Lots of Soldiers Work for Civilians They don't Like,
but these Romans had It Worse than Most—
Their Commanders were Blue-Skinned Aliens!
The guilds of star-traveling merchants had strict rules to prevent their technology from falling into the hands of the natives of planets they were exploiting: military operations had to be carried out with weaponry no more complex than swords and bows.
That was no handicap to merchant princes with a galaxy to scour for military slaves to do their fighting for them. Some came to Earth for soldiers and returned to the stars with the best the planet had to offer. For over two thousands years the aliens thought they'd succeeded brilliantly—but then things changed!
Set in the universe of Ranks of Bronze, masterful new novellas by:
S. M. Stirling
Mark L Van Name
and David Weber
explore the bleeding edge between human courage and the science of alien slavemasters. The right man with a sword is just as deadly as a technician with a laser—
And not all the blood spilled is red!
Yesterday they were the best infantry on Earth—
Now they're going to take on the whole galaxy.
ABOUT THE CREATOR
Vietnam veteran, former lawyer, former bus driver, and now famous author, David Drake tells a military story like no other. His readers recognize that he can take them where no one else can, with gut-wrenching description that puts them face-to-face with the enemy, and in the midst of the action right on the battlefield. He helped create the audience for mercenary military science fiction with his bestselling "Hammer's Slammers" books. Drake graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Iowa, majoring in history (with honors) and Latin. His stint at Duke University Law School was interrupted for two years by the U.S. Army, where he served as an enlisted interrogator with the 11th Armored Cavalry in Vietnam and Cambodia. Drake has a wife, a son, and various pets. In addition to his celebrated novels of Hammer's Slammers, his works for Baen include With the Lightnings, the prequel to Lt. Leary, Commanding, as well Starliner, RanksofBronze, Redliners, the "General" series (with S.M. Stirling) and the "Belisarius" series (with Eric Flint), the latest of which is Fortune's Stroke, and many more.
For centuries, interstellar prospectors had searched for the fabled worlds of the Three Kings, the lost El Dorado of the galaxy. But none had succeeded. Only the mad cyborg Prophet, Ishmael Hand, had ever seen the mysterious system, and he had refused to reveal its location before vanishing forever into history. Then, with the help of his flock, a starfaring evangelist—Doctor Karl Woodward, preacher and leader of the starship The Mountain—found it, only to disappear in turn.
Now a new group of explorers must follow the trail that Woodward blazed. A spacegoing salvage team, desperately in debt after a violent alien menace ruins a lucrative assignment and decimates the group, is hired to follow the clues Woodward left behind. But the team's shady creditors won't want to wait . . . and they won't much care how they get their investments back.
Fearing pursuit by their former backers, the group heads off for the ultimate salvage operation. By hook or by crook, they will find the Three Kings—if the galactic underworld's repo men don't get them first!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jack L. Chalker is one of science fiction's most prolific and popular authors, with a readership numbering in the hundreds of thousands. His bestselling novels and series include The Changewinds, Midnight at the Well of Souls and its sequels, The Quintara Marathon trilogy, the Soul Rider series, the Rings of the Master series, and others. His novels have been translated into many foreign languages and many have been book club selections. He is a familiar figure at SF conventions, often as a guest speaker, frequently as toastmaster. He lives in Maryland with his wife and sons
When fight arranger Zeb Poole meets his friends Harris and Gaby for the first time in several months, he decides there is something different about them — and he's right. Their adventures on the fair world, a place that is half magic and Celtic myth, half weird science and gangster-era danger, had changed them forever. They take him there to prove their story. And that's when his own adventures start.
For in the fair world metropolis of Neckerdam, a mad genius is sending fiery destruction against the city's skyscrapers, demanding fortunes to end the terror... and plotting an untimely demise for the city's greatest protector, Harris' and Gaby's friend, Doc Sidhe.
And across the sea, in a land that would be Germany in the world Zeb knows, a dictator has set in motion a campaign of racial purity that is chillingly familiar to Zeb and Doc's grim world allies.
Praise for the Prequel, Doc Sidhe:
"The novel is carried out with a style and panache that combines the classic machine-gun action of the original pulp adventures with a slightly irreverent, up-to-date-wit. . . . One definitely hopes that another outing is in the works."
". . . cleverly done . . . one of Baen's best fantasy titles, it is reminiscent of Fred Brown's What Mad Universe and Murray Leinster's SidewaysinTime."
—Science Fiction Chronicle
". . . a joyous romp, with just enough dark edges to give it real depth. . . . Highly recommended."
—Norm Hartman, The Book Net