Scott Marlowe, fantasy author

Scott Marlowe

Author of the Alchemancer and Assassin Without a Name fantasy series

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.

Tor Free E-books: BSG by Jeffrey Carver and Flash by L.E. Modesitt, Jr.

I'm combining this week and last's Tor Free E-book Giveaway cause I was fairly underwhelmed with last week's offering and never got to posting about it.

In any case, let's get to it.

Battlestar Galactica, by Jeffrey Carver

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Tor gave us Battlestar Galactica by Jeffrey Carver last week. Ordinarily, I might have been excited about this, but the book is an adaptation of the show's pilot which I'd seen at least twice already. Once we get past the initial "human gets greeted by the cylons and blown up" sequence, we're shown Starbuck running through Galactica's corridors shouting "Make a hole!" to ordinary citizens come to tour the battlestar before it's decommissioned.

Huh, how's that for deja vu? Just like the pilot episode.

I can only assume the book continues to follow the storyline as dictated by the pilot (it is an adaptation, after all). Sorry, that just doesn't do it for me. Book closed, didn't even bother saving this one.

As an aside, I've developed quite a love/hate relationship with the show. Sometimes, it's the best sci-fi I've ever seen. Other times (usually when they're dealing exclusively with Gaius Baltar), I'm bored to tears and my wife gets to listen to me swear off the show again and again. But I'm always back the next week hoping to see the show's true potential. Sometimes, I'm rewarded, and that's what keeps me coming back for more. Right now, I'm swearing off the show again cause they're making us wait until 2009 for the remainder of the episodes. I'm sure I'll change my tune by then.

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

 

Flash, by L.E. Modesitt, Jr.

books_Flash

Next up, and this week's giveaway, is Flash, by L.E. Modesitt, Jr.

Cool cover, and you have to love a book that throws you into the action from the very first sentence:

Cracckk!
“Down!” Down! At the sound of the ancient slug-thrower,
I dropped flat onto the squashed soyl plants at the edge of
the field.

Similar to Tobias Buckell's Sly Mongoose, where the opening begins with the lead character hurtling through the atmosphere on a collision course with a floating city, this sort of opening promises a lot of fast-paced plotting, kick-butt action, and some general edge of your seat escapades.

Let's see what Amazon readers thought.

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Not bad. 4 1/2 stars out of 5. As one would expect with a rating that high, most reviews are favorable, though one reviewer who gave it 4 stars notes that the book "ultimately falls short as the world doesn't quite support the plot".

Guess I'll have to read the book to see for myself.

Modesitt has an extensive list of books to his name, so if you like this one you've got plenty of others to keep going with.

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

Tor Free E-book: In the Midnight Hour by Patti O'Shea

In_the_midnight_hour

Tor's latest free e-book giveaway is In the Midnight Hour by Patti O'Shea.

Ms. O'Shea has an impressive list of books to her name with a definite slant towards the romantic.

From the author's web site:

Ryne is a magical troubleshooter, sworn to protect the innocent from being harmed by magic—and she's been chasing Anise, her former mentor, for six years.

Deke is a private investigator who knows something key to defeating Anise.  But Anise cast a dark spell over him, and even though Ryne has managed to temporarily lift the curse, Deke can't remember what it is that he knows.

Ryne has sworn to never get involved with a human, but Deke is sexy, charming, brave and irresistible—and as Ryne and Deke are pulled further into Anise's evil schemes, it's harder and harder for Ryne to resist the attraction.

But dark magic has its own attraction, and in order to defeat Anise and lift Deke's curse permanently, Ryne will have to risk following in Anise's footsteps and succumbing to the lure of the darkness...

Hmmm… sounds like romance and paranormal all wrapped into one. Not my usual thing, but what the heck. It's free.

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

Tor Free E-book: In the Garden of Iden by Kage Baker

baker-garden_of_iden Tor throws another one at us—this time their free e-book giveaway is In the Garden of Iden by Kage Baker.

Ms. Baker has had a varied list of careers: graphic artist, mural painter, “several lower clerical positions”, playwright, bit player, director, teacher of Elizabethan English for the stage, and, of course, author.

“In the Garden of Iden” is the author’s debut novel, though her web site lists a fair number of accomplishments since. In the author’s own words, “20 years of total immersion research in Elizabethan as well as other historical periods has paid off handsomely in a working knowledge of period speech and details”.

This book is as much a period piece as it is science fiction—time travel, immortal cyborgs, 16th century England. The basic premise is that 24th century members of a group called Dr. Zeus Inc. “rescue” orphans or people who are otherwise on the verge of dying from all over time and, with the promise of everlasting life, change them into cyborgs who then are transported back to key moments in history in order to preserve significant artifacts and species. The catch is that there is more to Dr. Zeus Inc. than they let on, and the greatest mystery of all seems that no one knows what happens after the year 2355. It is known simply as the Silence; time travel or any form of communication with people beyond 2355 is not possible.

Sounds intriguing. I’ve got my copy. Go get yours.

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

Tor Free E-book: Orphans of Chaos by John Wright

Orphans of Chaos

Orphans of Chaos

by John C. Wright is this week’s Tor Free E-book Giveaway.

Here we have yet another author which I am hereto unfamiliar with. I don’t know if this is a sign that I’m not as well-read as I would like to think I am, or if it simply speaks to the sheer volume of fantasy and science fiction out there. It’s probably a little bit of both. However, what better way to become familiar with a new author than by receiving a free copy of their work?

A little background on the author…

Mr. Wright spent prior years as a lawyer and newspaper man before turning to writing. His debut novel, The Golden Age, marked the author as the “equivalent to William Gibson and Gene Wolfe in potential importance”. Orphans of Chaos was a Nebula award finalist and is the first of the three volume The Chaos Chronicles.

Mr Wright maintains a blog. More info about his other books can be found at his sff.net page.

The book itself is about five orphans who attend a boarding school in England and who routinely have to deal with the oppressive nature of their instructors. There’s more to it than that, of course: the instructors are really gods and the children, as the title of the book suggests, are the children of Chaos.

Sounds like a good read, plus if you like it there’s two more books after it in the series.

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