Bill Baldwin wrote The Helmsman (1985)/2003), Galactic Convoy (1987/2003), The Trophy (1990/2007), The Mercenaries (1991), The Defenders (1992), The Siege (1994), Canby's Legion (1995), and The Defiance (October 1996), Science Fiction novels. Helmsman, Convoy, and Trophy are now available in new, revised "Director's-Cut� Editions by special order at bookstores and on-line.
The Defendersby Bill Baldwin
In a stunning onslaught across nearly 500 light-years of arc, armadas numbering more than 1,880 starships of all
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On 213/52011�little more than three Standard Months following Brim's arrival on Haefdon�the League began its long-impending attack on the Empire, ending the period of "Sham War" that had extended since their defeat the previous year at Zonga'ar.
In a stunning onslaught across nearly 500 light-years of arc, armadas numbering more than 1,880 starships of all types, 570,000 jackbooted Controllers, and 2000 giant battle crawlers mounted a colossal offensive. The Imperial dominions of Lamintir, Korbu, and Gannet fell within two Standard Days, their planetary legislatures so weakened from within by CIGAs that their armed forces could offer token resistance at best. The flighted people of courageous little A'zurn capitulated only after a bloody struggle�and a wild naval melee during which three gallant A'zurnian astroplanes nearly demolished a Leaguer battleship before they, themselves, were wiped out by the big ship's surviving disruptors.
With astonishing speed, Triannic's seemingly invincible fleets and land armies conquered all before them until before long they were poised before the affluent collection of stars and habitable planets called Effer'wyck, a proud and powerful star dominion with more than ten thousand Standard Years of history. Once this was subjugated, only the 'Wyckean Void, a narrow emptiness at the origin of a galactic arm, would separate the Leaguers from the great triple star called the Triad of Asturius.
Collectively known throughout the galaxy as "Greater Avalon," this triple star and its five planets�jointly capital of Onrad V's Grand Galactic Empire�were preeminent among the League's targets of conquest.
However, with its defenses gutted by craven appeasers, the Empire was hardly prepared when the treacherous League of Dark Stars launched its interstellar blitz. Whole systems and sectors were engulfed as tyrant Tyrannic�s hyperspace invaders massed against Avalon, the star cluster, and the Imperial capital near the galactic core.
Now, Wilf Brim, the Helmsman, dauntlessly waits at ground zero. He and Young Emperor Onrad must rally the surviving Imperial Starfury astroplane squadrons for a desperate counterattack in a Hellfire suicidal space battle�if he is to save Avalon and the Empire from total annihilation....
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