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The Bayern Agenda

(The Galactic Cold War #1)

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  662 ratings  ·  88 reviews
A new Cold War threatens the galaxy, in this fast-paced and wisecracking thriller of spies and subterfuge.

Simon Kovalic, top intelligence operative for the Commonwealth of Independent Systems, is on the frontline of the burgeoning Cold War with the aggressive Illyrican Empire. He barely escapes his latest mission with a broken arm, and vital intel which points to the Empir
Paperback, 384 pages
Published March 5th 2019 by Angry Robot
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Average rating 4.08  · 
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 ·  662 ratings  ·  88 reviews

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This had a bit of a slow start that while mildly interesting was more focused on making sure the reader knows that the characters have good banter and prior history. I didn't mind that but it seemed to almost eclipse the set up of the thing that, according to the title is the bigger deal: The Baryern Agenda also known as, the plot. For the first 20% or so there's nary a mention or seemingly any urgency by Kovalic, his ops team or handlers to do something, anything with the scant intel they got f ...more
Harald Koch
send a few covert agents on a simple mission - what could go wrong?

The total chaos that this book devolves into is inspiring. No plan ever survives contact with the enemy indeed!!

Someone described this as Le Carre meets the Stainless Steel Rat - and it’s not that far off.
The development of Kovalic from raw recruit to seasoned warrior through the flashbacks was so much fun to read, given what readers know of the character from Caledonian Gambit (the prequel.) There’s a delightful cast of spies, villains, traitors, reluctant heroes, and hapless bystanders. My personal favorite is a middle-management bureaucrat at the embassy, who spends her time rotating among feelings of frustrated despair, grudging respect, and appalled horror at the shenanigans of these extra-l ...more
Mary Soon Lee
Jul 03, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
This is the second novel in "The Galactic Cold War" series(*), a series that, indeed, features espionage in a science fiction future. As with the first book, the story switches between the perspective of Kovalic, a long-time operative, and Eli Brody, top-notch pilot, new to galactic intrigue. I found this a quick and thoroughly enjoyable read, but less all-absorbing than the opening book.

Spoilers ahead.(view spoiler)
Oct 27, 2020 rated it liked it
A fantasy book. About the late Cold War. But in space. But also taking place in New York (fire escapes and flat roofs) and Switzerland (a city inside a volcano that’s a financial center of the world). It’s ok. Not a single plot point is different compared to if it was set in the 70s. But it’s enjoyable. Read the whole thing. For those people who are addicted to SFF but also bored of it in a way. Like me :)
Sean Callaghan
Mar 01, 2021 rated it really liked it
4.5. Another win for my wife and her choice of books for me. This had the right blend of everything, intrigue, firefights, character dev. Solid work all around.
Mar 27, 2019 rated it liked it

I greatly enjoy a mix of dramatic elements and high-tech, but I prefer books that focus more on characters than on scientific ideas. That makes Space Opera a perfect subgenre for me as it usually delivers a full package. And more, depending on the grandness of the vision and the focus of the story. 

The Bayern Agenda fits in the genre, but I wouldn’t call it a pure Space Opera (if such a thing exist). Consider it a sci-fi spy thriller, set against the backdrop of a galactic cold war between
Rich Saskal
Mar 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
The first thing I'm going to say is that this book may be book one of the Galactic Cold War series, but it was preceded by another book (for a different publisher), The Caledonian Gambit, and that book does offer a lot of insight into the characters' motivations and relationships.

The Bayern Agenda is in my reckoning a notch better in terms of craftsmanship, put together a little tighter than its predecessor. It's basically a spy caper, in a universe that's a lot like ours, except that there are
Mar 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
The Commonwealth and the Illyrican Empire are, on paper at least, at peace. The truth however is far more complex. Factions within factions have distinctly different ideas about this uneasy truce. Simon Kovalic exists in the front line of an invisible war. He and his team of counter-intelligence agents are tasked with attempting to stop any plot from boiling over into the resumption of direct conflict.

It’s probably unsurprising to discover the Kovalic is a complicated soul. The political machina
Sep 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
This review originally published in Looking For a Good book. Rated 3.5 of 5

There's a saying (which most of us are familiar with) that there are two things which are inevitable ... death and taxes. If you were to add a third item to the list of 'inevitables' it might be that where two or more humans are gathered, there will be a cold war.

