[Free eBook] Norstrilia by Cordwainer Smith [Award-Winning Classic Science Fiction]

Norstrilia by Cordwainer Smith, a pseudonym for the late Paul Linebarger, is his vintage classic science fiction novel, 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 in parts as two novels, the Hugo Award-finalist The Planet Buyer in 1964, followed by The Underpeople in 1968, before being reunited in the author’s original one-volume form in 1975 from Ballantine Books, which won Japan’s 1988 Seiun Award for Best Translated Long Story and has placed twice on Locus Magazine’s All-Time Best SF Novel lists.

The story takes place in the author’s “Instrumentality of Mankind” future history setting where a vigorous central government arising from a post-apocalyptic Earth has expanded into space and then stagnated, setting up the conditions for the revival of humanity from its increasingly sterile dysfunction. This adventure is heavily influenced by the Chinese classic novel Journey to the West, starring the misfit scion of an ancient family on the only planet where a precious immortality drug is cultivated, who runs afoul of enemies whose machinations force him to flee to Earth for safety, where his wealth quickly makes him a target for the potentially more dangerous schemes of assorted crooks and revolutionaries.

Offered through October 5th (the monthly freebie rotates on the first Tuesday), available DRM-free worldwide directly from the publisher.

Continue reading “[Free eBook] Norstrilia by Cordwainer Smith [Award-Winning Classic Science Fiction]”

[Free Audiobooks] Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare & A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens adapted by Alison Larkin [Classic Comedy & Genderbent Remix Classic Novel]

AudioFile’s SYNC Summer of Listening 2020 promotion for young adults offers 2 free audiobooks per week—1 classic or modern, 1 non-fiction or speculative—available worldwide for a limited time courtesy of participating major publishers, and you can see the planned release schedule here.

This week’s two selected titles, which have a theme of celebrating a classic Christmas in July while playing around with ideas of gender, will be available to claim until 11:59 PM Eastern Time on July 15th.

  • A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, adapted and read by Alison Larkin. A remixed version of the classic novel, genderbending the character of Ebenezer Scrooge and exploring the story’s happenings in a slightly alternate 19th century London as though it were perfectly normal for an independent Victorian businesswoman to behave and relate to others as the iconic miser does.

  • Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare, performed by a full cast, published by Naxos Audiobooks. The classic comedy play with romantic elements starring separated brother and sister twins and the situations they get into and out of, as Viola disguises herself as a boy and falls in love with her unsuspecting employer who himself has fallen in love with another woman, whom he sends Viola to woo on his behalf only to have the lady fall for her male disguise, and the further complications that ensue.

This year, they’ve switched over to requiring the Overdrive Sora app available for iOS and Android (previously, these were available as DRM-free MP3s with a time-limited download period to your computer/device), but once added to your in-app library, these will remain permanent titles that you can re-download at any time at your leisure.

You’ll need to signup with a valid email address on AudioFile’s front page for the promotion, and then enter the setup code audiobooksync in the Sora app when asked, and then claim each week’s featured title using the Borrow function on its page in the app, more details available on their FAQ page for the promotion.

Offered until just before midnight Eastern Time on Wednesday, July 15th, available worldwide.

[Free eBooks] 50 books from Archipelago Press [Award-Winning World Literary, Historical, Poetry, Kids]

As a special treat during the ongoing quarantine, publisher Archipelago Press, who specialize in notable world literature in translation, have been offering 50 ebooks free for a limited time through May 20th.

The selection consists mainly of literary contemporary and historical novels and short story collections from notable authors and works including Nobel Prize-winning Icelandic author Halldór Laxness (with Wayward Heroes, a 1952 satire set in the medieval Viking world) and various nominees for the International Dublin Literary and other awards, but also includes poetry and some children’s picture books. Countries around the world are represented, ranging from Denmark to France to Morocco to Argentina to India and many more, with an assorted selection of older works from the early 20th century as well as more recent 21st century fare, and includes the occasional bilingual edition incorporating the original language alongside its translation.

You can find a full listing and links to obtain the giveaway selection on Archipelago’s dedicated news announcement blogpost (requires account signup with valid email, but no payment info; you may need to put in a convincing US billing and shipping address in order to checkout successfully, otherwise the system might be glitchy and attempt to add a non-existent extra shipping cost for the free ebooks to other countries).

NB: most of the books are available in both DRM-free PDF and ePub format, and I advise grabbing both due to potential formatting/layout issues for the poetry and anything that might depend on special typographic styling. Some books are only available in one format, and the cart doesn’t show which format you selected until you checkout, so I also suggest doing a double pass of getting all the ePubs first, and then the PDFs in a second checkout batch, or vice versa. A few formats for one or two books may be improperly priced, so make sure they say $0.00 when adding to the cart.

