[Free eBook] Hammers on Bone by Cassandra Khaw [Award-Nominated Occult Detective Fantasy/Horror]

Hammers on Bone by Malaysian author Cassandra Khaw is the 1st novella in the Persons Non Grata series of hard-boiled supernatural fantasy/horror mystery, free for a limited time courtesy of publisher Macmillan’s Tor Books imprint.

This is their featured Free eBook of the Month Club selection for September, is being offered to help promote her upcoming standalone novel, Nothing But Black Teeth due in October, and was nominated for the Locus and British Fantasy Awards.

The series is hard boiled noir-styled contemporary fantasy/horror with Lovecraftian influences, starring a globe-trotting private investigator with an ancient and disturbing background, looking into occult happenings. This first case is set in London, where a young client’s attempt to get rid of an abusive stepfather uncovers the obligatory deeper and darker mystery to solve.

Offered DRM-free through Friday, September 17th (until just before midnight Eastern Time), available to Canada & the US directly from the publisher.

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Currently free @ the publisher’s dedicated promo page (DRM-free ePub & Mobi officially available in Canada & US-only due to rights geo-restrictions, requires newsletter signup with valid email address), and you can read the official announcement over at the Tor.com blogpost.

Description
John Persons is a private investigator with a distasteful job from an unlikely client. He’s been hired by a ten-year-old to kill the kid’s stepdad, McKinsey. The man in question is abusive, abrasive, and abominable.

He’s also a monster, which makes Persons the perfect thing to hunt him. Over the course of his ancient, arcane existence, he’s hunted gods and demons, and broken them in his teeth.

As Persons investigates the horrible McKinsey, he realizes that he carries something far darker. He’s infected with an alien presence, and he’s spreading that monstrosity far and wide. Luckily Persons is no stranger to the occult, being an ancient and magical intelligence himself. The question is whether the private dick can take down the abusive stepdad without releasing the holds on his own horrifying potential.

The summer wanes, the darkness is growing longer, and our pick for the Tor.com Ebook Club’s September offer is HAMMERS ON BONE, a novella by Cassandra Khaw.

[Free eBook] 3 novels + 7 shorts + 1 nonfic in Black Cat Weekly #1 magazine [Science Fiction, Mystery, True Crime]

As a special treat to celebrate the relaunch of their Black Cat community for reprints of vintage mystery/crime & science fiction/fantasy/horror pulp fiction as well as newer works by featured authors, publisher Wildside Press is offering the #1 issue of the new Black Cat Weekly magazine, free for a limited time.

The contents compile what would have been the individual weekly offerings under the old subscription service in one convenient place, and include 3 full novels (1 mystery + 2 science fiction), 7 short stories, and 1 true crime piece, with a mix of mystery and science fiction (even a mix of the two with a telepathic detective short). These were originally published from 1908 up to 2018, including works by the late Erle Stanley Gardner (creator of classic lawyer sleuth Perry Mason) and World Fantasy & Shirley Jackson Award-winning author Brian Evenson, and the 1962 1st in series novel for the late Keith Laumer‘s alternate history-jumping Imperium sequence.

To get your free copy, simply add the 1st issue to your cart, and use the coupon FREECAT during checkout.

Offered DRM-free worldwide through either Saturday, September 18th or Sunday, September 19th (the newsletter said ends on Sunday, but I don’t know if that’s an “until” or “through”), available directly from the publisher.

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Currently free @ the publisher’s catalogue page (DRM-free ePub/Mobi bundle available worldwide, requires account signup with billing address but no payment info, use coupon code FREECAT during checkout).

Also, the annual subscription price currently has a discount coupon available for 3OFF which will deduct $3 from the usual $19.99 for 52 issues, if you like what you read and wish to see more. Don’t forget to check out their Free Ebooks sampler page, which has a few introductory shorts by selected authors in various genres.

Description
The Black Cat web site has been around for almost four years now, serving up a weekly buffet of new and classic mysteries—and more recently science fiction—to thousands of readers each week. Rather than continue to release all these novels and stories as individual ebooks, we have decided to bundle them up into a convenient weekly e-magazine…which is a lot more fun to work on (and we hope read)!

So here is Black Cat Weekly #1, the September 5, 2021 issue, for your enjoyment pleasure.

To make the first issue memoriable, we are including a lot more content than usual—double the usual word count, in fact. This time we have no less than three complete novels and 7 short stories—and even a “true crime” feature by Erle Stanley Gardner, creator of Perry Mason! There’s something here for everyone to enjoy, whether you’re a fan of traditional mysteries, psychic detectives (in the case of Frank Lovell Nelson’s story, a telepathic detective, the first of 12 stories featuring Carlton Clarke from 1908, all of which will run in the Black Cat’s pages). Looking for modern detection? We have that, too. And if your taste runs to the fantastic, we also have adventures across parallel worlds and well into the future. (And monsters. Did I mention monsters?)