Simon Kovalic is a top intelligence agent for the Commonwealth of Independent Systems (ie: the good guys). There is a very hot Cold War going on with the very ag
Realms & Robots
Jun 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The Bayern Agenda is an expertly written combination of science fiction and espionage thriller, filled with well-drawn characters and a story you won’t be able to stop reading. You’ll find all of the intrigue of a cold war spy novel, set amidst a galaxy on the brink of another massive war. Moren deserves high praise for mastering two complex genres simultaneously.

The premise of the novel is pretty straightforward. We follow a group of soldiers-turned-spies into potentially hostile territories to
Aug 17, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
I am aware that there have been some who have compared the early entries in this series to le Carre's work. I have only one le Carre under my belt, so I'm not the best to say whether that is a valid comparison. What is fair to say is that Moren does a good job of showing both how ruthless the espionage game can be, and how far some governments will go to prop themselves up.

Prior to this Cold War the war had been a hot one between the Commonwealth and the Empire, with the Empire being extremely s
I picked up Dan Moren's 2019 novel "Galactic Cold War, Book 1: Bayern Agenda, The" simply because it was available in my library and the previous book I'd read by him ("Galactic Cold War, Book 0: Caledonian Gambit, The") was fine. Imagine my surprise when I immediately ran across all four of the main characters from that book and realized the events in the new book were occurring six months later in the same universe. It turns out that even though this book is specifically entitled as being the ...more
Mar 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I've been a lifelong fan of the science-fiction genre, and developed a taste for the more grounded and realistic variety of spy novels after discovering John le Carre in my 20s.

The Bayern Agenda combines the best of Le Carre's Cold War era spy novels with the galaxy-spanning conflict central to space opera. If anything, I would classify at as a spy novel that happens to be set against a science-fiction backdrop, with the action taking place several centuries in our future.

At its heart is a twi
Jun 15, 2020 rated it liked it
Moren, Dan. The Bayern Agenda. Galactic Cold War No. 1. Angry Robot, 2019.
In a good spy story, there is usually an element of melancholy, because the agents often discover their own complicity in the evil they oppose. John le Carré is the master of this genre, and as several reviewers have noted, Dan Moren uses le Carré’s model to create his interstellar special-ops espionage team. If anything, the story is a bit too old school for its setting. There is an empire opposing a commonwealth, and eve
Jun 15, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Moren, Dan. The Bayern Agenda. Galactic Cold War No. 1. Angry Robot, 2019.
In a good spy story, there is usually an element of melancholy, because the agents often discover their own complicity in the evil they oppose. John le Carré is the master of this genre, and as several reviewers have noted, Dan Moren uses le Carré’s model to create his interstellar special-ops espionage team. If anything, the story is a bit too old school for its setting. There is an empire opposing a commonwealth, and eve
Jo  (Mixed Book Bag)
Mar 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This kept me guessing until the end. This is book one in the Galactic Cold War series but Eli Brody and Simon Kovalic were featured in The Caledonian Gambit a previous book put out by another publisher. As a result there were some things in the world building and back story that must have been covered in the previous book. This is plain and simple a spy story and there is no one you can trust. The current cold war is in danger of heating up and Kovalic and team have a lot to discover to keep it ...more
Apr 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
Cold War espionage in space makes a nice science fiction premise here. The emphasis is much more on the characters and the espionage than the space setting. While there are some tropes in this book (the badass female operative is the ex-wife of the commando leader, for example), the story moves along with excellent pacing, twisty plotting, good dialogue, and a nice balance between developing the characters and developing the plot. While billed as Book 1 of the Galactic Cold War series, this is a ...more
Nov 09, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
Dan Moren's The Bayern Agenda is, at its core, a spy thriller set in space; one that I enjoyed.

Mr. Moren's prose is pleasant: it is focused, accessible, and humorous; switching point of view narrative between his two protagonists, Simon Kovalic and Eli Brody, with an occasional "interlude" which tells the back story of Simon Kovalic from green private on the frontlines to premier spy. While the other characters are not as complex as Kovalic or Brody

The story starts with Kovalic's team's mission
John May
Jan 31, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle, sci-fi, thriller
Reading this, you spent a lot of time feeling like this is book 2, and it appears that it is in fact book 2, except the the first book is listed as Book #0 because it's from a different publisher. That said, it's fine, this is well done as a starting point but could have been edited a little more to feel less like a book 2.

