W200301 January 2003 Monthly Baen Bundle
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March to the Stars by David Weber and John Ringo
Give Me Liberty by Martin Harry Greenberg and Mark Tier
The Excalibur Alternative by David Weber
Melchior's Fire by Jack L. Chalker
Transvergence by Charles Sheffield
Convergent Series by Charles Sheffield
March to the Stars
Another Sunny Day on Marduk
Roger Ramius Sergei Alexander Chiang MacClintock has had a really bad year.
Bad enough to be the spoiled rotten fop of a prince no one wanted or trusted.
Worse to be sent off on a meaningless diplomatic mission, simply to get you out from underfoot, with a bodyguard of Marines who loathe and despise you.
Worse yet to be assumed dead and marooned for almost a year on a hell-hole planet while you and those same Marines fight your way through carnivorous beasts, murderous natives, and perpetual rain to the only starport. . . which is controlled by the Empire's worst enemies.
Worst of all to have discovered that you were born to be a warrior prince. One whose bodyguards have learned the same lesson. And one haunted by the deaths of almost a hundred of your Marines... for what you know now was an unnecessary exercise in political expediency.
A warrior prince who wants to have a few choice words with your Lady Mother, the Empress of Man.
But to have them, you, your surviving Marines, and your Mardukan allies must cross a demon-haunted ocean, face a civilization that is "civilized" in name alone and "barbarians" who may not be exactly what they seem, and once again battle against impossible odds. All so that you can attempt to somehow seize a heavily defended spaceport and hijack a starship to take you home.
Yet what neither Roger, nor the Marines, nor his allies know is that the battle to leave Marduk is only the beginning. And that words with Roger's mother will be hard to come by.
But that's all right. Because what the Galaxy doesn't know is that it's about to receive a fresh proof of an old truism:
You don't mess with a MacClintock.
ABOUT THE AUTHORS
David Weber is the science fiction phenomenon of the decade, a New York Times bestselling author who receives critical praise worthy of a Heinlein or an Asimov. He is often compared to C.S. Forester (celebrated creator of Captain Horatio Hornblower) for his novels of the exploits of starship commander Honor Harrington, the most recent of which was the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Publishers Weekly, and Amazon.com bestseller, Ashes of Victory. Weber's work ranges from epic fantasy (Oath of Swords, The War God's Own) to breathtaking space opera (Path of the Fury, The Armageddon Inheritance) to military science fiction with in-depth characterization (the awesomely popular Honor Harrington novels, the latest being last year's War of Honor). Weber lives in South Carolina with his wife Sharon.
John Ringo had visited 23 countries and attended 14 schools by the time he graduated high school. This left him with a wonderful appreciation of the oneness of humanity and a permanent aversion to foreign food. A veteran of the 82nd Airborne, he later studied marine biology, but the pay was for beans, so he turned to quality control database management (much higher-paying). Then Fate took a hand, and he now is in the early stages of becoming fabulously wealthy, which his publisher has ASSURED him is the common lot of science fiction writers who write for Baen Books. With his bachelor years spent in the Airborne, cave diving, rock climbing, rappelling, hunting, spear-fishing, and sailing, the author is now happy to let other people risk their necks. He prefers to read (and of course write) science fiction (such as the top-selling military SF series so far comprising A Hymn Before Battle, Gust Front, and When the Devil Dances), raise Arabian horses, dandle his kids and watch the grass grow.
Give Me Liberty
WHEN IN THE COURSE OF FUTURE EVENTS ...
Liberty is a recurring theme in science fiction. Here's a volume of explorations of this theme, some even arguing that freedom can be best served by doing away with government entirely. As Thomas Jefferson wrote, "Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty." And in the future, eternal vigilance against our own government will be even more important than vigilance against hostile outsiders.
