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Edited by Eric Flint, and inspired by his now legendary 1632, these short stories fill in the pieces of the Ring of Fire political, social and cultural puzzle.

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Commander Alexander Moore’s task is to hunt down remnant weaponry left over from the Solar System’s Civil War. But an AI presence lurks at the periphery—and it’s formed an alliance with something else out there in the darkness of space.

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After the extinction asteroid does not strike Earth, the dinosaurs keep evolving—but so do the mammals. Now, in a heroic Bronze Age, it’s cold-blooded, magic-using reptiles against the hot-blooded, hot-tempered descendants of cats.

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Two full length novels of computers gone wrong—and the men and women who fight back against them. Includes The Two Faces of Tomorrow and Realtime Interrupt.

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Alt. 1920: When Germany ships a huge army to Mexico, the war for the Western Hemisphere is on—and only the indomitable spirit of freedom can answer the Kaiser’s challenge!

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Lost in space, and from one another, covert ops Captain Janzen Parker and his sharp shooting lover Kit Born must penetrate Yavet, the universe’s most insular and repressive world, then foil a plot that could turn Cold War II hot and nuclear.

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France, alternate 1636: After twenty years of waiting, an heir to the throne is about to be born. But there are those with eyes on the crown who would see the young prince’s life cut off before it begins. Forced into seclusion to guard the life of her unborn son, Queen Anne is beset by danger on all sides. And when the Crown’s opponents make their move, factions within France must choose sides to help determine the fate of the Kingdom.

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After the War of the Gods, the demons were cast out and fell to the world. Mankind was nearly eradicated by the seemingly unstoppable beasts, until the gods sent the great hero, Ramrowan, to save them. He united the tribes, gave them magic, and drove the demons into the sea. Yet as centuries passed, Gods and demons became myth and legend, and the people no longer believed. The Age of Law began.

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Ten soldiers thrown back in time to the Paleolithic Era find themselves outnumbered by travelers from across Earth’s history. With no idea how they got there or how to get back, they must now make their way through a hostile world as dangerous as any battlefield. A gritty tale of survival that may lead to triumph, in a Paleolithic world that seems to want men dead.

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April Contest

In Travis S. Taylor’s new novel Trail of Evil, a malevolent AI teams up with an alien species. But how might things play out if the computer program the aliens came into contact with wasn’t so intelligent? Tell us what is the worst piece of Earth software an intelligent extraterrestrial species could come into contact with and why, for your chance to win a signed copy of Trail of Evil.

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A secret path through an ancient oak, a heartless dog-shooting neighbor, and a storm culvert that may lead directly into a secret Nazi plot. Discover the world of Charlie Hardin, young denizen of WWII-era Austin, Texas, with Baen’s exclusive Teacher’s Guide. Perfect for the classroom or book club discussion group, this all-new guide features chapter-by-chapter summary, group discussion questions, and is available as a free download.

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Ryk E. Spoor is the coauthor with Eric Flint of the Boundary series. He is the author the Grand Central Arena science fiction series, contemporary fantasy Paradigms Lost, and the Balanced Sword series, in which this story is set. The books in that series include Phoenix Rising and Phoenix in Shadow, out in May.



Author's Note: While set within the Balanced Sword/Phoenix in Shadow universe, this story takes place in the four-year gap between the time that Poplock Duckweed left for Zarathanton and the time that he met up with Tobimar Silverun. It doesn't spoiler any events for the Balanced Sword trilogy, but does give us another look at one of the favorite locations from Phoenix Rising (based on what readers have told me)… and perhaps a new pair of heroes with a lighter touch!



The Adventurer and the Toad

by Ryk E. Spoor

i.

Lalira Revyne felt a rising elation. I faced my fear. I freed the little thing, even though I was afraid of it. And I fought off a gigantic spinesnarl to do it! Mom will have to listen now!

The relief—not just of having triumphed over danger, but over herself—buoyed her up, and she found herself skipping down the path. Steam drifted around her as she passed near the Burning Waters; the pathway here was more heavily marked and, she was pretty sure, enchanted to keep it safe. Even so, it was even warmer than normal here, with bubbling and hissing sounds surrounding her on all sides. Just a little farther…

The greenery of the Forest Sea rose about her again, and she quickened her pace. The numbness of the spinesnarl scratches had faded, and she rounded the final curve.

The house her mother had built shone white and blue in the lowering sunlight of the clearing. But as Lalira Revyne started to run forward, something told the fourteen- year-old girl caution!

At first she couldn’t figure out what it was. The jungle sounds were normal, the faint scuttling of forest animals, the drowsy hum of insects, the occasional call of bird or least-dragon. The gardens were undisturbed. The house sat in the middle of the clearing, as it always had, surrounded by its warded fence—

The fence. The Wanderer had once said “it is the detail that matters, the single anomaly amidst the ordinary, that is the clue.”

The gate was open. Looking carefully, so was the door of the house. Mom never left the gate open—that left a gap in the verminwards for all sorts of pests to get in. And leaving both that and the house door open? Never.

Her forest knife seemed suddenly tiny and inadequate. She had no idea what she was facing. But none of the Heroes know when they start, either, she reminded herself. Can’t be so scared for Mom that I rush in.

The Forest Sea was filled with unknown danger. She had been raised with that knowledge, but living so near it for so long, with the wards keeping them safe… she’d forgotten. Now she had to be careful. Maybe Mom was fine, maybe Lalira was panicking over nothing… but being careful wouldn’t hurt.


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Michael Z. Williamson, a retired member of the US military, is the author of the best-selling Freehold series of military science fiction novels. Williamson has also authored books such as Tour of Duty and The Hero, written in collaboration with author John Ringo. His latest work, A Long Time Until Now, is the first in a new series that is out in May 2015.



The Distant Past: A Setting for Science Fiction

by Michael Z. Williamson

My upcoming novel, "A Long Time Until Now," visits the far past rather than the far future.

A military convoy is interrupted by temporal chaos, and once it's over, ten soldiers find themselves...elsewhere. Eventually, they find enough clues to place themselves in the distant past, with only hints as to exactly when. They have their personal gear, the contents of two MRAP convoy vehicles, and their wits.

While the market for action adventure is bigger than for hard SF, I've always been a fan of the science-oriented story. The limitations of reality, combined with speculations within them, is a rewarding challenge.

Of course, I didn't realize when I started writing "A Long Time Until Now" that there hasn't been much research about Paleolithic Central Asia. I also had an almost impossible time finding knowledgeable people to talk to. In fact, even with introductions from friends in other sciences, I didn't hear back at all from most of the scholars I was referred to.

I sought professional papers on the subject. They're sparse. Still, I read what there was, and quite a bit on other parts of Eurasia. I found one academic in the field who'd respond to my requests for help; Michael Williams (no relation) of the UK was helpful with some other sources and papers. His site is http://www.prehistoricshamanism.com/. My friends Jessica Schlenker (biologist) and Dale Josephs (research librarian) found a few more. Ross Martinek (petrologist) had some information on terrain and climate. I gathered what I could from all these.

I may have read most of the scholarly papers on that location and era, which tells you how few there are. Other parts of the world have been studied extensively. Large chunks of Asia are still wilderness, as far as prehistoric study goes.

So then I had to fake it, which frustrated and concerned me. This is supposed to be hard science fiction, not fantasy. Then I realized that if we don't know what happened at given times and places, I can't be expected to be exact. So I did the best I could based on the nearest cultures and environments to that timeframe and location.


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