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SWEETER THAN WINE
 by L. Neil Smith

Effective Dates: May 2, 2017 to May 31, 2017
 

ISBN 978-1-60450-483-5, 152 Pages, Trade Paperback 6” x 9”

With just one tiny exception, J Gifford is an ordinary, decent, small-town kind of guy. He pays his bills on time. He waters his lawn. He treats his neighbors and the folks with whom he does business with kindness and respect. He's good to children and small animals.

The tiny exception? He's a vampire.

Born in 1920, and "brought over" shortly after D-Day in a little French village, 90-year-old Gifford still looks and feels 24. He has friends, a place in the community, a thriving business, and a big orange tabby cat named Fiddlestring. He knows where all the good restaurants are. He's very tidy about that "tiny exception" and has never killed anybody. All he lacks in his life is the beautiful girl who made him what he is today -- and then mysteriously vanished.

Now, suddenly, after sixty-five years, she's back and needs his help. But is she his long-lost love or a serial-killing fiend? Only time and blood will tell.

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BUNDLED SPECIAL

TEN L. Neil Smith Adventures (including two Prometheus Award winners)

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When Shaalara of the Alteen Zirnaath, a sapient, medium-sized spider of the jumping variety came into Eichra Oren’s office to commission the Assessor of p’Na and his symbiote, canine detective Sam Otusam, to find the location of her fiancé, they were not expecting the ‘accidents’ that impeded their research, or the taking on even more unusual clients along the way.

For conducting an investigation on the Elders’ planet is not an easy task. The Elders—large squid-like Superbeings—had ‘Appropriated’ species from all across the omniverse, plucking sapient races from alternate Earths, where they had faced extinction, or simply fascinated their new omnipotent benefactors.

While the Elders’ had introduced the Appropriated Persons and their descendants to a world where there were no wars, and gifted them with lifetimes that averaged a thousand years—at least—it had long been determined that the peaceful beings should not have taken these species from their Earths; there was a sense of unease rising within the populace. 

Eichra Oren’s primary role as an Assessor of p’Na was to assess the actions of his clients, and determine whether they had atone for them—at the edge of his sword, or otherwise—but what of the Elders’ actions? Those directly involved with the Appropriation had long since ended their lives, when the moral implications of their actions had been made clear to them. But what about the rest of the Elders?
 

Captain Agot Edmoot Mav, Extraordinary Inquirer for Their Majesties' Bucketeers, must solve the unsolvable mystery of who has killed a famed, but controversial, scholar.

The killing was done in a windowless room which was locked and the murder weapon itself is a mystery.

But Agot Edmoot Mav is nothing if not persistent, and as a loyal member of the Bucketeers, will not rest till the truth is revealed about this murder, most foul ... and most alien.
 

 

Corporal Whitey O’Thraight may need to choose between his own survival and that of his home planet.

Whitey O’Thraight, the Ship’s Armorer on the first interstellar vessel launched by his home planet Vespucci, finds himself stranded on a strange planet with just one other survivor.

Captured by the local Baron, they are freed by a group of monks who are much more than they initially appear to be. Their new benefactors and friends have something special in mind for the two survivors, but going along with these plans might mean the destruction of Vespucci as they knew it.

Another breathtaking adventure by the author of the award-winning Pallas and The Probability Broach.

 

More than 150,000 women have been kidnapped without a trace or any ransom demand in the “normal” world run by the Federalists and the bureaucracy. But that is not the only problem, because the freedom loving population in the “alternate” reality of the North American Confederacy are facing their own crises.

People are disappearing across the Probability Broach, including Win Bear's closest friend, Featherstone-Haugh (who heads the Confederacy), and even Win's wife and assistant.

Ill (and deadly) winds are blowing and threatening to destroy the Probability Broach as we know it. Win Bear, keeping one step ahead of lethal assassins and fighting incredible odds, must solve multiple apparently disparate cases that all seem to lead to the end of freedom.

 

Earth is ruled by three mighty empires: The Saracen-Jewish Empire led by the Caliph of Rome, the Mughal-Arab Empire, ferocious in its determination to destroy its neighbor, and the great Sino-Aztec's Crystal Empire, led by a living God.

