Let’s Play Pollyanna

Jeffrey Carver Free Downloads

Jeffrey A. Carver has just released his nebula nominated Eternity’s End as a free book on his website. He has various other books and short stories to download (including the four books of his Chaos Chronicles series). So visit his downloads page and see if they are the kind of thing you enjoy. As he does this himself, with no support from his publishers, please consider buying his real books, or putting some money in his tip jar, or buying him a beer at a con.

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May 8, 2009 Posted by | Books, Science Fiction | Leave a comment

Missing weeks and catchup

Well as you have most likely spotted (at least if there is anyone reading) there has been no posts for a few weeks. I did say I wasn’t very good at doing regular posts right didn’t I?

Anyway that is because I went up to Bradford to Eastercon (LX 2009) and then spent the week afterwards working quite hard and feeling a bit jaded and suffering a little with the dreaded lurgie. To be honest I am not sure that I didn’t have some dreaded bug infesting my system before the con so if you talked to me and are now suffering then it is all my fault. I don’t really want to write a huge con-report for Eastercon because I believe that timeliness is important and I have probably missed the boat. But briefly it turned out better than I (and some others) were expecting. The main con hotel was a good space, although they had crap seats that resulted in a numb arse, and the bus service to the hotels where most of the beds were worked well (which could have been an issue). As usual I ended up buying a load of books which should take me a couple of months to get through. About the only downside was that neither the Cedar Court nor the Bradford Hilton had free WIFI – I refuse to pay the over-the-top rates that the hotels were trying to charge.

At the con I saw the Easter Doctor Who special with hundreds of others and have since re-watched it in the comfort of my home. It was obviously written as a light fluffy episode before things get darker and it really worked with the large audience but I felt it didn’t have the same impact when I watched it alone.

April 21, 2009 Posted by | Science Fiction | Leave a comment

Suvudu Free Library

Random House have started the Suvudu Free Library in which they are giving away the first book in some of their older series for free. The format is PDF.

This month there is Kim Stanley Robinson’s Red Mars which I own in hardcover (well I own all the Mars books in hardcover) but I still grabbed it as it is far nicer to search, Robin Hobb’s Assassin’s Apprentice, Harry Turtledove’s Settling Accounts: Return Engagements, Naomi Novik’s His Majesty’s Dragon (which was called Temeraire in the UK), and finally T.A. Pratt’s Blood Engines.

Whilst not all these books are to my tastes I think it does bode extremely well for SF & Fantasy fans. Tor launched their tor.com site last year with a similar deal and have since made Emma Bull’s War For The Oaks and Will Shetterly’s Dogland available. Using a first taste is free approach seems very sensible marketing for a series and maybe even for an author. Producing very cheap unencumbered ebook editions of the back-list also seems a simple thing to do (once you have the ebook production line set up) – they are currently earning no money for either publisher or author when they sit out of print, selling them for a quid each online could benefit everyone.

March 5, 2009 Posted by | Books, Science Fiction | Leave a comment

Newtons Sleep download

Just a quickie – Random Static have a free download of Newtons Sleep by Daniel O’Mahony on their website. I’ve had it downloaded for a few weeks however real paper books always seem to take precedence.

February 27, 2009 Posted by | Books, Science Fiction | Leave a comment

Sufficiently Advanced?

A month or so ago the role-playing game Sufficiently Advanced moved to a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial licence which means that it is free to download (although printed versions are still available through lulu).

The game itself is set sometime far into the future. The players are agents of the Patent Office, and inter-governmental organisation run by transcendent AIs. Apparently the players work to keep the peace between the many human civilizations spread across our universe and stop the development and use of dangerous technology.

If you want to download the rules you can do so from here.

February 27, 2009 Posted by | Games, Science Fiction | Leave a comment

SF on BBC Radio

As has widely been blogged (but that doesn’t stop me doing it as well) Auntie are running a Science Fiction Drama series with shows on three of their stations.

The highlight, at least for me, is The State of the Art based on the story by Iain M. Banks. It was dramatised by Paul Cornell and as I was at NewCon 4 in Northampton last year, at which both Paul and Iain were guests, I heard a excerpt (on one of the panels) that left me hungry for more.

Bring Me The Head of Philip K Dick also sounds like it is going to be an interesting original radio-play.

BBC 7 are re-broadcasting the dramatisation of The Brightonomicon – which is nice because I missed some of it before.

February 27, 2009 Posted by | Science Fiction | Leave a comment