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Nazi propaganda minister Josef Goebbels has retreated to his Alpine stronghold, where he awaits the day when the Third Reich can once again spread like a plague across the globe. But as determined as Goebbels is, there are others just as determined to put a final stake in the Nazi heart.

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A modern soldier is transported by aliens to a world filled with warriors from throughout time, including medieval knights and Roman soldiers. His task: survival. Includes Janissaries, Clan and Crown, and Storms of Victory.

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They say war is hell. Well, sometimes it’s funny as hell! As illustrated by these tales of humorous military SF.

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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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As war breaks out on Elfhome and riots rock New York City, twin geniuses Louise and Jillian Mayer must use science and magic to save their baby brother and sisters.

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War has erupted and Earth's fleet has been shattered by an alien sneak attack. The survivors fight for their lives as reluctant interstellar diplomat and intelligence officer Caine Riordan contends with a non-humanoid enemy willing to do anything to prevent war—even if that means exterminating the human race.

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Book Three in the View from the Imperium series from humorous SF master Jody Lynn Nye. Lieutenant Lord Thomas Kinago and his trusty constant companion, the unflappable Parsons, are back. And this time they've got a planet to save.

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When her brother is held for ransom by a crazed warlord on the chaotic world of Zanzibar, 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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David Drake is a master—of military SF, of space opera, and of fantasy. Now, top writers pay tribute to Drake with all-new stories set in the worlds he created. Includes new fiction from Eric Flint, Gene Wolfe, Larry Correia, Tony Daniel, John Lambshead, and many more. Plus, the first new Hammer’s Slammers story in over a decade, from the man himself!

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BAEN FANTASY AWARD

“Kiss from a Queen,” by Jeff Provine is the winner of the 2015 Baen Fantasy Adventure Award. The award was presented on August 1, at GenCon in Indianapolis. The contest recognizes the short story entries that best exemplify the spirit of adventure, imagination, and great storytelling in a work of short fiction with a fantastic setting. “Kiss from a Queen" will appear at Baen.com in September.

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Year’s Best Voting

You be the judge! One story from The Year’s Best Military SF & Space Opera will be chosen via proctored on-line voting as the reader’s favorite, with an inscribed plaque and cash award to the author to be presented at Dragoncon in Atlanta in September 2015.

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September Contest

War is hell, they say. And in order to keep from losing it on the battlefield, it helps to have a little comic relief. The new anthology, Future Wars . . . and Other Punchlines, celebrates the humorous side of war, bringing you fantastic stories of military SF that will leave you in stitches. Reading the book left us in the mood for more, so we’re turning to you for help. Send us your funniest original military science fiction joke for your chance to win a copy of the anthology, signed by editor Hank Davis.

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Larry Correia, the multiple New York Times best-selling author of the Monster Hunter International series, presents the first installment in a groundbreaking epic fantasy series, Son of the Black Sword. Watch the trailer, read an excerpt from a short story set in this exciting new universe, explore the world of the novel, and more here.

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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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Baen Teacher and Student Guide Catalog

The late Robert Conroy was the prolific author of many alternate history novels including Himmler's War, Rising Sun, Liberty: 1784, 1920: America's Great War, and 1882: Custer in Chains. Germanica, his alternate history novel featuring the fabled Nazi "Alpine Redoubt," debuts in September.

J.R. Dunn is the author of time travel novels This Side of Judgment, Days of Cain—widely hailed as one of the most powerful time travel novels to deal with the Holocaust—and Full Tide of Night, as well as nonfiction entry Death by Liberalism: The Fatal Outcome of Well-Meaning Liberal Policies. He was the long-time associate editor of The International Military Encyclopedia and is now an editor at The American Thinker.



The Teacher

by Robert Conroy and J.R. Dunn

The Party Kreisleiter droned on, trying to instill courage into a group of old men and young boys. He was talking about dying for the Reich. Wolfgang Kohl doubted that the man had been within twenty miles of combat.

“To us,” he shouted, “falls the honor of defeating, no, destroying the Red Army and its murderous, thieving, raping hordes. We will save the Reich and earn the undying gratitude of our beloved Führer, Adolf Hitler!”

“Sieg Heil,” someone shouted, and Wolfgang forced himself to echo the words. He wanted no one to suspect that his loyalty to the Reich and the Führer were anything but total. Any hint of defeatism would mean death, by firing squad or being hanged by a wire from a hook, without the formality of a trial. There was no time for such niceties. The Russians were too close. When conditions were right—as they were this very moment—the rumbling of artillery could be clearly heard. It could be assumed to be Red Army guns. The German Army was short of everything, including shells.

He wiped the sweat from his brow. At age fifty-five, he was just too damned old to be running around trying to save the Reich from itself. But the choice had been made for him. He was now a captain in the Volkssturm whether he wanted the dubious honor or not.

