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Dispatched to the Mughal Empire of India, a group of up-timers and down-timers from the United States of Europe encounters more than bargained for—and gains an unlikely ally in the person of the Emperor’s eldest daughter.

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Owen Zastava Pitt managed to stop the nefarious Old One’s invasion plans last year, but as a result made an enemy out of one of the most powerful beings in the universe. Now, Owen and the staff of Monster Hunter International don’t need to go hunting, because this time the monsters are hunting them. Fortunately, this bait is armed and very dangerous.

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When a genocidal menace known as the Angel of Death threatens his adopted home, former Jurisdiction torturer Andrej Koscuisko must once again take up the savage trade he thought he’d left behind.

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Fourteen stories from SF/F master Dickson, running the gamut from exciting adventure to stark tragedy to hysterical comedy. Plus the never before published “Love Story,” written for Harlan Ellison’s legendary, but never published anthology, The Last Dangerous Visions.

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Shunted off to live with her alcoholic mother in the sleepy town of Silence, Maine, Staci is about to find herself caught in the middle of a very dangerous game.

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Simon Forrester must make a new life for himself on the merchant vessel Stacked Deck. But there are those on board plotting interstellar war, and Simon must choose sides, for the fate of an empire hangs in the balance.

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What was supposed to be a relaxing cruise becomes a nightmare when the modern-day cruise ship the Queen of the Sea is transported through time and space. Now two thousand years in the past and afloat in the middle of the Mediterranean, the passengers and crew of the Queen of the Sea must band together to find a way to survive in a chaotic world—and start to build a brighter future.

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Barbara Winton has been following one reality show for years. Then in an instant she goes from fangirl to participant when the call comes from Dr. Keegan Bright: She’s been selected out of a horde of applicants to join him on the Moon. But Barbara soon learns that life on the Moon is a far cry from safe, civilized Earth.

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U.S Army Sergeant Randy Knox is sixteen, and already a seasoned veteran. He is an alien killing prodigy who has eradicated more of the invading Creepers than anyone can keep track of. But Randy is also a high school student struggling with geometry. And he is a young man whose heart is being pulled in two directions by two very different girls. One, Abby Monroe, a straightforward warrior. The other, Serena Coulson, dangerous and mysterious.

Randy, with the help of Serena’s strange brother, alien interpreter Buddy Coulson, has convinced a Creeper base to surrender. After a decade of conflict, misery, and the death of millions of humans, it finally seems that the war may come to an end. But then the surrender effort turns into a bloody ambush. More disturbing, Buddy and Serena Coulson arrive, having escaped torture and interrogation at the hands of a C.I.A. operative. It begins to dawn on Randy that, as much as he doesn’t want to believe it, the powers-that-be may not want the war to be over.

Now, as Randy’s hodge-podge military unit makes a desperate stand at a remote outpost, young Sergeant Randy Knox learns just how far he will go to protect those he loves—and what it takes to save humanity from total alien domination.

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April Contest

In Susan R. Matthews’ new Under Jurisdiction novel Blood Enemies, Andrej Koscuisko sets out from known space, with no plans of ever returning. Which got us thinking: Tell us 3 things you’d have to bring with you if you were going out into the depths of space and never coming back for your chance to win a signed copy of Blood Enemies.

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Jim Baen Memorial Short Story Award 2017 Goes to Philip A. Kramer

Announcing the three winners of the 2017 Annual Jim Baen Memorial Award Short Story Contest!

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Top Ten Finalists Announced for Jim Baen Memorial Short Story Award

Announcing the top ten finalists for the 2017 Jim Baen Memorial Short Story Award contest!

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A new reader guide filled with interesting and provocative questions and notes is now available for Lois McMaster Bujold’s latest entry in her legendary Vorkosigan saga, Gentleman Jole and the Red Queen. It’s a great way to get discussion started for your book club or online reading group. And it’s also wonderful way to deepen the pleasure of . . . did we say there’s a new entry in the Vorkosigan saga!

