nerd . . . if you think the heroes of Apollo 13 were the mission controllers.” <rim shot>)

I’m here to set the record straight.

(NOTE: Since my quoted sources are still badged employees, they were unable to speak on the record. Thus, names are withheld to protect the somewhat innocent.)

When people ask my occupation, my past Mission Control experience somehow seems to creep into the conversation:

“What do you do for a living?”

“Well, I’m a writer, but I used to fly space shuttles out of Mission Control.”

Sometimes this does not get the reaction I’d like. Once, on vacation, I asked a waitress how a particular dish was prepared. She explained it, then asked what I did for living. “I work in Mission Control in Houston,” I replied with a modest grin. “Oh,” she said, clearly disappointed. “I thought maybe you were a cook.” My girlfriend laughed all the way back to our hotel.

Well, for those of you who do wonder, here’s what it’s like to work in the Big Room.

Flight Dynamics, call sign “Fido”

After college, I had the privilege of beginning my career in aerospace engineering at the top: as a NASA mission controller for the space shuttle. Not just any controller, either. Flight dynamics officers, call sign Fido, are the studs of Mission Control. (That’s fact, not opinion. Just ask any former Fido.)

Fidos are responsible for everything about the spacecraft’s trajectory from the moment it clears the tower on liftoff until landing. Sure, there are environmental guys, payload guys, avionics guys, etc. (and truth be told, they are the ones who usually handle problems during a mission, since it is their systems that usually break down), but Fidos—baby, we’re the ones that command the fire!

So for now, forget everything the media has told you about the astronauts. Forget Ken Mattingly in Apollo 13 single-handedly figuring out how to power up the dead Command Module. Don’t believe Al Bean “knowing” which switch to throw to save Apollo 12. Ignore Jim Lovell taking command of the Apollo 13 emergency while the mission controllers stared in disbelief at their consoles.

Beyond issues of personal hygiene, and, these days of course, payload experiments, astronauts do little without permission from the guys on the ground.


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