[Free eBook] Consumed: Food for a Finite Planet by Sarah Elton [Award-Winning Agricultural Industry/Ecology Travelogue]

Consumed: Food for a Finite Planet by Canadian author Sarah Elton, an assistant professor at Ryerson University and former food columnist for CBC Radio’s Here & Now show, is her agricultural/ecological issues travelogue, free for a limited time courtesy of publisher the University of Chicago Press.

This is their featured Free Book of the Month selection for November and won the American Library Association’s Choice Magazine’s CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title Award.

The book sees her taking a worldwide tour across three continents, in countries ranging from China to Kenya to France and her native Canada, to look at local agricultural issues with global ecological effects, and also speak with farmers and scientist and others seeking to put together more beneficial alternatives to the established corporate industries.

Offered worldwide through the month of November, available directly from the publisher’s website.

Currently available @ 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
By 2050, the world population is expected to reach nine billion. And the challenge of feeding this rapidly growing population is being made greater by climate change, which will increasingly wreak havoc on the way we produce our food. At the same time, we have lost touch with the soil—few of us know where our food comes from, let alone how to grow it—and we are at the mercy of multinational corporations who control the crops and give little thought to the damage their methods are inflicting on the planet. Our very future is at risk.

In Consumed, Sarah Elton walks fields and farms on three continents, not only investigating the very real threats to our food, but also telling the little-known stories of the people who are working against time to create a new and hopeful future. From the mountains of southern France to the highlands of China, from the crowded streets of Nairobi to the banks of the St. Lawrence River in Quebec, we meet people from all walks of life who are putting together an alternative to the omnipresent industrial food system. In the arid fields of rural India we meet a farmer who has transformed her community by selling organic food directly to her neighbors. We visit a laboratory in Toronto where scientists are breeding a new kind of rice seed that they claim will feed the world. We learn about Italy’s underground food movement; how university grads are returning to the fields in China, Greece, and France; and how in Detroit, plots of vacant land planted with kale and carrots can help us see what’s possible.

Food might be the problem, but as Elton shows, it is also the solution. The food system as we know it was assembled in a few decades—and if it can be built that quickly, it can be reassembled and improved in the same amount of time. Elton here lays out the targets we need to meet by the year 2050. The stories she tells give us hope for avoiding a daunting fate and instead help us to believe in a not-too-distant future when we can all sit at the table.

[Free eBook] Fortress on the Sun by Paul Cook [Science Fiction Mystery/Thriller]

Fortress on the Sun by Paul Cook is a standalone science fiction novel with mystery/thriller elements, free for a limited time courtesy of publisher Phoenix Pick Press.

This is their featured Free Book of the Month selection for November, and was originally published in 1997 by the New American Library’s Roc imprint.

The story takes place at a futuristic institution where prisoners supposedly guilty of such extreme crimes that they have been stripped of their past memories are put to work harvesting materials from the sun. As a crisis situation emerges in the isolated population, they begin rallying around each other and uncovering strange secrets amidst the struggle to survive. (I’ve read this one from a previous giveaway years ago, and it was an interesting read I liked enough to buy the author’s other works in the tie-in discount bundle which is being offered again.)

Offered DRM-free worldwide until probably December 6th (the offer usually rotates on the 1st Tuesday of each month), available directly from the publisher.

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Currently free @ the publisher’s dedicated promo page (DRM-free ePub & Mobi, requires valid email address; follow the instructions on the page to reset the suggested price in the cart to $0.00)

A tie-in discount bundle of 7 more backlist books by the author, ranging from his Locus Award-nominated 1st novel Tintagel originally published by Berkley Books in 1981 to newer works published by Phoenix Pick Press, is offered for the bargain price of just $4.99 for the lot.

Description
Ra is a 21st century prison camp that also acts as facility for harvesting metals—from the Sun. The prisoners have all been banished here for extreme crimes, but none of them remembers anything from their past.

As a lethal disease slowly spreads through the camp and the prisoners are abandoned, Ian Hutchings must find a way out if he and his people are to survive. But dark secrets lurk, and as they try to survive both the illness and the inferno they live on, they will discover a truth even stranger than their own circumstances.

[Free eBook] Lhind the Thief by Sherwood Smith [YA Fantasy Adventure]

Lhind the Thief by Sherwood Smith, a nominee for the Nebula and Mythopoeic Awards, is the 1st novel in the Lhind spinoff trilogy of her Wren’s World’s YA fantasy universe, free for a limited time courtesy of the author herself via the Book View Café backlist author consortium.

