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This story is set within the world of Caller of Lightning by Peter J. Wacks and Eytann Kollin. The novel is an entry in the Arcane America series, which includes Dragon Award winner Uncharted by Kevin J. Anderson and Sarah A. Hoyt, and Council of Fire, by Eric Flint and Walter H. Hunt. Caller of Lightning features American wizard Benjamin Franklin facing down the forces of evil both at home and abroad after the 1759 passage of Halley’s Comet brings magic to Earth and sunders the Old World from the New World for most people. Peter J. Wacks is a cross-genre writer who has worked in various capacities across the creative fields in fiction, gaming, television, film, and comics. When he isn't working on the next book, he can be found practicing martial arts, playing chess, drinking Scotch or IPA, or fighting with swords.


The Franklin Home
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Colony
December 22, 1758

Prrrrrrrrrrr . . .

Even asleep, Mouser’s rumble of a purr disrupted Sally. The infernal cat seemed to always get in the way. She smiled at the thought, then her eye drifted to the ledger and her smile vanished. She sighed—she knew what she ought to be doing . . .

She should be working on the books for her mother. Her father had gone to some trouble to make sure she was given lessons in accounting, which her mother had never had, and it was obligatoire that she apply those lessons to the family businesses during his lengthy absence.

She’d really rather be reading. Unconsciously, her hand drifted to the side, hovering near her new copy of Smollett’s The Adventures of Peregrine Pickle. . . . It would take her forever to get through the accounts and tote them properly.

Still staring at the ledgers, she let her hand wander aimlessly. She reached through the pocket slits in her gown into the pocket tied around her waist underneath to grab a feather she kept there. Flicking Mouser’s nose gently, she was rewarded with one eye opening. A few more swooshes, and she had Mouser chasing the feather all over the desk.

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“Jim Baen would have enjoyed this one a lot,” commented Baen Publisher Toni Weisskopf on this essay by Rob Furey. Dr. Rob Furey is a biologist by training whose work was centered around social aspects of spider behavior, but with broad interest in areas of astronomy, physics, geology and forensics. Furey won numerous awards for innovative teaching from both academic and business groups and has worked closely with the Dauphin County Coroner's office as a sworn deputy. He is a professor in Integrative Sciences at Harrisburg University, and serves as assistant provost there. Complimentary activities include director of the environmental education center at Fort Belvoir, Virginia, guide and science adviser to a Partridge Films film crew in Equatorial West Africa, and science essays in Aeon Magazine and on Baen.com. He is a graduate science fiction workshop Clarion West, and his fiction has appeared in many anthologies.


Nick Bostrom's trilemma and Simulation Argument

1) "The fraction of human-level civilizations that reach a posthuman stage (that is, one capable of running high-fidelity ancestor simulations) is very close to zero", or

2) "The fraction of posthuman civilizations that are interested in running ancestor-simulations is very close to zero", or

3) "The fraction of all people with our kind of experiences that are living in a simulation is very close to one.”


An Existential Conundrum

A short while ago someone suggested that I might be virtual, a computer-generated being inhabiting a computer-generated universe. This guy was from Oxford, so I figured I’d have to give the idea a little thought. And after a little thought I decided he was wrong. And that was after only a little thought.

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5/20: Nancy Kress with THE ELEVENTH GATE

5/27: Lois McMaster Bujold with PENRIC'S TRAVELS

6/3: David Drake with TO CLEAR AWAY THE SHADOWS

6/10: D.J. Butler with WITCHY KINGDOM


5/2: 4 PM EDT

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Join David Weber, Eric Flint and More in Livestream Showcasing New and Upcoming Books

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Baen is offering an ebook discount of 25 percent on Starborn and Godsons by Larry Niven, Jerry Pournelle, and Steven Barnes, and a 50 percent discount on ebook editions of the previous two entries in the series, according to Toni Weisskopf, Baen publisher.

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M.T. Reiten of Los Alamos, New Mexico, has won the grand prize in the 2020 Jim Baen Memorial Award competition for his short story “Bagala Devi Objective.”

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Innovative Independent Publisher to Bring Author Readings, Q&As, and Convention-Style Programming to Facebook LIVE

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A list of all novels, short stories, and nonfiction pieces published by Baen Books in 2019, which are thereby eligible for most major awards

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Over 170 titles from Baen Books to be published as audiobooks over the next three years

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Seventh Annual Contest for Best Original Fantasy Adventure Story To be Presented at NASFIC 2020 in Columbus, Ohio

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