As Captain Pausert had often had occasion to observe, life just wasn't fair! Hadn't he (with the help of the notorious witches of Karres, of course) outmaneuvered the deadliest of space pirates and eliminated the threat of the Worm World (as told in The Witches of Karres), after which, at the least, he deserved some time off. No such luck, though, as the Empress herself sent him on a secret mission to stop the nanite plague, but an enemy had somehow convinced the Imperial Fleet that he was actually a wanted criminal, so after a battle leaving his ship in urgent need of repairs all three of them joined an interstellar traveling circus (don't ask!) in order to save the galaxy once again (as told in The Wizard of Karres).
Time for a vacation? Don't be ridiculous—there's a new urgent mission that has Captain Pausert's name on it! This new novel finds the long-suffering Captain and the two young Karres witches—Goth, who vows she will marry him when she grows up, and her younger sister The Leewit—being sent off to investigate mysterious and ominous events in the notorious Chaladoor region of space. Goth soon becomes aware that unknown but surely inimical forces are tracking them, and in order to foil them she takes a desperate route to travel back in time and meet Pausert as a young boy. Meanwhile, the Captain and the Leewit find themselves in the middle of their own desperate situation in the Chaladoor.
Whoever it was who said that a change was as good as a vacation never met any of the Witches of Karres—nor experienced their amazing talent for getting Captain Pausert into trouble.
It is the twilight of the Terran Empire. The warriors who made it great are long gone now, and the Traders of the Polesotechnic League who made it possible are the dimly-remembered stuff of legend. Alien enemies prowl its outer precincts, and Sector Governors conspire for the Throne of Man. On Terra herself, those who occupy the labyrinthine corridors of power busy themselves with trivialities and internal politics, as outside the final darkness gathers.
In this scene of terminal disarray one man stands like a giant: Dominic Flandry, Agent of the Terran Empire. In three full-length novels, he will rise from young ensign to lieutenant commander as he outthinks rivals and thwarts adversaries, blazing a trail across the galaxy in defense of an Empire which barely appreciates him and against alien enemies who appreciate him all too well.
Captain Andy Blacklock was overseeing the change of shifts at the state of Illinois' maximum-security prison when the world outside was suddenly ripped. They thought it was an earthquake until they found that the Mississippi River had disappeared, along with all signs of civilization. Then the sun came up—in the wrong direction. And a dinosaur came by and scratched its hide against the wall of the prison ...
Something had thrown the prison back in time millions of years. And they were not alone. Other humans from periods centuries, even millennia, apart had also been dropped into the same time. Including a band of murderous conquistadores. But the prison had its own large population of murderers. They couldn't be turned loose, but what else could be done with them
Death walked outside the walls, human savagery was planning to break loose inside, and Stephens and the other men and women of the prison's staff were trapped in the middle.
In our universe, Ponce de León is remembered for his fruitless search for the mythical fountain of youth. But, in an alternate universe, his quest found something very different—and very dangerous. After his return to Spain, bizarre rumors flew about what he had found there, and what had come back with him.
Eighty-five years later, Spain sent a fleet of ships against England. The English were confident that they could repel the threat—but England's fleet was annihilated by weapons shooting beams of fiery light, weapons which seemed to employ the blackest of sorcery, even if they were wielded by odd-looking beings in monk's garb.
The Queen herself was forced to flee to the New World on Captain Thomas Winslow's ship, Heron, accompanied by her advisor Dr. Dee, whom some called a sorcerer, and an odd fellow named Shakespeare, hoping there to find the source of Spain's powerful weapons. But they would find far stranger matters there than they had expected, such as a grown woman who had been only an infant a year before, and eerie tales of a gate to another world with beings who were not human . . .
About the Author
Steve White completed a tour of duty in Vietnam as a Naval officer. With David Weber, he has collaborated on Insurrection, Crusade, In Death Ground, and the New York Times best seller The Shiva Option. His recent books for Baen include Forge of the Titans, The Prometheus Project and Blood of the Heroes.
And no dealing with them either. Or even their planet. Pity the poor aliens, whose shape-changing ability should let them take over the planet Earth before the humans even know they're there-if it weren't for all that omnipresent pollution.
Or consider another set of invaders, from a planet where the weather is always mild and the changing of the seasons is hardly noticeable. They land in force and their weapons are more powerful than those of the primitive humans-but they've never before had to deal with below-zero temperatures, flash floods or tornados-not to mention volcanoes.
Then there were the aliens who noticed how belligerent humans were, and gave them the "gift" of TV-like devices which would show anything anywhere on Earth, which was sure to lead to war. Imagine how surprised the aliens were when the humans took the gadgets apart, improved them, and started spying on everything the aliens were up to, all over the galaxy. Humans don't make sense, they don't fight fair, and they're making aliens throughout interstellar space think seriously about pulling up stakes and moving to another galaxy!
KZIN . . . HUMANS . . . PAK . . . JOTOKI . . . OUTSIDERS . . . ALL THEIR SECRETS TOLD . . . At the heart of known space lies mystery:
* How did so anarchic and violent a species as the Kzin ever learn to Cooperate sufficiently to develop the technology to conquer an interstellar empire?
* What is the. secret behind the seemingly primitive yet singularly effective human military technology? (Sure, humans are lucky, but luck can't explain everything.)
* It is said that adult humans are merely superannuated Pak breeders deprived of the Tree of Life. But whence the Pak?
* Same for the Jotoki.
* Why have the Puppeteers been so protective of humanity?
* Why have some of the Outsiders learned to hate us?
* And above all, who and what are the Radiants?
The answers to some of these questions have been hinted at before, but now Gregory Benford, a renowned high-energy physicist who is even more famous as an award-winning science fiction author, and molecular biologist Mark O. Martin bring their formidable talents and extraordinarily broad range of expertise to bear on all the mysteries of Known Space. Their light will be shined into some amazing places, but be warned: Known Space is darker than you think.
Publisher's Note: Part of this novel has been published separately in The Man-Kzin Wars series.