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About Kevin Ikenberry
Kevin's head has been in the clouds since he was old enough to read. Ask him and he'll tell you that he still wants to be an astronaut. With over twenty five years of experience in space science education, including managing the U.S. Space Camp program and serving as an executive of two Challenger Learning Centers, Kevin continues to work with space every day. A retired Army space operations officer, Kevin lives in Colorado with his family. His home is seldom a boring place.
Kevin is the international bestselling author of The Protocol War series featuring Colorado Book Award finalist SLEEPER PROTOCOL, which Publisher's Weekly called "an emotionally powerful debut," and the sequel VENDETTA PROTOCOL. Kevin is also the author of six bestselling Peacemaker novels in the Four Horsemen Universe as well as the military science fiction novel RUNS IN THE FAMILY and the thriller SUPER-SYNC. His short fiction has appeared internationally across various publications and anthologies. He regularly teaches classes for aspiring writers.
Kevin can be found online at www.kevinikenberry.com.
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At the publisher's request, this title is sold without Digital Rights Management (DRM).
NO BATTLE PLAN SURVIVES CONTACT WITH THE ENEMY
Everyone has a different war. For some in the UN Peacekeeping mission to Grainne, the struggle is just to survive. For others, it's to remain sane, or keep one's friends and comrades physically and mentally intact. When the rules of engagement are in constant flux, and orders are unclear or based on false information, just getting back inside the fence can be an accomplishment.
For the rebels of the Freehold of Grainne, they must form an organized force from the shattered remnants of their military, and from grimly determined, but underequipped and outnumbered insurgents. Their war is for their very way of life. They'll do everything and anything to stop this invasion, using whatever means are available. They mean to make the enemy suffer. Quod vulnera curare potes. "Because physical wounds heal."
Jonathan D. Green
Kevin J. Anderson and Kevin Ikenberry
Michael Z. Williamson
J.F. Holmes and Jason Cordova
Christopher DiNote and Philip Wohlrab
At the publisher's request, this title is sold without DRM (Digital Rights Management).
About Freehold: Resistance:
“. . . a rousing collection . . . this anthology will be enjoyed by anyone who enjoys military fiction.” —James W. Rawles, New York Times best-selling author and creator of SurvivalBlog
Michael Z. Williamson is retired military, having served twenty-five years in the U.S. Army and the U.S. Air Force. He was deployed for Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Desert Fox. Williamson is a state-ranked competitive shooter in combat rifle and combat pistol. He has consulted on military matters, weapons, and disaster preparedness for Discovery Channel and Outdoor Channel productions, and is editor-at-Large for Survivalblog, which has 300,000 weekly readers. In addition, Williamson tests and reviews firearms and gear for manufacturers. Williamson’s books set in his Freehold Universe include Freehold, The Weapon, The Rogue, Better to Beg Forgiveness . . ., Do Unto Others . . ., and When Diplomacy Fails . . .. He is also the author of time-travel novel A Long Time Until Now, as well as The Hero—the latter written in collaboration with New York Times best-selling author John Ringo. Williamson was born in England, raised in Liverpool and Toronto, Canada, and now resides in Indianapolis with his children.
As the Omega War unfurls, the Peacemaker Guild has fallen into disarray. The mysterious Counselor has manipulated Guild Master Rsach’s Crusaders into a cut-throat, authoritarian construct determined to make the peace galaxy-wide. To deal the final blow and transform the Guild forever, Counselor gathers Rsach and his closest allies at a remote location intent on assassination.
Jessica Francis, Earth’s first Peacemaker, has her own reasons to gather her friends and allies. The search for her father, James “Snowman” Francis has ended. The interstellar shipping magnate and mercenary commander has been captured by the Science Guild and a longtime rival with a grudge. As Jessica’s plan to rescue him suffers catastrophic losses, her very world is forever changed.
There is no time to recover as Force 25, commanded by Tara Mason, are the next victims of Counselor’s plan. To save her friend and still have a chance at rescuing her father, Jessica puts her faith in one of her father’s mysterious friends, Bull. Together, they launch a daring rescue to retrieve Snowman from a Science Guild outpost deep within the forbidden Fourth Arm. When the dust settles, nothing will ever be the same for anyone who manages to walk away.
