Tag Archives: free ebooks

Link Drop August 2009

Apologies for the late update–working on something… special. More on that tomorrow–I’ll need your help guys–but for now, enjoy some interesting links I’ve picked up over the Inter-tubes (though you might have seen some of these on the Twitter feed):

  • Local News:
    • Bob Ong as National Artist: An article in the Philippine Star by Isagani Cruz where he breaks down why anonymous author Bob Ong might qualify as a National Artist–as opposed to you-know-who.
    • District 9 Review: by David Hontiveros. Protip: He liked it.
    • Cosplay Mania 2009 Contests–Updated: Some interesting upcoming events for cosplayers, listed over at the New Worlds Alliance.
    • Filipino-made Film Named Best SciFi Film in California Festival: The article doesn’t really describe the film much so can’t say how SciFi it is… but thing that saddens me about this is the comments section.  I understand not getting worked up about the achievements of another just because he’s Filipino, but to justify such disregard by labeling him a “Fil-Am” seems to me small-minded in the extreme. It builds walls where we should be breaking them down.
  • Science News:
    • Spiderbot: It looks kind of… awkward. But hey, I’m sure I did too when I was learning how to walk. (Cors’ I never did master the walking on the ceiling bit…)
    • Theatrical Robots Kiss: I want to see robot musicals now. Are you listening Repertory Philippines? ROBOT MUSICALS!
  • Book News:

Moxyland Short Story Contest

Fanfiction (or fanfic for short) is a phenomenon close to my heart. The first stories I ever wrote, before the Internet even reached the shores of the Philippines, were stories about my original characters running around other people’s worlds, whether it be the halls of Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters or the or the End of Time. While fanfic and doujin productions seem to be embraced in Japan, the West has had a much more ambiguous relationship with it, which makes this new contest from Harper Collins and Angry Robot Books so interesting: they’re encouraging people to write short stories set in the universe of Lauren Beukes’ Moxyland novel, and up to three winners will have their stories published in Beukes’ next book, Zoo City, coming in May 2010. The contest ends on midnight 11 September 2009 (which I suppose means that 10 September is the last day). The announcement can be found here, the terms and conditions here, and some more information here. For the duration of the contest, you can read Moxyland at Authonomy or you can virtually browse the book. Of course you can also buy the book from Play.com, and for express delivery it is also available in ebook formats.

A few things prospective entrants should note: (a) you need to post your entries on the Authonomy page for Moxyland here (you can also see any entries already submitted which… seems kind of a strange way to run things) and that requires registration at Authonomy; (b) note that you don’t get monetary compensation if you win–the prize is publication and 5 copies of Zoo City; and (c) your story will be published under a Creative Commons 3 License.

Absence of royalties/monetary compensation aside, I have to admit it’s a very interesting promotion. Best of luck to everyone who intends to join!

Little Brother by Cory Doctorow: Get It

Before I begin: you’ve all got copies of Cory Doctorow’s Little Brother already right? It recently won (jointly with Ian MacLeod’s “Song of Time”) the John W. Campbell Memorial Award for Best Science Fiction Novel of 2009, and the Prometheus Award for libertarian SF; it has also been shortlisted/nominated for the Locus Awards and the Hugo Awards; it’s been praised by Neil Gaiman, Elizabeth Bear, Brian K. Vaughn, John Scalzi and Scott Westerfield.

And oh, did I mention you can get the ebook for free?

I’ll be working on a more detailed review for POC, but for now I just want to let people know (or remind them if, like me, knowing it’s there and free makes them keep putting it off) and encourage everyone to give it a read. I wouldn’t place its craftsmanship and prose on my “Top” lists, but it is a stimulating, galvanizing read. As fiction it’s adequate, but as speculation, manual, manifesto and catalyst–it’s high, high up indeed.

Oh, and while we’re on the topic of Cory Doctorow, don’t forget that his latest book, Makers, is being serialized online free of charge by the good folks at Tor.com.

World Ebook Fair

Mmm, the smell of free ebooks in the morning. That’s what I like.

From July 4 to August 4 2009, the 4th World eBook Fair will be taking place (note if you click the link there’s a movie with audio that automatically plays-just a heads up if you’re at work or have a sleeping toddler on your lap). What is this ebook fair you ask? Well it’s a project brought to you by the likes of Project Gutenberg, the World Public Library, Digital Pulp Publishing, Ask.com, he Internet Archive, Mobilebooks and Baen Books by which they hope to make over 2 million free ebooks (as well as other commercial books for purchase) available on the World Ebook Fair site. A lot of the free ebooks are already available for free at other sites but the Ebook Fair brings them all to one place.

There are ebooks available from sources such as the CIA’s Electronic Reading Room, Etana: Ancient Near Eastern Archives, International Law Library and The Sound of Literary Works (an audio book collection). Of course for the genre reader, the most obvious attraction are the books from the Baen Free Library (from whence the cover images in this post are from).

