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A Liaden Universe Constellation, Volume 3
by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller
Publisher: Baen Books

BOOK 3 in the multivolume Liaden Universe® short fiction collection. Tales of the Liaden Universe® brought together for the first time. Space opera and romance on a grand scale in a galaxy full of interstellar trading clans. The nationally best-selling Liaden Universe® novels are treasured by space opera aficionados for their wit, world-building, strong characterizations, tender romance, and edge-of-the-chair action. Since 1995, Sharon Lee and Steve Miller also created shorter tales, illuminating additional facets of the Liaden experience. Here is a vast tapestry of tales of the scouts, artists, traders, priestesses, sleight of hand magicians, and pilots who fill the Liaden Universe® with the excitement, action, and romance that readers of the hit series have come to adore. Contains all new entries published after 2011.


Listen to the author discuss the book here on the Baen Free Radio Hour.

Published: 8/4/2015
SKU: 9781476780689
Ebook Price: $8.99


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1. Amanda on 8/5/2017, said:

I love the way the short stories add depth to the series. I hope we will see more of Tommy and Diglon... (As an aside, I think Tom Lei is the Liaden version of his name, and Tommy Lee is his Terran adaptation.)
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2. Skipper on 4/29/2016, said:

A welcome collection of 12 short stories plus a working glossary. Nearly all of these titles have been published before online, either at Baen.com or at the authors' wonderful free Splinter website. Three have been published previously in chapbooks: Guaranteed Delivery, Kin Ties, King of the Cats.

Each story is briefly outlined below:

"Code of Honor” was first published on Spinter Universe, May 2014. It takes place on Liad and Surebleak. The plot involves the Terran mercenaries that Korval hired to bring down the DOI in Solcintra. Miri shows up briefly at the end. Excellent story!
••• Excerpt: “Even now, reduced as they are, Korval has the qe’andra in their pocket,” his grandfather put in. “Why, dea’Gauss is the chair of their council! The Terran mercenaries have no qe’andra .”
“Which does not make them guilty of war crimes, sir!” Tom Lei felt ill. What did his grandfather hope to gain from this?"
(An error: The spelling changes midstream from Tommy Lei to Tommy Lee.)

“Eleutherious” was first published on www.Baen.com, January 2013. This story sheds light on the Bedel people. Cross references with terms seen in Necessity's Child and Dragon in Exile. Clan Korval doesn't feature in this story.

“Guaranteed Delivery” was first published on Splinter Universe, September 2011, and also published in Courier Run, a two-fer chapbook. As newlyweds, a younger Daav and Alliana deliver a courier package off-world. I enjoyed the story well enough.

“Intelligent Design” was first published on www.Baen.com, July 2011. Very good! We learn why Jeeves is devoted to Val Con, and to Clan Korval. We learn what he is — an Independent Artificial Military Module (IAMM) — and get a sense of his vast age and experiences.
••••Excerpt: "He felt . . . movement, or perhaps it was his dying intelligence describing its last spiral....Perhaps, indeed, he slept, for suddenly he wakened. Wakened to a slow and steady trickle of energy. He sought the source, found the physical connection. Humans wept at such moments."
(Great story! I'd like to see it narrated into an audiobook, by Kevin T. Collins.)

“Kin Ties” was first published on Splinter Universe, July 2011. Also published in Courier Run, with Guaranteed Delivery. It takes place soon after Korval moved to Surebleak. Ren Zel and Anthora are sent to handle Korval trading business on his home planet. A place of loss, treachery, and abandonment. Good story.

“King of the Cats” was first published in The Cats’s Job, SRM Publisher, Ltd., 2002. This story features Miri Robertson and Val Con soon after they met in Agent of Change. There is also Kenzi, a hapless but kindly wizard. Oh, and about 140 cats. Of course it would be cats.

“Landed Alien” was first published on www.Baen.com, October 2012. It features young Kara after she left the piloting academy, before she joined Theo's crew of Bechimo. I skimmed the story.

“Moon’s Honor” was first published on Splinter Universe, February 2013. Shan as Lute and Priscilla as Moonhawk goddess. Meh. I like Shan and Priscilla, but not their alter-ego counterparts.