The Volkssturm—“People’s Storm,”—was symbolic of the desperation that had taken hold of what was left of Nazi Germany. Boys scarcely in their teens and old men on the far edge of retirement, called on to the fight the Red Army, one of the greatest forces of pure destruction ever fielded. Once an ardent supporter of Hitler and his vision of the world, Wolfgang no longer had any confidence in anything that emanated from Berlin.

He glanced over his shoulder at his good friend and fellow veteran of the Great War, Willi Grossman. Willi rolled his eyes. The Nazi was a pompous pain in the ass. Not only was Germany short of guns and ammunition, it was also short of good speakers.

Wolfgang had been appointed commander of this forlorn group because he had been an NCO in the previous war. He was in charge of this band of a score or so and his job was to lead it to either destruction or slavery. The distant rumble of artillery told him he didn’t have much time to make up his mind.

The official wound it up with a final “Heil Hitler” and plopped down into his seat. The car roared off in a cloud of dust, preceded by a motorcycle soldier who kept looking upwards at the blue sky and the clouds that would have been lovely any other time. Today, they could be hiding Jabos, Jagdbombers—enemy fighter-bombers that prowled the German sky unopposed, shooting up everything that moved.










Les Johnson is a Baen science fiction author, popular science writer, and space technologist. His most recent science fiction novel, Rescue Mode, coauthored with Ben Bova, will be released in paperback in September 2015. To learn more about Les, please visit his website at www.lesjohnsonauthor.com.


Space Tethers and Elevators

by Les Johnson

When science fiction author Arthur C. Clarke popularized the notion of taking an elevator from the surface of the Earth into space in his novel The Fountains of Paradise (1979), he thrust the idea into the heads of a generation of space scientists and engineers then in primary school who now dream of rocketless transportation to space in clean, environmentally-friendly elevators spread across the world’s equator. Numerous conceptual designs for such an elevator now exist, technical conferences at which engineers discuss the technical challenges associated with building them meet regularly, and a series of space flights have demonstrated that flying long cables in space (some over twelve miles long) is possible. Where is all this taking us and will we have a space elevator anytime soon? The questions are, unfortunately, not easy to answer. We’ll begin with an important first step: space tethers.

A space tether is simply a cable, or wire, that flies in space to connect spacecraft, provide power, or produce propulsion. The idea isn’t new and there have been several tethers flown in space since the 1960’s. NASA’s Gemini XI (1966), piloted by astronauts Pete Conrad and Richard Gordon, used a parachute cable to attach their Gemini spacecraft to an Agena expended rocket stage to demonstrate tethered formation flight and, after spinning up the now-combined vehicles, the world’s first space-based artificial gravity testbed. (In Earth orbit, astronauts experience weightlessness not because the Earth’s gravity has decreased to zero, but because the orbital angular acceleration of their mass causes a net force that exactly cancels the gravitation acceleration of the Earth, with the net gravity they experience reduced to nearly zero–hence the term, “weightless.” This is also the reason they remain in orbit and don’t fall all the way to the ground, a significant fact not to be forgotten when we discuss space tethers that extend to altitudes less than geosynchronous.) No significant scientific measurements were made and the demonstration was largely forgotten as the Apollo Program moved into high gear, leading to Neil Armstrong’s historic flight in 1969. The Gemini and Agena tethered spacecraft system was photographed in space and can be seen in Figure 1.

Agena rocket stage

Figure 1. The Agena rocket stage shown tethered
to the Gemini XI spacecraft in Earth orbit.
(Image courtesy of NASA.)

Space tethers are potentially useful in many ways: for propulsion, power, formation flying, and the production of artificial gravity.

A long wire tether can produce and conduct electricity by interacting with the Earth’s magnetic field and ionosphere. Consider how electrical power is generated on Earth: a wire is moved rapidly through a magnetic field, producing a voltage across the wire that then accelerates electrons, causing an electrical current to form and flow through the wire. In an earthly power plant generator, the wire is coiled and rotated relative to a magnet by either steam, falling water, or wind power. On the ground, there is no shortage of electrons to be collected and turned into electrical current and our lights go on with the flick of a switch as the electricity generated by our local utility is metered and sold to consumers day and night. The same principle can be used in space to generate power, but instead of a big stationary magnet, the Earth’s magnetic field is used, which looks essentially like a huge bar magnet with north and south poles. Electrons are captured from the diffuse plasma (a mixture of charged particles, including free electrons and protons) surrounding the Earth called the ionosphere, and flow through a long wire deployed from a spacecraft in orbit. The wire, which is kept mostly taut and pointed toward the center of the Earth by the slight difference in the Earth’s gravitational attraction at each end, has a voltage across it produced by its motion relative to the Earth’s magnetic field. One end of the wire is positively charged, the other negatively. The free electrons in the Earth’s ionosphere are negatively charged so they are attracted to the positive end of the tether and can flow through it, forming an electrical current.


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