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Sharon Lee and Steve Miller are the creators of the best-selling Liaden Universe® series of science fiction novels. Their latest entry is The Gathering Edge, out in May. Sharon and Steve maintain an active and entertaining presence on the web at Korval.com.



Cutting Corners
Sharon Lee and Steve Miller

"Therny, you awake up there?"

That was Gwiver, his supposed assistant, and emergency back-up, just like in the rule book, with the exception that "assistant" and "emergency back-up" were supposed to be two separate bodies. Any wise, it was a silly question, even given Gwiver's standards, since he'd seen Therny Chirs squeeze his long and lanky self into a pallet lift maintenance bay a ship's hour ago, and it wasn't like there were two ways out.

An hour he'd been working on the double-dorfle-damned thing, not in the cargo master's job description, not by a long Jump, it wasn't. Ought to have a real mechanic at the job. Mechanic? Engineer! He slanted a look at the several pieces of metal that weren't suppose to come loose from the main housing. Horrifying as that discovery had been, it really wasn't really surprising. Not having a proper mechanic on-board—just one more way that the line cut corners, and saved itself, so the story went, a goodly amount of money.

Therny Chirs shook his head, only half at himself and his jerry-rigged repair, then he punched the button that, in theory, cycled the lift door to full-open.

This time, for eighteen wonders, the door did open. To a point.

Chirs's helmeted head was pressing against the putative ceiling of the bin and his eyes a hands-width above deck level. He could, this time, actually see out, onto the dock, the slight breeze going past his ears letting him know that the ship’s proper over-pressure was at least functioning.

He watched as several pairs of legs passed close, pushing a cart, probably cutting corners across what was marked out as their private work area. Out on the dock’s main way, half a dozen pilots, arms and mouths in motion as was usually the case with pilots in a group, strode by with a will. Probably coming from the bar, or maybe from the regional cruise ship that taking up four gates at once and making the working ships crowd hard into the rest of Codrescu Station's ramps.

In the wake of the pilots came a smaller figure, small enough that Chirs's small window on the dock drew its attention. He thought it was a child, even as it bent closer and he saw its eyes—as knowing as any of the pilots’, those eyes, and looking at him with interest. It came closer, the shadows shifting over the oddly-shaped face—









Dan Koboldt is a genetics researcher with more than 60 publications in Nature, Science, The New England Journal of Medicine, and other journals. He works at an NIH-funded genome sequencing center, where he and his colleagues use next-generation DNA sequencing technologies to uncover the genetic basis of inherited diseases such as age-related macular degeneration, heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. Dan also writes science fiction and fantasy. His novel The Rogue Retrieval, about a Vegas magician who infiltrates a pristine medieval world, and its sequel The Island Deception, are out from Harper Voyager. His web site can be found here.



Chimeras: Science and Science Fiction
Dan Koboldt

Greek mythology provided us with a host of terrifying monsters. Many of those were the issue of Echidna, who was a frightening beast herself: half beautiful maiden, half fearsome snake. According to Hesiod’s Theogony, this “mother of monsters” gave birth to several memorable creations: a three-headed dog (Cerberus), a half-woman, half winged lion (the Sphinx), and a many-headed serpent (the Hydra).

Hesiod also credits Echidna with giving birth to another frightening beast. In The Iliad, Homer describes it as “a thing of immortal make, not human, lion-fronted and snake behind, a goat in the middle, and snorting out the breath of the terrible flame of bright fire." There’s something inherently fearsome about this unnatural animal mashup, which Homer called the Chimera. Merely sighting her was a bad omen that heralded storms, shipwrecks, and natural disasters.

The word chimera has since been applied to anything composed of disparate parts, things that were not meant to go together. In modern times, we use chimera to describe an organism that’s composed of cells from two or more distinct individuals. Usually, this is the result of a laboratory experiment, i.e. mixing cells from one species with another. Researchers have been doing this for decades, albeit with limited success.














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