Balance Point: Acclaimed National Bestseller

April 23, 2014

In its first days of release Balance Point is already a national SF bestseller and acclaimed by respected reviewers: 

“Back in 2004, Buettner’s maiden offering [Orphanage was] a compelling slice of military SF, with a lot of humanism about it, full of realistic warfare and politics, nice characterizations, pathos, heroics and thrills…in Balance Point… what the happy reader gets is not the heavy-duty combat of the first series, but  more of a spy-type adventure, mixed with a personal and emotional odyssey…Buettner builds an agreeable and believable relationship… reminiscent of the husband and wife spies in Heinlein’s “Gulf”… fashions attractively gritty… venues … conducts his thriller action with suspense and plausibility…and all the separate threads balance neatly [as] Buettner carries forward nobly a kind of core SF tale…offering entertainment aplenty with thoughtful meditations on how humanity can get along with itself—or not!” – Locus

“Fans of classic military SF will enjoy the twists and quips” — PublishersWeekly


Series Finale Debuts; Win Free Books and Other Stuff

April 8, 2014

Balance Point (3) The wait for the finale is over, if you’ve been reading the trilogy begun with Overkill and Undercurrents. Orphan’s Legacy Book 3, Balance Point, is now on sale as a trade paperback from brick and mortar and online booksellers everywhere, also for Kindle, and as an ebook from Baen webscriptions, and as an audiobook from Amazon ‘s, narrated by Macleod Andrews.  Here’s a link:

If you like it, (or if you don’t, but then you probably wouldn’t be here in the first place) you can win free a signed copy of the Robert Buettner book of your choice, or choose various other promotional swag like stainless thermal mugs, pens, luggage tags, or autographed cover art prints.  Just post a review of Balance Point on Amazon or Goodreads, then send the link to and we’ll contact you for your choice and mailing info.

If you can’t wait, you can read Robert’s Balance Point-related short story, Magic and Other Honest Lies, online at the Baen Free Library , or you can listen to Magic and Other Honest Lies, narrated by actress PJ Maske, on the Baen Free Radio Hour. Also on the Baen Free Radio Hour you can listen to Robert’s interview about Balance Point, and its relevance to recent developments in Ukraine and in electronic surveillance:



Undercurrents: “a rollicking dollop of Heinlein,” in mass market paperback August 28, 2012

June 30, 2012

  Undercurrents, book 2 in the Orphan’s Legacy series from Baen books, will be re-released in mass market paperback August 28, 2012.  Undercurrents remains available for ebook formats via Baen webscriptions,  and as an audiobook from,

“A rollicking, fast paced Science Fiction adventure. Buettner’s world may be rife with social and political issues, but the story itself is simply fun, with touches of humor, romance and a few surprises that will delight science fiction fans.” – The Guilded Earlobe

“The ending…elevates the novel from good to great reading…Buettner has channeled a little bit of Scalzi, a little bit of Haldeman, and a dollop of Heinlein for a stimulating science fiction story of military prowess and heroism set in a universe not yet at full-fledged war.” – Grasping For The Wind

Read the full text reviews here:

New Short Story from Robert Buettner

March 28, 2012

My original short story Sticks and Stones is now on the shelves, in the anthology Armored, edited by John Joseph Adams.  The as-always spectacular cover art is by the venerable Kurt Miller, who also did the cover for my most recent novel, Undercurrents.

MyinterviewaboutSticksandStones part of Armored ‘s website.

The website, here also includes a few of the stories, free (although not Sticks and Stones).

Most of the stories in Armored are about powered armor (imagine that).  But Orson Scott Card’s foreword (which is among the website’s freebies) relates more to the leapfrog history of armaments than to gorilla suits.  So it ties more closely to my Sticks and Stones than to the other stories in the collection.

You can also get the anthology for ereaders here

To quote Ferris Bueller,  “If you have the means, I highly recommend picking one up.”  In fact, I recommend that you pick up two.

Best e-reader/smartphone books for xmas

December 22, 2011

As a best-selling author, a question I get is “which books should I buy/give for my/his/her new Kindle? Or Nook? Or other ereader?”  Actually, there is a more specific answer beyond “books that you/he/she love,” which is an impeccable answer.  Love cookbooks?  Yankee fan?  Problem solved.  But there are other considerations, especially for novels.

First, the ereader’s genius is portability.  Your library travels with you while you wait for the subway, or in the parking lot for the kids.  But that also means that the best novels for ereaders are digestible even when taken in McNugget-sized bites.  Long chapters, complex theses, and vast multicharacter sagas may be difficult to bite off and chew.  War and Peace is best absorbed a couple of uninterrupted hours at a time.  And a bit of contemporary humor helps. I don’t know about you, but John Milton’s never made me snort milk out of my nose.

