[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] Wild Cards I: Expanded Edition edited by George R. R. Martin [Superpowered Alternate History Sci-Fi Anthology]

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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[Free eBook] Witchmark by C. L. Polk [Historical Fantasy with LGBT Romantic Suspense]

Witchmark by C. L. Polk is the 1st novel in the The Kingston Cycle series of historical fantasy with strong m/m 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 February and is offered to help promote the upcoming 2nd novel, Stormsong, which will be released this summer. This first novel named in various 2018 lists for “Best Books of the Year” by NPR, Publishers Weekly, and The Chicago Review of Books, among others.

The series takes place in an alternate early 20th century where an England-analogue country is recovering from a magical WWI, and witches are second-class citizens exploited for their gifts in a land controlled by the nobility. This story is an intrigue-filled romantic suspense case, as a surgeon hiding his healing gift and his past at a war veteran’s hospital is convinced to jointly investigate the murder of a witch patient brought in by a handsome detective on the trail of a poisoner, which in turn leads to the discovery of a dangerous secret, even as his estranged sister tries to convince him to return to the ambitious noble family he fled.

Offered through February 15th at midnight Eastern Time, available DRM-free to Canada & US-only directly from the publisher.

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[Free eBook] The Shift by George Foy [Award-Nominated Satirical Sci-Fi Crime Thriller]

The Shift by George Foy, a recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship in literature and known for his pseudonymous genre-bending literary-flavoured works, is the 1st novel in the Shift sequence of futuristic science fiction mystery/crime thrillers with dystopian satire elements, free for a limited time courtesy of publisher Endeavour Press’ Venture imprint.

This was originally published in 1996 by Bantam Books and was a finalist for the Philip K. Dick Award.

The story is a cyberpunk-flavoured murder mystery technothriller set in a satirically dystopian near future, starring a television writer who draws inspiration for his scripts from a virtual reality simulation of an alternate 19th century New York where he plays the role of a cop chasing a deadly historical serial killer, who becomes even deadlier when he seems to escape from the program into the modern real world.

Offered worldwide, available at Amazon.

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[Free eBook] A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab [Alternate History Fantasy]

A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab is the 1st novel in the Shades of Magic series of parallel universe historical fantasy adventure novels, free for a limited time courtesy of publisher Tor Books.

This is their featured eBook Club of the Month selection for June and is apparently being offered to promote the author’s work, for which a new novel in her other fantasy series, Vengeful, will be released in September.

The series takes place in parallel universe versions of London during the reign of George III, some of which can be accessed by rare magicians with the special ability to travel between them. This installment stars one such universe-hopping magician who runs into a thief in our magicless version of London, as they wind up crossing over to another world on their adventures.

Offered through June 15th at 11:59 PM Eastern Time, available DRM-free to Canada & US only directly from the publisher.

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Free for a limited time directly via @ the publisher’s dedicated promo page (DRM-free ePub & Mobi bundle officially available in Canada & US only due to geographic restrictions, requires newsletter signup with valid email address)

You can also follow their upcoming readalong discussions for this book via the dedicated blog tag @ Tor.com.

Description
Kell is one of the last Antari―magicians with a rare, coveted ability to travel between parallel Londons; Red, Grey, White, and, once upon a time, Black.

Kell was raised in Arnes―Red London―and officially serves the Maresh Empire as an ambassador, traveling between the frequent bloody regime changes in White London and the court of George III in the dullest of Londons, the one without any magic left to see. Grey London. Our London.

That’s where Kell runs into Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations.

She robs him.

Then she saves him from a deadly enemy, and finally forces Kell to spirit her to another world for a proper adventure.

[Free eBook] The Aethers of Mars by Eric Flint & Charles E. Gannon [Alternate History Steampunk Science Fiction]

The Aethers of Mars by Eric Flint, who encouraged the formation of the Baen Free Library and helped many other writers establish their careers, & Charles E. Gannon is another installment in the multi-author Stellar Guild series of sf/fantasy novellas, free for a limited time courtesy of publisher Phoenix Pick Press.

The series consists of standalone mini-collections which pair a work from an established author with a sequel in the same setting by a newer one. This volume contains an essay by Hugo & Nebula Award-winning author Mike Resnick as well.

