View Full Version : BAEN Free Library - Harrington series


JWLaRue
03-05-2008, 08:15 PM
Folks,

A while back I downloaded the Honor Harrington series in .lit and .rtf formats as at the time I was considering the Sony PRS-505 reader. Now that I have an iLiad, I find that the BAEN web site now has only four of the books still listed for download (and in mobi format).

I tried using the .rtf formatted books, but not only is all the formatting lost (d'uh!) but the iLiad takes a long time to advance to the next page. Not so with the .prc files....nicely formatted and quick page turns.

Has anyone downloaded the entire series that could help me out with gettting the 'missing' mobi formatted books?

-many thanks,

Jeff

Nate the great
03-05-2008, 08:21 PM
MaYbe you should, I don't know, BUY THE EBOOKS?

I can tell you where they are, but the files will be a couple of generations out of date. Google " cd fifth imperium". If you are going to keep a copy, then do the honorable thing: buy them.

JWLaRue
03-05-2008, 08:28 PM
Like maybe I have already purchased the paper-based books? One should not automatically assume the worse in folks. :)

I've been following this series since it first came out......and would like to now be able to read it on my iLiad. I'll check out that link.

-tnx,

Jeff

NatCh
03-05-2008, 08:32 PM
In any case, those particular CDs carry the express permission of the publisher (and through them, the authors, knowing Baen) to distribute the CDs as long as it's done as a whole, so there's really not anything ethically shady about it.

That being said, I admit that I do feel some obligation to pay for the e-versions, particularly of books that I don't have paper copies of, if only to encourage the whole e-book availability thing. :nice:

Nate the great
03-05-2008, 08:35 PM
Okay, that was a little harsh. Two things:

one, We have a strict no piracy here at MobileRead; and

two, Baen was the first publisher to offer all titles DRM free, including the backlist of all its authors, and should be rewarded for this. If you like the ebook, buy it.

Nate the great
03-05-2008, 08:41 PM
Like maybe I have already purchased the paper-based books? One should not automatically assume the worse in folks. :)

I've been following this series since it first came out......and would like to now be able to read it on my iLiad. I'll check out that link.

-tnx,

Jeff

I'm sorry for snapping at you. It's just that the way you phrased the request pushed my buttons. I have a special love of Baen's ebook policy; if it were any other publisher I would not care. Again, I'm sorry.

JWLaRue
03-05-2008, 08:44 PM
Not a problem. I am very much supportive of the no piracy policy. Anything else is just going to hurt the acceptance of electronic readers.

To the point about buying after trying, I saw Eric Flint's 1632 (series) as a download. I've seen it in the bookstores for some time now but have never really looked at it. Having pulled a download and read some of it....I now want to read the entire series. And that means I'm now buying the p-books.

-Jeff

wallcraft
03-05-2008, 08:56 PM
Since you did not buy the books, you probably got them from a Baen CD (freely-distributable disks provided to promote the sale of the books contained within). These are completely legal to download from on-line copies of the CDs, e.g. from The Fifth Imperium (http://baencd.thefifthimperium.com/). Baen's Honorverse CD contains the entire series, in all the usual formats.

On the other hand, if you can afford it then buying the books supports the author and the publisher.

You could also convert the LIT to MOBI yourself (e.g. using lit2mobi). This is also legal where ever format shifting of copyrighted material is legal (e.g. in the US).

JWLaRue
03-05-2008, 10:14 PM
Since you did not buy the books, .....

It really is a shame that folks assume the worse in everyone else.

http://img207.imageshack.us/img207/4736/hpim0958tk6.th.jpg (http://img207.imageshack.us/my.php?image=hpim0958tk6.jpg)

...does this help?

-Jeff

JSWolf
03-05-2008, 10:30 PM
The easiest way to convert so you can read on your iLiad is to start with the LIT.

Use ConvertLIT to explode the LIT into it's component parts. Use Mobipocket Publisher to build the PRC using the OPF file. It's that easy.

wallcraft
03-05-2008, 10:33 PM
I should have said "since you did not buy the e-books". My point was that you must therefore have got the e-books from a CD. I agree that, when e-books versions are freely available with the author's permission, buying one copy (p-book or e-book) is certainly enough "support" for the author.

