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With New Orleans out of control, Chad Oliver Gardenier, one of Monster Hunter International’s premier hunters, has been dispatched from Seattle to reinforce the beleaguered members of MHI’s Hoodoo Squad in their fight against the darkness.

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Five days after discovering his boss is a werewolf—and subsequently tossing him out of a fourteenth floor window—Owen Pitt gets a new job as a member of Monster Hunter International. Their business is killing monsters. And business is booming!

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In the year 1635, the Rhineland is in turmoil. The impact of the Ring of Fire has only aggravated a situation that was already chaotic. The wars for the Rhine have erupted, and only the devil knows how they will end.

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Alternate 1635: When King Charles demands Cromwell’s head, it falls to up-time sharpshooter Julie Sims to teach the Brits a lesson that has already been learned on the Continent: A safe distance isn’t what you think it is.

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When her brother is held for ransom, privateer Captain Catherine Blackwell knows she must do whatever it takes to ensure his safe return. But the job won’t be easy. To get her brother back she must face down danger at every turn—and uncover a mystery four million years in the making.

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A vampire struggling to find his purpose. A Virtue, pledged to hunt evil but unable to live alone in a city of strangers who know nothing about monsters. A sixteen-year-old ward of the Wolf King. A college-bound high school senior whose life is shattered when he wakes up in a field, covered in blood. These four must come together to unravel a plot by Wickers, witches who gain power from human sacrifices and have the power to turn any human into their puppet. Four people who have lost everything must struggle to save Boston by saving each other.

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Caine Riordan, fresh from serving as envoy to the aliens known as the Slaasriithi, has been given yet another daunting task: apprehend raiders that are terrorizing a distant planet. As difficulties mount, Caine becomes aware that the mission his superiors sent him to perform may not be the one they actually hope he will achieve. Which means Caine may be forced to choose between honoring a promise to friends or following orders—a choice that could ultimately put him in front of a board of inquiry. Or a firing squad.

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A century and a half after the Martian Separatist Wars and the solar system still does not know peace. The brilliant, mad artificial intelligence known as Copernicus, the being ultimately responsible for the Solar System‑wide civil war, has formed an alliance with something else out there in the void of space. Its goal: wipe humanity from the galaxy forever.

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December Contest

As the song says, “For the holidays, you can’t beat home sweet home.” But for a science fiction character, home sweet home is more likely to be a far-flung planet than “Pennsylvania and some homemade pumpkin pie.” That’s why we want you to help us update this holiday classic. Rewrite the lyrics to "There’s No Place Like Home for the Holidays" to give them an updated science fictional twist. The author of the winning entry will receive a signed copy of Monster Hunter Memoirs: Sinners, signed by John Ringo and Larry Correia.

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A new reader guide filled with interesting and provocative questions and notes is now available for Lois McMaster Bujold’s latest entry in her legendary Vorkosigan saga, Gentleman Jole and the Red Queen. It’s a great way to get discussion started for your book club or online reading group. And it’s also wonderful way to deepen the pleasure of . . . did we say there’s a new entry in the Vorkosigan saga!

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William Ledbetter is a writer with more than forty speculative fiction stories and nonfiction articles published in markets such as Fantasy & Science Fiction, Jim Baen's Universe, Writers of the Future, Escape Pod, the SFWA blog, and Ad Astra. He's been a space and technology geek since childhood and spent most of his nonwriting career in the aerospace and defense industry. He administers the Jim Baen Memorial Short Story Award contest for Baen Books and the National Space Society, is a member of SFWA, the National Space Society of North Texas, a Launch Pad Astronomy workshop graduate, is the Science Track coordinator for the Fencon convention and is a consulting editor at Heroic Fantasy Quarterly. He lives near Dallas with his family and too many animals.



Tethers
William Ledbetter

Sievert was a jerk at the best of times, but he was mad at me and that made him much worse. He was tied with Alyona Gusarov at being four hours away from breaking the long standing one thousand hour EVA record. He'd wanted to tell the ground station I was sick so he could go EVA and make the repairs, but I was the mission engineer and had refused. To pay back my insolence, he opened an intra-suit connection the minute I left the ship and hadn't stopped harassing me since.

"You techies make bad astronauts," Sievert said then gave me a long peal of barking, hiccupping laughter. His French accent grew more pronounced when he was angry and it made him sound even more condescending.

