[Free eBook] The Camera Does the Rest: How Polaroid Changed Photography by Peter Buse [Art Technology Business & Cultural History]

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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[Free eBook] Presumption: An Entertainment by Julia Barrett [Austen-Derivative Literary Sequel]

Presumption: An Entertainment by Julia Barrett, a joint pseudonym shared by the late Julia Braun Kessler and British novelist Gabrielle Donnelly, is a literary sequel novel, free for a limited time courtesy of the University of Chicago Press.

This is their featured Free Book of the Month for November and was originally published in 1993 by Thorndike Press, as the first in a set of sequel books focusing upon selected characters after the end of Jane Austen’s classic Pride and Prejudice.

This volume is a social drama with f/m romantic elements, focusing on Darcy’s younger sister Georgiana, as she chooses between suitors of her own.

Offered worldwide through November (maybe a few days longer due to the weekend and recent holiday), available directly from the university’s website.

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[Free eBook] The Tiger’s Daughter by K. Arsenault Rivera [Mongol-Inspired Epic Fantasy]

The Tiger’s Daughter by Puerto Rican author K. Arsenault Rivera is the 1st novel in the Ascendant Trilogy, aka Their Bright Ascendancy, series of epic fantasy with f/f romantic 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 October and is being made free to help promote the newly-released conclusion to the trilogy, The Warrior Moon.

The series is set in a fantasy world inspired by the Mongols and East Asian history, with a cast of LGBT characters, where a conquering Empire fails to notice the rot from within, as demons begin to rise amidst the villages and threaten all humanity, as you do. This installment starts the sweeping epic as two prophesied warriors are raised together to defeat the demons—one from the nomadic tribe which has negotiated treaties with the empire, the other a spoilt divine empress—as they learn of the power which may save the realm.

Offered through October 18th at just before midnight Eastern Time, available DRM-free to Canada & US-only directly from the publisher.

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[Free eBook] The Appian Way: Ghost Road, Queen of Roads by Robert A. Kaster [Historical Ancient & Modern Rome Travel]

The Appian Way: Ghost Road, Queen of Roads by Robert A. Kaster, a Professor of Classics Emeritus at Princeton University, is his joint historical exploration cum modern experience travelogue, free for a limited time courtesy of the University of Chicago Press.

This is their featured Free Book of the Month for August and is part of their *Culture Trais: Adventures in Travel” series of history, literary, and pop culture-inspired travel essays.

The book traces a combined historical and modern journey along the ancient Roman Via Appia, an important road in Italy since its beginnings as a key strategic military route in 312 BC, as the author travels it himself, following in the footsteps of common soldiers and traders and pilgrims throughout the centuries, as well as more distinguished literary figures who’ve written about their own experiences on the Appian Way.

Offered worldwide through August (maybe also through the holiday long weekend), available directly from the university’s website.

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[Free eBook] The Necessary Beggar by Susan Palwick [Award-Winning Science Fiction]

The Necessary Beggar by Susan Palwick, a Theodore Sturgeon Award-finalist author, is a standalone science fiction novel with social drama and coming of age elements, free for a limited time courtesy of publisher Macmillan’s Tor Books imprint.

This is their featured free eBook of the Month Club offer for August, won the 2006 Alex Award and was also nominated for the 2007 Mythopoeic Award.

The story explores issues of community, identity, immigration, and integration in an sfnal setting, taking place in a near-future America which is entered via a randomized portal by a man and his family exiled from an idyllic alien planet after being accused of a terrible crime, who wind up in a refugee camp, unable to explain their origins, as each member begins to adapt to their new surroundings or not.

Offered through August 16th at just before midnight Eastern Time, available DRM-free to Canada & US only directly from the publisher.

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[Free eBook] The Emperor’s Blades by Brian Staveley [Award-Winning Epic Fantasy]

The Emperor’s Blades by Brian Staveley is the 1st novel in the Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne trilogy of epic fantasy, free for a limited time courtesy of publisher Macmillan’s Tor Books.

This is their featured free eBook of the Month Club offer for July, won the 2015 Morningstar Award for Best Debut Fantasy Novel from the David Gemmell Legend Awards in honour of the late British author, and is being made free to help promote the newly-released standalone novel set in the same universe, Skullsworn.

The trilogy takes place in an Empire whose ruler has just been killed by unknown enemies even as his children are scattered across the world and struggle to stay alive while uncovering the assassins and continuing to follow their differing life-paths and eventually reunite. This installment introduces the late Emperor’s three children: the heir sent to a remote monastery to learn the discipline and rituals that will unlock an ancient power; a warrior-in-training out to save his brother, if he can only survive his brutal final test; and a minister left in charge of the empire, who believes she knows who murdered their father and begins a dangerous pursuit of justice.