JWLaRue
03-05-2008, 10:43 PM
Hi Jon,

...that's a process that I'm slowly learning how (best) to do. In the specific case of the Harrington series, since they are already available in mobi format I was looking for those files.

Wallcraft,

Actually, I downloaded the .lit files (and .rtf) from the Baen web site. The CD comes with the hardcover books..since I've been buying the paperback version, I would not have gotten the CD with them.

-many thanks,

Jeff

JSWolf
03-06-2008, 12:04 AM
Supposedly however if the Mobi format is not recent, then it's supposedly not all that wonderful. From what other's have said, BAEN is redoing their mobi format to improve them. So going from the CD, you might be best off to generate your own Mobi format from the LIT.

NatCh
03-06-2008, 12:52 AM
... I saw Eric Flint's 1632 (series) as a download. I've seen it in the bookstores for some time now but have never really looked at it. Having pulled a download and read some of it....I now want to read the entire series. And that means I'm now buying the p-books.This is the main idea behind Baen's free library, if I understand it correctly -- they regard it as marketing "free samples" to get you to buy more of the same.

Evidently, it works pretty well, and their books are among the least "pirated" around. Go figure. :shrug:


I prefer to start with the RTF format myself. :grin:

JWLaRue
03-06-2008, 10:37 AM
Supposedly however if the Mobi format is not recent, then it's supposedly not all that wonderful. From what other's have said, BAEN is redoing their mobi format to improve them. So going from the CD, you might be best off to generate your own Mobi format from the LIT.

It turns out the that Fifth Imperium site has other Baen CD's hosted there as well. The "Hell Hath No fury" CD has HH files that are as recent as this year. :)

-Jeff

carandol
03-06-2008, 11:03 AM
Evidently, it works pretty well, and their books are among the least "pirated" around. Go figure. :shrug:

Since there are in effect an infinite number of any given ebook, I think it goes something like this:

Baen Books Method
Reader: You've got a lot of books there.
Baen: Yeah, you want one? Here. Have one.
Reader: What, for free?
Baen: Sure, why not? I've got plenty.
Reader: Cool. That's really nice, thanks!
Later...
Reader: Hey, that was a really good book. Can I *buy* the next one, cos I'd like to support the author's writing?
Baen: Sure, here you go. And while you're here, try this one for free, you might like this author too.
Reader: Wow, you're really nice, I'll come here again.

Normal Pubisher Method
Reader: You've got a lot of books there.
Publisher: I'll sell you one.
Reader: OK, I'll see what you've got.
Publisher: But you can't show it your friends.
Reader: What?
Publisher: You have to keep it secret. In fact, we put a lock on it, and you have the only key. To stop you sharing it with anyone.
Reader: That seems a bit mean, considering you've got an infinitely large pile of them there. But... well... I really want to read it, so I guess I'll buy one.
Later...
Reader: (hacking at new book with hammer and chisel): Now, if only I can get this damn lock off, I can give it away to everyone. That'll teach them to be so mean and grasping!

HarryT
03-06-2008, 11:28 AM
Normal Pubisher Method
Reader: You've got a lot of books there.
Publisher: I'll sell you one.
Reader: OK, I'll see what you've got.
Publisher: But you can't show it your friends.
Reader: What?
Publisher: You have to keep it secret. In fact, we put a lock on it, and you have the only key. To stop you sharing it with anyone.


There are DRM methods which allow you to share books with a friend or two. Mobi does, for example.

carandol
03-06-2008, 02:26 PM
There are DRM methods which allow you to share books with a friend or two. Mobi does, for example.

You mean because you're allowed to have a number of DRM codes? Or some other way I don't know about? Because if it's the first, giving out codes to your friends means that many less e-book devices you can buy before you have to buy another copy of the book.

Actually, that's a thought. Would the Mobi PID files on the iLiad transferable to a new iLiad if the old one died? Or are they tied to some internal identification of an individual machine?