Three titles, Seraphin, The Gothamites, and Hiznobyūtī, are from their “Elsewhere Editions” imprint for children’s literature in translation, and will require a separate sign-up for that site. (Selecting the generic “eBook” option from the dropdown will give you PDF versions instead of the dedicated ePub option.) Also, French poet Maurice Scève’s Emblems, seems to be glitched and unavailable in any eBook format.

Offered DRM-free worldwide through Wednesday, May 20th (probably ending Eastern Time), directly from the publisher.

[Free Audiobooks] Stalking the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco & Faust by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe [YA Historical Horror Thriller & 19th C German Classic Play]

AudioFile’s SYNC Summer of Listening 2020 promotion for young adults offers 2 free audiobooks per week—1 classic or non-fiction, 1 modern—available worldwide for a limited time courtesy of participating major publishers, and you can see the planned release schedule here.

This week’s two selected titles, which have a theme of dubious partnerships with morally suspect entities, will be available to claim until 11:59 PM Eastern Time on May 20th.

  • Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco, read by Nicola Barber, from Hachette Audio. A Victorian-era YA historical thriller with horror elements and f/m romantic elements, starring an a high society lord’s daughter who secretly studies forensic medicine in her uncle’s laboratory alongside his apprentice, and finds herself on the trail of a serial killer.

  • Faust by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, performed by a full cast including veteran actor Derek Jacobi, from Naxos Audiobooks. T he 19th century German classic play based on the even older legend of a man who is tempted to sell his soul to a devil for power and pleasure, which he begins to regret upon falling in love.

This year, they’ve switched over to requiring the Overdrive Sora app available for iOS and Android (previously, these were available as DRM-free MP3s with a time-limited download period to your computer/device), but once added to your in-app library, these will remain permanent titles that you can re-download at any time at your leisure.

You’ll need to signup with a valid email address on AudioFile’s front page for the promotion, and then enter the setup code audiobooksync in the Sora app when asked, and then claim each week’s featured title using the Borrow function on its page in the app, more details available on their FAQ page for the promotion.

Offered until just before midnight Eastern Time on Wednesday, May 20th, available worldwide.

[Free Audiobooks] The Canterville Ghost by Oscar Wilde & The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson [Young Adult Paranormal Suspense Thriller & Classic Gothic Satire]

AudioFile’s SYNC Summer of Listening 2019 promotion for young adults offers 2 free audiobooks per week—1 classic or non-fiction, 1 modern—as free MP3 downloads, usually available worldwide (some titles are subject to geo-restrictions, and you can see the planned release schedule here).

This week’s two selected titles, which have a theme of being haunted by ghosts, both real and of reputation, available until 7am Eastern Time on July 11th, are as follows:

  • The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson, a YA contemporary paranormal suspense thriller with f/m romantic elements, starring a Louisiana girl transplanted to a London boarding school, just as an outbreak of murders mimicking the infamous Jack the Ripper case begins, leaving the baffled police without leads even as she begins to believe that she is the only one who has seen the suspected killer and has become his target in turn; read by Nicola Barber, from Brilliance Audio, available worldwide
  • The Canterville Ghost by Oscar Wilde, a classic short story, originally published in 1887, which is a satirically comedic take on the conventional gothic ghost story trope, as the residents of a haunted castle do not seem to be particularly bothered by the antics of the ghost; read by Rupert Degas, from Naxos Audiobooks, available worldwide

Offered as DRM-free MP3s through 7am Eastern Time on July 11th, available in selected countries worldwide (requires installing Overdrive Media console software on your PC, Mac, Android, or iDevice, and you need to finish downloading before the time limit).

[Free Audiobooks] Olivia Twist by Lorie Langdon & Astray by Emma Donoghue [Young Adult Genderbent Classic Novel Remix & Historical Literary Fiction]

AudioFile’s SYNC Summer of Listening 2019 promotion for young adults offers 2 free audiobooks per week—1 classic or non-fiction, 1 modern—as free MP3 downloads, usually available worldwide (some titles are subject to geo-restrictions, and you can see the planned release schedule here).

This week’s two selected titles, which have a theme of making new stories out of old ones, whether retelling fictional classics or basing new works on real life tales, available until 7am Eastern Time on June 27th, are as follows:

  • Astray by Emma Donoghue, is a themed historical literary fiction collection featuring tales about emigrants and immigrants between Canada and the US, based on various true stories, and includes an afterword read by the author herself; read by Khristine Hvam, James Langton, Robert Petkoff, Suzanne Toren, & Dion Graham, from Hachette Audio, available worldwide
  • Olivia Twist by Lorie Langdon, a YA literary fiction remix of Charles Dickens’ classic Oliver Twist, starring the genderbent Olivia as young Victorian debutante with an unexpectedly shady past, who keeps having encounters with another former street orphan in disguise posing as a respectable society matron’s nephew while secretly fleecing them on her behalf; read by Pearl Hewitt, from Black Hills Audiobooks, available worldwide

Offered as DRM-free MP3s through 7am Eastern Time on June 27th, available in selected countries worldwide (requires installing Overdrive Media console software on your PC, Mac, Android, or iDevice, and you need to finish downloading before the time limit).

