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THE FREEHOLDERS RETURN in Book 7 of the nationally best-selling Freehold Universe series. A return to the libertarian world of Grainne and its battle against an Earth government that will not let the Freeholders remain free!
Angie Kaneshiro never planned to be a spy. She was a veteran of the Freehold Forces of Grainne, and was now a tramp freighter crew-woman who hadn’t set foot on the dirt of a world in ten years. Angie was free, and that was the way she liked it.
Then the war with Earth started. One thing Angie knew was human space. She knew where the UN troops garrisoned, the methods they used to scan and chip their own to control them. Even better, she had a mental map of the access conduits, the dive bars, and the make-out cubbies people used to get around restrictions.
The UN forces may hold most of the stations, the docks, and the jump points, but now the Freehold of Grainne has its own lethal weapon: Angie Kaneshiro. The Intelligence branch sends a freighter crewed with Blazers, special forces troops. All Angie has to do is lead them through the holes. Responsibility for the explosions and wreckage will be theirs. But war is complicated, and heroes can be forged in its crucible—even if the hero turns out to be a tramp freighter crew-woman determined to fight for the freedom she loves.
A man awakens in a 21st century Illinois hospital, holding very distinct memories of being shot in Switzerland decades earlier. The nurse calls him Detective Crabtree and says the DuPage County Sheriff will be by to check on him shortly. Yet he remembers his name being Sherlock Holmes.
Written by Travis Clemmons, with myself as co-author.
Ten soldiers on convoy in Afghanistan suddenly find themselves lost in time. Somehow, they arrived in Earth's Paleolithic Asia. With no idea how they arrived or how to get back, the shock of the event is severe. They discover groups of the similarly displaced: Imperial Romans, Neolithic Europeans, and a small cadre of East Indian peasants. Despite their technological advantage, the soldiers only have ten people, and know no way home. Then two more time travelers arrive from a future far beyond the present. These time travelers may have the means to get back, but they aren't giving it up. In fact, they may have a treacherous agenda of their own, one that may very well lead to the death of the displaced in a harsh and dangerous era.
Mass market edition due June 28, 2016!
Fans have kept asking for a collection of the snark, one-liners, and free-for-all political bombs I hurl at everything. Read to find out why I'm called a left winger, right winger, anarchist, Christian apologist, atheist, sexist and man-hater. And if you belong to a psych department, I'm happy to participate in a study. For a price.
Due to the publishing schedule, Freehold was originally released only in paperback. Over the years many of you have asked about a hardcover edition. There never was, until now.
Here it is, the 10th anniversary hardcover release of Freehold, in a signed special edition.
Sergeant Kendra Pacelli is innocent, but that doesn't matter to the repressive government pursuing her. Mistakes might be made, but they are never acknowledged, especially when billions of embezzled dollars earned from illegal weapons sales are at stake. But where does one run when all Earth and most settled planets are under the aegis of one government? Answer: The Freehold of Grainne. There, one may seek asylum and build a new life in a society that doesn't track its residents every move, which is just what Pacelli has done. But now things are about to go royally to hell. Because Earth's government has found out where she is, and they want her back. Or dead.
This all-new offering contains Michael Z. Williamson's brilliant novel Freehold plus three new stories along with a complete new novella - each set within the legendary Freehold series universe. Contains these additional stories: "Humans Call It Duty," "The Price," "Soft Casualty," and novella "The Brute Force Approach."
It's a tough universe out there. A hard-hitting collection of the best fiction of Michael Z. Williamson, creator of the popular Freehold military SF saga, along with a helping of truth-telling nonfiction by a guy who has been there and done that, both at home and abroad.
Duty in the face of danger on a planetary scale. Pride and competence in the face of idiotic clients who hate that that they need your services, and an enemy who wants to make your bad day even worse. These are stories of the warriors and civilians who get things done in extreme situations, whether it's rescue from a ship broken in space and leaking air and radiation, hard choices by a brigade of mercenary swords in a world of blood and magic, or scramble and response by troops in the Sandbox doing what it takes to make it through another scorching, rocket-filled day.
An exploration of day-to-day life of our troops, along with a reminder that beauty can be found in many places even in the most interesting of times.
Introduction by me.
Alex Marlow and Ripple Creek Security's best personal security detail return to action. This time, they really don't like their principal, World Bureau of State Minister Joy Herman Highland - a highly-placed bureaucrat with aspirations to elected office. Even worse, Highland's assistant wants to publicize every movement and action for her boss's pending campaign, which is anathema to good security.
With a person of this status, it's not a case of someone wanting her dead. The only question is how many people want her dead, and what are they bringing to the fight?