NatCh
03-06-2008, 03:03 PM
As I understand it, they are tied to an internal identifier, but you can re-download them with new identifiers when you change devices. Mobipocket's scheme is fairly flexible ... as DRM systems go. :shrug:

DaleDe
03-06-2008, 03:26 PM
As I understand it, they are tied to an internal identifier, but you can re-download them with new identifiers when you change devices. Mobipocket's scheme is fairly flexible ... as DRM systems go. :shrug:

You can also deactivate old devices that you no longer need since there is a limit to the number of active devices you can have. eReader is even more flexible in its DRM if you are willing to share a credit card number with your friends.

Dale

kovidgoyal
03-06-2008, 03:34 PM
They're not really tied to an internal identifier, just to a PID. Ofcource the mobipocket reader software generates a PID based on device information, and it wont accept mobi files with any other PID, but if you know the PID of the mobi file, you can always de-DRM it.

carandol
03-06-2008, 07:58 PM
As I understand it, they are tied to an internal identifier, but you can re-download them with new identifiers when you change devices. Mobipocket's scheme is fairly flexible ... as DRM systems go. :shrug:

Sorry, I wasn't clear. I didn't mean my book files, I meant the files called Mobipocket_PID.mbp and Mobipocket_PID.txt. I wondered if those could be transferred to a new machine and allow it to work with the same Mobipocket files as before. One of the potential problems with DRM is that if the company you bought books from goes out of business, or drops DRM products, (as Google Video did with their videos), you're stuck with useless files once you update your hardware.

NatCh
03-06-2008, 09:34 PM
Ah, I see. I'm afraid I don't know for sure. My understanding is that the files are encrypted with some identifier unique to the hardware, which (if accurate) would suggest that moving those files wouldn't help any.

And, yeah, that sort of "orphaned" file is one of the biggest concerns/complaints/hazards of DRM. :sad:

JSWolf
03-07-2008, 12:23 AM
What I do when I purchase eBooks is to immediately remove the DRM soI don't have to remember to do it and I don't have to remember how to do it.

HarryT
03-07-2008, 03:14 AM
What I do when I purchase eBooks is to immediately remove the DRM soI don't have to remember to do it and I don't have to remember how to do it.

That may be permissible where you live, Jon, but it would be illegal for many of us.

HarryT
03-07-2008, 03:16 AM
Sorry, I wasn't clear. I didn't mean my book files, I meant the files called Mobipocket_PID.mbp and Mobipocket_PID.txt. I wondered if those could be transferred to a new machine and allow it to work with the same Mobipocket files as before.

No; the iLiad simply creates those files from the hardware PID. They are just there for your information so you can find out what the PID is. In other versions of MobiPocket Reader, the PID is displayed in the "About" box of the reader software.

balok
03-07-2008, 09:33 AM
MaYbe you should, I don't know, BUY THE EBOOKS?
(snip)
If you are going to keep a copy, then do the honorable thing: buy them.

Oh give me a break. This is a market economy. All that counts is supply and demand. Consumers won't buy things they can get for free, or pay higher prices voluntarily. Baen knows this, and he doesn't expect us to buy his books out of guilt or gratitude or honour or whatever. He's banking on two factors: 1) people would rather read paper than electronic books; 2) only the first few books in a series are available for free.

So Baen is making these books available for free, as in a free lunch. No strings attached. He isn't saying you can read them as long as you buy the paper copy. He's just hoping his business technique will afford him some leverage to get you to buy other books that aren't free.

Talking about honour in this context is like defending capitalism by toting "corporate responsibility". Companies will never really be responsible, because their number one priority is the mighty dollar. Likewise, consumers will always favour the lowest price for a quality product.

So how about easing up on people who read books that are available for free and who don't intend on buying the paper copy. Just because you may have been _____ enough to buy the paper book for sentimental reasons, you don't have to feel jealous that others aren't losing money the same way.

carandol
03-07-2008, 10:17 AM
No; the iLiad simply creates those files from the hardware PID. They are just there for your information so you can find out what the PID is. In other versions of MobiPocket Reader, the PID is displayed in the "About" box of the reader software.