Little is known about the Crystal Empire, which spans most of western America. But it is the most powerful force surviving on Earth and its might is unchallenged.

One man, however, will change that. Sedrich Sedrichsohn, a legendary fallen fighter, has a chance at redemption and nothing will stand in his way to reclaim his life and his purpose, even if he must fight the Sun-God himself.

"Impressively Imagined" —Kirkus Reviews

"A vibrant, science-fiction epic filled with verve, dash and inventive characters. It's creative, and it's fun, a fine bit of escapist fare for winter reading" —The Chattanooga Times

 

Ex-U.S.-Senator Gibson Altman rules the prison colony where everyone is expected to live by rules that govern every aspect of their lives.

The inhabitants of the experimental colony survive in a society plagued by crime, corruption and despair, toiling endlessly at tasks they are appointed to. Altman lives a life of luxury, ruling the lives of the souls trapped within his experiment and brooking no opposition to mandate.

However, Pallas, the terraformed asteroid, is also home to Curringer, a society in stark contrast to Altman's prison. It is a community where individual freedoms are championed and men and women are free to live as they please.

Emerson Ngu escapes from Altman's prison colony and becomes a hero of Curringer. Altman is driven by a deep hatred of Emerson and his triumph and will do anything to get his revenge on him. But in the process will he also destroy his own daughter and even the world of Pallas?

 

In the 22nd century people have spread into the Solar System. Born and raised in a twentieth of Earth's gravity on the asteroid Pallas, young skater Llyra Ngu is grimly determined to compete and win on mankind's homeworld—an ambition that many say will cripple or kill her.

Her older brother Wilson is equally set on quitting his job as a surveyor's apprentice to become an asteroid hunter, a calling fraught with the promise of fabulous riches and the danger of sudden death. He will find a full share of romance and disappointment, love and loss, and pursue the asteroid hunter's holy grail, the legendary Diamond Rogue.

Llyra's training will require years, and a journey that will take her to Ceres, at one tenth Earth's gravity, where her father bosses the Ceres Terraformation Project, to the one-sixth gravity of the Moon, to Mars and one third gravity, and finally to Earth. Along the way, she will survive jealous rivals, a hostile press, terrorist attacks, and the hijacking of a spaceliner in order to achieve her goal.

In the end, Llyra and Wilson will hear the call of the stars, themselves.

 

Berdan Geanar has had a difficult life. Unsure of himself, and apparently hated by the grandfather he has lived with since the death of his parents, he has no idea of what to do with his life.

But when his grandfather abandons him, taking all the family money and a special space suit, Berdan decides to fight and take back what is rightfully his.

Set in the North American Confederacy universe (Probability Broach, Tom Paine Maru), Brightsuit MacBear is a coming-of-age story, an adventure tale, and a rallying cry for defending one's rights against the odds.

 

The planet Majesty is covered by a thick green growth, miles deep. Nobody knows what caused it or even what lies at the bottom of the growth.

When Lysandra and her father (a coyote scientist) take on a mission to dive underneath the teeming bio-mass, no one knows what to expect. Even wild conjecture has not prepared them for the extreme strangeness that they will find around them.

Bizarre, three-legged beings inhabit the bottom layer amongst the ruins of an ancient civilization, which may also hide the secret behind the current state of the planet. More importantly, they realize that the Hooded Seven plan to attack the human Confederacy.

Can Lysandra and her father survive beneath the bio-mass long enough to understand Majesty, uncover the Hooded Seven's secrets and save their own world?

 

With just one tiny exception, J Gifford is an ordinary, decent, small-town kind of guy. He pays his bills on time. He waters his lawn. He treats his neighbors and the folks with whom he does business with kindness and respect. He's good to children and small animals.

The tiny exception? He's a vampire.

Born in 1920, and "brought over" shortly after D-Day in a little French village, 90-year-old Gifford still looks and feels 24. He has friends, a place in the community, a thriving business, and a big orange tabby cat named Fiddlestring. He knows where all the good restaurants are. He's very tidy about that "tiny exception" and has never killed anybody. All he lacks in his life is the beautiful girl who made him what he is today -- and then mysteriously vanished.

Now, suddenly, after sixty-five years, she's back and needs his help. But is she his long-lost love or a serial-killing fiend? Only time and blood will tell.

 

 

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