Ebooks for a Snowy day

Most of this made the rounds on twitter a couple a days ago but Night Shade books sells their titles through the Baen Webscription page at $6 a piece.  Even cooler is that it bundles monthly released title into discounted packages ranging from about $20 for 5 titles up to $32 for 8 titles depending on the package.

The Baen titles are nothing to sneeze at either!  Indeed it’s hard to argue at every Vorkosigan title by Lois McMaster Bujold at $5 a piece!  There’s also the Honor Harrington series from David Weber.  Or maybe every book in the Lord of the Isles series by David Drake for $15?  Don’t forget Baen’s Free Library titles as well.   On the slightly more expensive side, though still a nice deal if you ask me, is the Fafhrd and Grey Mouser collection on sale for $35 (7 books).

Some neat stuff and definitely a service I’ll be keeping my eye on in the future.  Happy reading!

Angry Robot

This hit the web news the other day but Angry Book has an interesting offer for for the upcoming Walking the Tree. For print readers who purchase the title they are providing some sample chapters from a novella featuring one of characters from the novel.  In fact the novella, as far as I can tell, features a portion of the novel from that character’s, Morace’s, point of view.  The book will feature a website and download code for the rest of the novel while ebook purchasers will get the ebook already downloaded and ready to go when they purchase Walking the Tree.

Of course that would require Angry Robots’ books being available here in the States.  That won’t be happening until May.  Angry Robot Books is an exciting new imprint as far as I’m concerned and I am more than a little frustrated about the slow crawl across the Atlantic.

More info on the deal and the Angry Robot’s authors and titles can be found here.

More Free Sh*t!

Since I’ve been talking about free things a bit today I figured I’d mention that “The Purloined Letter” is free over at Project Gutenberg in both text and audio versions.  There is also a crapload of free public domain books there other than the Poe stuff.  Project Gutenberg has a handy “Bookshelf” feature that groups books by subject or genre.  For examle the Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Folklore shelves are certainly worth a look.

Though not as simple in its formats you might also try the Million Book Project.  Most titles are more of a scholarly bent, and span a more dynamic linguistic range, but worth a look none-the-less.  You’ll need LizardTech’s djvu plugin (PDF’s cooler, slightly aloof younger brother).

Reviews: Majestrum, “My Own Kind of Freedom”

Majestrum, Matthew Hughes.  Night Shade Books, 2007.

Hengis Hapthorne, a character Hughes developed in short fiction form, is a Holmesian detective in a fantastical world on a cusp of a radical change from science and reason to magic and wonder.  Hapthorne himself is a forerunner of this change,  his integrator (assistant) has changed into a cat-like creature (a familiar) and his intuitive self has become a full fledged individual often at odds with the reason and deductive analysis Hapthorne is used. These events occurred prior to the start of Majestrum so we the readers, like Hapthorne himself, are left to adjust to his constant battle with the changes within himself and the world around him.

Hughes crafts an original tale in an innovative world that is couched in a familiar form. Unfortunately some of that form borrows a little too much from Poe’s “The Purloined Letter” for my liking.  I admit this is as much a matter of taste as anything, I prefer the noir-detective and kinetic action over the more cerebral contemplation of the Holmes’ out there, but the often unexplained logistic leaps are an element of this type of detective fiction I do not particularly like.  That being said I must admit that Hughes does a magnificent job of emulating the model of early detective fiction.

Hughes infuses Hapthorne with a dry wit that I found particularly enjoyable and a number of odd quirks that brought a smile as I read.  In particular Hapthorne’s fascination with food, never commented on, is perhaps my favorite.  Story wise some of the connections between Hapthorne’s cases, while you know they have to be there, are impossible to grasp before they are revealed (again a failing of form, in my opinion, rather than on Hughes writing ability) but overall the whirlwind tour across worlds and to exotic locales is a joy to read.  The ending again returns to this anti-hermeneutic Holmesian formula removing the reader from participation in the story.

Overall Majestrum was a light, enjoyable read that fans of dry humor and Sherlock Holmes will enjoy.  While I am more a fan of detectives of a more kinetic bent, Marlowe and Spade, Dresden and Kovacs (if you want to call Kovacs a detective) for the more genre-inclined, I give Majestrum a solid B thanks to the originality of the world and interesting multi-faceted character Hughes has created in Hapthorne and his entourage.

Click below for my review of Brust’s Firefly novel, “My Own Kind of Freedom.”

Continue reading “Reviews: Majestrum, “My Own Kind of Freedom””

Free Sh*t!!!

Tor Books, purveyors of fine fantasy and sci-fi, have started a newsletter program.  So what?  You ask.  Who hasn’t?  Wellllllllll….Tor is offering a link to download free books in their newsletter; one a week to be precise.  Free stuff is pretty awesome and the first two titles, Sanderson’s Mistborn and Scalzi’s Old Man’s War, are titles that have met with some acclaim.  Worth signing up for?  I think so.  Head on over here and give it a try.

 Update: And, while I’m at, you might try some free Blacklibrary titles, the novels set in Games Workshop’s Warhammer Universe. Thanks to Graeme’s Fantasy Book Review for that link.