"You're too cautious and too timid, Hartman," he said. "By-the-book takes twice as long!"

I gritted my teeth and made another tiny adjustment to my slow, but steady, course toward the malfunctioning orbital fuel depot. Sievert could probably have made the repairs, just as I could fly the Stolid, but it was my ass on the line. Tyco Space Services Corporation had a ninety-eight percent quality rating for its orbital equipment and this was the first time one of these refueling depots went offline. I couldn't screw this up.

I ignored his ongoing abuse and watched the sun rise slowly over the Pacific below. Like every human who left the Earth before me, I never stopped being stunned by its beauty. Since this depot was in geosynchronous orbit, I wouldn't get to see the jewel encrusted night side during this EVA, but that also meant I didn't have to work in the dark.

My focus returned to the task at hand as the depot slowly dominated my field of vision. It was a cluster of round tanks surrounded by steel struts, all interconnected by armored piping and roughly the size of a two-bedroom house. Fueling probes jutted outward in four directions, easily accessible by either crewed or automated spacecraft, and solar arrays sprouted from the top and bottom. Printed in huge letters, next to the Tyco Space Services logo on the wide equatorial band, was the identifier TRD27. Or officially Tyco Refueling Depot number 27.

"Are you too nervous to talk, techie? Do you clench your teeth tight to keep them from chattering?"

"Twelve meters," I answered over the open company channel, but he was right about my being afraid. I just wasn't afraid for me. I had to stay alive for Dad.







Captain Kacey Ezell grew up around the world on various military bases. When she was seven, her mother gave her a copy of Anne McCaffrey's Dragondrums, and shortly thereafter, Kacey decided that she wanted to be a dragonrider when she grew up. She followed her parents into the “family business” and graduated from the United States Air Force Academy, earned her wings in 2001, and has over 2,500 hours in the UH-1N and Mi-17 helicopters. In 2009, while deployed to Iraq, she began her writing career with “Light,” which appeared in Baen anthology Citizens. She consulted on John Ringo's Strands of Sorrow, and has written stories for Black Tide Rising, an anthology set in Ringo's zombie apocalypse universe, and for Forged in Blood, an anthology of stories set in Michael Z. Williamson’s Freehold universe. Kacey is the coauthor, along with John Ringo and Chris Smith, of a yet-to-be titled upcoming post apocalyptic alien invasion science fiction novel coming from Baen. She lives with her husband, two daughters, and an ever increasing number of cats. Sadly, she no longer smokes cigars.



Of Dragons and Valkyries:
Helicopters in Fiction
Kacey Ezell

On the night that changed my life, I was smoking a cigar on the old smoking deck at the Hyatt Regency Atlanta. It was DragonCon, so I was naturally wearing an extremely short skirt and knee high boots, because that’s what one does at Dragon.

No? Not everyone? Huh. Weird.

In any case, whether it was the cigar or the short skirt, I quickly found myself talking to a guy who introduced himself as John Ringo. (Actually, I think one of his friends introduced us.) John was “holding court” as he occasionally does at DragonCon. He made a comment about not seeing a lot of women with interest in cigars, and then proceed to tell me about this “goddess” (his word, emphasis not added, it was already there) he’d seen two years prior who had been smoking a cigar and wearing a red leather bikini shaped like demon hands.

At that point, John got very alarmed, because my eyes filled with tears.

“Are you okay?” he asked. His face went a bit pale with concern, if I recall correctly.

I nodded and smiled through my tears.

“That girl?” I asked, still smiling. “Her name was Tammy Archuleta. She was a helicopter pilot in the U.S. Air Force, and my best friend. We went through pilot training together. She was killed in March of 2003 in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan. Her fiancé is one of my friends here with me tonight.”

John actually staggered. And sympathized with my loss. And bought me and all of my friends a drink, and spent the rest of the night hanging out and talking with us. As military vets will do, we shared quite a few war stories that night, and on the nights that followed during that con.

In particular, we talked a lot about helicopters. John was fascinated by them. Now, this doesn’t strike me at all as odd, since I talk about helicopters all the time anyway. Because, let’s face it, helicopters are badass. There’s something so intriguing about a machine that can fly low enough to hide behind trees and terrain, can hover over one spot long enough to pluck someone off the side of a mountain cliff, can rain fire and fury down on ground-based threats, and can land and take off from a pad small enough to fit on a rooftop.












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