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With the Austro-Hungarian Empire teetering on the brink, the United States of Europe sends auto mechanics and financiers to the rescue. What better way to bridge the gap than to create a racetrack for the emperor’s new muscle car?

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The ruling families of the People’s Republic of Haven want a short victorious war, but Captain Honor Harrington is going to give them a war that's anything but.

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Marius Winter, shaman-warrior, and his spirit guides embark on a battle through Hell to save the souls of everyone Marius loves from the demon Belial!

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High fantasy and mighty conflicts go hand-in-hand. In great wars, armies rise to fight evil hordes and heroes struggle to push beyond their imperfections to save the day. Here are stories of dark magic, enemy blades, epic landscapes, and epic battles.

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The Empire has fallen and a time of technological ruin is upon the stars. But one battle computer has survived the Collapse, and he is determined to aid those who would restore a star-faring civilization. Enter Raj Whitehall, the general who will retake humanity from the jaws of barbarism.

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A Shadow Warrior and his unlikely traveling companions face off against a malevolent sorcerer and an army of the dead.

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It’s go time once again for the meta-heroes and their ghostly ally, Seraphym, the spirit of the world. Financier villain Verdegris knows he must trap and destroy her if he is to take down the metas.

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Set adrift among the stars, a small band of survivors beats the odds and finds a habitable planet on which to build a new life. But this strange new world holds many secrets—some of which may prove deadly.

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A secret path through an ancient oak, a heartless dog-shooting neighbor, a storm culvert that may lead directly into a secret Nazi plot. Such are the adventures that await Charlie Hardin, young denizen of WWII-era Austin, Texas.

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With war between Cobra factions brewing, Cobra Jason Broom poses as a slave on an alien prison planet. He seeks information—information that may save the Cobra worlds, and head off a massive interstellar war.

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Dragged into the deep recesses of the earth and enslaved by a mad despot-in-exile, Ran, the Shadow Warrior, must fight his way to the surface even as he plunges into the depths of a mystery. For the earth does not give up its secrets easily—even for the Shadow Warrior. Sequel to The Undead Hordes of Kan-Gul.

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November Contest

In the latest Ring of Fire novel, 1636: The Viennese Waltz, the Emperor of the Austro-Hungarian Empire has taken to street racing his up-timer muscle car through seventeenth-century Vienna. Which got us thinking, how might the rules and regulations of other modern-day sporting events change if transported back in time? Let us know your ideas for a chance to win a first edition copy of 1636: The Viennese Waltz, signed by the authors!

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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 Beyond This Horizon, 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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Information specialist Jason Wood makes tidy living recognizing patterns where others see only chaos. But all he wants to do at the moment is kick back with his new wife and celebrate their first Christmas in their new home. But when the police come asking for his help with an unusual murder—one that involves lycanthropy, no less—Jason finds himself on the job and tossed out into a night that is anything but silent. An all new short story set in the worlds of Paradigms Lost by Ryk E. Spoor, just in time for the holidays.


Bait and Switch

by Ryk Spoor

Chapter 1: Decked in the Halls

"I should've made the front door bigger," I grunted as I tried gently bending a few of the tree's branches while still trying to support it. In gratitude for my care, one of the branches whipped out of my grasp and smacked me in the face, leaving a stinging sensation and a smell of pine.

"I told you to carry it around back," Syl said in her most reasonable tone, "where the double doors are, but you insisted we could get it through the front door. And so now we have to."

I chuckled, even as I tried for a better grip on the trunk. "Yeah, Syl, you were right. As usual. But now we're ... stuck with my choice, I guess we could say."

She snorted at the pun, and shoved hard from her side; I was on the inside, holding the heavier end of the Christmas tree and pulling.

The tree suddenly gave up the fight, which almost caused me to end up on the floor under it. I'm still not quite sure how I managed to stay up, but somehow I did, as Syl came leaping over the threshold — not at all off-balance, as though she'd anticipated that event. Which, given her peculiar talent, she probably had.

Now that we were inside, it only took a few minutes to lug the tree to the living room, where I'd already set up the tree stand and the green blanket which would catch most of the needles that the tree would, inevitably, try to shed all over the room. I got it set in the stand and stood back to admire it. Syl came up next to me; I slid an arm around her slender waist and hugged her close. "Does look pretty, doesn't it?"