The series is set in a more or less traditional fantasy world with magic and adventures in royal kingdoms which started with the novel Wren’s Rescue originally published by Harcourt Brace Jovanovich’s Jane Yolen Books imprint in 1990, and this self-published spinoff trilogy stars a young woman taking on various roles to discover who she really is.

This first adventure provides her origin as an on-the-run partial amnesiac with troubling fragmentary memories, disguising herself with magic and stealing to survive, until she gets caught by a warrior prince and his companions, and caught up in even more danger as they are all forced to work together while evading pursuit and learning to trust each other, against a mysterious enemy who wants them all dead.

Offered DRM-free worldwide, available directly at the consortium’s website.

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Currently free @ its catalogue page at the Book View Café (DRM-free ePub & Mobi, requires billing address and valid email to which your download links will be sent, but no account signup or payment info), and don’t forget to check out the discount deals on their featured Specials page as well as their other Free Reads

Description
Lhind has been on the run all her life.

Stealing what she needs, using magic for disguise, she never stays anywhere long. Lhind even has secrets from herself, for she has few memories, and those are troubling.

But life is good until she gets caught by Rajanas the warrior-prince, Thianra the bard, and Hlanan the scribe. And that’s when adventure begins, because someone very powerful wants them all dead.

As they evade pursuit and work to uncover their enemies, Lhind struggles with the invisible bonds of friendship and trust, while Hlanan begins uncovering her secrets one by one.

Then she finds that he has secrets, too.

[Free eBook] Whistling Down the Wind by Irene Radford [Supernatural Murder Mystery with Romantic Comedy]

Whistling Down the Wind by Irene Radford (penname of fantasy author Phyllis Irene Radford) is the 1st novel in her Whistling River Lodge murder mystery series, this one with supernatural and f/m romantic comedy elements, free for a limited time courtesy of the author herself via the Book View Café backlist author consortium.

The series is set at a combined resort and golf course in small town Oregon, and this novel was originally published in 2012 by Skywarrior Books.

The story stars the manager who comes under suspicion of her bigamous ex-husband’s murder when his body is found on the golf course, enlisting the aid of the resort’s attractive new ex-cop security chief as the situation escalates when some other ex-wives show up, alongside other troubles, and the beleaguered duo turn to the local witch coven and a ghost to help uncover whodunnit.

Offered DRM-free worldwide, available directly at the consortium’s website.

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Currently free @ its catalogue page at the Book View Café (DRM-free ePub & Mobi, requires billing address and valid email to which your download links will be sent, but no account signup or payment info), and don’t forget to check out the discount deals on their featured Specials page as well as their other Free Reads, including another novel by Radford, [Guardian of the Balance]https://bookviewcafe.com/bookstore/book/guardian-of-the-balance/), the 1st in her Merlin’s Descendants series of Arthurian fantasy, originally published by DAW Books in 1999

Description
Everyone in the small town of Whistling River, Oregon harbors secrets. Affairs. Embezzlement. Murder.

Glenna McClain, general manager and part owner of the Whistling River Resort and Golf Course, will do anything to protect her beloved Lodge, up to and including helping the former owner fake his death to escape the IRS, ICE, and Las Vegas mob debt collectors.

But when her bigamous ex-husband Jared turns up dead in the water hazard of the ninth fairway and Glenna is suspected of his murder, she must enlist the aid of her attractive new security chief, Craig Knutsen, a former police detective with secrets of his own.

Then two more of Jared’s widows appear, none of whom he has bothered to divorce or marry legitimately, and an arsonist strikes, Glenna and Craig must win the trust of the local police chief, ask for the help of the local coven, and deal with a ghost in order to find a killer before he burns down the Lodge.

The last complication they need is a workplace romance, because that never works. Right?

Originally published by Skywarrior Books (2012)

[Free eBook] It’s Raining Angels and Demons by Jennifer Stevenson [Paranormal Romantic Comedy]

It’s Raining Angels and Demons by Jennifer Stevenson, a Locus Award nominee for Best First Novel, is a novella in the Slacker Demons spinoff of her Hinky Chicago urban fantasy romantic comedy series, this one with f/m erotic elements, free for a limited time courtesy of backlist author consortium Book View Café.

