[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] Kindred by Octavia E. Butler & Burn Baby Burn by Meg Medina [1970s Time Travel Science Fiction & YA Historical Drama]

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 reliving past historical events, will be available to claim until 11:59 PM Eastern Time on Wednesday, July 29th.

  • Kindred by the late Octavia E. Butler, the recipient of multiple genre awards and inductee into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame, read by Kim Staunton from Recorded Books. A classic science fiction novel from the 1970s, starring a contemporary African-American woman who finds herself time traveling between her life in present-day California, and her slave ancestors’ lives on a plantation in pre-Civil War Maryland.

  • Burn Baby Burn by Meg Medina, read by Marisol Ramirez from Candlewick on Brilliance Audio. An historical YA coming of age drama novel set at the height of the infamous “Son of Sam” serial killer murders in 1970s New York, as a bilingual Cuban-American teen tries to juggle family dysfunction and emotional struggles and romantic attraction, amidst the backdrop of fear and violence and suspicion sweeping the city.

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 29th, available worldwide.

[Free Audiobooks] New York 2140 by Kim Stanley Robinson & Fake by Eric Simonson [Award-Nominated Science Fiction Novel & Science History Hoax Drama]

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 questioning past and future scientific assumptions and the associated status quo, will be available to claim until 11:59 PM Eastern Time on July 22nd.

  • New York 2140 by Kim Stanley Robinson, read by a full cast, from Hachette Audio. A standalone science fiction novel set in a future New York City partially submerged due to climate change, focusing on the various persons and factions living there as they try to survive and interact with each other despite the class divide between the wealthy in their secure skyscrapers above sea level, and the less privileged who live in the vulnerable low-lying tidal areas. This was a Best Novel finalist for the 2017 Hugo Award, and also placed 3rd on the annual Locus Award list for Best SF Novel.

  • Fake by Eric Simonson, performed by a full cast in front of a live audience, from L.A. Theatre Works. A science history drama alternating between the 1910s and the 1950s, exploring the discovery and impact and eventual debunking of the famous Piltdown Man fossil, a “missing link” debated over by many luminaries of the time, including Sherlock Holmes author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle who participates as a character in the play. This audiobook version also includes an interview with University of Chicago professor Russell H. Tuttle, a distinguished palaeoanthropologist, discussing the hoax in retrospect.

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 22nd, available worldwide.

[Free eBook] The Calculating Stars by Mary Robinette Kowal [Award-Winning Alternate History Science Fiction]

The Calculating Stars by Mary Robinette Kowal, a puppeteer and recipient of the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer (now the Astounding Award), is the 1st novel in the Lady Astronaut series of alternate history science fiction, free for a limited time courtesy of publisher Macmillan’s Tor Books.

This is their featured free eBook of the Month Club offer for June, won the Hugo, Nebula, Locus, and Sidewise Awards, and is being offered free to help promote the upcoming 3rd novel, The Relentless Moon, due in July.

The series takes place in an alternate 1950s where a global disaster prompts international efforts to accelerate and expand space exploration with the aim of colonizing the Moon and beyond to preserve humanity, and provides the prequel backstory to the Hugo Award for Best Novelette winning short “The Lady Astronaut of Mars” (readable free online at the Tor.com website).

This installment sets up the realization of the long-term effects of the initial meteorite strike and the ensuing efforts of talented women to take an equal role in the future as astronauts themselves, as seen from the viewpoint of a US mathematician and former pilot turned “calculator” for the new space program as she struggles against public and professional prejudices as well as her own disabling personal anxieties.

Offered through Friday, June 26th until just before midnight Eastern Time, available DRM-free to Canada & US only directly from the publisher.

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[Free eBook] In Our Own Worlds #2 by Katharine Duckett, Seanan McGuire, Lina Rather, & Kai Ashante [Award-Nominated LGBT SF/Fantasy Omnibus]

In Our Own Worlds #2 by Katharine Duckett, Seanan McGuire, Lina Rather, & Kai Ashante is the 2nd omnibus in the In Our Own Worlds compilations of LGBT-themed science fiction & fantasy, free for a limited time courtesy of publisher Macmillan’s Tor Books.

This is their supplementary featured free eBook of the Month Club offer for June to help celebrate Pride Month.

This omnibus contains 4 bestselling Tor.com imprint novellas featuring LGBT characters and relationships, by authors Katharine Duckett (an historical fantasy take on Shakespeare’s classic play The Tempest, set in Milan), Seanan McGuire (in her Nebula Award-winning Wayward Children contemporary portal fantasy series), Lina Rather (a space opera adventure), and Kai Ashante (a Hugo Award-nominated quest fantasy with m/m romantic elements).

Offered through Friday, June 5th until just before midnight Eastern Time, available DRM-free to Canada & US only directly from the publisher.

Continue reading “[Free eBook] In Our Own Worlds #2 by Katharine Duckett, Seanan McGuire, Lina Rather, & Kai Ashante [Award-Nominated LGBT SF/Fantasy Omnibus]”

[Free eBook] Exit Strategy by Martha Wells [Award-Nominated Science Fiction]

Exit Strategy by Martha Wells is the 4th novella in the The Murderbot Diaries series of science fiction robot adventures, free for a limited time courtesy of publisher Tor Books.

