[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] Autonomous by Annalee Newitz [Award-Winning Science Fiction]

Autonomous by Annalee Newitz, a journalist and founder of the popular io9 science & science fiction blog, is a standalone science fiction novel with LGBT romantic and identity elements, free for a limited time courtesy of publisher Macmillan’s Tor Books.

This is their featured free eBook of the Month Club offer for May is being made free to help promote the author’s upcoming new release The Future of Another Timeline, a time travel adventure thriller due in September. The novel won the 2018 Lambda Literary Award in the Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror category, and was also a finalist for the Nebula and the John W. Campbell Awards, and placed 2nd in the annual Locus Award lists.

The story is a somewhat satirical work exploring notions of servitude and autonomy in a culture where everything and everyone is considered a marketable product, taking place in a near-future mid-21st century Earth recovering from assorted disasters and dominated by corporations who control humans through drugs, centred around a anti-patent scientist turned drug pirate to help the poor with cheap generics who discovers a dangerous new medication which turns people into careless near-robotic workaholics, even as she is being hunted down for her activities by a military agent with an increasingly liberated robot partner exploring its self-expression.

Offered through May 17th at 11:59 PM Eastern Time, available DRM-free to Canada & US only directly from the publisher.

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[Free eBook] Infomocracy by Malka Older [Award-Nominated Science Fiction Technothriller]

Infomocracy by Malka Older, a finalist for the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer, is the 1st novel in the Centenal Cycle trilogy of political science fiction technothrillers, free for a limited time courtesy of publisher Macmillan’s Tor Books imprint.

This placed 3rd in the 2017 Locus Awards in the Best First Novel category, and is the featured B&N Free Fridays selection for the weekend, presumably to help promote sales of the 2nd novel, Null States, which is currently discounted to just $2.99 at all North American retailers in anticipation of the release of the 3rd novel later this year and also in recognition of the Centenal Cycle’s finalist nomination for the current Hugo Awards in the Best Series category.

The trilogy is set in a post-cyberpunk future world where information technology has radically altered the political landscape from dominant nation-states to global micro-democracy. This story focuses on an upcoming election where the new status quo may be due for its own upheaval, as various political players seek to once again change the game.

Offered in Canada & US (possibly also other countries worldwide), available DRM-free at multiple retailers.

Continue reading “[Free eBook] Infomocracy by Malka Older [Award-Nominated Science Fiction Technothriller]”