The series takes place in modern-day Chicago and is centred around matchmaking supernatural creatures consorting with sometimes-unsuspecting mortals and solving their relationship problems, occasionally by taking matters into their own hands.

This story features an angel and demon escaping from pursuit, finding refuge amongst the local sex demon bureau and trying their awkward best to fit in as new recruits.

Offered DRM-free worldwide, available directly from the consortium’s website.

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Currently free @ its catalogue page at the Book View Café (DRM-free ePub & Mobi, requires billing address and valid email to which your download links will be sent, but no account signup or payment info), and don’t forget to check out the discount deals on their featured Special pageas well as their other Free Reads (including 2 more freebies in the same setting by author Stevenson, the original 1st Hinky Chicago novel, The Hinky Brass Bed originally published by Ballantine Books in 2008, and the 1st novella in a another spinoff starring a human divorcee who accepts a new job as a succubus, Coed Demon Sluts: Beth)

Description
Heaven doesn’t remember them, Hell doesn’t want them, and horny women are after them. It’s raining angels and demons!

MAN DROUGHT ENDS! Angels and demons fall into the arms of love-deprived women in a sleepy Chicago neighborhood. Only two women get cheated, when one angel and one demon escape and find refuge with a team of sex demons. But they’re not safe yet! Those two women are hunting them.

Keek’s self-esteem problems have led to a certain lifestyle with men. Angel Jioffriel is innocent in every way until he stumbles into Keek’s arms, but he’s judgmental about her lifestyle.

Mella is pickier than Keek. When she meets demon Mutmumtazarek, for the first time she sees past a guy’s flaws—the six inch claws, the bat wings, and other demonic attributes—to the frightened beast inside.

Can the sex demons teach Jeff and Mutt enough to satisfy the women they love?

It’s raining angels and demons!

[Free eBook] A History of What Comes Next by Sylvain Neuvel [Alternate History Science Fiction]

A History of What Comes Next by Canadian author Sylvain Neuvel, a recipient of Japan’s Seiun Award in translation, is the 1st novel in the Take Them to the Stars series of science fiction, free for a limited time courtesy of publisher Tor Books.

This is their featured Free eBook of the Month Club selection for November, available through Friday, November 5th, and is being offered to help promote the upcoming 2nd novel, Until the Last of Me, due in March of next year.

The series is a mix of historical thriller and science fiction adventure, featuring a family which, for generations, has secretly been shaping global events behind the scenes to steer humanity to the stars. This first installment gives the hidden history of the origins of the US and Soviet space programs, beginning in the 1940s and involving spies and conspiracies and a mysterious entity trying to keep humanity bound to planet Earth.

Offered DRM-free through Friday, November 5th (until just before midnight Eastern Time), officially available to Canada & US only due to rights restrictions, available directly from the publisher.

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Currently available directly @ the publisher’s dedicated promo page (DRM-free ePub & Mobi, geo-restricted to Canada & the US but they don’t actually seem to check; requires newsletter signup with valid email address) and you can read the publisher’s blogpost announcement here.

Description
For generations, Mia’s family has shaped human history to push them to the stars. The year is 1945 and now it is her turn. Her mission: to lure scientist Wernher Von Braun away from the Nazi party and into the American rocket program, securing the future of the space race.

But there is a threat.
A ruthless enemy lurks behind the scenes.

Sylvain Neuvel’s genre-bending sci-fi thriller is a dark and gripping exploration of the amorality of progress and the nature of violence, as seen through the eyes of the women who make that progress possible and the men who are determined to stop them.

Always run, never fight.
Preserve the knowledge.
Survive at all costs.
Take them to the stars.

[Free eBook] Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir [Award-Winning LGBT Gothic Sci-Fantasy]

Gideon the Ninth by New Zealand author Tamsyn Muir is the 1st novel in the Locked Tomb series of hybrid science fiction/fantasy/horror space adventures, free for a limited time courtesy of publisher Macmillan’s Tor Books imprint.

This is their featured Free eBook of the Month offer for October, won the 2020 Locus for Best First Novel and the Crawford Award, as well as being a Hugo and World Fantasy Award finalist, and is being offered to help promote the 2nd novel, Harrow the Ninth, now available in paperback and the upcoming 3rd novel, Nona the Ninth, due next year.

