The War With Earth

Baen Publishing Enterprises
Free sample

A General in Virtual Reality Warfare,
Now He Was in Danger of Becoming a
Low-Ranking Corpse in Realtime!

New Kashubia was a planet rich in heavy metals, but utterly lacking in carbon, oxygen, and hydrogen. Even dirt had to be imported at great expense. The colonists, moved there from Earth against their will, lived in tunnels drilled through solid gold but still were the poorest people in the universe. Since their only resource was people, they sent draftees out as mercenaries, fighting in tanks in symbiosis with a highly intelligent computer. And Mickolai Derdowski had fought bravely and brilliantly for nearly a decade, losing many friends in the process, and risen to the rank of General¾he thought.

But then he found out that it was all in virtual reality. The war had been faked, no one had died, and he was still just a tank commander, not a general at all. But New Kashubia had been well paid by the planet that had hired the mercenaries for the war they had faked, severe food rationing back home was no longer necessary, and people could now afford such extravagant luxuries as food, homes and clothing.

There was just one problem. A real war was looming on the horizon and this one couldn't be settled in cyberspace. A lot of people might get really, permanently killed. Such as Mickolai.. ..

At the publisher's request, this title is sold without DRM (Digital Rights Management).
Read more

About the author

Besides Leo Frankowski's popular Cross-Time Engineer series for Del Rey, which has gone through six novels to date, with frequent reprintings and translated editions in Italy, Spain, and Poland, he has written the novels A Boy and His Tank, The Fata Morgana and Conrad's Time Machine for Baen. Frankowski was nominated for the John W. Campbell award for best new writer. His occupations have ranged from scientist in an electro-optical research lab to chief engineer to company president. His work in chemical and optical instrumentation has earned him several patents. Currently a writer and consulting engineer, he lives with his new Russian wife and teenage daughter in Tver, Russia.

Dave Grossman is a retired U.S. Army Lt. Colonel, West Point Psychology Professor, Professor of Military Science, Army Ranger, and lifelong SF fan. He started his military career as a paratrooper and a sergeant before attending OCS. Colonel Grossman is the author of the Pulitzer nominated book, On Killing, which is used as required reading in courses at military academies, police academies, and colleges worldwide. He has written many other scholarly and popular works, and since his retirement from the military in 1998, he now travels the world almost 300 days a year, training elite military and law enforcement organizations.
Read more
2 total

Additional Information

Baen Publishing Enterprises
Read more
Published on
Jul 1, 2003
Read more
Read more
Read more
Read more
Read more
Read more
Fiction / Science Fiction / General
Read more
Content Protection
This content is DRM free.
Read more
Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
Read more
Eligible for Family Library

Reading information

Smartphones and Tablets

Install the Google Play Books app for Android and iPad/iPhone. It syncs automatically with your account and allows you to read online or offline wherever you are.

Laptops and Computers

You can read books purchased on Google Play using your computer's web browser.

eReaders and other devices

To read on e-ink devices like the Sony eReader or Barnes & Noble Nook, you'll need to download a file and transfer it to your device. Please follow the detailed Help center instructions to transfer the files to supported eReaders.
Maybe the tariff dispute on Planner's World could've have been settled by arbitration, but when war broke out, the United Cities hired the best mercenaries money could buy:


Lt. Arne Huber was old enough to be a veteran but still young enough to have principles. He commanded a platoon of combat cars, leading from the front because he was a Slammers officer and that's the only place you can lead.

From Huber's first minutes on Plattner's World, he was in the middle of hot, flaming war. He knew that wasn't going to change until the Slammers either left the planet or his relatives back on Friesland got a coffin with a warning to bury it unopened.


A score of separate states and factions fought to rule Plattner's World. That was bad enough, but the planet's great wealth had attracted not only mercenaries but a worse kind of looter: interstellar investors with no qualms about making a profit on blood, so long as the profit was high enough and the blood came from somebody else.

From a weed-grown landing strip to the narrow corridors of a modern office building, Arne Huber's survival depended on quick reflexes and the blazing cyan hellfire of his gun. He and his troopers didn't like some of the choices they had to make¾but they'd make them regardless, because they were the Slammers and it was their job.


Arne Huber and his platoon had to face government officials with private agendas, politicians with armies of street thugs, and a hostile armored division with the most powerful tanks on the planet. The climax would come as it always did, when the Slammers slugged it out with the best the enemy could throw at them. Tank cannon, automatic weapons, and the world-shattering thunder of massed artillery would turn the night into an inferno and a slaughterhouse.

Arne Huber and his troopers knew they could die, because they'd watched friends die on every planet where they'd served. Maybe they could even be beaten¾


At the publisher's request, this title is sold without DRM (Digital Rights Management).
Somebody was testing a planet-killing weapon on Mars¾
and the next target was Earth

Mars is the staging ground. Earth is the target. A storm of invasion gathers as the Red Planet pales and Earth scientists _ amateurs and professionals alike _ race to discover what it portends. Worse news: the horde of self-replicating probes suspected as the cause _ implacable and all-consuming in its own right _ may be only the tip of a full-scale assault.

Ideas ¾ the only useful weapon when facing an adversary an order of magnitude more advanced than you are. But against such an enemy, thought without action is as futile as war-making without a plan. Humanitys hope? The _straddlersÓ: intelligent soldiers who know their science ¾ and fighting scientists who have no scruples about using their smarts to kick some alien butt. Yet even with the right people finally on the job, the hour is late.

For Mars glows red again. And the swarm is nearly upon us!

At the publisher's request, this title is sold without DRM (Digital Rights Management).