Thanks. I suspected as much.

carandol
03-07-2008, 10:28 AM
Oh give me a break. This is a market economy. All that counts is supply and demand. Consumers won't buy things they can get for free, or pay higher prices voluntarily.

I will! :D And I'm sure I'm not the only person here who is not motivated solely by greed. Only the other day I gave some money to author Richard Herley for the shareware novels he's got on his website; because I liked the books, and thought the author deserved something in return for the work he'd put into them. I also paid some money for the MEPIS Linux I'm running on my laptop, even though I got it for free, to encourage the developer to continue supporting it. If it's purely a supply and demand economy, why are the people who run the MobileBooks forum doing it for free? Why are all the people who make ebooks and post them to this site doing it for free? Why is there so much Open Source Software and Shareware? Why is the Freecycle network thriving? The market economy might be dominant, but it's not the only economy at work in the world, nor necessarily the best.

balok
03-07-2008, 12:31 PM
I will! :D And I'm sure I'm not the only person here who is not motivated solely by greed.

Excuse me, are you saying that people who don't pay for things they get for "free" are motivated by greed?

If it's purely a supply and demand economy, why are the people who run the MobileBooks forum doing it for free? Why are all the people who make ebooks and post them to this site doing it for free? Why is there so much Open Source Software and Shareware? Why is the Freecycle network thriving? The market economy might be dominant, but it's not the only economy at work in the world, nor necessarily the best

Good point. I agree there exists a non market economy, which is good. However, I disapprove of basing this alternate economy on guilt trips or attaching to the use of "free" products the condition that the user pay a fee. In that case, the product is no longer free. Open source software developers, for example, don't expect people to give them money if they like the product, although they do accept donations. That's why it's open source and not shareware. You may offer money graciously to authors or developers whom you appreciate, but you're doing that out of kindness, not out of obligation. If it were an obligation, even just a moral one, you could expect it to be expressed in the licence agreement.

JSWolf
03-07-2008, 12:57 PM
Let's say I get an eBook from a publisher for free. I read this eBook and enjoy it and it turns out to be the first book in a series of say three books. That would get me to go and purchase the other 2 since I did enjoy the first book. Now if the first book had not been given to me for free, most likely I'd never have purchased the others. So while book one is a loss for the publisher and the author, overall it is a winner as I purchased two books I would not have otherwise and I might tell others about it and that may generate more sales. So overall the giving away of free books can be a good thing to the publisher.

There are people who subscribe to the webscription just because BAEN is such a nice company.

NatCh
03-07-2008, 01:09 PM
Excuse me, are you saying that people who don't pay for things they get for "free" are motivated by greed?I think he meant that tongue-in-cheek, balok. :nice:

carandol
03-07-2008, 01:25 PM
Excuse me, are you saying that people who don't pay for things they get for "free" are motivated by greed?

You said "Consumers won't buy things they can get for free, or pay higher prices voluntarily." Quite plainly some people will. Those who get something for nothing and don't give anything back even though they could, when doing so would benefit the writers whose work they are enjoying, are being greedy by my definition. It's the assumption of a lot of companies that people will always take and never give back that leads to things like DRM.

Good point. I agree there exists a non market economy, which is good. However, I disapprove of basing this alternate economy on guilt trips or attaching to the use of "free" products the condition that the user pay a fee. In that case, the product is no longer free. Open source software developers, for example, don't expect people to give them money if they like the product, although they do accept donations. That's why it's open source and not shareware. You may offer money graciously to authors or developers whom you appreciate, but you're doing that out of kindness, not out of obligation. If it were an obligation, even just a moral one, you could expect it to be expressed in the licence agreement.

Actually, open source developers are entitled to charge as much as they like for open source software -- the only legal obligation is that if they've based their software on someone else's code, they must release their own code for others to use.