Included are:

  • REMISSION, by Michael Bracken [Barb Goffman Presents – mystery short story]
  • A KEY FOR REBECCA, by Hal Charles [Solve it yourself mystery!]
  • AUROVIA’S FAMOUS LODGE CASE, by Frank Lowell Nelson [Serial story – first of 12]
  • THE CASE OF THE KNOCKOUT BULLET, by Erle Stanley Gardner [True crime]
  • HAND IN GLOVE, by James Holding [mystery short story]
  • THE SKULL OF THE WALZING CLOWN, by Harry Stephen Keeler [mystery novel]
  • HAVER, by Brian Evenson [Paul Di Filippo Presents – sci-fi short story]
  • A ZLOOR FOR YOUR TROUBLE, by Mack Reynolds [sci-fi short story]
  • VALLISNERIA MADNESS, by Ralph Milne Farley [sci-fi short story]
  • LAST CALL FOR DOOMSDAY! by S. M. Tenneshaw [sci-fi novel]
  • WORLDS OF THE IMPERIUM, by Keith Laumer [sci-fi novel]

[Free eBook] Novelty: A History of the New by Michael North [Social History & Philosophy]

Novelty: A History of the New by Michael North, a professor of English at the University of California, Los Angeles, is a social history of ideas, free for a limited time courtesy of publisher The University of Chicago Press.

This is their featured Free eBook of the Month for August and is an accessibly-written historical and philosophical tour of the desire for novelty and originality in ideas and innovations in science and art and thinking, as experienced and expressed by various Western cultures throughout the millenia.

Offered worldwide through Tuesday, August 31st, available directly from the publisher’s website.

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Currently free @ the university’s dedicated promo page (Adobe Digital Editions DRM ePub, requires newsletter signup with valid email address), and you can read more about the book on its regular catalogue page.

Description
If art and science have one thing in common, it’s a hunger for the new—new ideas and innovations, new ways of seeing and depicting the world. But that desire for novelty carries with it a fundamental philosophical problem: If everything has to come from something, how can anything truly new emerge? Is novelty even possible?

In Novelty, Michael North takes us on a dazzling tour of more than two millennia of thinking about the problem of the new, from the puzzles of the pre-Socratics all the way up to the art world of the 1960s and ’70s. The terms of the debate, North shows, were established before Plato, and have changed very little since: novelty, philosophers argued, could only arise from either recurrence or recombination. The former, found in nature’s cycles of renewal, and the latter, seen most clearly in the workings of language, between them have accounted for nearly all the ways in which novelty has been conceived in Western history, taking in reformation, renaissance, invention, revolution, and even evolution. As he pursues this idea through centuries and across disciplines, North exhibits astonishing range, drawing on figures as diverse as Charles Darwin and Robert Smithson, Thomas Kuhn and Ezra Pound, Norbert Wiener and Andy Warhol, all of whom offer different ways of grappling with the idea of originality.

Novelty, North demonstrates, remains a central problem of contemporary science and literature—an ever-receding target that, in its complexity and evasiveness, continues to inspire and propel the modern. A heady, ambitious intellectual feast, Novelty is rich with insight, a masterpiece of perceptive synthesis.

[Free eBook] Beyond the Doors of Death by Robert Silverberg & Damien Broderick [Award-Winning Science Fiction]

Beyond the Doors of Death by Robert Silverberg, a much-awarded SFWA Grandmaster, and Australian author Damien Broderick, is a science fiction double feature, free for a limited time courtesy of publisher Phoenix Pick Press.

This is their featured Free eBook of the Month offer for August, and is a double feature pairing Silverberg’s 1974 novella “Born with the Dead” originally published in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, which was a recipient of the Nebula and Locus Awards, with a follow-up story written by Broderick which further explores the concept, and a new introductory essay by Silverberg. There’s also a tie-in sale offer for several of his backlist novels.

These stories are set in a future world with a form of afterlife with the potential of the revived dead, known as the “re-kindled”, altering their new lives as they revisit their memories with a different perspective.

Offered DRM-free worldwide through Tuesday, August 31st, available directly from the publisher’s website.

