Science Fiction Books Free! Sci-Fi Geeks Rejoice

Free books!  Ahh — a bibliophile’s dream come true.  And for us science fiction geeks, the dream has become a reality in the form of the Baen Free Library.

This sci-fi online bookstore, ready for the raiding, is based on the concept that if authors make their work available for free online, it will increase book sales.  How? 

  • Most people, after getting a risk-free peek at a book, will go out and by the book anyway since they prefer to read print (I know I do). 
  • Even if someone reads the entire free book online, the publisher has created a fan, and that person will not only buy books from that author in the future, but generate more book sales via word-of-mouth advertising.

What’s so cool about this is that the Baen Free Library offers published current sci-fi books (yes, newly published books — not that centuries old stuff that is already in the public domain and that everyone is pimping).  It’s like walking into a candy store and having the proprieter hand you a bucket and say, “Here; take what you want.”

Sweet.

It all started when Eric Flint, well-known author of the extremely popular sci-fi/alternate history book series starting with 1632, got into what he describes as a virtual brawl with some other science fiction authors regarding online piracy.

There was a school of thought, which seemed to be picking up steam, that the way to handle the problem was with handcuffs and brass knucks. Enforcement! Regulation! New regulations! Tighter regulations! All out for the campaign against piracy! No quarter! Build more prisons! Harsher sentences!

 

Alles in ordnung!

 

I, ah, disagreed. Rather vociferously and belligerently, in fact.

Amidst the resulting fall-out, he and his publisher, Jim Baen, came up with a publicity campaign to give away sci-fi books online, and the Baen Free Library was born.  Few publishers show a true understanding of the profit potential of intelligent marketing to the vast sea of people surfing the web.  Thank you, Jim Baen, for leading the way.

More cool stuff you can do now:

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Daughter of Hounds

As I make my way through an alphabetical list of 2007 novels, the book I’ve chosen for letter “D” is sci-fi/fantasy novelDaughter of Hounds, by Caitlin R. Kiernan.  Robert at Fantasy Book Critic had this to say about it:

“…the story itself is a beautiful amalgam of gothic horror, urban fantasy and mythological fiction that transcends genre restraints, and is, at its core, a powerful tale of self-discovery and living with the choices that we make… 

Undoubtedly, I have become an avid fan of Ms. Kiernan and highly recommend her novels to anyone who likes their books full of ambitious ideas, poetic wording, compelling characters, and open-ended conclusions that challenge the readers’ own imagination.”

Kelly Sedinger at Green Man Review says:

“Erudite discussions and entrancing descriptions (such as describing worn gravestones as marking the resting places of people so long forgotten that not even their tombstones know who they are anymore) intertwine with snappy, punchy dialog that is as often as not laced with Tarantino-esque rhythmic profanity. All of this adds up to a pretty explosive and captivating read.”

From here, you can visit Kiernan’s Low Red Moon Journal, which appears to be an older blog last updated in December of 2006, visit her up-to-date livejournal blog, or subscribe to Sirenia for $10 an issue, a monthly magazine in PDF format which features “wierdly fantastical dark erotica” by the author.