Promising to return to the 55 Tauri B system after completing a distant mission, they leave the twentieth century castaways with a daunting objective: establish a base of operations on the main world, using local allies they have yet to recruit and enemy equipment they have yet to seize.
If that weren’t hard enough, 55 Tauri A, the system’s primary star, is rapidly approaching, and the technologically superior powers from that neighboring system always visit during the close approach . . . to raid, pillage, and cull the locals.
Worse, the Lost Soldiers left behind with Murphy were the losers and ne’er-do-wells deemed “sub-optimal” for inclusion on the rescue mission. Defiant and determined to live down that judgment, they have given themselves a different, more suitable label:
Note: this book incorporates six previous novellas and adds 40k of new worldbuilding from Charles E. Gannon that Caine Universe readers won't want to miss!
It is a time of upheaval throughout the Galactic Union. As the effects of the Omega War ripple outward, a Peacemaker falls silent at the outpost mining colony of Parmick. Sensing danger, the Peacemaker Guild dispatches two new graduates of the Academy to investigate and report. They are a new breed of Peacemaker, perfect for the clandestine infiltration mission.
Parmick is in chaos. The miners are planning to revolt, and the mine owner is rallying every mercenary and ne’er-do-well he can to protect his illegal mining operation; the Peacemakers soon realize it will require combat operations to free the citizens of Parmick. Meanwhile, the Peacemaker Guild also finds the mining operation is financing the actions of the disgraced Enforcer Kr’et’Socae. Honoring the threat, the Peacemaker Guild unleashes its Enforcers.
With the galaxy teetering on the edge of chaos, can the Peacemakers and their surprising new allies liberate Parmick, stabilize the Galactic Union, and unlock the next clue to find Snowman? From the minds of Kevin Ikenberry and Kevin Steverson comes a new set of heroes who will forever change the Peacemaker Guild and the course of the Galactic Union.
In the six months since the raid that destroyed the makeshift transmitter, the Lost Soldiers have scratched out a permanent base on the world of R’Bak. But life in an often surprising and very alien binary system has not become any easier. Major Mara “Bruce” Lee’s pregnancy becomes a powerful reminder of that: without special indigenous plants, she might lose both her unborn child and her life. And, in the process of securing enough of that rare compound, her friend and crew chief Elroy Frazier will have to risk life, limb, and mind.
Meanwhile, under the guidance of Major Bo Moorefield, the Lost Soldiers are now spearheading the offensive of their indigenous allies throughout the wastelands known as the Hamain, even as the Sear approaches with its seven years of intense radiation and heat. Before it arrives, Colonel Rodger Young Murphy has laid plans for securing the information, weapons, and human capital necessary for the critical spaceside operations that will occur after the Kulsians’ pioneer teams—the surveyors—arrive.
The key to the success of the dirtside operations is to seize and hold Imsurmik, a major J’Stull-allied power center, thereby paving the way for Lieutenant Tyree Cutter and his specially trained team to search for the high value targets—citizens with knowledge of the soon-to-arrive Harvesters—that possess the information that will make it possible for Murphy’s Lawless to surprise and overcome the approaching Kulsian invaders.
Charged with identifying those high-value targets, newly-promoted Lieutenant Aliza Turan has been embedded with a group of locals inside Imsurmik’s walls, where the risk of discovery is constant, and trouble lurks around every corner. Her mission—to find the necessary intel without attracting the attention of a fearsome warlord—may be the most dangerous of all.
But all the risks, and all the dangers, facing El, Bo, Aliza, and Tyree are not just the price of success; they are the price of survival. Because if each piece doesn’t fall into place, and at just the right time, there will be no way to survive the onslaught of the Kulsians—who will surely hunt down and exterminate every last one of the time-stranded refugees known as Murphy’s Lawless.