The series is inspired by gothic horror as well as mixing high-tech science fiction with magical fantasy, and set in a galactic space empire with nine planets which are host to great Houses which each specialize in a particular form of necromancy, ruled over by an immortal Emperor worshipped as a god. This story stars a young woman raised in indentured servitude by one of the Houses, who plans to escape, but is pressed back into one last service as the Emperor sets a competition between the heirs of the Houses with immortality as the stakes and a mandate to explore a decaying planetary mansion to uncover its secrets.

Offered DRM-free through Friday, September 8th (until just before midnight Eastern Time) in Canada & the US only due to rights geo-restrictions, available directly from the publisher.

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Currently available @ the publisher’s dedicated promo page (DRM-free ePub & Mobi officially available to Canada & US only, requires newsletter signup with valid email) and you can read more about the offer at the official blogpost announcement.

Description (from the bookclub page)
This part is usually where we sing the accolades of the current book selection but really author Charles Stross summed it up best:

“Lesbian necromancers explore a haunted gothic palace in space!”

It is time.

Description (from the regular blurb) The Emperor needs necromancers.

The Ninth Necromancer needs a swordswoman.

Gideon has a sword, some dirty magazines, and no more time for undead nonsense.

Tamsyn Muir’s Gideon the Ninth unveils a solar system of swordplay, cut-throat politics, and lesbian necromancers. Her characters leap off the page, as skillfully animated as arcane revenants. The result is a heart-pounding epic science fantasy.

Brought up by unfriendly, ossifying nuns, ancient retainers, and countless skeletons, Gideon is ready to abandon a life of servitude and an afterlife as a reanimated corpse. She packs up her sword, her shoes, and her dirty magazines, and prepares to launch her daring escape. But her childhood nemesis won’t set her free without a service.

Harrowhark Nonagesimus, Reverend Daughter of the Ninth House and bone witch extraordinaire, has been summoned into action. The Emperor has invited the heirs to each of his loyal Houses to a deadly trial of wits and skill. If Harrowhark succeeds she will be become an immortal, all-powerful servant of the Resurrection, but no necromancer can ascend without their cavalier. Without Gideon’s sword, Harrow will fail, and the Ninth House will die.

Of course, some things are better left dead.

[Free eBooks] 5 nonfiction from Verso Books [History, Philosophy, Politics, Science Fiction Media Studies, Essays]

To accompany their annual September “Student Reading” sale for 50% off selected titles, quasi-academic publisher Verso Books are once again offering a generous selection of promotional freebies, for a limited time.

Until just before midnight Eastern Time on Thursday, September 30th, the following 5 nonfiction titles in assorted subject matters are available free:

  • How Europe Underdeveloped Africa by the late Guyanese intellectual and activist Walter Rodney, a reprint of his influential classic 1972 text on colonialism which you can read more about on its Wikipedia entry.
  • The Politics of Friendship by the late French philosopher Jacques Derrida, a translation of his 1994 book exploring the idea of friendship and its political consequences.
  • Fortunes of Feminism: From State-Managed Capitalism to Neoliberal Crisis by philosophy professor Nancy Fraser, a collection of essays written from 1985 to 2010, charting the history, development, and proposals for the future of feminism
  • Breaking Things at Work: The Luddites Are Right About Why You Hate Your Job by Gavin Muller, reflecting upon the 19th century anti-technological workers’ protest movement and its relevance to resisting the rise in intrusiveness of overly controlling global employment conditions today
  • Archaeologies of the Future: The Desire Called Utopia and Other Science Fictions by philosopher and literary critic Fredric Jameson, essays exploring the relationship between utopia and science fiction, studying the classic works of Philip K. Dick, Ursula K. Le Guin, William Gibson, Brian Aldiss, Kim Stanley Robinson, and more

To claim the ebooks, use the links on their dedicated blog promo page for “Student Reading: Free eBooks!” (DRM-free ePub & Mobi format watermarked with your info but otherwise transferrable to any device of your choice; requires account signup with billing address but no payment info; before adding to cart, switch the tabs from Paperback to Ebook, where the price should say FREE 100% off).

Offered worldwide through Thursday, September 30th (until just before midnight Eastern Time), directly from the publisher.

[Free eBook] Wild Hope: On the Front Lines of Conservation Success by Andrew Balmford [Science & Nature Travelogue]

Wild Hope: On the Front Lines of Conservation Success by Andrew Balmford, a professor of conservation science in the Department of Zoology at the University of Cambridge, is a topical science travelogue, free for a limited time courtesy of publisher the University of Chicago Press.