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Currently free directly @ the publisher’s dedicated promo page (DRM-free ePub & Mobi bundle available worldwide; follow instructions on the page to reset the suggested cart price to $0.00)

There’s also a tie-in discount offer for 7 more reprint books authored or co-authored by Silverberg across various genres and decades for just $5 for the entire bundle of: The Last Song of Orpheus, The Mutant Season, Starborne, When the Blue Shift Comes, The Masks of Time (a 1969 Nebula Award nominee), Thebes of the Hundred Gates, and also a non-Silverberg science fiction co-authored by Damien Broderick & John Brunner, Threshold of Eternity.

Description
“Born With the Dead” (the novella) was nominated for every major science fiction award when it was originally published in 1974, winning the Nebula and Locus awards.

The story describes a future in which the dead can be "re-kindled" back to a new form of life. While they remember their pasts thought, their personalities are subtly shifted and the ordinary concerns and feelings of their original life no longer concern them.

The author now revisits the classic story with Australian author Damien Broderick. Broderick uses Robert Silverberg’s original novella as a starting point for a brilliant leap into the far future, widening the scope and tenor of the original story by revisiting some of the subtler implications of the original story.

[Free eBook] The Lonely Fajita by Abigail Mann [Award-Nominated Contemporary Comedy]

The Lonely Fajita by Abigail Mann is her standalone contempory comedy novel, free for a limited time courtesy of publisher HarperCollins’ One More Chapter imprint.

This is the featured Free eBook of the Week in the iTunes UK store, and was the shortlisted runner-up for the 2019 Comedy Women in Print Prize.

The story is a feel-good tale of unexpected friendship across generations, set in London and starring a young woman experiencing a quarter-life crisis, who gets the chance to live rent-free for a time with a prickly pensioner, if she can impress her more than the previous twenty-two candidates…

Offered free in the UK (and possibly other selected regions worldwide), probably just through Monday August 30th, available at multiple retailers.

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Currently free @ Amazon UK, Kobo UK, iTunes UK, & Google Play UK (change the country code in the URL or run a search in your local store to check if it may also be free in your region)

Description
If you liked The Flatshare, you will LOVE this book…

It’s Elissa’s birthday, and she’s accidentally booked a cervical smear instead of a celebration… Great. The icing on the cake? Her boyfriend is kicking her out of their houseshare.

So when she’s offered the chance to live with a pensioner rent-free, Elissa knows she needs to impress Annie, who turned down the last twenty-two applicants. Somehow, even after Elissa goes on about ‘definitely not being an axe-murderer’, Annie chooses her.

And just like Elissa, prickly, sweary, big-hearted Annie could use a friend. Elissa may have nowhere else to go, but is she just where she needs to be?

A book you’ll want to share with all your friends. The perfect uplifting read for fans of Marian Keyes and Beth O’Leary – and if you love The Lonely Fajita, don’t miss Abigail’s next book The Sister Surprise!

[Free eBook] Fortune Favours the Dead by Stephen Spotswood [1940s PI Murder Mystery]

Fortune Favours the Dead by Stephen Spotswood is the 1st novel in the Pentecost & Parker historical mystery series, free for a limited time courtesy of publisher Hachette’s Headline division’s Wildfire imprint.

The series is set in New York City in the post-war 1940s, starring a duo of hard-boiled women sleuths: the most successful private detective in the city, whose encroaching multiple sclerosis led her to take on an assistant, a street-smart former runaway turned circus performer. This was a Radio 2 Book Club Pick, and is being offered to help promote the upcoming 2nd novel, Under Her Skin, due this December.

The story is apparently a locked room mystery featuring a seemingly impossible crime, when a wealthy young widow is found murdered in her late husband’s locked home office at their mansion during a Halloween costume party.

Offered free in the UK (and possibly other regions worldwide excluding North America where a different publisher holds the rights), available at multiple retailers.

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Currently free @ Amazon UK, Kobo UK, iTunes UK, Google Play UK (change the country code in the URL or run a search in your local store to check if it may also be free in your region)

Description The ‘razor-sharp’ first book in the charming, fast-paced Pentecost and Parker mystery series. Book Two, Murder Under Her Skin, coming December 2021!

Meet your new favourite duo, audacious and iconic, and perfect for fans of The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman, The Marvellous Mrs. Maisel, Agatha Christie and M. C. Beaton.

It’s 1945 and Lillian Pentecost is the most successful private detective in New York City, but she needs help. Enter Willowjean Parker, a circus runaway – and the perfect assistant. Quick-witted and street-smart, she’s a jack-of-all-trades with a unique skill-set. She can pick locks blindfolded, wrestle men twice her size, and throw knives with deadly precision – all of which come in handy working for Ms P.

