All the more reason for me to go read the book then, I guess.
All the more reason for me to go read the book then, I guess.
I have read many more free books on my Kindle than paid books. There is a lot out there for the sci fi fan if you know where to look.
In these very pages I have mentioned Baen books. They're a publisher of science fiction, fantasy, and alternate history that has offered up a significant portion of their library for free in Kindle-compatible versions. Until this month they only sold electronic books through their own online shop. Just recently they began to sell through Amazon. That means some of their free stuff isn't as accessible as it was, but it is still there.
I recommend the Baen free library
The books there can be emailed to your Kindle through the website. On Basilisk Station is the first in the Honorverse series of space opera / military fiction. It has a large, dedicated fanbase.
Baen's philosophy for many years was that if you give away books for free, people will find new authors to like, and they will be willing to pay for later books in the series. As such, Baen created the online free library (which used to have more titles available) and also distributed CDs of electronic books with the print edition of some titles. These CDs were also distributed with the electronic version of the same books. So buying one book could net you dozens.
What's important is that they also made these discs and their contents free to distribute. Several websites are hosting the CDs online (& legally).
One of the sites is
Recently they were asked to make the CDs available only in .ISO or .Zip formats to be downloaded in whole. Formerly they could be browsed online as HTML and individual books downloaded for free. They're still being distributed legally. And whats great is that each one of the discs has dozens of ebooks in multiple formats, at least one of which (usually .prc or .mobi) are natively Kindle-compatible. You could connect the Kindle to your PC and send the files over or else email them to your Kindle from your PC.
Each disc tends to focus on one or two authors and often contains all of the books in a series or published by that author by Baen up to the date of that release.
Lots of good stuff to be had, guilt free.
I also recommend Kindle Nation Daily's list of free Kindle books.
The list can also be filtered to sci-fi or fantasy only by choosing an option from the left hand side. A lot is junk or schlock but sometimes there are good books to be had.
Mostly self-published authors but sometimes big publishing houses offer books for free as a promotion. Maybe it's the first in a series, whatever. They are doing it to garner publicity and reviews.
I have hundreds of books from their list through Amazon. I'd say about 5% are from traditional publishing houses and authors I'd heard of. I've probably read 1%. But it is fun to hoard. You may be more selective.
Finally, if you want to read most of the classics of literature, or just old pulp novels, there are a bunch of public domain works available for free through Amazon's store, places like Feedbooks, or the amazing Project Gutenberg.
I've recently got a three-novels-in-one compilation of Raymond Chandler's works, The Big Sleep and Farewell, My Lovely are done, The Long Good-Bye is the current work in progress. Wonderful stuff. Could also be considered the direct inspiration to film noir. Too bad the guy didn't have a happy life.
Trying to read Heinlein's Stranger in a Strange Land. I enjoyed The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, but something about SiaSL is coming off as fairly juvenile so far. I think I'll try the uncut digital version I pilfered a while ago; just the first few sentences seem like a vast improvement. Of course, maybe it's just not that good.
Discworld Christmas gifts:
The Last Continent
The Fifth Elephant
I've only read The Last Continent so far, but I enjoyed it. It seems like it sits between the silliness-for-the-sake-of-silliness of the early novels and the deeper later novels.
My brother gifted me Batman: The Dark Knight Returns and Sin City for Christmas, since he knew I like Alan Moore and figured I'd therefore enjoy Frank Miller as well. So far they're definitely intriguing, albeit rather bleak.
Edit: I'm an idiot, I meant to post this in the comic book thread. Now I'll just have to pretend I'm making a statement about how good comics can be considered literary works as well. Or how they make you unable to properly read.
Last edited by fiddlesticks; 28-12-2012 at 06:06 PM.
I gave up on SIASL somewhere a little more than halfway through. I meant to get back to it but now I find that very little of it has stuck with me and the thought of starting over is off-putting. As verbose as it was (I'm not sure which version I read; it was a library copy) I can't imagine why reading a significantly longer version would be appealing.
Recently, I've just polished off both Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn, which provided a great thematic segue into Django Unchained's role-reversal explotation. Next up is James Gleick's The Information, which I've been putting off reading for far too long.
I've just finished a wonderful history book, today
1000 Years of Annoying the French
Bah! My blog is fulla bollox! What? Don't believe me?Here! Just look at it!
According to this thread, it was almost exactly 6 months to the day that I started reading the Malazan book of the Fallen series and I finished the Crippled God (no 10) about half an hour ago.
Steve Erikson is one of the most frustrating writers I've ever read, forever starting new plotlines (whose resolutions are often highly frustrating in themselves), delving into pseudo-philosophical debates, or exploring the backstory of the most minor characters, only to forget about them or wax over their fates.
But it's still hard to deny he's put together one of the most epic and detailed fantasy stories I've ever read. Shame there are so many threads left dangling, that I probably don't quite have the patience to follow up in further books. One example - Bottle is brought to the forefront of many of the Bridgeburner books, he has some ancient god/his grandmother watch over him, a wizard referred to as a 'shaved knuckle' which is an important part of the Malazan army's philosophy. But he's barely featured in the Crippled god, his guardian thing has upped and left, and he's just a bloke with a sword. Don't don't even get me started on Karsa Orlong, Icarium (and bloody Mappo - who spends like 3 books chasing him.. only for that to happen) or y'know the Tiste Edur race who served as a kind of pointless distraction for 2 or 3 books.
I'm not going to bother with the new Kharkanas trilogy, or read the Esslemont tales - I'm totally burned out on the books and the world for now and the 6 months it's taken me to read them all - well I'm ready for a break!
I'm glad I made it all the way through though, lots of whining here, but they really are quite excellent in parts. Erikson's just a frustrating writer.
Finally, mc admitted he is an incompetent idiot. That happened after a hundred pages of "Recovery from an arrow wound" sequence. Why am I still reading this? Why is this book so comically serious? And boring. It could have been something like Oglaf's comics about Apprentice. Something like this.
People apparently took notice of the fact that I was reading and enjoying The Psychopath Test earlier this year, as I was given a stack of Jon Ronson books including The Men Who Stare At Goats.