The stories in this one are alternate timeline steampunk adventures set in a 1900 where Cecil Rhodes, the real life colonialist figure who was very influential in South Africa and had Rhodesia (now the present-day nation of Zimbabe) named for him, rules Mars in the name of the British Empire.

Offered DRM-free worldwide through November as their featured Free eBook of the Month selection, available directly from the publisher.

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[Free eBook] Winter Tide by Ruthanna Emrys [Lovecraftian Alternate Historical Fantasy with Spy Mystery]

Winter Tide by Ruthanna Emrys is the 1st novel in her The Innsmouth Legacy series of alternate historical dark fantasy with strong horror, mystery, and espionage thriller elements, free for a limited time courtesy of publisher Tor Books.

This is a special time-limited promotion, being made free to boost the upcoming 2nd novel, and this edition includes a bonus short story. The series is set in the late H. P. Lovecraft’s popular Cthulhu Mythos, varying it as an alternate hidden history where during the 1920s, the U.S. government secretly rounded up the population of the seaside village of Innsmouth, long since hybridized with the mystical Deep Ones of the oceans, into desert internment camps.

This story takes place a generation later during the late 1940s as the Cold War is getting underway, when an FBI agent believing that Communists spies have stolen dangerous magical secrets from the legendary Miskatonic University, calls upon one of the few survivors of the camps for help, who must return to her ruined home and uncover the remaining scraps of her suppressed personal and ancestral history to face the threat.

Offered DRM-free through 12 PM EST on October 20th, available worldwide, directly from the publisher.

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[Free Audiobooks] 2 free titles from AudioSYNC Summer of Reading [Young Adult, Fantasy, Award-Winning Steampunk Alternate History]

AudioFile’s SYNC Summer of Listening 2017 promotion for young adults continues, which 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 alternate historical fantasy, available until 7am Eastern Time on August 3rd, are as follows:

  • Shadows on the Moon by Zoe Marriott, is her fantasy novel set in a world based loosely on feudal Japan, where a girl trained in the illusion-casting art of shadow weaving must discover her own identity, even as she seeks revenge for the death of her family; from Brilliance Audio, read by Amy Rubinate
  • Airborn by Canadian author Kenneth Oppel, who was the recipient of Canada’s prestigious Governor General’s Literary Award for this in 2004, is the 1st novel in his eponymous trilogy of steampunk sci-fantasy which take place in an alternate history version of Canada, starring a cabin boy aboard an airship who rescues a traveler in a balloon, thereby setting off a series of adventures; from Full Cast Audio, read by David Kelly and others

Offered as DRM-free MP3s through 7am Eastern Time on August 3rd, 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] Wallis’s War: A Novel of Diplomacy and Intrigue by Kate Auspitz [Alternate History Spy Thriller Satire]

Wallis’s War: A Novel of Diplomacy and Intrigue by Kate Auspitz, a political historian who formerly taught at Harvard University and also writes mysteries as Sophie Belfort, is her standalone alternate history drama novel with satirical espionage thriller elements, free for a limited time courtesy of the University of Chicago Press.

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

The story is set during the 1930s and written in the form of a comedic faux-memoir by Wallis Warfield Simpson, the American divorcée who eventually married the abdicated British King Edward VIII and posits an alternative secret history in which she was an undercover agent tasked with removing the pro-German future monarch from the throne.

Offered worldwide through August, available directly from the University Press’ website.

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[Free eBook] Range of Ghosts by Elizabeth Bear [Alternate History Fantasy]

Range of Ghosts by Elizabeth Bear, a recipient of the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer, is the 1st novel in her original The Eternal Sky trilogy of alternate history epic fantasy novels, free for a limited time courtesy of publisher Tor Books.

This novel is the start of the original trilogy, which was later expanded with further stories. The series is set in a magical version of Central Asia during the reign of Genghis Khan, and this installment stars two former heirs to powerful empires who find themselves joining forces to survive the plotting of their ambitious relatives, as well as the hidden cult which wishes to destabilize both realms for their own purposes.

Offered DRM-free until October October 9th, available in Canada & the US directly from the publisher, as their eBook of the Month Club selection.

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