[More after the cut]

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PinoyWrimo 2008 Anthology Release

Any day which sees the release of new Philippine Spec Fic is a happy day… Having thirteen (albeit excerpts rather than complete tales) in one go… well, that should be enough of a happiness buffer in case Terminator: Salvation turns out to be the shallow shout-fest that reviewers claim it to be.

Received an email from the PinoyWrimo crew that the PinoyWrimo 2008 Anthology–collecting excerpts from entries in last year’s NaNoWriMo and arranging them by category–has just been released in handy  ebook format.

Here’s a bit from the foreword of Tina Matanguihan (tinamats):

Whenever a new year comes around, I usually create a theme for my year, in the same way that I create resolutions. It’s usually the feel of the year as it comes, and interestingly enough, for the past five years, the theme has been quite consistent.

My theme for 2008 was EXTRAORDINARY.

And what do you know, November 2008 just blew me away. If there was anything in my 2008 that was really just extraordinary, it’s November. I mean, Novembers were always magical for me, but I never thought it
would be this awesome. From the planning, to the Kick-off Party to the chats to the write-ins, all the way to the Thank God it’s Over Party – everything was just…well, awe-inspiring. Don’t you think?

If you need more convincing, I’ve got the numbers to show you:

  • #81 over 445 regions in NaNoWriMo
  • #1 over 14 regions in NaNoWriMo Asia
  • $115 donated to the NaNoWriMo Funds
  • 4,028,199 words written
  • 56 winners
  • 216 authors homed, 527 affiliates
  • How was that for an extraordinary year?

May this anthology remind us that, well, we’re an extraordinary bunch of people. The PinoyWrimos are truly some of the most inspiring people I know, and I know that every single one of these amazing group of people will definitely change Filipino literature.

It’s also good to note that many of the excerpts are preceded by contact information for the authors (websites or email)–useful to send notes of appreciation, critiques, or as a resource for certain would-be publishers *wink* ^_^.

Ebook Freebies: The Merchant of Death and Suvudu Additions

Here’s a rundown of free Kindle ebooks for you iPhone/Touch Kindle App users which I found after my initial post on the Kindle app. We’ve got the first book in a popular YA series, and a few more additions to the much appreciated Suvudu free library.

First up is Merchant of Death:

Amazon describes the book as follows:

In Pendragon: The Merchant of Death, D.J. MacHale, the creator of several popular television series and Afterschool Specials, transplants the Pendragon name from Arthurian legend to modern-day junior high school. Fourteen- year-old Bobby Pendragon has it all; he’s smart, popular, and a star basketball player in quiet Stony Brook, Connecticut. But a visit from Uncle Press soon topples all of that as Bobby learns that he is a Traveler, someone who can ride “flumes” through time and space. Bobby lands in Denduron, a medieval world where the gentle Milago are enslaved by the Bedoowan, and it’s Bobby’s job to free them. He reluctantly teams up with Loor–a girl his age from the warrior-territory of Zadaa–and other Travelers, recounting his adventures in journals that are magically transported back to his friends Mark and Courtney in Stony Brook. These first-person journals at times feel contrived–they’re riddled with terms like “coolio” and “bizarro” and gnarly descriptions of vile sights and smells–but the book’s thumping story soon scrubs away all such concern. The Merchant of Death keeps the pages flipping with steady action and near-constant mortal peril for its heroes, promising that both this and future volumes in the Pendragon series should be eagerly devoured. (Ages 10 and older)

Next we have three new additions to the Suvudu Free Library:

Weapon of Choice by John Birmingham:

A military experiment in the year 2021 has thrust an American-led multinational armada back to 1942, right into the middle of the U.S. naval task force speeding toward Midway Atoll and what was to be the most spectacular U.S. triumph of the entire war. Thousands died in the chaos, but the ripples had only begun. For these veterans of Pearl Harbor–led by Admirals Nimitz, Halsey, and Spruance–have never seen a helicopter, or a satellite link, or a nuclear weapon. What happens next is anyone’s guess–and anyone’s nightmare.

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Review: Xia by Andrew Drilon (FCBD 2009)

One of the most anticipated annual events in comics fandom is Free Comic Book Day, where, on the first Saturday of May every year (unless you happen to be called Fully Booked), participating comic book shops around the world give away comics absolutely free to anyone who comes into their stores.

Of course with the internet there are now other ways by which creators can distribute their free goodies. Case in point: Wideawake Press has just released “The Ancient Age” – a free digital comic download which, in their own words, “gathers fantastic stories about the world’s earliest civilizations, as told by the mighty sequential artisans of today. A monumental mix of new and classic tales featuring heroes, philosophers, creatures, and gods.”

Amongst the aforementioned “mighty sequential artisans” is our very own Andrew Drilon, Filipino artist and spec fic writer, who contributes a wonderful little 65-page gem entitled “Xia.” I urge everyone to download the comic and try it for themselves, but for those on the fence (and unless you have a dial-up connection I don’t see why you would be–I mean, it’s free @_@) here’s a review:

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