The Golden Gate: Not just terrific SF, a terrific thriller

November 29, 2016

“Futuristic and imaginative, The Golden Gate by Robert Buettner sweeps across continents and centuries in a thrilling chase for the truth about longevity. The science is fascinating, and the suspense never lets up. Readers will revel in this terrific roller coaster ride.” – Gayle Lynds, New York Times bestselling author of The Assassins

Great to hear that from multiple award winning thriller author Gayle Lynds, “Today’s best espionage writer,” and a co-writer with an all time favorite of mine, Jason Bourne creator Robert Ludlum.


More buzz about The Golden Gate

November 29, 2016

The webzine Sci-Fi Addicts lists The Golden Gate #1 on its list of “The Most Interesting New Sci-Fi Books Coming Out in 2017 http:??

“Buettner is moving to futuristic spy sci-fi, and so far it sounds awesome.” Second on the list is the novelization of the holiday film blockbuster Star Wars Rogue One.


Early Voters Predict a Winner!

November 29, 2016

“The Golden Gate: 5 Stars…engaging, thought provoking and superbly well written…books just don’t get better…worth reading, worth re-reading, worth thinking about while and after reading.” Ever wish you could be on pro book reviewers’ inside track? Baen Books, unique (I think) among major-distributed brands, lets readers like you buy e-versions of the same warts-and-all Advance Reading Copies it sends to the pros. And so far eARC readers love The Golden Gate, which appears in stores January 3, 2017. Learn more at

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.