--*-- --*-- --*--
“(B)lends ruthless political pragmatism, advanced aliens with subtle and dangerous agendas, and human courage, determination, and sacrifice into an action-filled story that keeps readers up late. Very late, in my case. You should already have Chuck Gannon on your shelves. If you don’t have him there, rectify your oversight immediately!” —David Weber
“Chuck Gannon writes the kind of science fiction we all grew up on: rousing, mind-expanding, pulse-pounding sagas of spaceships and aliens. He’s a terrific writer, and we’re lucky to have him.” —Robert J. Sawyer
“If you’re looking for real, honest, fast-paced, well thought out, true sense-of-wonder science fiction, Charles Gannon . . . has it all--in spades. Gannon writes precisely constructed fictions with absolute authority. Oh, and as you might have guessed: I’m a fan!” —Jack Dann
“Gannon’s whiz-bang . . . interstellar adventure delivers dozens of key characters, multiple theaters of operations, and various alien cultures . . . in this fascinating far-future universe.” —Publishers Weekly Starred Review
“This is military science fiction the way it’s supposed to be written. . . . a highly satisfying tale. . .
It’s the Twenty-Second Century. The galaxy has opened up to humanity as a hyperactive beehive of stargates and new technologies, and we suddenly find ourselves in a vast playground of different races, environments, and cultures. There’s just one catch: we are pretty much at the bottom of the food chain.
Enter the Four Horsemen universe, where only a willingness to fight and die for money separates Humans from the majority of the other races. Enter a galaxy not only of mercenaries, but also of Peacemakers, bounty hunters, and even a strung out junkie in the way of a hired assassin.
Edited by bestselling authors and universe creators Mark Wandrey and Chris Kennedy, “A Fistful of Credits” includes all-new stories in the Four Horsemen universe by a variety of bestselling authors—and some you may not have heard of…yet. The fourteen authors take on various aspects of the universe, giving you additional insight into a galaxy that isn’t at war…but definitely isn’t at peace. There’s only one thing for sure—anything’s possible for a fistful of credits!
Inside you’ll find:
Foreword by Dr. Charles E. Gannon
"The Last Alpha" by Mark Wandrey
"Breach of Contract" by Terry Mixon
"Paint the Sky" by Jason Cordova
"Surf and Turf" by Jon R. Osborne
"Stand on It" by Kevin Ikenberry
"Lost and Found" by Jon Del Arroz
"Gilded Cage" by Kacey Ezell
"Legends" by Christopher Woods
"With the Eagles" by Doug Dandridge
"Dead or Alive" by Paul Corcoran
"Hide and Seek" by Christopher Nuttall
"Information Overload" by Charity Ayres
"Enough" by Chris Kennedy
"CASPer's Ghost" by Brad R. Torgersen
Want to keep up with the Four Horsemen universe? Visit Chris Kennedy Publishing and subscribe to the mailing list!
The hijacked Twentieth Century troops known as Murphy’s Lawless have made planetfall on the planet R’Bak and accomplished their first main objective. Led by Lieutenant Harold Tapper and some of the Lost Soldiers, a clan of proudly independent nomads successfully attacked a unit of the J’Stull Satrapy and made off with a number of much-needed combat vehicles. But the J’Stull won’t—can’t—let that defeat go unanswered. They are the servitors of the overlords of Kulsis: outsystem autocrats whose forces shall soon return to take whatever resources—and vengeance—they wish. And the J’Stull can’t afford to be the objects of their wrath.
Captain Bo Moorfield—a dishonored US mechanized cavalry officer before waking up in this strange future—now has to shepherd the convoy of armored cars, APCs, and other all-terrain vehicles—back to the Lost Soldier’s base high in the forbidding desert terrain. Unfortunately, the stolen vehicles aren’t at the peak of performance, and Lieutenant Tapper is barely able to keep ahead of the J’Stull force racing after him.
But Moorfield has two things the J’Stull don’t: training as a professional cavalry officer and a force of half-trained troopers mounted on whinnies. If he’s able to get his own forces into the right position, maybe—just maybe—he will be able to snatch victory from the jaws of almost-certain defeat. If not, the J’Stull will roll up Moorefield’s small unit and push straight on through to the Lost Soldiers’ makeshift base, killing them all.
And if that happens, the future for the rest of Murphy’s Lawless isn’t merely bleak: it’s nonexistent.
After the vicious attacks on Victoria Bravo, Commander Tara Mason and the newly formed Force 25 have no time to refit and reconstitute their depleted forces. Deputized by the Peacemaker Guild and charged with a time-sensitive mission—finding James “Snowman” Francis—Tara and her mercenaries deploy to the wintry world of Snowmass to follow a fifty-year-old lead on Snowman’s disappearance.