The enemies are from without, within and all over. They have resources, funding and political cover. Ripple Creek needs to be cautious.
But the enemy also needs to worry. They're going to be getting in each others' way in the process of carrying out their plans. And Ripple Creek has no qualms about explosions on galactic news. In fact, they enjoy it.
Ripple Creek T-Shirts can be purchased here, directly from Mike.
I'm not sure what value I can add to a Heinlein novel. However, this story was one of my early forays into SF way back in the 1970s, and it's still great today. It was a privilege to write the afterword.
Kenneth Chinran commanded the elite unit assigned to take out an entire planet in a terrible war. Millions died; billions more perished in the aftermath. One doesn't send a sociopath on such a mission. A sociopath might not stop. Chinran did stop - but in the process nearly lost his sanity and his soul.
But one of Chinran's men was a sociopath going in. Now he's a trained sociopath with the knowledge and firepower to take out entire tactical teams, evaporate through security cordons and change identity at will. Who do you send after a killer like that? There's only one answer: the man who trained him. The man who made him.
If the dinosaur killer never impacted, and theropods and mammals co-evolved, what would a Bronze Age look like around the filling of the Mediterranean Basin? Alternate pre-history, with several great writers, and me too.
The Prescot family were miners. At one time, they were contracted to develop technology for a mineral rich but uninhabitable system. Gradually, all the investors shied away. Then the Prescots broke through with the technology needed to exploit entire planets, and incidentally develop domed playgrounds for the perversely rich, including indoor ski slopes and cable cars over megavolcanos, casinos and rides. This created the economic problem of being the richest people in the universe, having more money than most governments and effectively unlimited resources.
Money is a small blessing when enemies are quite willing to spend billions for the chance at trillions. Bryan Prescot and his daughter might as well have targets painted on their backs for the thugs, kidnappers and assassins their competitors would throw at them. Bodyguards were necessary - Highly trained bodyguards who could be bought once and be utterly loyal no matter the circumstances.
The altercation comes to a head inside the domes and mines of Govannon, with their enemy desperate to do anything to save their own lives, now that the gloves are off. Caron Prescot has only six bodyguards against an army, but she has two aces in the hole: The miners are on her side, and Elke, Ripple Creek's psychotic demolition expert, has a nuke.
The problem with Elke having a nuke is that Elke WILL use it.
Ripple Creek T-Shirts can be purchased here, directly from Mike.
When an exploration ship from the Freehold discovered a planet with intelligent lifeforms-the first which humans had ever encountered-it should have been the most important event in history. And it might be-for all the wrong reasons.
Freehold corporations were eager to sell high-tech toys to the Ishkul, as the inhabitants called themselves, which had the potential to disrupt their society. Then there was the U.N., which controlled the planet Earth. Earth and Freehold were not on good terms, to put it mildly, and the U.N. immediately sent its own ship to make contact with the Ishkul. If the authoritarians from Earth started throwing their weight around, the Freehold might have to push back, causing anything from a diplomatic incident to outright war. And then another ship arrived, full of idealistic do-gooders determined to keep the Ishkul in their unspoiled state of nature . . .
The whole thing was turning into a cross between a Marx Brothers farce and a Kafkaesque nightmare, with a potential for Greek tragedy. Contact with a more advance civilization might pose a danger to the Ishkul, but it definitely was becoming more dangerous to the human factions, and the situation was a powder keg just waiting for a spark to cause a very deadly explosion, especially as the Ishkul are not quite as primitive as they might appear...
Celadon. A pest-hole of a planet infested with pirates, terrorists, and soul-sucking bureaucrats determined to maintain the bloody status quo. But after an inside job nearly eliminates reformist President Bishwanath, it's time for the elite mercs of Ripple Creek Security to toss out the restrictive rulebook forced on them by Earth's state department, reach for the Composition G, and show the locals how the big boys make war. Short answer: they blow things up. They blow them up in detail.
Now available from the Baen Free Library here.
Ripple Creek T-Shirts can be purchased here, directly from Mike.
Army Rangers Kyle Monroe and Wade Curtis are the best at what they do: eliminating their nations' enemies from a distance with one well-placed bullet to the head. When Intelligence catches wind of a terrorist plot unfolding in the jungles of Indonesia, Monroe and Curtis are the snipers assigned to take the killers out. Failure is not an option, since al Qaeda-linked fanatics plan to blow an oil-rich province sky high, taking hundreds of innocents lives, many of them American.
But the military brass is saddling their operatives with unnecessary and potentially lethal baggage-an overweight, under trained colonel whose ineptitude could prove disastrous. And when their mission goes all to hell, two crack snipers are suddenly transformed into targets caught out in the open...facing an army of terrorists murders pouring out of the trees and with nowhere to run.