This is their featured free eBook of the Month Club offer for for a 24-hour period from April 23rd to 24th. It was nominated for both the British Science Fiction and Prometheus Awards, and is being offered alongside the its 3 other series companion novellas over the course of the week at 1 per day for 24 hours each, to help promote the upcoming 1st full-length novel, Network Effect, which will be published in May.

The series is set in a spacefaring future where planetary exploration missions must be accompanied by security androids supplied by the Company, and stars one beginning to develop its own self-awareness as it hacks the modules which control its behaviour, unknown to and scornful of the humans around it.

This story apparently concludes the mystery of what really happened in the industrial incident that gave the “Murderbot” its name as well as its journey of self-discovery, as the renegade security android risks recapture, returning in an attempt to aid some human scientists of its former mission team against the obligatory sinister corporation which owns them all.

Offered through for a 24-hour period from April 23rd to 24th until just before until just before 6 AM on Friday morning, Eastern Time, available DRM-free to Canada & the US only directly from the publisher.

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[Free eBook] Rogue Protocol by Martha Wells [Award-Nominated Science Fiction]

Rogue Protocol by Martha Wells is the 3rd novella in the The Murderbot Diaries series of science fiction robot adventures, free for a limited time courtesy of publisher Tor Books.

This is part of their featured free eBook of the Month Club offer for a 24-hour period from April 22nd-23rd. It placed 3rd in the annual Locus Awards list in the Best Novella category, and is being offered alongside the its other series companion novellas over the course of the week at 1 per day for 24 hours each, to help promote the upcoming 1st full-length novel, Network Effect, which will be published in May.

The series is set in a spacefaring future where planetary exploration missions must be accompanied by security androids supplied by the Company, and stars one beginning to develop its own self-awareness as it hacks the modules which control its behaviour, unknown to and scornful of the humans around it.

This story continues the fallout of the Murderbot’s investigation into its suspicious namesake industrial incident, as more questions arise, this time from the authorities finally inquiring after the renegade security android’s whereabouts.

Offered through for a 24-hour period from April 22nd to 23rd until just before until just before 6 AM on Thursday morning, Eastern Time, available DRM-free to Canada & the US only directly from the publisher.

Continue reading “[Free eBook] Rogue Protocol by Martha Wells [Award-Nominated Science Fiction]”

[Free eBook] Artificial Condition by Martha Wells [Award-Winning Science Fiction]

Artificial Condition by Martha Wells is the 2nd novella in the The Murderbot Diaries series of science fiction robot adventures, free for a limited time courtesy of publisher Tor Books.

This is part of their featured Free eBook of the Month Club offer for April and also won the Hugo and Locus Awards for Best Novella, and is being offered alongside the its other series companion novellas over the course of the week at 1 per day for 24 hours each, to help promote the upcoming 1st full-length novel, Network Effect, which will be published in May.

The series is set in a spacefaring future where planetary exploration missions must be accompanied by security androids supplied by the Company, and stars one beginning to develop its own self-awareness as it hacks the modules which control its behaviour, unknown to and scornful of the humans around it.

This story has investigative mystery elements as the “Murderbot” begins exploring more of its newfound freedom on a journey of self-discovery while also looking into the hidden depths of its namesake past industrial incident and reluctantly becoming acquainted with other AIs.

Offered through for a 24-hour period from April 21st to 22nd until just before 6 AM morning Eastern Time, available DRM-free to Canada & the US only directly from the publisher.

Continue reading “[Free eBook] Artificial Condition by Martha Wells [Award-Winning Science Fiction]”

[Free eBook REPEAT] All Systems Red by Martha Wells [Award-Winning Science Fiction]

All Systems Red by Martha Wells is the 1st novella in the The Murderbot Diaries series of science fiction robot adventures, free for a limited time courtesy of publisher Tor Books.

This is their featured free eBook of the Month Club offer for a 24-hour period from April 20th-21st (again, having previously been offered in 2018) won the Alex Award and has also won the Hugo and Nebula Awards for various parts of the series, and is being offered alongside its 3 sequel novellas over the course of the week at 1 per day for 24 hours each, to help promote the upcoming 1st full-length novel, Network Effect, which will be published in May.

The series is set in a spacefaring future where planetary exploration missions must be accompanied by security androids supplied by the Company, and stars one beginning to develop its own self-awareness as it hacks the modules which control its behaviour, unknown to and scornful of the humans around it.

This story has investigative mystery elements as one of the exploring groups on a distant planet suddenly loses contact with the other missions, leaving the scientists and the secretly self-named “Murderbot” to figure out what’s going on.

Offered through for a 24-hour period from April 20th to 21st until just before midnight Eastern Time, available DRM-free to Canada & the US only directly from the publisher.

Continue reading “[Free eBook REPEAT] All Systems Red by Martha Wells [Award-Winning Science Fiction]”

[Free eBook] The Billion Dollar Boy by Charles Sheffield [YA Science Fiction]

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.

Continue reading “[Free eBook] The Billion Dollar Boy by Charles Sheffield [YA Science Fiction]”