But that aside, you seem to be implying that if someone gives you something for free, you would never dream of giving them anything in return unless it was written into a licence agreement? That the only morals that are worth following are the ones that are written down? Earlier you said "Just because you may have been _____ enough to buy the paper book for sentimental reasons, you don't have to feel jealous that others aren't losing money the same way." We don't know what that blank signifies (stupid? kind?) but it implies that you think less of people who would give money to an author out of a sense of moral obligation rather than contractual necessity.

tompe
03-07-2008, 03:05 PM
Those who get something for nothing and don't give anything back even though they could, when doing so would benefit the writers whose work they are enjoying, are being greedy by my definition. It's the assumption of a lot of companies that people will always take and never give back that leads to things like DRM.


Or the writer is greedy that want money for his pleasure activities like producing art. He can take a boring job like anybody else. And if he want me to read his art he can pay for my time.

I think your definition of greedy is not so useful and not at all consistent with people intuition about the concept.


Actually, open source developers are entitled to charge as much as they like for open source software -- the only legal obligation is that if they've based their software on someone else's code, they must release their own code for others to use.


And it they produce open source they have to distribute the source and then anybody can distribute it so it is a bit hard to sell the source.


But that aside, you seem to be implying that if someone gives you something for free, you would never dream of giving them anything in return unless it was written into a licence agreement? That the only morals that are worth following are the ones that are written down? Earlier you said "Just because you may have been _____ enough to buy the paper book for sentimental reasons, you don't have to feel jealous that others aren't losing money the same way." We don't know what that blank signifies (stupid? kind?) but it implies that you think less of people who would give money to an author out of a sense of moral obligation rather than contractual necessity.

I must say that if things are given with the expectation of something in return than they are not given for free. Actually I would feel bad paying for something that was free. It is like I do not trust the person that says it is free and I think he is lying or something. So I would never pay for something that was free. But i might donate money to the writer to be used for future work but that is something totally different.

carandol
03-07-2008, 04:07 PM
Or the writer is greedy that want money for his pleasure activities like producing art. He can take a boring job like anybody else. And if he want me to read his art he can pay for my time.

Actually, writing can be pretty boring too; 10% inspiration and 90% perspiration, as they say.

But that's not really a good argument because people read for pleasure, not payment (unless they're book reviewers, of course). In the traditional bookselling model you pay for a book then read it, and might find it wasn't worth it. If you get the book for free, you can decide whether it was worth paying for after you've read it. If you read it all the way to the end, it probably was.

I think your definition of greedy is not so useful and not at all consistent with people intuition about the concept.

I think different people have different intuitions.

And it they produce open source they have to distribute the source and then anybody can distribute it so it is a bit hard to sell the source.

Doesn't seem to stop Red Hat, Suse, Mandriva, etc., making a lot of money on it.

I must say that if things are given with the expectation of something in return than they are not given for free. Actually I would feel bad paying for something that was free. It is like I do not trust the person that says it is free and I think he is lying or something. So I would never pay for something that was free. But i might donate money to the writer to be used for future work but that is something totally different.

We obviously interact with people in very different ways, or move in different social circles or something. :) But hey, if everyone thought the same, the world would be a very dull place. If you give money to writers for books they haven't written yet, and I give money to writers for books I've read but haven't paid for yet, the end result should be more or less the same!

tompe
03-07-2008, 04:14 PM
Red Hat does not make money from people paying for something they have got for free.

binzer
03-07-2008, 09:12 PM
Does anyone have books they would recommend from the Baen Free library? I'm always looking for a new series to get into, but I'm a nervous buyer and would love to try a first book from the BFL.

tompe
03-07-2008, 09:18 PM
Does anyone have books they would recommend from the Baen Free library? I'm always looking for a new series to get into, but I'm a nervous buyer and would love to try a first book from the BFL.

All the James H. Schmitz books. A personal favorite is the first Telzey book The Universe Against Her. A lot of people seems to like The Witches of Karres best but i prefer the Telzey and Trigger stories.

Nate the great
03-07-2008, 09:37 PM
Does anyone have books they would recommend from the Baen Free library? I'm always looking for a new series to get into, but I'm a nervous buyer and would love to try a first book from the BFL.