Set in the Freehold universe, told from the point of view of Captain Chinran, who led the covert attack on Earth.
"Targets of Opportunity" is the sequel to The Scope of Justice. It is set in Romania, with Kyle and Wade stalking a terror cell that is smuggling explosives across the Black Sea into Europe.
You can order from me for the same price and I'll autograph and personalize your copy for free. For details, email me.
Set in the Legacy of the Aldenata Universe (Posleen Universe)
The alien artifact is worth billions, and could affect the destiny of the galaxy. One human is crippled. One is a sociopath. The alien Darhel is unable to kill. Who will decide the fate of the future?
Cover artwork by David B. Mattingly.
FREEHOLD was my first novel. It's not my best written; I've improved a lot in a decade. But, it struck a chord with a lot of people, and still sells quite well. A young soldier is framed for embezzlement and must flee a monolithic tyranny for a laissez-faire frontier.
"Freehold" is now available online or as a free download through Baen's Free Library. Help yourself, and decide if you like my stuff enough to pay for it.
The signed, limited edition hardcover is available for pre-order, and is due out on May 6th. Click the cover picture to view the Amazon page for ordering.
After his sojourn in the Plains with a Shin'a'in Chosen, Herald Jeris has a low-key mission to ease him back into life in Valdemar.
But he's a Herald. Since when do things go according to plan?
Includes stories by several big name authors, and my story, "How Do You Solve A Problem Like Grandpa?" when the Zombie Apocalypse happens.
Short story in an authorized Rush themed anthology, managed and edited by Kevin J. Anderson, available in April 2016.
A young man is determined to reach the stars, no matter what odds may stand in his way.
Keth' and Nerea return to the Plains to set up an embassy and teach those who have Gifts. Their reception is not as warm as they hoped.
My story "Soft Casualty" is reprinted in this anthology.
After voting by the readers, this story was the winner. I received a very nice plaque, a cash prize, and the endorsement of the SF community. Thank you all very much for your participation. Do please enjoy the other, very excellent stories in the anthology.
It's a tradition among Baen authors to kill Joe Buckley in creative ways. These excerpts of his glamorous, gory, grotesque and gruesome deaths are compiled for your amusment, and to raise money for Operation Baen Bulk (Benefiting deployed troops) and ReadAssist (benefiting readers who need special formats or equipment to access our works).
Buy and enjoy.
"A Peony Amongst Roses," written with Gail Sanders, for the Elemental Masters universe.
Mei-Hua Walsingham must fight her birth culture's sorcerers to protect her adopted home, even if that home is distrustful.
Written with Gail Sanders. A young orphan with a Talent for growing flowers is brought to the Harton School by elementals. When evil strikes nearby, might she hold the only power that can respond?
Due December 4, 2012.
My story, "The Price" is reprinted in this anthology.
In Hellfrica, a damned outdoorsman must lead clients on an eternity of hunts for Hellephants, Hellefinos and T rexes. Death will not release you.
Written with Gail Sanders. Keth' and Nerea, from The Groom's Price, must sort out their allegiances and diverging future, but can they remain betrothed?
When an in-system ship has catastrophic failures under boost, how do you rescue the crew and passengers? This story is free,> or can be found with the second edition of Freehold.
Imagine a military unit of lawyers including such notables as Sergeant Strom Thurmond, Captain Joseph McCarthy and General Stephen Vincent Benet (the grandfather of the poet), in hell.
The Coordinating Legal Airborne Platoon (The CLAP) must parachute into Ashcanistan and search the wastelands in and around Kabum for the most honest man in hell.
Written with Gail Sanders, about a Shin'a'in mindspeaker who must decide where his future lies.
Every author in "Citizens" is a veteran who has served in their nation's military.
My story, "The Price," is about a small ship's crew asked to take on a pivotal mission, and how they deal with the emotional impact.
Another story about Riga, the Sword Dancer, who must find a way to save someone without fighting.
A short story about a young woman who must be a scout and a warrior before she's done being a child. Set in Mercedes Lackey's Valdemar.
What happens when you kill a military working animal's handler, and the animal is a specially bred leopard? Vengeance.
A short story about a mercenary who despises his employer and can't break his oath, set in Mercedes Lackey's Valdemar universe.
I provided a large variety of military gear and weapons and technical advice for this powerful short feature, as well as appearing as one of the jack booted thugs (Red Star Police). My daughter also appears in two scenes.
I was a guest on 5 episodes of The Best Defense, discussing disaster preparedness--food, water, communication and economics.