"And it'll be even prettier after we decorate it," she agreed. "But that's something for tomorrow. I'm exhausted after fighting that thing."

"Me too. But it's worth it, for our first Christmas in our own house."

We'd been married a little more than a year now, but our first married Christmas had been spent at Verne's, as our house was still being built then. It was a bit odd to spend Christmas at the house of a half-million year old priest of a nature goddess, but Verne was nothing if not adaptable; the traditions of any civilization were something he could accept if they didn't somehow violate one of his basic beliefs.

"You've invited Verne already, right?"

"Verne, Jeri Winthrope since she's got no family in the area, Raikafan and his family, any of Verne's household who want to come — I especially invited Hitoshi because that way he can have someone else cook for him for a change — the Plunketts, your parents, and my parents." Seeing my eyebrows climbing, she grinned. "Now, your parents and mine are almost certainly not coming; they're doing the snowbird vacation and celebrating Christmas in warmer climates. I think Raiakafan and family will be down in Washington with the Senator. I don't know if the Plunketts will come yet. I'm betting that it'll be Verne, Jeri, and some of Verne's people, like Morgan, Meta, Hitoshi, and Camillus."

"Still, a fair turnout for a first Christmas. But hey, I've got a big kitchen, time to really give it a workout, I guess. Now —"

The phone rang. I thought about letting it go to the answering machine, but then I saw Syl's face and ran to grab it. "Jason Wood."

"Sorry to call you this late, Jason," came the voice of Jeri Winthrope.

"Not just late, it's Saturday." Of course, Jeri — who was working for the local police as her undercover assignment to watch me and Morgantown for ISIS — didn't exactly get days off.

She also wouldn't call me like this if it wasn't important. "So what's up?"

"Murder's up," she answered. "But this isn't your garden-variety shooting. You know Hansen Guildermere?"

"How could I not?" I couldn't keep the half-fond, half-exasperated tone from my voice. "He's paid for six consults with me in the last six months, all of them very intense interviews to help him properly set up that Outward Outreach of his."

"Yeah, well, you won't have to worry about any more interviews. He's dead."

"What? Who the hell would want to kill that nice old guy? Even if he was a little nuts."

"Not who," she said grimly. "What. He was done in by a Werewolf."

That got my attention — for more than one reason. First, someone like Hansen had CryWolf sensors which should keep him from being ambushed by a Werewolf. But more importantly, I knew that no werewolf should be killing anyone here at all. The arrangement I'd made with Carruthers and, by tacit agreement, Virigar, should have seen to that. "Are you sure?"

"Damn sure, since the killer didn't get away. Old Guildermere had more up his sleeve than his arm."

Crap. I looked at Syl, who sighed and nodded. So much for a nice evening together, planning our Christmas. "All right, Jeri. Did this happen at his house?"

"No, in the Outward Outreach offices."

"I'll be there in ten minutes. Don't let anyone mess with anything until I get a look."

"Do my best. See you."

I hung up. "Sorry, Syl."

"It's all right, Jason." She had already gotten my coat back out. "This one will be ugly."

"Yeah, I already figured that. Jeri hasn't, I don't think."

It wasn't surprising; after all, Jeri and her whole organization were basically there to protect humanity.

But I'd gone and risked my reputation, and my life, to make sure it wasn't just humanity being protected.

And that meant that I wasn't going to the scene of one person's death. I was going to the scene of two people's deaths, and I was the only one who might possibly give a damn about the second.

This was going to suck.


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For many of us on planet Earth, the present is a time of unprecedented prosperity. For others, the journey to societal riches is only beginning. But can our planet sustain 7+ billion people? Are huge swaths of humanity destined to remain impoverished? Will we simply burn through all of Earth’s resources until there is nothing left to consume? Author and NASA scientist Les Johnson rejects the doomsayers. For there may well be another solution to the questions of resource scarcity and population growth. One that looks to the stars, not as an escape, but as a hope for life right here on Earth.



