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Mercedes Lackey, author of the best-selling Heralds of Valdemar and Bardic Voices series, is one of the top stars of fantasy. She was one of the first writers to have an online group devoted to her writings, and her novels routinely soar to the top of the genre best seller lists.. Other than writing she can be found at various times prying the talons of the birds of prey she is attempting to nurse back to health out of her hands, endangering her vision by creating various forms of Art Beadwork, and cross-stitching dragons, gryphons, and other semi-mythological fauna. Eric Flint is a popular new star of military and alternate history SF. His first novel for Baen, Mother of Demons, was chosen by Science Fiction Chronicle as a best novel of the year. His second novel, 1632, a major novel of alternate history adventure, was both a commercial and critical success. His collaborations include 1633, a sequel to 1632, with David Weber, and five novels in the Belisarius series with David Drake, the latest being The Tide of Victory. A longtime labor union activist with a degree in history, he currently resides in northwest Indiana with his wife Lucille.Dave Freer, author of The Forlorn (Baen), coauthor with Eric Flint of Rats, Bats & Vats and Pyramid Scheme (both Baen), and writer of many articles in scientific journals, is an expert on sharks, an accomplished rock-climber, a wine-taster, and was an unwilling conscript in the "undeclared" South African-Angolan war. He lives in Southern Zululand, South Africa with his wife Barbara, two sons and a large number of Old English Sheepdogs.
Adult/High School-James H. Schmitz's The Witches of Karres, a far-future space opera combining screwball comedy with psi powers, has remained one of science fiction/fantasy's best-loved classics since its first publication in the 1960s. Decades of readers have been disappointed that Schmitz himself never revisited his richly imagined universe, but now there's a sequel that should satisfy all but the most nit-picking fans. Wizard seamlessly picks up the story where Witches ended, sending the still overly honest Captain Pausert and his oddly assorted crew of spies and precocious child-witches on a new mission to save humanity (and friends) from imminent disaster. Soon they are pursued by competing Empire factions, pirates, and alien gremlins, all with agendas of their own. Much of the time, the gang hides in plain sight-in an intergalactic traveling showboat/circus, working as sideshow artistes and Shakespearian thespians (the Bard would have been delighted with these productions of his plays). Though the plot might seem at first to be hurtling randomly from crisis to crisis, soon the elements come together in a wacky Karres sort of way that matches Schmitz's narrative style and high standard of humor, imagination, and absurdity. To bring new readers up to speed, numerous references to the first book are skillfully worked into the narrative; for those already familiar with Karres, Wizard expands satisfyingly upon many elements of that universe that Schmitz merely touched upon. Fans of humorous science fiction will enjoy this outing.-Christine C. Menefee, Fairfax County Public Library, VA Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.