The science fiction books in this offer belong (tangentially) to Resnick’s Birthright Universe, a surprising and subversive future history he introduced early in his career with Birthright: The Book of Man (1982) and continued in dozens of stories that span 17 millennia. In the SF Encyclopedia entry for Mike Resnick, John Clute writes: “The Birthright future history is a contrarian version of the future histories familiar to readers of American genre SF: Homo sapiens is uniquely aggressive among the numerous species of the galaxy, and thousands of alien species have been conquered — and enslaved when convenient — in the course of humanity’s drive to create a galactic empire, which is maintained by a vast standing army and marked by constant wars. This phase of Resnick’s vision roughly coincides with the ‘normal’ period of youthful expansionism found in more traditional work, though always described in terms that make it didactically clear the behavior of our species is unconscionable. […] With no more enemies to conquer, it becomes clear that humans are incapable of answering the demands of history, that we are too short-lived and too caught in our mortality to answer the challenges of a greater world; and so the human empire begins to eat itself alive. Seventeen thousand years after it all began, Homo sapiens is extinct.
“The second element that structures the Birthright Universe is Africa; Resnick made it clear on several occasions the history of that continent over the past two centuries had served him in general as a model to depict the colonization of other worlds and race in SF, with 19th-Century European empires equated with human sovereignty over the galaxy, and native Africans equivalent to aliens. […] His best stories, in which the fate and model of Africa are dramatized with unassailable cogency, comprise a significant alternate version of the triumphant tales of conquest told so often by writers in the genre he so clearly loved.”
Resnick died of lymphoma in January 2020. His friend and fellow writer Michael Swanwick remembered Resnick as “a born storyteller, prolific author, tireless editor and anthologist, and a man who loved science fiction. Uncharacteristically for a genre writer, he had great business savvy. […] Mostly, he was one sweet guy. […] Mike had something like a thousand of those rocket pins they give you when you’re nominated for a Hugo. (I exaggerate the number, but only in the service of emotional honesty.) Sometimes, for a Worldcon, he would haul them out and frame his con badge with a batch of them and then fill the Nebula Nominee with more: row upon row of little rockets. It looked like he was assembling a coat of mail.”
John Scalzi remembered Resnick as “a teacher and mentor to a great number of writers in the science fiction community, sharing advice about writing and the writing life over decades. There are working writers today who unironically think of themselves as ‘Mike’s children,’ which is a testament to his influence.”
This all-new fiction offer presented a dozen Resnick novels with a total retail value of US$238 as DRM-free ebooks in both ePub and Kindle formats: the four Weird West steampunk fantasies, the three Dead Enders adventures of interstellar espionage, and the five Starship military space operas. These three series showcase Resnick’s gift for fast pacing, engaging characters, snappy dialogue, and headlong action. The books:
- All four Weird West steampunk fantasies starring Doc Holliday: 1: The Buntline Special, 2: The Doctor and the Kid, 3: The Doctor and the Rough Rider, and 4: The Doctor and the Dinosaurs
- The three Dead Enders novels of interstellar espionage: 1: The Fortress in Orion, 2: The Prison in Antares, and 3: The Castle in Cassiopeia
- All five Starship military space operas: 1: Mutiny, 2: Pirate, 3: Mercenary, 4: Rebel, and 5: Flagship
Ten percent of each payment (after gateway fees) went to this offer’s pandemic-related charity, Direct Relief. Direct Relief gets protective gear and critical care medications to health workers, with emergency deliveries to medical facilities across the US and Canada and to regional response agencies around the world.