Offered through July 19th at just before midnight Eastern Time, available DRM-free to Canada & US-only directly from the publisher.

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[Free eBook] The Murders of Molly Southbourne by Tade Thompson [Award-Winning Horror Fantasy]

The Murders of Molly Southbourne by British author Tade Thompson is the 1st novella in the Molly Southbourne series of horror with science fiction & fantasy elements, free for a limited time courtesy of publisher Macmillan’s Tor Books.

This is their secondary featured free eBook of the Month Club offer for June (previously a bonus collection was given out to celebrate Pride Month). This won the 2018 NOMMO Award for African Speculative Fiction in the Best Novella category, and was also a finalist for the Shirley Jackson Award for Horror and the British Fantasy Society Award, and is being offered to help promote the upcoming 2nd novella, The Survival of Molly Southbourne, expected in July.

The story stars a teenaged girl who all her life has been struggling to survive every day against murderous identical clones that are automatically created whenever she bleeds, who are intent on destroying her in turn forcing her to try to destroy them, as she begins to question her very existence and whether or not she is actually the original, or yet another clone pitted against her many duplicate selves.

Offered through June 28th 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: Four Tor.com Novellas by Margaret Killjoy, Ellen Klages, Kai Ashante Wilson, J. Y. Yang [Award-Nominated LGBT SF & Fantasy Omnibus]

In Our Own Worlds: Four Tor.com Novellas by Margaret Killjoy, Ellen Klages, Kai Ashante Wilson, & J. Y. Yang is an omnibus edition of selected science fiction & fantasy tales, free for a limited time courtesy of publisher Macmillan’s Tor Books’ Tor.com Publishing imprint.

This is apparently a special bonus selection to supplement their featured free eBook of the Month Club offer (usually a single novel or novella appearing mid-month) for June. The mostly award-nominated stories in this collection contain elements exploring various aspects of LGBTQ+ experience, from historical closeting and underground subculture, to bisexual relationships, to gender fluidity and more, and have a brief new introduction by Tor.com editor Carl Engle-Laird.

This omnibus edition contains the following four novellas:

  • The Lamb Will Slaughter the Lion by Margaret Killjoy, 1st in the Danielle Cain series of horror-flavoured dark urban fantasy adventures starring a group of traveling anarchists up against various hostile entities including demons and law enforcement officials, this installment set in Iowa and pitting them against rogue protective deer spirits turned deadly
  • Passing Strange by Ellen Klages, a standalone f/f historical magical realist urban fantasy tale set in 1940s amidst the lesbian underground of San Francisco; winner of the 2018 Nebula and British Fantasy Awards (I liked this one for the interesting portrayal of how LGBT people were able to express themselves, or not, during a difficult time period)
  • A Taste of Honey by Kai Ashante Wilson, the self-contained 2nd novella in the Sorcerer of the Wildeeps setting of epic sword & sorcery fantasy in a world where the gods roam the earth, this story an alternate history tale with m/m and m/f romantic elements exploring the various life paths the son of a prominent family could have taken starting from a turning point in his youth; a finalist for the 2017 Hugo Awards (I read this back then and really enjoyed it)
  • The Black Tides of Heaven by Singaporean author J. Y. Yang, 1st novella in the Asian history-inspired Tensorate science fantasy series mixing budding technology with psionic powers in a world where children grow up genderless until choosing upon adulthood, this installment starring the twin children of the ruthless ruler of the dominant empire as they grow up and take or rebel against their roles in the troubled regime; a finalist for the 2018 Hugo Awards

Offered through June 7th at just before midnight Eastern Time, available DRM-free to Canada & US only directly from the publisher.

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[Free eBook] The Bittersweet Science: Fifteen Writers in the Gym, in the Corner, and at Ringside [Boxing Sports Essays]

The Bittersweet Science: Fifteen Writers in the Gym, in the Corner, and at Ringside edited by Carlo Rotella, an award-winning columnist and professor of American studies and journalism at Boston College, & Michael Ezra, a professor of multicultural studies at Sonoma State University, is a cultural studies anthology of essays on the sport of boxing, free for a limited time courtesy of the University of Chicago Press.

This is their featured Free Book of the Month for May.

The book is a collection of new essays about boxing by contributors from all walks of life including managers, journalists, fiction authors, fans, and more, who have first-hand experience of the sport from various angles, as professionals or appreciative amateurs, with profiles of established and rising stars and hands-on accounts from the fighters’ points of view as well as behind-the-scenes looks and outside perspectives.

Offered worldwide through May (will probably also still be available over the weekend), available directly from the university’s website.

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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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