The Camera Does the Rest: How Polaroid Changed Photography by Peter Buse, Dean of the School of Arts at the University of Liverpool, is a retrospective photography technology and iconic business history, free for a limited time courtesy of the University of Chicago Press.
This is their featured Free Book of the Month for December.
This combined art technology cum cultural and business history takes a retrospective look over the photographic innovations of Polaroid‘s pioneering instant snapshot cameras, first invented in the 1940s, and their impact in popular culture bringing easy quick photos to the masses, as well as the changing fortunes of the company as they first capitalized on its popularity over several decades, but later failed to understand the growing digital camera market in more recent times.
Offered worldwide through December, available directly from the university’s website.
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The Billion Dollar Boy by the late British author Charles Sheffield, a Hugo and Nebula Award-winning author and physicist, is the 2nd novel in the Jupiter multi-author series of YA science fiction adventures, free for a limited time courtesy of publisher Phoenix Pick Press.
This is their featured Free Book of the Month for December and was originally published in 1997 by Tor Books.
The series, whose first book was initially co-written with the late Jerry Pournelle and later expanded to include contributions by other authors, features various plucky youngsters escaping a dystopian Earth centuries in the future.
This installment is a coming of age adventure starring a spoiled rich kid who impulsively embarks on a starship out of boredom only to inadvertently wind up as part of a space crew, and soon finds out that he must live up to higher expectations and unaccustomed responsibilities even as his wealth makes him the target of a ransom scheme.
Offered DRM-free worldwide through December, available directly from the publisher.
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As a special Christmas treat, audiobook producers Big Finish, who have an official license to make spin-offs adventures to the popular Doctor Who science fiction television series, are offering a free download for a limited time.
Doctor Who: The Veiled Leopard is a time-traveling historical side adventure audio drama starring the Doctor’s friends and allies, set in 1955, with two teams sent on a seemingly paradoxical mission at cross-purposes to each other.
*Monte Carlo, 1966. Four time travellers. Two missions. One costumed ball. the Doctor has sent Peri and Erimem to prevent the fabulous Veiled Leopard diamond from being stolen. Which is odd, seeing as the Doctor has sent Ace and Hex to steal the diamond. How will the two teams cope with this… *
This is available as DRM-free MP3 and M4B downloads, via the Bigfinishmas 2019 promo page for their holiday sales. Enter the code SANTACLAWS in the box, and then click the button where it says Unlock (requires account signup with valid email address but no payment info) and click again to check that it made it through to your account where you’ll be able to download it anytime at your leisure.
Offered until just before midnight British Time (3:59 pm Pacific Time, I think), on December 25th, directly from the publisher.
Wild Cards I: Expanded Edition edited by George R. R. Martin, a Hugo and Nebula award-winning author perhaps best known for the A Song of Ice and Fire series behind the HBO TV show Game of Thrones, is the 1st anthology in the Wild Cards series of shared universe superpowered science fiction stories, free for a limited time courtesy of publisher Macmillan’s Tor Books.
This is their featured free eBook of the Month Club offer for December. The long-running series is set on an alernate history Earth with a point of divergence in the 1940s, when an alien virus devastated humanity, killing much of it off and leaving the survivors as either deformed “jokers” or superpowered ºaces”, and is told as intertwining tales by multiple authors in the shared universe.
This first anthology was originally published in 1987 by Bantam Spectra, and this expanded reprint adds three extra stories, containing contributions by notable genre authors including the late Roger Zelazny (Books of Amber series), Carrie Vaughn (Kitty Norville series), Melinda M. Snodgrass (Star Trek episodes), as well as short interludes written by GRRM himself, and is being offered free to help promote the recently re-released 10th volume, Wild Cards X: Double Solitaire, now back in print, and the apparently upcoming TV adaptation.
Offered through December 13th until just before midnight Eastern Time, available DRM-free to Canada & US only directly from the publisher.
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Planet of the Damned by the late Harry Harrison, a recipient of the SFWA’s Grand Master Award for Lifetime Achievement, is the 1st novel in the Brion Brandd series of science fiction adventures, free for a limited time courtesy of publisher Open Road Media.
This is Barnes & Noble’s Free Fridays selection for the weekend. The novel was originally serialized in 1961 under the title “A Sense of Obligation” in Analog magazine, and was a Hugo Award finalist in that form.
The series is of the “planetary romance” type with adventures set on exotic planets with distinctive features and cultures, following a super-intelligent athlete as he travels between them and deals with assorted problems. This story features a deadly conflict between two planets orbiting the same sun, one of which harbours a surprising secret responsible for the aggression of its war-mongering ruling class.
Offered in the US only, available at multiple retailers.
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The Last Straw by Paul Gitsham, a former biologist turned science teacher, is the 1st novel in the DCI Warren Jones series of police procedural mystery/crime thrillers, free for a limited time courtesy of publisher HarperCollins’ HQ Digital imprint.
This is the featured Free Book of the Week in the iTunes UK store. The series stars a recently-appointed Detective Chief Inspector in England, and is apparently somewhat forensically focused due to the author’s scientific background.
The case involves the murder of a high-profile microbiology professor where the clues seemingly point towards revenge but may be a smokescreen concealing financial motivations connected to his pioneering research, as political interference muddies the waters.
Offered in the UK only, available at multiple retailers.
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