Next, this is very light sci-fi. It's a spy book that's iiiiinnnn spaaaace: but it could be transplanted to modern earth with a very few changes to names and scenery. That's a
Feb 09, 2021 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Andrew McIntosh
Apr 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own
A good followup to The Caledonian Gambit.

Despite the synopsis focusing on Simon Kovalic, the story passes between him and Eli Brody just as in The Caledonian Gambit, which suits me just fine.

I quite enjoyed it. I think the writing is slightly improved over The Caledonian Gambit, though I think I enjoyed that novel just slightly more as I feel Caledonia as a setting was a little more detailed and fleshed out than Bayern. That being said, Bayern was also a really interesting and evocative setting.
Vinay Badri
Sep 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019-read
A solid 3.5 starrer

The Bayern Agenda is a traditional spy and behind enemy lines story except set in a SF setting of 2 warring confederacies. There is enough intrigue, espionage and thrills in the book to keep the pace going. It’s one of those almost traditional books that’s not grim dark or violent but has characters that are charming and dedicated with a bunch of history amongst them. There’s an almost lived in quality among the characters and a comfort level that works. A good easy read, the
Mar 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Moren's first book, "The Caledonian Gambit", was one of the best books I read in 2017. Turns out it's just the prologue to a new series – book 1 of which is "The Bayern Agenda", and which manages to be even better.

Moren's conversational style of writing is gripping and entertaining. He manages to create compelling characters and construct a world full of intrigue. The plot is entertaining and fast-moving – carrying the reader along.
Logan Robertson
Oct 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is a solid spy novel with sci-fi themes just for fun. Nice balance between plot and characterization. Plays lightly with themes of capitalism, warfare, democracy, loyalty and friendship. I enjoyed it and intend to read the upcoming sequel.

(I also read the previous book, “The Caledonian Gambit.” This book is superior to that one and can be read independently. I fact, that is how I would recommend they be read.)
Luke Burrage
I started this second book in the series (trilogy?) and could remember absolutely nothing from the first book. No characters, nothing about the setting, nothing about the plot. I read some reviews of the first book to try and jog my memory, but still nothing. It's weird because I rated the first book quite highly.

After a second attempt at this second book, with still zero connection to anything that's happening or any character, I think I'll give it a rest. Oh well.
Jun 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this! Two point-of-view characters. Nice little band of spies on a fascinating and twisty mission. I think the world building could have been stronger. I felt like I was guessing on some of the context and backstory for the action. I will definitely be reading book 2.

[EDIT: Apparently, even though this is listed as book one, there is a prequel and a couple novellas. That might explain my struggle with the world building/context.]
Mar 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book brings all the sly, back stabbing Cold War spy tactics and slams it into a chess game between two galactic powers. If you are looking for a step away from the typical science fiction space battle, this is your book. I find myself itching for something new in a very saturated genre and few find a way to merge others together successfully. I truly look forward to his next work.
John Payne
Mar 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book fleshes out the characters introduced in The Caledonian Gambit. Although this is pitched as the first book in the Galactic Cold War, and could be a jumping on point, I think a reader would be better served by reading the Caledonian Gambit first.

Just like the prior book, this pulled me in to this world (universe?) and I really enjoyed the ride.
Simon Welsh
Apr 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
An enjoyable space opera. While the second book Dan Moren has written in this universe, following mostly the same characters, it is easy to approach for those that haven't read The Caledonian Gambit. ...more
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Dan Moren is the author of the Galactic Cold War series of sci-fi spy novels, including The Aleph Extraction and The Bayern Agenda, as well as The Caledonian Gambit. His work has also appeared in The Boston Globe,, Yahoo Tech, The Magazine, Tom's Guide, TidBITS, Six Colors, and Macworld, where he formerly worked as a senior editor.

Dan's also a regular panelist on the Parsec-award-winnin

Other books in the series

The Galactic Cold War (5 books)
  • The Caledonian Gambit
  • Pilot Error (The Galactic Cold War, #0.5)
  • Showdown (The Galactic Cold War, #1.5)
  • The Aleph Extraction (The Galactic Cold War, #2)

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