In a March 16 post at L. Neil Smith at Random, Smith wrote that he recently discovered that his 2001 Prometheus Award-winning novel, Forge of the Elders (Baen Books, 2000), was still technically in print, with approximately 1500 copies somewhere in Baen’s warehouse. As an incentive to readers willing to help clear out that inventory Smith wrote:
The day Baen informs me that the last copy of Forge of the Elders has been sold (provided that it’s sometime in the next six months), I will publish, online and free for the downloading, a short story based on the novel. Forge of the Elders is basically a detective story—three of them, actually—featuring a human named Eichra Oren, his sidekick, a sapient dog named Oasam, and their employer, a Volkswagen-sized nautiloid entity named Mr. Thoggosh. I’ve always wanted to explore their world more (we get just a glimpse of it in the novel) and write The Casebook of Eichra Oren.
Smith added that if Baen Books decides to reprint the novel, he will write another story, and keep writing stories in this universe with every new printing. Long-time readers of Smith’s books may be familiar with the long publishing history of The Forge of the Elders, which originally appeared in two parts by Warner Books in 1990 (Contact and Commune and Converse and Conflict). A decade later Baen published the uncut novel; the third part, Concert and Cosmos, had been cancelled by the original publisher. Forge of the Elders won the Free-Market.net’s May, 2000 “Freedom Book of the Month” award, the “Freedom Book of the Year” award for 2000, and the 2001 Prometheus Award.
To purchase Forge of the Elders, the best option probably is through online stores, such as Amazon.com or Barnes & Noble, or directly from the publisher’s own web store: http://www.baen.com/chapters/W200001/0671578596.htm or at http://www.baen.com/author_catalog.asp?author=lnsmith. Here you also can read several sample chapters online.
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