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20th Century American Spirit Meets Seductive and Dangerous Vienna of the 1600s!
The United States of Europe, the new nation formed by an alliance between the Swedish king Gustavus Adolphus and the West Virginians hurled back in time by a cosmic accident, is beset by enemies on all sides. But now, as a young new emperor comes to the throne in Austria, an opening has developed for making peace with at least one branch of the farflung and mighty Habsburg dynasty.
This is no job for diplomats or generals, however. The recently formed Austro-Hungarian empire is teetering on the brink of economic collapse. So, the USE sends auto mechanics and financiers to the rescue. But the mechanics are West Virginia hillbillies and the financiers are mostly teenage American girls, risen to wealth by taking advantage of the new opportunities created by the Ring of Fire.
Ready to greet them upon their arrival in Vienna is an emperor uncertain of his goals, common folk desperate for work, noblemen with intentions both fair and foul, priests plotting on all sides—and a prince unclear on the distinction between passion and lechery.
To put it mildly, a culture clash is in the making here. What better way to bridge the gap than to create a race track for the emperor’s new muscle car? And so the dance begins.
Marius Winter doesn’t walk the road of the shaman-warrior alone. He has powerful allies in the Other Realms and in ordinary reality. His spirit guides are a Lakota war-chief and medicine man, First In Front; Tigre, a powerful feminine spirit who appears as a white tiger; and Burt, a spirit raven who channels an old Jewish bookie from the Bronx.
Now Marius is targeted by a powerful sorcerer. In the battle for the souls of his friends and lover, he must storm the gates of the underworld and fight through the Seven Demi-Demons of Hell to the deepest dungeons to confront Belial himself.
Swords and Shields. Faith and Magic.
Grab your weapons and prepare, for the enemy is on the move.
High fantasy and mighty conflicts go hand-in-hand. In great wars, armies rise to fight evil hordes and heroes struggle to push beyond their imperfections to save the day. These stories include more than just epic landscapes and characters…they also feature epic battles.
Imagine a doctor struggling to identify the spy who has infiltrated his company’s ranks and poisoned his colleagues or a boy suspected of murder by a king yet protected by a princess as he helps her father against his own people. Imagine a butcher discovering that he’s called to lead an uprising, or a First Born knowing that she must betray her own in order to save humanity.
The possibilities are endless, but at the heart they have this in common: soldiers—ordinary and otherwise–struggling against extraordinary odds to survive the day. They must withstand dark magic, dodge enemy blades, and defy the odds to survive SHATTERED SHIELDS.
The mantis cyborgs: insectlike, cruel, and determined to wipe humanity from the face of the galaxy.
The Fleet is humanity’s last chance: a multi-world, multi-national task force assembled to hold the line against the aliens’ overwhelming technology and firepower. Enter Harrison Barlow, who like so many young men of wars past, simply wants to serve his people and partake of the grand adventure of military life. Only, Harrison is not a hot pilot, nor a crack shot with a rifle. What good is a Chaplain’s Assistant in the interstellar battles which will decide the fate of all?
More than he thinks. Because while the mantis insectoids are determined to eliminate the human threat to mantis supremacy, they remember the errors of their past. Is there the slightest chance that humans might have value? Especially since humans seem to have the one thing the mantes explicitly do not: an innate ability to believe in what cannot be proven nor seen God. Captured and stranded behind enemy lines, Barlow must come to grips with the fact that he is not only bargaining for his own life, but the lives of everyone he knows and loves. And so he embarks upon an improbable gambit, determined to alter the course of the entire war.
Sequel to The Heretic, Book 10 in the nationally best‑selling General series.
FROM HERETIC TO SAVIOR
Duisberg is one of thousands of planets plunged into darkness and chaos by the collapse of the galactic republic, but where other worlds have begun to rebuild a star‑travelling culture, Duisberg remains in an uneasy balance between mud‑brick civilization and bloodthirsty barbarism.
The people of Duisberg have a god: Zentrum, a supercomputer from the ancient past. Zentrum has decided avoid another collapse by preventing civilization from rising from where it is. This is known as the Stasis. And because even a supercomputer and the powerful religion which it founded cannot block all progress, Zentrum has another tool: every few centuries the barbarians sweep in from the desert, slaughtering the educated classes and cowing the peasants back into submission. These are the Blood Winds, and the Blood Winds are about to blow again.
This time, however, there's a difference: Abel Dashian, son of a military officer, has received into his mind the spirit of Raj Whitehall, the most successful general in the history of the planet Bellevue—and of Center, the supercomputer which enabled Raj to shatter his planet's barbarians and permit the return of civilization.
One hero can't stop the tide of barbarians unless he has his own culture supporting him. To save Duisberg, Abel must conquer the very land of his origin and attempt to destroy the computer A.I. “god” who has doomed his world to an everlasting Dark Age. Abel is a heretic, but now he must go beyond and become—THE SAVIOR.
