Recommend a Free eBook

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Recommend a Free eBook

Postby Bakemaster » Sun Apr 24, 2011 7:16 pm UTC

We got our nook from woot this past week, and one of the first things we did was to go to Project Gutenberg and download a few classics. But there are so many books available, not only on Gutenberg but from contemporary authors who are releasing some or all of their books free or for voluntary donations.

Recommend a free eBook! To avoid this becoming a meaningless sequence of titles, please give a brief description so that people reading can have some idea of whether they'd be interested and be sure to provide a link to where the book can be downloaded (or specify Kindle/NOOK store). Extra credit points awarded for books not appearing on any of Gutenberg's "Top 100" lists.

To start, I recommend The Invisible Man by H. G. Wells. I had a part-time job in the summer of 2007 as a parking lot attendant; I spent much of this time with a big thick volume of Wells' collected works. This novella is about a man who discovers a way to make himself invisible, without knowing how to reverse the effect. He ends up going kind of crazy and there are shenanigans. If you enjoy old-school science fiction (think Jules Verne, or Lovecraft without the mythos business), you might enjoy this one.
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Re: Recommend a Free eBook

Postby Nattlinnen » Sun Apr 24, 2011 9:11 pm UTC

How Europe Underdeveloped Africa - Walter Rodney. Whether your a marxist or not, it's still an interesting take on Africa's and Europe's common history. How Africa developed Europe with resources and slaves, and how Europe underdeveloped Africa with unfair trade and colonialism. ... /index.htm

Capitalism and Slavery - A classic from 1944 by Eric Williams well worth reading. It describes among other things the link between the Atlantic Slave Trade and the rise of an efficient capitalism (and it's industrialism). ... a033027mbp

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Re: Recommend a Free eBook

Postby existentialpanda » Mon Apr 25, 2011 1:59 am UTC

Machine of Death! A collection of short stories inspired by this Dinosaur Comic, they're all excellent. One is by Randall, even. The thread of the same name has more information, so I don't see the point of regurgitating it all here, but the PDF can be downloaded here. Get it, it's fantastic.

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Re: Recommend a Free eBook

Postby Zamfir » Tue Apr 26, 2011 1:02 pm UTC

Warrior's Apprentice, by Lois McMaster Bujold. The first Miles Vorkosigan book, now for free as promotion for the series. Other books are $5, DRM-free, for omnibuses of two, so good deals too.

The series is brilliant fun, even my SF-hating partner loves them. Miles is a hyper-active son of Prussian-style military rulers in space. Because of a birth defect, he is 5 foot tall with brittle bones, and therefore unsuitable for military service and looked down on. He runs away from home and bluffs his way to become a sekrit space mercenary admiral. The rest of the series runs the gamut from spy adventures to a full blown romantic comedy.

Als great: Agent to the stars, by John Scalzi. Ugly and smelly aliens want to help humanity, but are afraid to cause a panic. So they hire a Hollywood agent to do their PR. Pretty good as SF or as comedy about hollywood. The author released it for free before his career took off.
Same idea (SF books originally released to attract attention, before the writer broke through):

Accelerando, by Charlie Stross. Series of related short sotries about the world that gets closer and closer to the singularity. Weird. Originally written to give an idea of the atmosphere in dot-com-hype companies. I like lots of books by this author but this one actually a little less. But if you like the idea of computers getting so smart that the world will change beyond our understanding, than this is a wild attempt to predict what it would look like.

Ventus, by Karl Schroeder. About a planet where almost magical nanotech mechanisms(called Winds, hence the title) are busy terraforming. They have almost forgotten about humans, and only allow them to live in medieval circumstances. So it starts almost as fantasy, but turns SF pretty quick.

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Re: Recommend a Free eBook

Postby Sir Novelty Fashion » Sun May 08, 2011 4:25 pm UTC

Newtons Sleep by Daniel O'Mahony.
back cover blurb wrote:Don't tell her what it was like. Don't tell her how you had to dig your way out through heavy layers of clay to reach the fresh air, because that would distress her. Don't tell her about the box, because that would confuse her.

And don't tell her about the light, because that was sacred.

Lately cannonballs have flown their arcs, leaving the crystal sky unbroken, while on Earth their traces are all too visible. Yet though Heaven has never seemed so far away, the divine is terribly closer. War on Earth presages War in Heaven; the struggle between the holy houses of Christ and their eternal Adversary has erupted among the living.

These are the signs of the last days: in 1651, a dead angel is found in a tree in Lincolnshire and a nymph rises from the waters of Kent; in 1642, a dying man is miraculously healed in the grave; in 1665, uncanny skull-masked doctors descend upon a plague house; in 1683, the French secret service unveil mirrors that show the futures; in 1671, Aphra Behn - she-spy and poetesse - infiltrates a gathering of alchemists; in 1649, the English kill their king, and history begins...

Follows roughly three characters living through the Commonwealth and early Restoration periods of British history (so, c.1649 onward), including the playwright and spy Aphra Behn, a thinker/scientist called Nathaniel Silver, and a woman whose husband is dying of plague, and follows their lives as they are intersected by an temporal war.
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