Name some authors you like, so we can suggest someone similar.

binzer
03-07-2008, 09:47 PM
Name some authors you like, so we can suggest someone similar.

I like a pretty diverse field of stuff that includes pretty much every fiction genre, but I find that I usually have favorite individual books rather than favorite authors. As far as fantasy series' go my favorite authors are probably George RR Martin and Steven Erikson.

In general the books I enjoy the most have strong character development, and often clever or unexpected plots (if that helps).

Thanks for the suggestion btw tompe :) I've dled the first book and will give it a try. On a side note, don't you just hate most fantasy book covers? They're often one of the biggest deterrents when I'm looking at new books to try :P

balok
03-07-2008, 09:47 PM
Does anyone have books they would recommend from the Baen Free library? I'm always looking for a new series to get into, but I'm a nervous buyer and would love to try a first book from the BFL.

Binzer, if you appreciate alternate histories, try the Belisaurius series (first book is called "An oblique approach"). You can get a couple in the Free Library and a few more on one of the CDs in the Fifth Imperium. But the latest book in the series is not free. Another popular alternate history is the Ring of Fire series (first book: "1632").

Strether
03-07-2008, 09:51 PM
Where did you find The Universe Against Her? Don't see it on either the free or for-pay site, and a search doesn't come up with it, either.

Jim

NatCh
03-07-2008, 09:55 PM
David Weber is one of my favorite authors. I'd heartily recommend him if you like milscifi at all.

And I strongly second balok's Belisarius recommendation. :yes:

tompe
03-07-2008, 09:58 PM
Where did you find The Universe Against Her? Don't see it on either the free or for-pay site, and a search doesn't come up with it, either.


I see know that the two stories in The Universe Against Her is the first two stories in Baen's Telzey Amberdon ("Novice" and "Undercurrents").

Strether
03-07-2008, 10:14 PM
Thanks for the info; I'll try it. Really enjoyed The Witches of Karres, though it's been a long time since I've read it.

balok
03-07-2008, 10:19 PM
... it implies that you think less of people who would give money to an author out of a sense of moral obligation rather than contractual necessity.

I just think that there shouldn't be a sense of moral obligation in a situation where a book is clearly distributed as a free book. I suppose I do think less of someone who would give money to a publisher for a free book that was only made free in the hope of making more money on non-free book sales. To claim that there exists a moral obligation in this context supposes that Baen is making their books available for free with the implicit condition that we should buy them if we like them. But there is no such condition, neither implicit nor explicit. That's why it's called the Free Library.

By the way, let me point out that the sense of corresponding moral obligation that arises from a gift is a well-known sales technique. A car salesman will offer you a small gift, like movie tickets, and the small feeling that you should compensate him may be just enough to push you to buy a car, since you're in the market for one.

Another thought comes to mind, since you're talking about moral obligations. I give a certain amount of money to humanitarian organizations every month. This I do out of moral obligation, because I feel I have the obligation to help those in need. However, when it comes to for-profit companies, such as Baen publishing, I would question my priorities if I felt the same moral obligation. You mentioned the word "greed," and seem to have accorded it a very broad meaning, so let me ask you this: Who is more greedy, the person who requires something in return for the money he gives freely, such as a book, or the person who gives freely expecting nothing in return, as one would with a charitable organization? And since I'm getting carried away here, let me ask you another question: When you take a friend out for dinner, do you expect him to take you out some other time in return? Would you consider him greedy if he didn't take you out?

slayda
03-07-2008, 10:58 PM
TANSTAAFL!!

binzer
03-08-2008, 03:24 AM
I just think that there shouldn't be a sense of moral obligation in a situation where a book is clearly distributed as a free book. I suppose I do think less of someone who would give money to a publisher for a free book that was only made free in the hope of making more money on non-free book sales. To claim that there exists a moral obligation in this context supposes that Baen is making their books available for free with the implicit condition that we should buy them if we like them. But there is no such condition, neither implicit nor explicit. That's why it's called the Free Library.

