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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.