Multiple New York Times and USA Today best-seller John Ringo rocks our world as hard as he did with his ground-breaking "Posleen War" series, teaming with NASA and DOD scientist Travis S. Taylor, a specialist in advanced propulsion and space telescopes ¾ and popular author of Warp Speed and The Quantum Connection ¾ to usher in a new saga of invasion, resistance and heroism!

"If Tom Clancy were writing SF, it would read much like John Ringo."
¾Philadelphia Weekly Press on New York Times best-seller John Ringo.

"[S]timulating and satisfying speculation."
¾Publishers Weekly on Travis S. Taylor's The Quantum Connection.


Spacers call the warp point Charon's Ferry.

No star ship has ever entered it and returned since a vengeful Orion task force pursued a doomed Terran colonization fleet into it in 2206.

Almost a century has passed. The fiery hatreds of a quarter-century of warfare between the Terran Federation and the Zheeerlikou'valkhannaieeee, the cat-like species humans called the "Orions," have eased at least a little. The "Grand Alliance" forged by the need to fight side-by-side against the genocidal Rigelians remains, but there are those on either side who continue to hate, continue to distrust.

Now the strength of that war-forged alliance is about to be tested. For Charon's Ferry is about to give up the secret of its dead. A ship has emerged from the deadly warp point at last. A ship which responds to the challenge of an Orion star ship using ancient human communications codes . . . then opens fire.

The holocaust of interstellar warfare has been ignited anew, in a bloody crusade to free Holy Mother Terra.

In Death Ground:

In difficult ground, press on;
In encircled ground, devise stratagems;
In death ground, fight.
¾Sun Tzu in The Art of War (circa 400 B.C.)

The more things change, the more they remain the same. Three thousand years after Sun Tszu wrote those words, in the time of the Fourth Interstellar War, the ancient advice still holds true.

The "Bugs" have overwhelming numbers, implacable purpose, and a strategy that's mind-numbingly alien. They can't be reasoned or negotiated with. They can't even be communicated with. But what they want is terrifyingly clear. The sentient species in their path aren't enemies to be conquered; they're food sources to be consumed.

Totally oblivious to their own losses, rumbling onward like some invincible force of nature, their enormous fleets are as unstoppable as Juggernaut. Yet for the desperate Federation Navy and its enemies-turned-allies, the Orions, there is nowhere to go. Their battered, outnumbered ships are all that stand between the billions upon billions of defenseless civilians on the worlds behind them and an enemy from the darkest depths of nightmare, and there can be no retreat. But at least their options are clear.

As Sun Tzu said, in death ground, there is only one strategy:


At the publisher's request, this title is sold without DRM (Digital Rights Management).
The Virtual-Reality Mercenaries of
A Boy and His Tank Face a New Menace
¾and There's Nothing Virtual About It!

First, the involuntary colonists of New Kashubia rescued their planet from crushing debt by becoming virtual-reality mercenaries, then they successfully revolted against the oppressive government of Earth, but now they are menaced by the Mitchegai, a species whose biology has made them inherently evil. The carnivorous adults lay and abandon vast numbers of eggs, some of which grow into vegetarian juveniles, which are the adults' only food supply. Their culture has no family life, they eat only meat, have nothing like sex., and their main pleasures are gambling, art, and killing each other. They are an ancient civilization, millions of years old, with thousands of densely populated star systems in their realm. Lacking an immune system, they must completely sterilize any planet before they colonize it. The region of the galaxy they occupy is rapidly expanding . . . and Human Space is their next frontier!

At the publisher's request, this title is sold without DRM (Digital Rights Management).

Praise for Leo Frankowski and A Boy and His Tank

"When I teach science fiction, I use Frankowski's books as an example of how to do it right." ¾Gene Wolfe

". . . a literate military adventure laced with political allegory¾and a great deal of fun." ¾Starlog

". . . the action is gripping, and there are plenty of novel twists and ironic moments." ¾Locus

"A blend of Keith Laumer's Bolos and David Drake's Slammers. . . ." ¾Science Fiction Chronicle

He Was a Rugged, Hardened Combat Veteran Who Had
Gone to Hell and Back¾in Virtual Reality! Now He Had to
Face the Real Thing.. .

The planet New Kashubia started out as a gas giant, but when its sun went supernova, lighter elements were blasted into space. All that was left was a ball of heavy metals, heated to 8,000 degrees. As it cooled, tungsten solidified first at the surface, and layers of other metals continued down to a ball of mercury at the center. The sun meanwhile evolved into a pulsar with a deadly beam of radiation that baked the planet's surface. The New Kashuhians lived inside the planet, in tunnels drilled in a thousand foot thick layer of solid gold.

Still without carbon, oxygen, hydrogen, or even dirt, the colonists were the poorest people in the universe.

But when they combined virtual reality with tank warfare, giving their warriors symbiosis with their intelligent tanks, neither war nor the galaxy would ever be the same. Not to mention sex...

At the publisher's request, this title is sold without DRM (Digital Rights Management).

"When I teach science fiction, I use Frankowski's books as an example of how to do it right." ¾Gene Wolfe

". . . the action is gripping, and there are plenty of novel twists and ironic moments." ¾Locus

"A Boy and His Tank is a literate military adventure laced with political allegory¾and a great deal of fun." ¾Starlog

"... a likeable adventure story . . . [with] appeal to general readers as well as those drawn specifically to military SF." ¾Science Fiction Chronicle
©2020 GoogleSite Terms of ServicePrivacyDevelopersArtistsAbout Google|Location: United StatesLanguage: English (United States)
By purchasing this item, you are transacting with Google Payments and agreeing to the Google Payments Terms of Service and Privacy Notice.