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Pyramid Scheme

By: Dave Freer and Eric Flint

Excerpt: Prologue the new nesot (near earth space object tracking) satellite paid dividends less than three months after its launch. The computerized system spat a data stream on the incoming object to norad. It did this for any detected object which would enter the earth's atmosphere.

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Mother of Demons

By: Eric Flint

Excerpt: Chapter 1 as a young warrior, nukurren had heard the demons come. She still remembered the enormous sound that ripped through the sky above shakutulubac, capital of the ansha prevalate. She herself had seen nothing. The sound had awakened her from an exhausted sleep, and by the time she raced out of the barracks there was nothing to be seen but a huge red splotch on the eastern horizon. The strange mark on the sky was terrifying. The mother-of-pearl was always a...

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The Philosophical Strangler

By: Eric Flint

Excerpt: ?To the contrary,? demurred greyboar, toying with his mug, ?the secret lies entirely in the fingerwork.?

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1632

By: Eric Flint

Excerpt: Prologue the mystery would never be solved. It would simply join others, like the tunguska event or the square crater on callisto, in the catalogue of unexplained occurrences. The initial worldwide excitement waned within a few months, as it became clear that no quick answers would be found. For a few years grieving relatives would, with some success, press officialdom to maintain the studies and inquiries. But there were no lawyers to keep the fires stoked. The...

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Forward the Mage

By: Eric Flint and Richard Roach

Excerpt: Chapter one pushing a cave isn't a job for amateurs. But then, neither is hunting gods. Especially in their own stomping grounds. Predictably, I was doing a lousy job of both.

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The Tyrant

By: Eric Flint and David Drake

Excerpt: Part I: the triumvir chapter 1 when verice demansk had been six years old, his grandfather had taken him one day on a tour of the statuary in the gardens of the family's estate. The tour had finished in front of the statue of the all-father.

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In the Heart of Darkness

By: Eric Flint and David Drake

Excerpt: Prologue when the lavish dinner was finished, and the servants sent away, the spymaster broke the bad news. ?Belisarius is alive,? he said curtly.

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Destiny's Shield

By: Eric Flint and David Drake

Excerpt: Cosmic irony Belisarius sensed a new presence and immediately understood its meaning. He saw a point of light in the void. A point, nothing more, which seemed infinitely distant. But he knew, even in the seeing, that the distance was one of time not space.

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Far Edge of Darkness

By: Linda Evans

Excerpt: Chapter one Sibyl Johnson didn't own a rifle. She wouldn't have known how to shoot one, if she had. And Tony Bartlett had vanished, apparently right off the edge of the world.

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Sleipnir

By: Linda Evans

Excerpt: Chapter one pushing a cave isn't a job for amateurs. But then, neither is hunting gods. Especially in their own stomping grounds. Predictably, I was doing a lousy job of both.

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The Warslayer

By: Rosemary Edghill

Excerpt: Mother of all warmothers she was back where they'd started?the top of the mountain Grey Arlinn. The fairy princess castle, the lawn, all the silly-bugger trappings were gone. In the center of the open space stood a huge slab of smooth black stone. Ivradan was manacled, spreadeagled as though he were waiting for a vulture to come and tear out his liver. He'd dropped Gordon and the little blue stuffed elephant was a blot of bright color at the foot of the stone.

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Cross the Stars

By: David Drake

Excerpt: Chapter one a hologram of a tank, bow-on as it plowed through a brushfire, filled most of the wall behind president hammer?s desk. Either by chance or through hammer?s deliberation, the tank was two star?Danny Pritchard?s unit twenty years before, when he had been a sergeant in the slammers and not hammer?s chosen successor.

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Northworld

By: David Drake

Excerpt: Chapter one Hansen saw the blast bubble like an orange puffball above the building roofs three kilometers away. He stuck his head out the side-window of his chauffeured aircar and heard the whump! Over the rush of wind.

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An Oblique Approach

By: David Drake and Eric Flint

Excerpt: Prologue that night, Belisarius was resting in the villa which he had purchased upon receiving command of the army at Daras. He was not there often, for he was a general who believed in staying with his troops. He had purchased the villa for the benefit of his wife antonina, whom he had married two years before, that she might have a comfortable residence in the safety of Aleppo, yet still not be far from the Persian border where the general took his post.

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Seas of Venus

By: David Drake

Excerpt: Introduction: sea stories for my thirteenth birthday, my parents gave me a collection of sf (bought from a guy who was entering the navy) which included the astounding science fiction anthology. Among many other great stories in the volume?it was John Campbell?s own distillation of golden age sf, after all?was clash by night by Lawrence O?Donnell.

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Paying the Piper

By: David Drake

Excerpt: A background note I?ve always found it easier to use real settings and cultures than to invent my own. No matter how good a writer's imagination, the six or seven millennia of available human history can do a better job of creating backgrounds.

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The Tank Lords

By: David Drake

Excerpt: Under the hammer ?think you?re going to like killing, boy?? Asked the old man on double crutches. Rob jenne turned from the streams of moving cargo to his unnoticed companion in the shade of the starship?s hull. His own eyes were pale gray, suited like his dead-white skin to burlage, whose ruddy sun could raise a blush but not a tan. When they adjusted, they took in the clerical collar which completed the other?s costume. The smooth, black synthetic contrasted o...

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Redliners

By: David Drake

Excerpt: Prologue when I entered category 4 of the unity civil service thirty-seven years ago, I gave up my former name and life to become a servant dedicated to all mankind. There are those who say I ceased to be human when as part of the process a computer was embedded in my central nervous system.

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Old Nathan

By: David Drake

Excerpt: The bull the cat slunk in the door with angry grace and snarled to old Nathan, ?somebody?s coming, and he?s bringing a great blond bitch-dog with ?Im.? Then he sprang up the wall, using a chink in the logs at the height of a man?s head to boost himself the last of the way to the roof trestle.

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The Sea Hag

By: David Drake

Excerpt: Chapter 1 the tower quivered when the dragons roared at the village perimeter, where they guarded the community of emath from the jungle beyond and the things in it.

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