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

"The Policeman’s Daughter" is set within the world of Wil McCarthy’s novel The Collapsium, out in April 2020 from Baen Books. McCarthy is a former contributing editor for WIRED magazine and science columnist for the SyFy channel, where his "Lab Notes" column ran for ten years. His short fiction has graced the pages of magazines like Analog, Asimov's, WIRED, and SF Age. His novel Antediluvian is out from Baen Books. Lost in Transmission, an entry in McCarthy’s Queendom of Sol series is out from Baen, and The Collapsium, The Wellstone, and To Crush the Moon will appear in all-new Baen editions throughout 2020. McCarthy has also written for television, and appeared on the History Channel and the Science Channel. In addition to fiction and journalism, McCarthy also writes patents for a top law firm in Dallas.


1.
Bourbon, Interrupted

The courier didn't come bearing packages, or letters marked Carmine Strange Douglas, esq., Adjudicant, Juris Doctor and Attorney at Law. He didn't need to. Instead, he came barreling down the hallway like a team of horses, shouting "Door!" at the wall of my office. When a rectangle of frosted glass appeared and swung inward, he jumped inside.

"Carmine. I have something for you," he panted.

"Did you run all the way over here?" I asked him. "There are quicker ways—"

But the courier didn't answer. Instead, he approached the fax machine—a vertical plate of gray material, vaguely shimmery in the wellstone light of my office—and said, "Reconverge." Then he threw himself at the plate and vanished with a faint blue sizzle.

Reconverge, hell. I'd sent two couriers out to question potential witnesses in the Szymanski divorce, and one had self-destructed rather than share his waste of time with me. The other, apparently, had come back with something both critical and hard to explain. Go figure.

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Les Johnson is a husband, father, NASA physicist, and author. Publishers Weekly noted that “The spirit of Arthur C. Clarke and his contemporaries is alive and well . . .” when describing his 2018 novel, Mission to Methone. His 2018 non-fiction book (with co-author, Joe Meany, Graphene: The Superstrong, Superthin, and Superversatile Material That Will Revolutionize the World was reviewed in the journal Nature, excerpted in American Scientist and on Salon.com. His latest anthology, Stellaris: People of the Stars, coedited with Robert Hampson, was released by Baen Books in 2019. You may learn more about Les on his website: www.lesjohnsonauthor.com


The countdown was going according to plan, which shouldn’t be unusual, but Elaine had been involved in too many space projects to believe that any countdown, no matter how well the engineers planned, could proceed to launch without a hitch on the first try. But she had to admit, this one was going very smoothly.

Elaine scanned the status displays and saw that the first twenty chipsats were deployed from the seeder ship with their 10-square feet reflective graphene sails fully unfurled. Each of the tiny chipsats weighed less than a gram, about the same as a dollar bill. Each sail was attached by three tiny buckytubes that, if all went well, would soon be pushed to the limits of what materials science could do to protect them from the hellish environment that was about to be unleashed upon them.

When the countdown clock reached zero, a series of events beginning in the Andes mountains would send the chipsats on their way to a flyby of the Alpha Centauri star system in about twenty-five years—on the scale of true interstellar travel, this was practically the next day.

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

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

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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