[Free Audiobooks] Othello by William Shakespeare & You by Charles Benoit [Young Adult, Classics, Plays, Crime Thriller]

AudioFile’s SYNC Summer of Listening 2019 promotion for young adults offers 2 free audiobooks per week—1 classic or non-fiction, 1 modern—as free MP3 downloads, usually available worldwide (some titles are subject to geo-restrictions, and you can see the planned release schedule here).

This week’s two selected titles, which have a theme of outsiders with treacherous friends, available until 7am Eastern Time on May 9th, are as follows:

  • Othello by William Shakespeare, the classic play of the Moorish commander Othello undermined by his treacherous subordinate Iago via his jealousy about his beloved Desdemona, from the Donmar Warehouse performance in London during the 2007-2008 season; read by a full cast including actors Chiwetel Ejiofor, Ewan McGregor, and Kelly Reilly, from Naxos Audiobooks, available worldwide
  • You by Charles Benoit, a young adult noir thriller, told in the second person, by an underacheiving teen in a dreary high school who finds his life becoming less boring and more bloody as he gets caught up in the schemes of the new kid at school; read by David Baker, from Full Cast Audio, available Canada & US only

Offered as DRM-free MP3s through 7am Eastern Time on May 9th, available in selected countries worldwide (requires installing Overdrive Media console software on your PC, Mac, Android, or iDevice, and you need to finish downloading before the time limit).

[Free eBook] The Classical Roman Reader by Kenneth Atchity [Ancient Rome Historical Source Texts Introduction]

The Classical Roman Reader by Kenneth Atchity, a former professor of comparative literature and classics who later became a film producer, is an introductory historical source text sampler, free for a limited time courtesy of publisher Story Merchant.

This was originally published in 1997 by Henry Holt & Co as part of their Henry Holt Reference Books line, credited as by Kenneth John Atchity, and later picked up by Oxford University Press as part of their Oxford Paperbacks line.

This introductory reader contains excerpted translated period writings from various sources, both well-known and obscure, across many topics throughout the classical era of Ancient Rome from the founding to the early Republic and the Empire through the 5th century, accompanied by brief pieces about each author and giving more contextual information to aid in understanding their times.

Offered DRM-free worldwide, available at Amazon.

Continue reading “[Free eBook] The Classical Roman Reader by Kenneth Atchity [Ancient Rome Historical Source Texts Introduction]”

[Free Audiobook] Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens [Classic Literature]

Oliver Twist by the 19th century Victorian British author Charles Dickens is his classic standalone literary fiction social drama novel, free for a limited time courtesy of publisher Tantor Audio.

This is their Free Book of the Month selection for November, and is narrated by Simon Vance. This was Dickens’ second novel, originally published as a monthly serial between 1837 and 1839 in Bentley’s Magazine as Oliver Twist; or, the Parish Boy’s Progress, and has since become one of his best-known and most enduring works, with many adaptations to this very day.

The story follows a poor orphan born and raised in harsh circumstances, who escapes into criminal underground of a pickpocket gang, getting the chance to better himself when he is taken in by a kindly benefactor who does not believe he is a hardened thief, only to have his past return to hinder the attempt to better himself and his lot in life.

Offered worldwide through November, available as DRM-free MP3s from the retailer’s website.

Continue reading “[Free Audiobook] Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens [Classic Literature]”

[Free Audiobook] Frankenstein, or The Modern Prometheus by Mary Shelley [Classic Science Fiction Horror]

Frankenstein, or The Modern Prometheus by the late English author Mary Shelley is is a standalone classic science fiction horror novel, free for a limited time courtesy of publisher Tantor Audio.

This is their featured Free Book of the Month selection for October, and is narrated by Simon Vance. NB: This is a different reading than the Penguin Random House audio version offered last month.

The novel was originally published in 1818 and was later heavily revised by the author in the 1831 edition best known today as one of the first modern science fiction/horror tales, and an enduring favourite adapted into many media as well as the source of the iconic monster. The story is centred around an ambitious scientist and the new creature he creates via an unorthodox experiment, exploring themes of discovery, tragedy, and humanity.

Offered worldwide throughout October, available as DRM-free MP3s from the retailer’s website.

Continue reading “[Free Audiobook] Frankenstein, or The Modern Prometheus by Mary Shelley [Classic Science Fiction Horror]”