A stellar roster of science fiction writers consider how a government-free society could operate, how the Soviet Union might have fallen apart even earlier because of an apparently harmless device, how a low-tech society might throw off the influence of more "advanced" intruders, how the right to own weapons is fundamental to freedom, and much more.
In the future, liberty may be even more threatened than in our present—and this volume suggests very unusual ways of defending it....
Praise for Martin Harry Greenberg:
"Greenberg's choices are impeccable."
"Provocative and well-planned."
"Sheer enjoyability. . . . A fine mix of stories provokes everything from meditation to laughter."
The Excalibur Alternative
HE WHO LIVES BY THE SWORD . . .
The races which ruled the Galactic Federation knew they were vastly superior to the inferior species restricted to the narrow confines of their own star systems by the crudity of their technology . . . and they had every intention of keeping things that way.
It was a neat little scam, a rigged game in which only the House could win, which the Federation had played for over a hundred thousand years, and no one had ever managed to challenge it.
Yet all good things come to an end, and the Galactics made one mistake. It didn't seem all that terrible at first, only a single merchant guild which bought itself a Roman legion to use as enslaved sepoys on the primitive worlds where they weren't permitted to use their own weapons to force trading concessions. But the Romans were too good at what they did, and a desperate competing guild decided that the only way it could continue to compete was if it had Romans of its own.
Unfortunately, Roman legions were no longer available, so the competing guild had to settle for something else: English longbowmen on their way to the Battle of Crecy.
Roman legions make dangerous pets . . . but English longbowmen are even worse.
It may take a century or so, but the Galactics are about to discover what happens when the sword finally comes out of the stone.
|Publisher's Note: This novel is based on a much shorter version published in David Drake's Foreign Legions.|
ON THE RUN FROM
THE INTERSTELLAR MOB!
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
FROM OUT OF THE DEPTHS OF TIME ...
The Zardalu were the greatest menace in the galaxy, enslaving many races, exterminating others. It wat fortunate that they had become extinct aeons before humans ventured into space. But wait! This just in!
Hans Rebka, Darya Lang, and a motley group of human and other beings were investigating the gigantic and inexplicable artifacts left behind by the mysterious vanished race known only as the Builders when they came across a horde of Zardalu who have been in suspended animation for thousands of years, and accidentally awakened them. The Zardalu are ready to resume their ruthless progress across the galactic arm, but even they may not be the greatest menace to humanity.
The enigmatic artifacts of the Builders, changeless since before the Dawn of Man, are showing signs of life. Very ominous signs. ...
|Publisher's Note: Transvergence was previously published in parts as Transcendence and Convergence, and has been revised for this first unitary edition.|
"Like Arthur C. Clarke and Greg Bear .. . brilliantly balanced seesaw between enormous concept and lifesize characterisation." —The London Times
"Rich with imagination ... that rarest of science fiction works, one whose science and characters are both very compelling." —Locus
HUMANS AND ALIENS, SCIENTISTS
AND A MENACE BILLIONS OF YEARS OLD
Hans Rebka had been everywhere and done everything. Now he was going to try to solve the galaxy's most persistent mystery—he was going to penetrate Paradox.
Paradox is an Artifact, one of the huge and hugely mystifying structures left by an ancient, supremely powerful and vanished race. Many had entered Paradox before Hans Rebka—but no one has ever left, at least not with mind intact.
But as a troubleshooter, Hans Rebka is in a class by himself. Though he doesn't know it, he's about to uncover the secret of the Artifacts—and by so doing, loose on the galaxy the most hideous menace the humans or any other alien civilization has ever encountered.
|Publisher's Note: Convergent Series was previously published in parts as Summertide and Divergence, and has been revised for this first unitary edition.|
". . . thrilling. ... If anyone can do a better job ... I'd like to know about him." —Washington Post
"... in the manner of Arthur C. Clarke's Rama books." —The New York Times
W200301 January 2003 Monthly Baen BundleJack L. Chalker Martin Harry Greenberg Charles Sheffield David Weber
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