Snowmass, though, is far from peaceful. A project of the controversial Dream World Consortium, the planetary government’s promises of pleasant weather and long growing seasons have fallen far short of expectations. Tempers are rising, and unknown attackers are damaging the Dream World Consortium’s equipment and drawing the ire of Mayor Citsym and the Trenta Knights—Zuul mercenaries with more than forty years of less-than-stellar experience providing the planet’s security.
Force 25 arrives on the planet and clandestinely deploys their attached Peacemakers, Vannix and Jackson Rains, but their hopes for a peaceful investigation of Snowman’s past are doomed from the start. Not only do they run into an assassination staged by the rogue Enforcer Kr’et’Socae and his minions, but the Trenta Knights also believe the newly-arrived mercenaries to be a threat and stage an attack to drive them from the planet. But neither Kr’et’Socae, the local government, nor the Trenta Knights have ever seen anything like Force 25, and when the battle is joined, all of them—including Force 25—will be forever changed.
Being a Peacemaker isn’t easy. They’re charged with setting the terms and doing anything which needs to be done—even if it personally costs them everything. They must learn to honor the threat to all life, and, in the end, they must stand or fall, based on their own convictions.
Welcome back to the Four Horsemen universe, where only a willingness to fight and die for money separates Humans from the majority of the other races. Edited by Mia R. Kleve and bestselling author Kevin Ikenberry, “Set the Terms” includes fourteen all-new Peacemaker-themed stories in the Four Horsemen universe by a variety of bestselling authors—and some you may not have heard of…yet.
From pigs flying to cats landing on their feet, “Set the Terms” shows Peacemakers at work from the origin of the guild to present day. Journey with a Lumar Peacemaker as he tries to complete his first mission and watch as a Phidae Peacemaker tries to complete his final one. They will have to use their wits as well as their weapons if they hope to remain standing at the end of the day.
Are you ready to set the terms? If so, then step inside!
With stories by:
William Alan Webb
Quincy J. Allen
Jon R. Osborne
Kevin Ikenberry & Peter J. Aldin
Except for Jessica Francis. Not only is she the newest Peacemaker, Jessica is also the first Human Peacemaker, and she commands the respect of few, both inside and outside the Peacemaker’s Guild. No one believes humanity is ready to take on the mantle of being a Peacemaker, and Jessica is stuck flying a desk. That is, until a species-induction mission comes along, and she is in the right time and place to get assigned to it.
The jungle world of Weqq was terraformed millennia ago and seeded to grow medicinal herbs to be used in the event of war. But when a routine MinSha collection mission stumbles upon a young TriRusk, a race that can synthesize diamonds and hasn’t been seen in centuries, the mission’s leader knows that more than just the MinSha will be interested in the creature, and that a Peacemaker’s aid will be necessary to protect the species.
With mercenaries sent to kill everyone on the planet and an administrator reluctant to turn over the young TriRusk, a negotiated solution may be impossible, despite Jessica’s best intentions. Outnumbered and outgunned, there’s only one thing Jessica knows; she’s got them right where she wants them.
Following their successful mission on Parmick, young Peacemakers Jyrall and Larth remain teamed up with the newly formed Blue Ridge Kin and its unique cast of characters. As the events of the Guild Wars spiral out of control, the Peacemakers prepare for a mission they believe will provide early intelligence to Guild Master Rsach, only to be called off their mission and sent on one with a much high priority.
Separated from the Peacemakers, Cora McCoy and the Blue Ridge Kin report to the jungle planet Weqq to defend against an attack the Peacemaker Guild has determined will come. They arrive and are immediately met by the Crusaders—mostly Human units formed under the auspices of the Peacemaker Guild—who flaunt the laws of the Galactic Union ruthlessly. All is not well within the Peacemakers.
Meanwhile, Jyrall and Larth find themselves drawn into a much larger mission at the request of Jessica Francis, Earth’s first Peacemaker. All they have to do is steal a stargate—a hyperspace-capable portal—from a group of mercenaries that vastly outnumbers them. Will they be able to recruit the assistance they need, or will they be the latest casualties of the Guild Wars?