No Game for Knights

“Knights had no meaning in this game. It wasn’t a game for knights.” —Raymond Chandler

In a world of criminals, thugs, con artists, cheats, and swindlers, there must be a man to stand against the powers of darkness and corruption. A man not afraid to walk the mean streets—whether they be those of 1930s Los Angeles, an ancient fantasy realm, or some far-flung planet of a future star empire. He is a man who knows that a “good man” is not always a “nice guy.” But when the chips are down, he understands that a hero does the right thing, even if it means losing everything.

He is Sam Spade. He is Philip Marlowe. He is Rick Deckard. He is Harry Dresden.

He is all these men and more.

Now, join Larry Correia and Kacey Ezell as they present all-new stories of fantasy and science fiction with a hardboiled detective bent by today’s top authors.

Grab the bottle of Scotch from your bottom desk drawer. Light a cigarette. Tilt your fedora back on your head. But don’t forget to watch your back. This is No Game for Knights.

Stories by: Laurell K. Hamilton, Larry Correia, Christopher Ruocchio, Michael Haspil, D.J. Butler, Kacey Ezell, Griffin Barber, Robert Buettner, Sharon Shinn, Craig Martelle, Chris Kennedy, S.A. Bailey, G. Scott Huggins, Nicole Givens Kurtz, and Rob Howell.

Cover Art by Dominic Harman

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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, September 2022

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

Printed in the United States of America

ISBN-13: 978-1-9821-9208-2
eISBN: 978-1-62579-874-9

Copyright “Larry’s Introduction” © 2021 by Larry Correia; “Kacey’s Introduction” © 2021 by Kacey Ezell; “1957” © 2021 by Robert Buettner; “Faint Hearts” © 2021 by Griffin Barber and Kacey Ezell; “The Lady in the Pit” © 2021 by D.J. Butler; “All in the Family” © 2021 by Nicole Givens Kurtz; “Sammy Oakley and the Jewel of Amureki” © 2021 by Laurell K. Hamilton; “Utopia’s Sheep” © 2021 by Craig Martelle; “Pandemonium” © 2021 by Sharon Shinn; “Pagan” © 2021 by S.A. Bailey; “The Hound of the Bastard’s Villa” © 2021 by G. Scott Huggins; “Midnight Ride” © 2021 by Chris Kennedy; “The Incomparable Treasure” © 2021 by Rob Howell; “Storm Surge” © 2021 by Michael F. Haspil; “Gutter Ballet” © 2021 by Christopher Ruocchio; “Allegation of an Honorable Man” © 2021 by Larry Correia.

All additional material copyright © 2021 by Larry Correia and Kacey Ezell.

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