Scott Marlowe, fantasy author

Scott Marlowe

Author of the Alchemancer and Assassin Without a Name fantasy series

In Honor of International Talk Like a Pirate Day

pirates

Shimmerzine is giving away for free their special one-time issue devoted to pirate stories edited by John Joseph Adams.

The editors of Shimmerzine have this to say:

In 2007, Dred Pirate John Joseph Adams, of the MS Fantasy and Science Fiction, commandeered the MS Shimmer for one special issue: the Pirate issue, released November 2007.

In honor of International Talk Like a Pirate Day, a holiday dear to our hearts, we’re making the electronic edition freely available. One day only: Plunder away!

The issue features fiction from James L. Cambias, Marissa K. Lingen, Jeremiah Tolbert, Mikal Trimm, and and half a dozen others. And don’t miss our piratical interview with the creator of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Illustrated throughout by James Owen.

Note the "one day only" part. Better get it today.

Tor to Resume Free E-book Giveaways

tor-books-logoLooks like Tor is going to resume their Free E-book Giveaway program where, monthly, they give away a free e-book. No DRM (at least the previous e-books were DRM-free), no strings, no commitment to do anything but download and read.

Here's what they have to say about it in their latest newsletter:

More details next week--but yes, we plan to resume giving away selected e-books on Tor.com, at least one title per month. To download them you’ll need to not just visit Tor.com but register as a user; the downloads won’t be accessible until you do. Registering on the site takes maybe thirty seconds if you type particularly slowly...so Act Now, Act Without Thinking, get over to Tor.com and create yourself a user account today.

Looks like I'll be updating my list of Tor free e-books, and expect information posts about each of these new giveaways as they become available.

There's been some discussion on the benefits of Tor's program, and whether or not giving away one book leads to sales of others for that author. I'll leave such determinations and discussions up to the respective authors. I just like getting the free stuff.

Why You Should Read ARC's

Dark RainEOS Books has a call out for advanced readers for Tony Richards' Dark Rain.

I'm not in on this one only because I need the time to work on my current WIP. Participating as an advanced reader is a great experience, but it’s one of those things you have to sometimes temper your enthusiasm over. Personally, I love being one of the first people to see an author’s finished work. Also, it’s free stuff, and who doesn’t like that?

Ultimately, though, participating in these endeavors (along with a great many other things) can become a distraction. There’s typically a deadline associated with the ARC and its publication date. So you have to commit to a reading schedule. Then, you have to write a review. I like to put some thought into mine, and possibly do a little research about the author in the process. For me, it becomes a more fulfilling process that way. In any case, what this boils down to is time. Time away from other things, like writing.

One way to help deal with this is to limit the number of ARC’s you sign up for. Do one every two or three months, or every six months if that works better. But don’t not participate. ARC’s are a great way to get exposure to authors you might not otherwise read. I, for one, think it is of the utmost importance that a writer read outside of his or her field. It’s a sort of research, both into other content as well as writing style.

As for Dark Rain, here’s what EOS has to say about it:

Raine's Landing, Massachusetts, can't be located on any map. On the surface it appears an ordinary New England small town, but anyone who stumbles in wants to leave immediately . . . and once gone, they forget they were ever there. Real magic pervades this village of shadows, practiced by powerful adepts descended from the original Salem witches. But a curse has made it impossible for any resident to step beyond the town line. Those born here must die here as well.

That sounds awesome.

If you’ve got the time in your schedule, go check it out.

Free eBooks from Jeffrey A. Carver

sa-pb

SF Signal reports that Jeffrey Carver is giving away not one but two of his Chaos Chronicles books, Strange Attractors and Neptune Crossing.

Carver reports on his site:

All the novels of the The Chaos Chronicles are here or coming soon—free!—as well as some short stories. This is a great way to rejoin the story before reading the soon-to-be-published Sunborn. Also planned—a podcast audiobook of Sunborn.

Carver is no stranger to giveaways: Tor gave away his Battlestar Galactica pilot episode adaptation back in July. I didn't download it, only because I'd already seen the pilot episode on TV at least twice and didn't really need to read it.

However, as far as these two giveaways go… I already downloaded them and can't wait to jump in.

You should, too. Go get'em.

NOTE: As of 9/22/08, Jeffrey has made all three books in The Chaos Chronicles series available as free downloads.

Tor Free E-book: Soul by Tobsha Learner

soul

One thing you've got to be wondering is when Tor plans to end their Free E-book Giveaway promotion. I found out recently on good authority that the day the e-books stop flowing is July 20, so coming up pretty soon here.

Tor started the program to promote their new newsletter and presumably the re-launch of their web site. They provided links to the free e-books via email, so you would have had to sign up in order to get the benefits. Tor, for their part, gets what I can only imagine is a rather large list of email addresses. Anything associated with free is going to do well, if my Popular Posts section is any indication.

Hopefully you've been onboard from the start like I have, and have now accumulated a nice little pile of e-books. I haven't started any of them yet, but once I get through my print pile of books I'll be jumping in. I'll probably start with "Old Man's War" by John Scalzi. I've heard enough about the guy. Now I need to see if he can write.

For this week, Tor is giving us "Soul", by Tobsha Learner. This blog entry might possibly mark the last of my Tor Free E-books Giveaway posts. I hope you've enjoyed them. For me, it's been fun and educational. I've delved into the lives of a few authors I really didn't know much about and come away slightly more knowledgeable for it. What more can one ask?

7/14/2008 Update: Oops--looks like this is most definitely not going to be my last Tor Free E-books post. Tor has this to say on their web site:

Our current free book is Soul by Tobsha Learner; next week’s free book is Darkness of the Light by Peter David, and in the last week of our giveaway program, we’ll be making all the books in this program available one final time.

So, there's more a-comin'

For a running list of all of Tor's free e-books, go here.