By the way, let me point out that the sense of corresponding moral obligation that arises from a gift is a well-known sales technique. A car salesman will offer you a small gift, like movie tickets, and the small feeling that you should compensate him may be just enough to push you to buy a car, since you're in the market for one.

Another thought comes to mind, since you're talking about moral obligations. I give a certain amount of money to humanitarian organizations every month. This I do out of moral obligation, because I feel I have the obligation to help those in need. However, when it comes to for-profit companies, such as Baen publishing, I would question my priorities if I felt the same moral obligation. You mentioned the word "greed," and seem to have accorded it a very broad meaning, so let me ask you this: Who is more greedy, the person who requires something in return for the money he gives freely, such as a book, or the person who gives freely expecting nothing in return, as one would with a charitable organization? And since I'm getting carried away here, let me ask you another question: When you take a friend out for dinner, do you expect him to take you out some other time in return? Would you consider him greedy if he didn't take you out?

Many good points. Personally I don't feel any moral obligation to pay an author if a friend lends me one of his books, or if I sign out one of his books from the library, and I don't view free downloads any differently. The end result is that if I like the author I will support them in the future, and if I don't...well, I don't. The book was free, and I don't feel bad about it. I gave the author a shot, and that's probably more than I could say if the initial book hadn't been free.

If you read the post on the main page of the Baen Free Library it is made clear by Eric Flint why the Library exists, and he doesn't even remotely hint that you should feel obligated to do anything. Free books are free. If you really want to show your support, how about recommending the author to all your friends?

Gudy
03-08-2008, 10:20 AM
Binzer, if you appreciate alternate histories, try the Belisaurius series (first book is called "An oblique approach"). You can get a couple in the Free Library and a few more on one of the CDs in the Fifth Imperium. But the latest book in the series is not free.

Color me puzzled. AFAIK, all six available titles in the series are free from either the Library or the CDs, and the only one not freely available is the forthcoming title that isn't even out yet and therefore not available at all.

NatCh
03-08-2008, 10:37 AM
If you're referring to The Dance of Time, it's out and available (http://www.webscriptions.net/p-94-the-dance-of-time.aspx). :nice:

There's something (http://www.webscriptions.net/p-773-belisarius-i-thunder-at-dawn.aspx) titled Belisarius I: Thunder at Dawn scheduled for September release, but it'll apparently be a compilation of the first two books in the series (according to Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/Belisarius-I-Thunder-Dawn/dp/1416555684/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1204986702&sr=8-1)), so it doesn't really count as a "new" book, per se. :shrug:

Puzzled me at first, since the existing books are definitely a complete story.

igorsk
03-08-2008, 06:52 PM
Thanks for the info; I'll try it. Really enjoyed The Witches of Karres, though it's been a long time since I've read it.
Then you might like this (http://baencd.thefifthimperium.com/13-TheBalticWarCD/TheBalticWarCD/The%20Wizard%20of%20Karres/index.htm).

Kane
03-09-2008, 08:17 PM
The Belisarius series-

1. An Oblique Approach

2. In The Heart of Darkness

3. Destiny's Shield

4. Fortune's Stroke

5. The Tide of Victory

6. The Dance of Time

Thunder at Dawn looks to be a reprint omnibus. Baen does quite a few of those. The ebook versions of the omnibus editions are usually a very good deal by the way.

There is also a novella in The Warmasters collection. I'm not sure where it fits in the continuity of the series.

Matter of fact, it's the only new thing in the collection.:angry: The other two pieces are reprints of David Drake and David Weber pieces. The only real complaints I have about Baen are that it is sometimes hard to know whether or not something is completely new. For example, The David Weber book Bolo! only has one new piece (which is actually a prequel to his novel Old Soldiers) but you can't really tell that With Your Shield is the new story without looking at the book's copyright info.

Secondly, for a long time it was hard to tell if a particular book was part of a series or where it went in a series. They have actually improved quite a bit in this area recently.

Kane
03-09-2008, 08:35 PM
I like a pretty diverse field of stuff that includes pretty much every fiction genre, but I find that I usually have favorite individual books rather than favorite authors. As far as fantasy series' go my favorite authors are probably George RR Martin and Steven Erikson.