A second consideration is cost.  Whatever tangible sizzle a doorstop-thick, autographed, dust-jacketed hardcover offers compared to a pocket-sized paperback vanishes on an ereader.  Booksellers do make some hot titles and authors available as ebooks at mass market paperback prices.  But an ebook that is, or was originally, released as a $30 hardback often lists for two or three times the price of a book that is, or especially was originally, released as a $7.99 mass market paperback, even though both are popular.

Another thing about price.  Much of the world’s greatest fiction is in the public domain, and available free or nearly free for ereader.  Sadly, few of us care to digest Milton in the Bounce House parking lot, at any price.  And today virtually anyone can list his/her “novel” on Amazon, so free or $.99 download books often deliver what you pay for.  Milton John’s Zombie Santa may prove less artistically satisfying than John Milton’s Paradise Lost, even if the title and first page sample are cute, and Milt’s mom, writing as “Knowledgeable Critic,” gave his book five Amazon stars.  Indicators that a book is worth downloading: best-selling history, of the book or of its author; good reviews from credible sources, the fact that editors at a major publisher found it worth printing, and, yes, an actual price tag.

Another consideration: For ereaders, the next book in the series, or the next book by the author, is a click away.  So, if you love the first book, is there more where that came from?  Or was the novelist a one hit wonder?

Specific suggestions?  Sure.  Unsurprisingly, the works of the author of this post just happen to be great choices for ereader downloads, if you or someone on your list likes science fiction, dark humor, or just a good, fast story with engaging characters and relevance to current events.

Orphanage, my first novel, for example, races along in three-page chapters, and is told in the accessible voice of a reluctant enlistee in a near-future war.  My kids and my friends think he’s way funnier than I am, but they have company.  Orphanage made Barnes & Nobles’ paperback top 50 in its first two weeks of release, garnered compliments from the likes of the Washington Post and Denver Post, and earned a Quill Award nomination as best SF/Fantasy/Horror novel of the year.  It’s publisher’s other authors include Poe, Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Stephanie Meyer, and James Patterson.  Orphanage was released in paperback, and so sells in ebook for a paperbacky $7.99. And its story and style soldier on for six more books if you like it.  The newest, Undercurrents, is even cheaper in ebook, six bucks through its publisher, Baen distributed by Simon & Schuster.

Happy holiday reading.

Very Best Stuff at Renovation WorldCon Reno

August 14, 2011

What are the best things to do at Reno WorldCon?

My (biased) advice?

Witness the Dino rumble with Bob Sawyer, me and others (Thursday 2pm room A10), also known as Creating Believable Paleontology.

Sip a mocha with me and other fans at my  Kaffeeklatsch (Friday 10am in the Registration Lobby – it’s free, sign up or walk-up).

Preview Sticks and Stones, my short story for the 2012 anthology,  Armoredlearn about the maybe movie, or whatever else you always wanted to know (Friday, 1pm, room A14).

Discover Why the Left Still Loves Military Science Fiction with SFWA Grand Master Joe Haldeman, Eric Flint, Baen publisher Toni Weisskopf, Taylor Anderson, and me (Friday 5pm, room A05).

Win free books (including my latest, Undercurrents) and learn what’s new from Baen Books at Baen’s multi-media fest (Saturday noon, room A11. Come early -it’s always jammed.  Free stuff will do that.)

Score an autograph and/or a visit with me (SFWA table in the Dealer’s Room, Saturday, 4 pm-6pm, or the Main Hall autograph tables, Sunday, noon-1pm)

Learn why the legendary Robert Heinlein continues to impact science fiction, with his biographer, Hugo-nominated Bill Patterson, Harry Turtledove, Jim Frenkel, Lee Martindale, and me (Sunday, 1pm, room A10).

Or you could spend a week playing the nickel slots.

Life imitates Art in Undercurrents: Future Tech Predictions in Science Fiction

July 3, 2011

Over the years, the books of the Orphanage/Jason Wander series and the Orphan’s Legacy series that followed them have predicted some things with surprising accuracy, although plenty of people saw them coming.  But lots of those predictions came true decades before I, or lots of others, thought they would.

Sci-Fi channel called Orphan’s Destiny “positvely prophetic” when the book, depicting abysmal government response to disasters, appeared contemporaneous with the Hurricane Katrina debacle.

America was going to elect an African-American President, but not for another thirty years or so.

When Orphanage’s manuscript was sold back in the dark ages of early 2002, I thought that a miniature “personal assistant” carried on the wrist or in a pocket from which one could email, access the Internet, and be tracked by GPS so well that privacy concerns would arise, was decades away.  Say hello to my smartphone.  Hybrid cars?  ditto.  The demise of paper books?  Yep.