When wealthy young widow Abigail Collins is murdered Pentecost and Parker are hired by the family to track down the culprit. On Halloween night, there was a costume party at the Collins’ mansion, where a fortune teller performed a séance which greatly disturbed Abigail. Several hours later her body was discovered bludgeoned to death in her late husband’s office. Problem is, the door to the office was locked from the inside. There was no-one else in the room, and the murder weapon was beside the victim; the fortune teller’s crystal ball.

It looks like an impossible crime, but Pentecost and Parker know there is no such thing…

[Free eBook] The Infinite Noise by Lauren Shippen [YA LGBT Superhero Therapy]

The Infinite Noise by Lauren Shippen is the 1st novel in her The Bright Sessions series of YA contemporary superhero novels, free for a limited time courtesy of publisher Macmillan’s Tor Books division’s Tor Teen imprint.

This is their featured Free eBook of the Month selection for August, and is being offered to help promote the paperback release of the 2nd novel, A Neon Darkness, as well as the upcoming 3rd novel, Some Faraway Place, both out in September. The series is based on the author’s award-winning “The Bright Sessions” audio drama podcast, and is set in a contemporary world where humans who manifest superpowers are known as Atypicals, following them as they become therapy patients.

This first story is a coming of age with m/m romantic elements, starring a teen who begins to develop extreme empathy which eventually entangles him with the strong emotions of another student, and goes to therapy to try to cope with it all and sort out his own feelings and desires and what he wants to do about them.

Offered through Friday August 13th until just before midnight Eastern Time in Canada & the US, available DRM-free directly from the publisher.

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Currently free directly @ the publisher’s dedicated promo page (DRM-free ePub & Mobi officially geo-restricted to Canada & the US due to regional rights issues, requires newsletter signup with valid email address), and you can read more about the book at Tor.com’s announcement blogpost.

Description
Caleb Michaels is a sixteen-year-old champion running back. Other than that his life is pretty normal. But when Caleb starts experiencing mood swings that are out of the ordinary for even a teenager, his life moves beyond “typical.”

Caleb is an Atypical, an individual with enhanced abilities. Which sounds pretty cool except Caleb’s ability is extreme empathy—he feels the emotions of everyone around him. Being an empath in high school would be hard enough, but Caleb’s life becomes even more complicated when he keeps getting pulled into the emotional orbit of one of his classmates, Adam. Adam’s feelings are big and all-consuming, but they fit together with Caleb’s feelings in a way that he can’t quite understand.

Caleb’s therapist, Dr. Bright, encourages Caleb to explore this connection by befriending Adam. As he and Adam grow closer, Caleb learns more about his ability, himself, his therapist—who seems to know a lot more than she lets on—and just how dangerous being an Atypical can be.

[Free eBook] Remnants by Kathe Koja [Fantasy Short Story]

Remnants by Kathe Koja, a recipient of the Bram Stoker and Locus Awards, is a contemporary fantasy short story, free for a limited time courtesy of Wildside Press’ Black Cat Community as a promotion for their subscription service of speculative and crime fiction reprints.

This was originally published in 2002 in the anthology The Green Man: Tales from the Mythic Forest edited by Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling. The story is set in the present day, centred around a disorderly house considered an eyesore by the neighbours, which contains a secret that would surprise them.

Offered DRM-free worldwide probably until Saturday August 14th or 21st, available directly from the publisher.

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Currently free directly @ the publisher’s website (DRM-free ePub & Mobi bundle, requires account signup with billing address but no payment info)

Don’t forget to check out their other introductory promotional freebies on their featured Free Ebooks page.

Description
That neighborhood disgrace, the house of the eccentric cat-lady or hoarder or elderly recluse or folk-artist madman–don’t pass it by with disdain or obliviousness, for it might very well be the nexus to higher realities!

[Free Audiobooks] Keep This To Yourself by Tom Ryan & Storm and Fury by Jennifer L. Armentrout [YA Thriller & Paranormal Fantasy with Romance]

AudioFile Magazine’s annual SYNC Summer of Listening program encouraging teen literacy by offering audiobooks in weekly themed pairings continues for one last week, free for a limited time courtesy of the magazine and participating publishers.

This final week’s selections, available to claim from Thursday, July 29th through Wednesday, August 4th, have a theme of “Secrets”.

  • Keep This To Yourself by Tom Ryan, narrated by Michael Crouch from Dreamscape. A standalone YA contemporary mystery/thriller starring a boy who finds a clue to the murder of his best friend who was the last victim of a serial killer, uncovering evidence with the help of a new friend which suggests that it wasn’t a random drifter just passing through their town.
  • Storm and Fury by Jennifer L. Armentrout, read by Lauren Fortgang from Harlequin Audio. The 1st in her The Harbinger series of YA paranormal urban fantasy with strong f/m romantic elements apparently set in Washington, DC, starring a nearly-blind girl with a gift for spirit communication who’s been raised in a hidden enclave guarded by shapeshifting Wardens who protect humankind from demons, whose compound is breached by invading demons as a supernatural war is sparked and her people must learn to work together with the mysterious Wardens of another clan.