Sequel to A View from the Imperium. Jeeves in space! Rollicking adventure featuring a seemingly dense, lovable nobleman and his indespensible, droll aide, Parsons.
Lieutenant Lord Thomas Kinago sets out from the Imperium homeworld for the Autocracy of the Uctu, a galactic region with a geckolike overlord known, eponymously, as the Autocrat. Thomas is ostensibly on a pleasure cruise with his cousin Jil to enjoy the pleasures of the Gecko culture. (Jil is herself fleeing a spot of trouble in the Central Worlds after she rebuffed the unwanted amorous interest of a local crime boss)
In fact, Thomas is on a mission for the mysterious Mr. Frank, the head of the secret service, to discover how prohibited goods, including a small fighter ship, are being smuggled into the Autocracy. His crew’s overt assignment is to find out why legitimate shippers are being detained at checkpoints, sometimes for months, without explanation. As usual, Thomas’s reputation for sudden enthusiasm and goodhearted mayhem precede him. It is all his trusted aid Parsons can do to keep his leader on course.
Thomas’s newest interest is superstitions, and he is driving everyone to distraction by telling fortunes, and even inventing a new method or two. Yet while the Autocrat, a new and fairly young Uctu female, finds Thomas a curious diplomat, she also rather likes him—much to Parsons’s relief. It seems Thomas needs free passage within the Uctu home system before he can investigate the illegal contraband trade. What’s more, the smuggling ring is quite determined to cancel Thomas’s visit before he can cancel them. As usual, it’s up to Parsons to find a way to lead his hapless master to victory—or at least keep him from getting himself killed by a very determined enemy.
Book 4 in the Romantic Times Sapphire award winning Elfhome series.
Even though they attend a school of gifted students in New York City, child geniuses Louise Mayer and her twin sister Jillian have always felt alone in the world, isolated by their brilliance. Shortly before their ninth birthday, they make an amazing discovery. They’re not alone.
Their real mother was astronaut Esme Shenske and their father was the famous inventor, Leonardo Dufae. They have an older sister, Alexander, living on the planet of Elfhome, and four siblings still in cryogenic storage at the fertility center. There’s only one problem: the frozen embryos are scheduled to be destroyed within six months. The race is on to save their baby brother and sisters.
As a war breaks out on Elfhome and riots start in New York City, the twins use science and magic to plow over everything standing in their way. But when they come face to face with an ancient evil force, they’re soon in over their heads in danger.
Growing up, Travis Uriah Long yearned for order and discipline in his life . . . the two things his neglectful mother couldn't or wouldn't provide. So when Travis enlisted in the Royal Manticoran Navy, he thought he'd finally found the structure he'd always wanted so desperately.
But life in the RMN isn't exactly what he expected. Boot camp is rough and frustrating; his first ship assignment lax and disorderly; and with the Star Kingdom of Manticore still recovering from a devastating plague, the Navy is possibly on the edge of extinction.
The Star Kingdom is a minor nation among the worlds of the Diaspora, its closest neighbors weeks or months away, with little in the way of resources. With only modest interstellar trade, no foreign contacts to speak of, a plague-ravaged economy to rebuild, and no enemies looming at the hyper limit, there are factions in Parliament who want nothing more than to scrap the Navy and shift its resources and manpower elsewhere.
But those factions are mistaken. The universe is not a safe place.
Travis Long is about to find that out.
And we're off again! Mark Huston is back with us, presenting "The Queen's Gearhead," a story involving the queen in the Low Countries and some devilment caused by some really unwise types. Gotta read that. A new author for the Gazette, Karina Gallam, brings us "Perception," a story about looking at things a bit of a different way. As well, Terry Howard and Esther Merriken have come up with "Franklin's Monsters, Act IV: Apples of Love," a story that helps us see just what differences the Ring of Fire can make.
Our serials this issue start with Virginia DeMarce's "An Uneasy Kind of Peace, Episode Three," a very involved story featuring Monsieur Gaston, who is quite a piece of work, along with the grand duke of Burgundy and his new wife. Rainer Prem continues with the fifteenth episode of "Ein feste Burg," which is a record for serials in the Gazette and a story that has stayed interesting for a long time. Jack Carroll and Edith Wild have brought "The Undergraduate" to a close with Episode Six, but we hope we'll hear more from these characters.
Nonfiction continues "Clash of Cultures—School Systems at (the) Stake, Part 2" and I have to say that some of the people mentioned in it have certainly been vindicated over the years since they lived. Time Spike and Garrett W. Vance continue with "The Mysterious Mesa, Part Four: Giants in the Earth," and those characters face a lot of challenges. You'll want to read about them.
Kristine Kathryn Rusch isn't at all nostalgic for the past, but she certainly has plenty of memories of the excitement in her lifetime. As do many of us, I suspect.
It's ready. Grantville Gazette, Volume 54.