This is their featured Free Book of the Month for September, and is an accessibly written travelogue cum introduction and overview to the issues involved and challenges faced in conserving nature around the world, as the author makes a global tour to visit and learn from people involved in the efforts to bring rhinos back from extinction, protect rare woodpeckers in pine forest plantations, deal with invasive alien plants drinking up the water supply of dry areas, etc.

Offered worldwide throughout the month of September, available directly from the publisher.

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

Description Tropical deforestation. The collapse of fisheries. Unprecedented levels of species extinction. Faced with the plethora of gloom-and-doom headlines about the natural world, we might think that environmental disaster is inevitable. But is there any good news about the environment? Yes, there is, answers Andrew Balmford in Wild Hope, and he offers several powerful stories of successful conservation to prove it. This tragedy is still avoidable, and there are many reasons for hope if we find inspiration in stories of effective environmental recovery.

Wild Hope is organized geographically, with each chapter taking readers to extraordinary places to meet conservation’s heroes and foot soldiers—and to discover the new ideas they are generating about how to make conservation work on our hungry and crowded planet. The journey starts in the floodplains of Assam, where dedicated rangers and exceptionally tolerant villagers have together helped bring Indian rhinos back from the brink of extinction. In the pine forests of the Carolinas, we learn why plantation owners came to resent rare woodpeckers—and what persuaded them to change their minds. In South Africa, Balmford investigates how invading alien plants have been drinking the country dry, and how the Southern Hemisphere’s biggest conservation program is now simultaneously restoring the rivers, saving species, and creating tens of thousands of jobs. The conservation problems Balmford encounters are as diverse as the people and their actions, but together they offer common themes and specific lessons on how to win the battle of conservation—and the one essential ingredient, Balmford shows, is most definitely hope.

Wild Hope, though optimistic, is a clear-eyed view of the difficulties and challenges of conservation. Balmford is fully aware of failed conservation efforts and systematic flaws that make conservation difficult, but he offers here innovative solutions and powerful stories of citizens, governments, and corporations coming together to implement them. A global tour of people and programs working for the planet, Wild Hope is an emboldening green journey.

[Free eBook] The Cyborg from Earth by Charles Sheffield [YA Science Fiction]

The Cyborg from Earth by the late Charles Sheffield, a Hugo and Nebula Award-winning novelist as well as a physicist, is the 4th novel in the Jupiter series of young adult science fiction, free for a limited time courtesy of publisher Phoenix Pick Press.

This is their featured Free Book of the Month for September, and was originally published by Tor Books in 1998. The series, which was partially co-authored with the late Jerry Pournelle, is set in a dystopian galactic future where assorted youths find ways to better themselves through self-education and adventure, and there’s a bonus tie-in sale offer on other Sheffield books in and out of the series.

This story stars a misfit young man from a prominent military and industrialist family which requires its members to have served in the navy, only to find himself foisted off on a makeshift border assignment when he fails the entrance exams, into a situation that becomes more complicated than it seems.

Offered DRM-free worldwide through the end of September and probably through Monday, October 3rd (the freebie typically rotates on the first Tuesday of every month), available directly from the publisher.

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Currently free @ the publisher’s dedicated promo page (DRM-free ePub & Mobi bundle; requires valid email address but no payment info; follow the instructions on the page to reset the suggested price to $0.00 in the cart)

The tie in sale offer is for assorted Sheffield collections and novels for just $1.99 each, or in a bundle of all 6 plus freebie for just $9.99. There are 2 short story collections on offer (including one with the double Nebula and Hugo Award-winning novella “Georgia on My Mind”), and 4 other novels originally published during the 1990s, including two more Jupiter series books, The Billion Dollar Boy and Putting Up Roots, and two standalones.

Description
Called "the new Arthur C. Clarke" by The Washington Post Book World and "a scientist with a fine literary sense" by The Denver Post, Charles Sheffield has crafted an exciting adventure about a frustrated teen who just can’t seem to do anything right.

Jeff Kopal is heir to a powerful military family. He’s got everything going for him. Except one thing: Jeff is a total screw-up. His family has had it. So when Jeff blows off his naval entrance exams he figures his future is basically kaput. Instead, he is being sent by the navy into deep space to deal with rebellious cyborgs. How did that happen?

Jeff will have to find out before it’s too late. Otherwise, he may become the pawn in someone else’s dangerous–and very deadly–game.