Offered free through Wednesday, August 4th (expires just before midnight Eastern Time), via the Overdrive Sora app for iOS & Android devices (requires account signup with valid email address, follow the instructions on AudioFile Magazine’s dedicated promo page to register for access and claim your books in the app every week). You’ll be able to keep them indefinitely in your account once you click “Borrow” on the featured book’s page (right hand side under the book cover icon) and redownload at any time.

NB: if you later need to free up space on your device, DO NOT use “Return” which will remove your access entirely and prevent you from redownloading. Follow the procedure to delete ONLY the stored downloaded files (skip the actual streaming step) in this Sora Help article.If the “Explore” page isn’t showing the weekly features properly, search for the books by title in the app once switched to the AudiobookSYNC collection. Apparently the Sora app may need to be reinstalled and logged back into if you’re encountering a bug (see Twitter announcement for details).

I hope you’ve enjoyed another year of the giveaway, and were able to get and listen to any titles you were interested in trying.

[Free eBooks] 12 manga volumes from Kodansha [Science Fiction, Fantasy, YA School Drama, Romance, Etc.]

As a special treat to tie in to their introductory series sale, Japanese publisher Kodansha is offering 12 first in series volumes of their English-translated manga, free for a limited time.

Each volume is a full compilation of the 1st storyarc, and series from many different genres and age levels are represented. The tie-in sale is for $0.99 USD or local equivalent for the 2nd volume, and $2.99 for the 3rd volume, available at various retailers until Monday, August 2nd.

Here’s their special promo page on their website: Free Volume 1s Sale.

The topmost links to participating retailers go to the full catalogue, generally, so here are some quick links to the promo specials or to filter for the freebies @ Comixology, Kobo (only free in certain countries including US & Canada; try changing the country code in the URL for your region), Amazon (apparently at least CA, US, and UK are free; changed the country code in the URL to check your location) for Kodansha Comics, Kodonasha Comics Digital-First!, and Vertical. imprints, Barnes & Noble (should be the first few rows).

For other retailers, you’ll have to search their catalogues manually for the participating titles (some stores may only carry a limited selection of the Vol. 1 freebies or only offer them in certain regions), which are:

  • Attack on Titan by Hajime Isayama, the popular postapocalyptic future science fiction military drama
  • Chihayafuru by Yuki Suetsugu, a contemporary high school drama centred around players of a competitive card game
  • DAYS by Tsuyoshi Yasuda, a contemporary high school sports drama centred around a soccer club
  • Devil’s Line by Ryo Hanada, a supernatural urban fantasy mystery/crime with possible romantic elements, starring a college student who becomes aware of the existence of hidden devils in human society and the secret Tokyo police force tasked with dealing with related crimes
  • Don’t Toy With Me, Miss Nagatoro by Nanashi, a contemporary high school romantic drama
  • Fairy Tail by Hiro Mashima, a fantasy adventure drama set in a world full of wizards and talking creatures
  • Parasyte by Hitoshi Iwaaki, a contemporary science fiction horror drama dealing with the aftermath of a secret alien invasion in which parasites infect the human populace nearly unseen, starring a high school student who bonds with a thwarted invader and forms a tentative resistance
  • Space Brothers by Chuya Koyama, a near-future science fiction drama starring two aspiring astronaut brothers aiming to join the crew of a base on Mars
  • Sweat and Soap by Kintetsu Yamada, contemporary office romantic comedy set at a personal care products company
  • Those Snow White Notes by Marimo Ragawa, an urban contemporary drama with possible romantic elements set in Tokyo, where two seemingly very different people form an unexpected friendship while striving for their dreams
  • To Your Eternity by Yoshitoki Oima, a philosophical emotional drama which apparently turns into some sort of fantasy epic in later volumes, initially starring a boy in the North American Arctic who befriends a wolf which is more than it seems, as they journey together and depend on each other to survive
  • Tokyo Revengers by Ken Wakui, a contemporary time travel drama set in Kanto, starring a man given a second chance at fixing his current dead-end mundane loser life by leaping back a decade to his middle school days to save his former girlfriend by apparently trying to take over the juvenile delinquent gang which will eventually be responsible for her future death

Offered free until (possibly through the end of, the promo wording is a little ambiguous) Monday, August 2nd in multiple regions worldwide, available from multiple retailers.