Jumpdrives & Cantrips


Yay! Return of Tidbits!

I realised that I really haven’t been doing tidbits all that much lately in terms of news stuff, but to be entirely honest, not all that much has grabbed my attention lately. Though Charlton Heston’s death made me ponder whether it was in poor taste to title a post Soylent Guy Dies! followed by a semi-cannibalistic comment. In the end, as you can see, I decided against. (Soylent Tidbits for Your Consumption was very tempting, though…)

  • Martha WellsThe Element of Fire is available free with lots of nice info, if you click on the title. That led me to discover that ManyBooks.net also has books by lots of other popular authors (Charles Stross, Cory Doctorow, Tobias Buckell, John Scalzi) and lots of classic SF names (Andre Norton, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Jules Verne, James H. Schmitz, E. E. “doc” Smith–I could go on and on). Not to mention all the fairy tale and folklore resources up there for anyone researching such things (Grimms complete plus many of the Andrew Lang fairy books). But I think you should go check out all these free reads! That’s only a sampling of two categories! Massive, I say–massive! And in multiple formats… Seriously, go check it out.
  • Amy Long is an artist who created crocheted and knitted tentacle-like pieces for her MFA thesis exhibit. See a slideshow on her Flickr site. To me the pieces look a little like genitalia, but so do lots of tentacle-like things… (via io9). Brings a whole new meaning to squidpunk.
  • And speaking of squidpunk, Jeff Vandermeer is not joking about the anthology. This makes me a little nostalgic, since I used to have a truly awesome squid keychain and for the longest time I was the only person I knew who liked squid (especially deep-fried and eaten). However, I do have my doubts about reading squid books. They might eat me
  • For those who enjoy the Liaden books by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller there should be much happiness. 1. Ace books is reprinting the Liaden books–all 10 of them. And, 2. they sold another Liaden universe book to Baen. Now, I haven’t read this series, but I have rabid friends who are fans–er, rabid fans who are friends (via SF Scope).

In any case, I’m thoroughly enjoying Ilona Anderson’s Magic Burns so far and it is a very quick read. I also received 2 new review copies from Abaddon Books: one is Leviathan Rising by Jonathan Green (recently reviewed by Graeme) and the second is Shadow Mage by Matthew Sprange (reviewed in March by The Book Swede). Haven’t started them yet, but they look entertaining…

Off to read.

PS: Can you believe the spellcheck doesn’t recognize squidpunk?! Psssht.
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Shadow Unit & Other Stuff
February 19, 2008, 2043
Filed under: news | Tags: , , , , , , ,

Unfortunately I’m a little under the weather today, but I’ve got a review of Emma Bull’s Territory in the works, and a couple others. Here are some interesting things to check out in the meantime:

Emma Bull & co. have started a fanfic site for a TV show that… doesn’t exist? It’s called Shadow Unit, and the first novella by Emma Bull is now up. Other collaborators include Elizabeth Bear, Sarah Monette, and Will Shetterly. If you’re curious how the idea came about, check here for an explanation.

Did you sign up for the free eBooks from Tor yet? Apparently the site will also have social networking, and potential to purchase original short fiction from writers, accompanied by original artwork. I’m curious to see how Tor works the site, and what kinds of costs will be associated with the for-purchase items… See info at Bloggasm. (Thanks for passing this on to me, Flaede!)

Mike Shepherd now has contracts for books #7-9 in the Kris Longknife series, which I suppose must be selling well given the sheer number of books due to populate the series. I’m really hoping the next book takes the series somewhere new, and it’s nice to see that if it’s good, it’ll at least be three more books of good. This news amongst other book wheelings and dealings at The Swivet.

Last but not least, please check out Grasping for the Wind for more book review love–if you haven’t already. Its proprietor has been lovely enough to urge visitors to come and visit, which is very kind and much appreciated.



Free eBooks, You Say?
February 11, 2008, 2021
Filed under: news | Tags: , ,

You want to try a new author, but don’t want to shell out the money for it? Well, this is your lucky day. You don’t even have to set foot outside your home to get to the library to do that anymore. Lots of publishers are offering free eBooks as ways to get people hooked, and authors are starting to get more comfortable with people testing the waters. As long as you aren’t opposed to electronic reading, you’re in luck my friend. So settle in and have a look at what you can read for free:

  1. Tor Books will give you a free book every week until their site fully launches if you sign up for the mailing list. If you’re wondering which books, they’ve got Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn at present, and Old Man’s War by John Scalzi is coming up the next week (which is an awesome book). Sign up here. Though I admit, I made up a zipcode. Not that it matters much; I already own the first two books they’re giving away.
  2. Eos Books celebrates their 10-year anniversary by giving away an eBook every 2 months, starting with Shaman’s Crossing, the first volume of Robin Hobb’s newest trilogy. Get it here.
  3. Baen Books, who deserves praise for starting this up years ago, has a free library with many wonderful books. Some of them are out of print or difficult to get your hands on outside of this site.
  4. Neil Gaiman will be making one of his books a free eBook (or rather, HarperCollins will to be more accurate), and he wants your vote to determine which one. Go place your vote! For some mysterious reason, the leading books are American Gods & Anansi Boys… I suspect the vast majority of North America owns those books. Why not make something free that not so many of us already own?
  5. I have been alerted by a couple places online that Steven Brust has released a Firefly novel under a creative commons license–making it Really Big Name Fan Fic. Get your copy of My Own Kind of Freedom.

And if all of those aren’t good enough, check out this massive resource list for other free books online. Project Gutenberg is a favourite of a few people I know, with lots of variety. I’m always impressed by authors that have samples of their work around on their websites as well. Not everyone does it, but I think it’s a great way to let people get a taste of someone’s writing.