The Best of Jim Baen's UNIVERSE

Astounding Tales! (Also Amazing and Astonishing!)

Tell the truth: you flat-out love science fiction and fantasy. Time travel. Space opera. Alternate history. Doesn’t matter. What you love is the story. The great idea. The adventure and action. That good old-fashioned science fiction staple, the Sense of Wonder.

We know exactly how you feel. Here’s the best of the best: new science fiction tales told by the likes of David Drake, Gregory Benford, Gene Wolfe, Esther Friesner, Mike Resnick, John Barnes, and L. E. Modesitt, Jr. The list of award-winning story-tellers and brilliant new talent goes on and on. More important: here are stories that grip you. Transport you. Expand your universe. Make you late for important appointments like bedtime and supper!

Edited by New York Times best-seller and creator of the hugely-popular “Ring of Fire” series, Eric Flint, a master story-teller in his own right, these tales are all taken from the e-pages of Jim Baen’s Universe, the new standard in science fiction storytelling created and inspired by publisher and editor Jim Baen, whose nose for a great story made him a science fiction legend!

“[T]he story comes first and foremost.” — Eric Flint, Jim Baen’s Universe Editor-in-Chief

Top-selling writers and brilliant newcomers,
from one of the hottest on-line SF magazines,
edited by a New York Times bestselling author

Cover Art by David Mattingly

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This is a work of fiction. All the characters and events portrayed in this book are fictional, and any resemblance to real people or incidents is purely coincidental.

First printing, July 2007

Distributed by Simon & Schuster
1230 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10020

Printed in the United States of America

ISBN-13: 978-1-4165-2136-5
ISBN-10: 1-4165-2136-4

Copyright© 2007 by Eric Flint

All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce this book or portions thereof in any form.

A Baen Books Original
Baen publishing Enterprises
P.O. Box 1403
Riverdale, NY 10471

Electronic version by Baen Books

Baen Books by Eric Flint

Ring of Fire series:

1632 by Eric Flint
1633 by Eric Flint & David Weber
1634: The Baltic War by Eric Flint & David Weber
Ring of Fire ed. by Eric Flint
1634: The Galileo Affair by Eric Flint & Andrew Dennis
1635: The Ram Rebellion by Eric Flint and Virginia DeMarce et al.
1635: The Cannon Law by Eric Flint & Andrew Dennis
Grantville Gazette ed. by Eric Flint
Grantville Gazette II ed. by Eric Flint
Grantville Gazette III ed. by Eric Flint

Joe's World series:

The Philosophical Strangler
Forward the Mage (with Richard Roach)
Mother of Demons
Crown of Slaves (with David Weber)
The Course of Empire (with K.D. Wentworth)
Mountain Magic (with Ryk E. Spoor, David Drake & Henry Kuttner)

With Mercedes Lackey & Dave Freer:

The Shadow of the Lion
This Rough Magic

With Dave Freer:

Rats, Bats & Vats
The Rats, The Bats & The Ugly
Pyramid Scheme

With David Drake:

The Tyrant

The Belisarius Series with David Drake:

An Oblique Approach
In the Heart of Darkness
Destiny's Shield
Fortune's Stroke
The Tide of Victory

Edited by Eric Flint

The World Turned Upside Down (with David Drake & Jim Baen)
The Best of Jim Baen's Universe