Using Outer Space to Improve Life on Earth
(Or Why Space Advocates and Environmentalists Should Work Together)

by Les Johnson

Figure 1: Earthrise as seen by the astronauts of Apollo 8 as humans circled the Moon for the first time and looked back upon their home planet above the desolate lunar landscape. (Image courtesy of NASA)

Figure 1: "Earthrise" as seen by the astronauts of Apollo 8 as humans circled the Moon for the first time and looked back upon their home planet above the desolate lunar landscape. (Image courtesy of NASA)


Those reading this are likely from the most prosperous civilization that the world has ever experienced. You are likely not wondering if you will be able to eat today. You likely have access to clean water, sanitation, and a warm shelter for the coming cold winter nights. You are literate and have access to further education. You have entertainment options literally at your fingertips – on your computer, smartphone, or tablet, or at most it is a quick car or subway ride away. There are about a billion of you living in North America, Europe, Japan and a few other countries.


There are another 2-3 billion people on Earth who lack many, or all, of these things, but they are on their way to obtaining them. China, India, and Brazil are but three examples of countries with a growing affluence and middle class. They see that what those of us in the First World have and they will soon have it too.


There are then another 3 billion people who see what their formerly destitute neighbors in China and India are now achieving and want it also. They are working diligently to improve their standards of living and will soon join the affluence club.


Can the planet sustain 7+ billion people consuming and polluting at the same rate that we in the First World do? There are two frequent answers:

  1. No. The Earth cannot sustain such prosperity. We must reduce consumption, recycle, reuse, increase efficiency and lower our standard of living to save the planet.” That’s great for the billion of us in the First World but what about the other 6 billion people on the planet? They have a right to seek better health care, education for themselves and their children, food, shelter and generally a better life. Achieving this will require more resources than they currently consume. Telling them they must remain poor, forever, for the good the planet is immoral and unacceptable. Anyone who believes this should immediately trade places with someone living in a Third World slum and see how long they maintain that view.

  2. Yes. Malthus, the Club of Rome, and all the other doomsayers have been wrong before and they are wrong now. The Earth is huge and resilient; we can just keep going and rely on our innovations to keep us ahead of the mythical and hypothetical disasters that are constantly being thrown around.” This group is also wrong. The Earth contains finite resources and we can never recycle or reuse them with 100% efficiency. The laws of nature and realistic engineering practices simply make that impossible. We will eventually run out of places to put our trash, mine our raw materials and build our homes. I don’t know when that point will be reached, but it will be reached – I believe sooner than later.

Both of these answers are morally indefensible. Is there another way out of this mess?


Yes. We can potentially address this problem in a way to provides affluence to Earth’s billions of inhabitants, protects the environment and perhaps even allows us to restore much of the environment that has already been damaged. We can do this by looking up and taking advantage of the practically limitless energy and raw materials in space. Nature has provided us with everything we need to prosper and live ecologically sound lives – simultaneously. We just have to take advantage of it.


Before continuing, there are some key points to be made:


The universe is hostile to life – NASA discovered this in the 1960s as it sent people ever further into space, culminating with astronauts walking on the Moon. The vacuum of deep space is far better than anything we can create on Earth, and without air, life as we know it cannot thrive. (True, some forms of life can survive in deep space without air, but they are hardly multiplying and ‘thriving.’) The Sun bathes the solar system not only with life-giving visible light, but also with life-sterilizing ultraviolet light and a continuous stream of radiation called the solar wind, punctuated often by intense bursts of hard radiation during Coronal Mass Ejections (CME). One of the Apollo missions to the Moon barely missed a large CME that would have killed the entire crew. Fortunately, they weren’t in space at the time and all were safe. The surfaces of most planets and moons aren’t much better. The Earth’s moon is a lifeless desert; during the day it is baked by sunlight to temperatures greater than boiling water and cooled at night to temperatures below 300 degrees Fahrenheit. And it’s in vacuum, bathed by the solar wind and frequently pummeled by meteorites. Venus has a surface temperature high enough to melt lead and, of yes, it rains sulfuric acid there as well. Mars’ surface is bone dry and its pitifully thin atmosphere allows most of the solar radiation discussed above to reach its surface, likely killing any life the might try to take hold there.


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