“Out of True” was first published on www.Baen.com, October 2013. This book features norbears and dovetails in time setting with Balance of Trade.

“Roving Gambler” was first published on Splinter Universe, April 2014. Adding nothing new to the series-wide plot, this story was slow and somewhat boring. It features Quin, who might have the luck of his father, Pat Rin. He meets Villy Butler, who works at the sticks table in the Emerald Casino.

“The Rifle’s First Wife” was first published on Splinter Universe, January 2014. This somewhat sweet little piece features Diglon, formerly a Rifle-class Yxtrang soldier, now devoted to Korval. He plays poker, and assists a biologist/Scout named Alara. The pace is slow, the romance weak, but still, I liked it.

“The Space at Tinsori Light” was first published on Splinter Universe, November 2011. The story is intriguing and mysterious, with potential for more to come in future novels on the topic.

From the authors in the preface: "The first mention of Tinsori Light is in the heading preceding chapter twenty-nine of Scout’s Progress . The heading purports to be part of a beam-letter sent from Jen Sin yos’Phelium to his delm, complaining of the cost of repairs at, and impugning the reputation of the keeper of, the Light. It was meant to illustrate the use, and worth, of a Jump Pilot’s Ring, which figures in the storyline of the novel. We never intended to write a story about the Light, or the Keeper. Well. It turns out that Tinsori Light has a mind of its own."

•••Excerpt: "Space is haunted. Pilots know this; station masters and light keepers, too; though they seldom speak of it, even to each other. Why would they? Ghost or imagination; wyrd space or black hole, life— and space— are dangerous. The usual rules apply."
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3. Kathleen on 9/21/2015, said:

I too had seen many of the stories but I find the collections great for keeping the stories in one place. Some of the Liaden Universe I have bought three different times and I regret none of the purchases. I even have two different ecopies of many stories. This collection fills in some of the gaps and expands some of the background. I enjoyed reading the collectin.
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4. jeanette on 9/20/2015, said:

I believe I recognized 1 or two stories I have read before, but now I know I have them all together, so I don't have to go chasing down some bit of Liaden history I remember, but can't remember where I read it. Thank you. You can't write them fast enough! I ordered Dragon in exile paperback, but finished it on line. This is ok since I am in the process of reverse engineering. Bought the e-versions first, and now I'm working on buying the collection in hardback.
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5. Sharon on 8/15/2015, said:

This is in reference to Stephen's complaint "over half the book I have already read in a earlier book." While this charge may, indeed, be leveled at Constellations I and II, there is only ONE story in this collection -- "King of the Cats" -- which has appeared in print previously. It *is* true that all of the stories in this collection have been previously published -- either here on Baen.com, or on Splinter Universe.

When in doubt, I *implore* you to look at the Table of Contents. Baen makes this very easy; the ToC is included in the sample chapters.

Full disclosure: I am one of the authors of this book.
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6. stephen on 8/4/2015, said:

I feel ripped off, over half the book I have already read in a earlier book. I love the writer, but I hate paying for something I already own. :(
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7. Patricia on 7/29/2015, said:

I had read most of these stories before, but they all stand up well to re-readings, and it's nice to have them all in one book. I love Lee & Miller's books, and I have to say I absolutely agree that just because a character appears only on a couple of pages of a novel, that doesn't mean that character doesn't have her, or his own story.

You'll find some of those stories, here. Also some bits of a novel or two that never were. Very enjoyable from start to finish.

Of, course, this is a must for any Lee & Miller completists.
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8. Robert on 7/18/2015, said:

A thrilling/charming/heartwrenching assortment of stories that mostly fill in gaps and side threads from more recent Liaden story arcs. The stories are understandable alone, but more enjoyable taken in context. A Necessity for for Liaden fans.
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9. Lynn on 5/27/2015, said:

I have been reading Lee and Miller since the very begining. I purchased books in hardcover as soon as they came out. Now I am repurchasing all the books in e-book format to make a little space in my house and to support two great authors!
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