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New Stuff: Stories, Updates, News, Nonfiction, Etc.

Kerry Hensley is a native of West Virginia and currently lives in Boston, Massachusetts, where she is a Ph.D. candidate in astronomy at Boston University. She is a writer for the award-winning research news website AAS Nova as well as Astrobites, a graduate-student-run research blog. Her essay recounting her time at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory, "Quiet Zone," received awards for both Nonfiction and Emerging Writers Prose in the West Virginia Writers Annual Writing Contest. After graduating from Williams College in 2014 with a BA in Astrophysics and Chinese, she was a planetary science intern at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab and a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant in Nan’ao, Taiwan, where she attempted to convince 200 indignant elementary schoolers that Pluto is not a planet.

After centuries of watching the night sky with increasingly sophisticated tools, there’s still plenty we don’t know about the universe. Part of the challenge is that we’re stuck on a planet that’s surrounded by an atmosphere that blocks certain types of radiation from reaching the ground. It’s hard to complain too much, since if X-rays could make it to Earth’s surface humans would either be dead or a very different kind of organism, but it has certainly slowed our progress. We’ve managed to launch telescopes into orbit around Earth to observe most wavelengths of light, but there’s a huge chunk of extraterrestrial radiation that we currently have no means to observe. The culprit? A layer of plasma in Earth’s atmosphere called the ionosphere.

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J.J. Cragun is the grand prize winner of the sixth annual Baen Fantasy Adventure Award. The award recognizes the best original adventure fantasy short story in the style of fantasy greats like Larry Correia, Mercedes Lackey, Elizabeth Moon, Andre Norton, J.R.R. Tolkien, and David Weber. For more information on the BFAA, including formation on past winners, and now to enter, click here.

The rifle in my hands bucked as I pulled the trigger, spewing fire and death. The crack of the bullet splitting the air echoed eerily across the small mountain valley. The beast looming in front of me was easily eight feet tall. With curling horns atop its head, mottled black fur, and a face more human than beast, the monstrous creature roared as the bullet tore through its chest. The terrifying brute fell, but it wasn't alone. The second beastman, even larger than the first, looked my way. Those eyes, which were once intelligent and full of life, were now dead. There was no rational thought behind those dead eyes. Just lifeless, unfeeling hate, and a mindless drive to destroy the living. And, unlike so many of my comrades, I was still among the living. If I wanted to stay that way, there was more killing to be done.

“Aeric!” I cried out, stumbling back and away from the brute. The beast started for me with lumbering steps.

Aeric wasn't old enough to grow a proper beard, but that hadn't prevented him from being conscripted into the Royal Fusiliers Brigade. He knew death was coming for us, but he never faltered. Without a word, he accepted the carbine I thrust at him, then handed me a freshly loaded rifle.

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J. J. Cragun takes home the top prize for his short story “Treason Properly.”

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Baen Ebooks is proud to announce an agreement to distribute the English translation of Judgment in Moscow by Vladimir Bukovsky on its retail ebook site, as well as offering a selection of other ebooks from Judgment in Moscow publisher, Ninth of November Press.

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Matt McHugh of New Jersey has won the grand prize in the 2019 Jim Baen Memorial Award competition for his short story "Burners."

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Baen Begins Selling Challenge Coins Through Baen.com

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When in the course of human events, in this case the passage of twelve years, it becomes necessary to change the look and feel of the company website . . . well, we do. We’ve tried to keep things Baenish and familiar to frequent users, and even more intuitive and helpful to new ones.

We’ve combined the ebooks and print books pages, so everyone can find everything they want in one place. (We will still be selling mostly ebooks here, our own Baen Books and those of other distinguished science fiction publishers, but we are also starting to dip our toe into swag merchandising as well! About which more later.) We added several filtering tools to make sorting through and searching for books more slick, and we’ve kept the ever popular “My Books” and “Not My Books” function.

We hope you’ll find the account interface more user friendly, and we’ve added a sidebar to the homepage we also hope you’ll find helpful in accessing the rest of the site.

Of course we’ve kept all the free stuff—the monthly stories and nonfiction, the extensive Teacher’s Guides, and the Baen Free Library. We hope you enjoy it, and we always welcome feedback. Feel free to stop by Toni’s Table at Baen’s Bar or for technical problems Administrivia or simply email us directly at baensupport@principledtechnologies.com.

And finally, a big shout-out to our Barfly beta testers! Love you guys. . . .

Good reading!

Toni Weisskopf
Publisher, Baen Books