In general the books I enjoy the most have strong character development, and often clever or unexpected plots (if that helps).

Thanks for the suggestion btw tompe :) I've dled the first book and will give it a try. On a side note, don't you just hate most fantasy book covers? They're often one of the biggest deterrents when I'm looking at new books to try :P

For fantasy from the free library try Oath of Swords by David Weber and Lord of the Isles by David Drake.

Regarding Erikson- I've read the two Bauchelain and Korbal Broach novellas and plan to read Gardens of the Moon soon. I sure wish the series was available in ebook form. Maybe Tor will offer Gardens as one of their promotional titles.

binzer
03-09-2008, 09:41 PM
For fantasy from the free library try Oath of Swords by David Weber and Lord of the Isles by David Drake.

Regarding Erikson- I've read the two Bauchelain and Korbal Broach novellas and plan to read Gardens of the Moon soon. I sure wish the series was available in ebook form. Maybe Tor will offer Gardens as one of their promotional titles.

Wow, I can't imagine reading the novellas without having read the books! If you liked them at all I would definitely recommend the novels.

That being said, the first one is a little hard to get into, but it's worth toughing out. Erikson just kinda throws you in there and doesn't give you much background info on what's going on, and you have to figure out how magic etc works just by fitting things together on your own.

The neat thing about the series is that things are very often not what they seem, and even when you think you fully understand something you often find out otherwise a couple books later. There are also some very charming characters, although Erikson doesn't develop them quite as well in the early books.

Anyways folks, thanks for all your suggestions so far! I have a big long list written up, and lots of reading to do :)

plantedbypiggies
03-10-2008, 04:00 AM
Regarding Erikson- I've read the two Bauchelain and Korbal Broach novellas and plan to read Gardens of the Moon soon. I sure wish the series was available in ebook form. Maybe Tor will offer Gardens as one of their promotional titles.

I doubt this will happen. If you look at the Tor releases so far, all of the books they are releasing are by authors who have released novels online for free. Erikson hasn't done that, so I don't know if he'd be willing to let him release it.

More on topic, I have a question about something. I purchased the ebook version of The Best of Jim Baen's Universe (http://www.webscription.net/p-607-the-best-of-jim-baens-universe.aspx). It came with a free download of the iso for the promotional disk that the hardcover originally came with. Do they do this with all of their promotional disks, or was that a one time thing?

HarryT
03-10-2008, 05:09 AM
IMore on topic, I have a question about something. I purchased the ebook version of The Best of Jim Baen's Universe (http://www.webscription.net/p-607-the-best-of-jim-baens-universe.aspx). It came with a free download of the iso for the promotional disk that the hardcover originally came with. Do they do this with all of their promotional disks, or was that a one time thing?

They've done it with a few of them. When the last "Harrington" book came out, the hardback came with a CD of all the previous HH books, and the ISO image was available for download to purchasers of the eBook.

Gudy
03-10-2008, 05:55 AM
There is also a novella in The Warmasters collection. I'm not sure where it fits in the continuity of the series.

It fits rather snugly, so to speak. In fact, if you've read all six books in the series, the novella in The Warmasters offers nothing new, as it is essentially the extraction of two plot threads from one of the later books in the series (I forget which, but I'm tempted to say book 5).

Xenophon
03-10-2008, 12:18 PM
It fits rather snugly, so to speak. In fact, if you've read all six books in the series, the novella in The Warmasters offers nothing new, as it is essentially the extraction of two plot threads from one of the later books in the series (I forget which, but I'm tempted to say book 5).
Actually, the novella in The Warmasters was written first. Eric Flint decided to incorporate it into the final book of the series later on, because he felt it just fit there really well.

Xenophon

Gudy
03-10-2008, 03:13 PM
Ah, good to know, as well as another reminder that the order in which you discover things is not necessarily the one they were created in...

NatCh
03-10-2008, 03:53 PM
Yeah, that one catches me out sometimes too. :whistle: