[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] Industrial Heritage in Denmark: Landscape, Environments and Historical Archaeology [Urban Architectural Guide]

Industrial Heritage in Denmark: Landscape, Environments and Historical Archaeology edited by Caspar Jørgensen & Morten Pedersen is their local architecture and archaeology book, free for a limited time courtesy of Aarhus University Press in Denmark.

This is their featured English-language Free Book of the Month selection for October, and may be useful as a local sightseeing guide, if you are interested in visiting the areas showcased.

This is an accessibly-written coffee table-like book which presents 25 nicely-illustrated case studies of significant industrial and manufacturing sites in Denmark, from the 1840s-1970s, giving their development and conservation histories as well as more general information on cultural preservation strategies.

Offered DRM-free worldwide through October, available directly from the university’s website.

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[Free eBook] Seven Views of Olduvai Gorge by Mike Resnick [Award-Winning Science Fiction]

Seven Views of Olduvai Gorge by Mike Resnick, prolific Hugo & Nebula Award-winning author, is a standalone novella in his Birthright Universe setting of far future science fiction, free for a limited time courtesy of publisher Phoenix Pick Press.

This was originally published in 1994 by Pulphouse Publishing’s Axolotl Press imprint, and also appeared in the Magazine of Science Fiction & Fantasy and won both the Nebula & Hugo Awards, as well as receiving a number of other prize nods.

The story is set in the very far future, starring aliens archaeologists visiting Earth long after humanity and its Empire are gone, and making discoveries which tell them things about various eras of the long-vanished world, from the artifacts they find.

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

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[Free eBook] King Henry VIII’s Mary Rose by Alexander McKee [16th Century Ship History & Archaeology Memoir]

King Henry VIII’s Mary Rose by the late British author Alexander McKee, a journalist, military historian, and amateur diver who discovered the wreck of the Tudor warship Mary Rose, is his vintage naval history cum underwater archaeology memoir, free for a limited time courtesy of publisher Endeavour Press.

This was originally published in 1973 by Souvenir Press.

This combined naval history and personal memoir gives the backstory of the sunken 16th century Tudor warship Mary Rose and the author’s own subsequent search for and discovery of its wreck, as well as the efforts put forth towards exploring and excavating it by both himself and assorted archaeological teams.

Offered worldwide, available at Amazon.

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[Free eBook] Past Vulnerability: Vulcanic eruptions and human vulnerability in traditional societies past and present [Earth Science & Natural Disaster Response History]

Past Vulnerability: Vulcanic eruptions and human vulnerability in traditional societies past and present edited by Felix Riede, an associate professor in the Department of Archaeology at Aarhus University, is a collection of academic essays on the link between geological and human activity, free for a limited time courtesy of the Aarhus University Press in Denmark.

This collection of essays explores past volcanic events from 10,000s of years ago to relatively recent times, and their effects on the local cultures surrounding, via a combination of geological and archaeological and literature studies approaches to examine their physical and social impacts.

There are some pretty nifty ones which do things like look through old Icelandic literature (and the Bible and Quran) for reports on tales of eruptions handed down through various means before being recorded into an official historical document, and how people coped with the after effects (and maybe an explanation for the fabled Fimbulwinter of Norse mynthology), as well as directly examining the remains of archaeological evidence from hunter-gatherers several thousands of years BCE.

Offered worldwide through May, available from the university’s website as their featured English-language Free Book of the Month selection.

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[Free eBook] Things from the Town: Artefacts and Inhabitants in Viking-age Kaupang [Viking Age Archaeology]

Things from the Town: Artefacts and Inhabitants in Viking-age Kaupang edited by Dagfinn Skre, a Professor of Archaeology at the Museum of Cultural History at the University of Oslo in Norway, is a collection of academic essays about Viking Age archaeological finds, free for a limited time courtesy of publisher the Aarhus University Press in Denmark.

This is the 3rd volume in the Kaupang Excavation Project series collecting academic essays pertaining to an extensive project from the University about the excavations carried out on the eponymous Viking Age marketplace excavation site in Norway. This volume covers assorted uncovered artifacts and their relation to the inhabitants’ daily lives and wider world. It’s very comprehensive volume , and not only showcases assorted finds of metalwork, precious jewellery, glassware, textiles, and more, but also placing them in context in the townspeoples’ lives of how they were made locally or acquired via trade, etc.

Offered through the month of December, available worldwide DRM-free.

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