As for the predicted continued atrophy of manned spaceflight beyond low-Earth orbit, however, I’ll stick to my guns.

The premise that some kind of victory in the amorphous war on terror would lead to reduced defense spending may be upon us, if recent headlines in the wake of Osama’s demise prove true.

So it should come as no surprise that Undercurrents , which officially hits the shelves July 5, 2011 features a free fall parachute jump from the edge of space, just as this article runs:

Alien invasion, not so much, but we still have a few decades to go.


FAQs about my FREE short story, Mole Hunt

July 1, 2011

Mole Hunt is my new short story published in June, 2011.

FAQs about Mole Hunt:

What is it?  Mole Hunt is a short story that takes place in the “universe” created in the five book Orphanage series and two (so far) book Orphan’s Legacy series.

How do I buy it?  You don’t.  It’s free.  Go to and there it is, beginning on the home page and available to read in its entirety.  After it’s headline run on the homepage, Mole Hunt will continue to be available in the Baen Free Library online.  Eventually, it, and other such short stories by Baen authors may be assembled into a tree-killer physical anthology.  That, however, won’t be free.

Chronologically, where does Mole Hunt fit?  Mole Hunt takes place just after the end of Undercurrents, the just-released second book in the Orphan’s Legacy series, and thus just after the end of the seventh overall “Orphan” book.

Eeeww.  I have to read seven books or I won’t understand this story?  Nope.  It’s a stand-alone story.  If I didn’t just tell you, you’d never need to know anything went before Mole Hunt.  On the other hand, if you have read the prior parts of the series, you will recognize and enjoy revisiting plenty that you will find in Mole Hunt.

The intro says the story is Shakespeare.  That doesn’t sound like the Jason Wander – Jazen Parker Orphan books.  If you get the Shakespeare connection, cool.  If you don’t, you’ll never miss it.



July 1, 2011

The four winning entries have been selected in the review contest, which ended June 30, 2011, to win autographed books.  Look for a list of the winners with links to their reviews here, once all winners have been notified.

Win Free Stuff – New Series Edition

May 26, 2011

The Problem: The series that began with Overkill in March, 2011, and continues with Undercurrents July 5, 2011 is the follow-on to the five Jason Wander/Orphanage books.

Most of you have read all the books.  But some of you have read the Jason Wander series, but not Overkill, and some of you have read only Overkill.

The Solution:  We at are encouraging readers to review Overkill.  In this we are motivated wholly by a spirit of public service, rather than any desire to increase readership.  And the Himalayas are made of fudge ripple.

The Bribes:  We here at are fresh out of Carribean vacations for two (you’ll have to read Overkill).  But we do have signed copies (physical books, not ebooks or audio books, because those are hard to sign) of any and all of the books, including forthcoming Undercurrents, when it comes out in a little over a month.  We even have SWAG promotional items like signed posters, and signed Orphanage camo flashlights.

We will be giving away four “first prizes,” winners-choice, from the bottomless authorial treasure chest.  We reserve the right to award additional  prizes if we feel like it.  Why would we feel like it?  If you are serving on active duty in the US or allied armed services, odds are good.

How to Enter:

1.  Post a review (preferably but not neccessarily gushingly favorable) of Overkill online, then send the link to   Do note whether you are on active duty, or tell us who the prize would go to who is serving. If you are entering to WIN Overkill and have not read it, feel free to substitute a review or reviews of any of the other five Robert Buettner books.

2.  Where might you post?  On the reviewed book’s page on, for example, or the book’s pages at Borders, Barnes & Noble, or Waterstone’s in the UK.  On your own ‘blog or webpage.  On a ‘blog or webpage you visit.  In an e’zine.  Reviews in hard copy publications are fine, too, but an electronic or hard copy of the review would have to reach us (P.O. Box 9, Lebanon, GA 30146) before the entry deadline.  Yes, school newspapers, Battalion newsletters, etc. count.  No length requirements or restrictions.

3.  Entry deadline?  Working links or hard copy received at by midnight, US Eastern Standard Time June 30, 2011 will be eligible.

4.  Four winners will be selected at random from eligible entries.  Additonal winners, if any, will be selected from among the remaining entries based upon the caprice, whim, and hubris of the panel of judges.

5.  Winners will be notified by return email, along with detailed information on available prizes.

6.  Other Stuff:  Winners don’t pay shipping, the bottomless authorial treasure chest does.   If you are Ayman al Zawahiri, please include return address or current GPS coordinates. Taxes are the responsibility of the winner, but the books retail for between US$7.99 and US$15.00, for crying out loud.  By entering, reviewers agree that their reviews or excerpts from them may be republished (real names/email addresses will be excluded on prior request) without further notice or obligation.