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Old 05-01-2011, 03:25 PM   #14
ATDrake
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grumpy3b View Post
Lady Slings the Booze and a couple others. It's odd they are not in ebook form because Spider is a net sort of guy but I sense he has a predilection for printed matter over bit-streams.
Baen have Lady Slings the Booze and Callahan's Lady, along with several other of the Robinsons' books (including the Stardance Trilogy, which I rather liked) over at Webscriptions.

Wen Spencer's Tinker, mentioned above, is also a freebie via one of Baen's early promo CDs* which can be found at the Fifth Imperium site which hosts them online.

John Scalzi's Agent to the Stars is available as a free online read at his website.

Depending on whether the OP wants breezy openly comedic light sf/fantasy, or simply more optimistic less doom-and-gloom stuff than the currently popular fare, there are several recs I could make:

Elizabeth Ann Scarborough is available via Fictionwise and Smashwords. She has series that deal with heavy themes using a light touch (Godmother, I think also Songkiller which I haven't read, Cleopatra to a certain extent), as well as more funny-book type of fantasy (Valentine Lovelace, Seashell Archives). She's also got a Nebula Award-winner, The Healer's War, but that's said to be kind of a downer book due to story setting.

R. A. MacAvoy is available via Fictionwise and has a mix of heavy themes/light touch and more serious works. The Damiano Trilogy and the Black Dragon books are the former, and Lens of the World which I have not yet finished reading seems to be the latter. The Book of Kells, a time travel which I really liked and recommend, is one of her lighter themes/light touch works.

Robert J. Sawyer does fairly optimistic sf works which take a hopeful approach to serious subject matter. He's got some online stories free to read on his website and has won at least Hugo and also Nebula, IIRC.

Barbara Hambly does much the same for fantasy, and I'd class her approach as late-era Pratchett and Bujold, where there's heavy stuff that's dealt with seriously, but with hope and humanity underlying it all.

She's also one of the few prolific writers (along with Pratchett, Bujold, Brust, and Sawyer) where I've bought practically everything they've ever written because I enjoyed their writing that much. Her out-of-print back catalogue has just gone up in e-book form in a big way, and now nearly everything of hers is available in digital editions.

Anne Logston has a couple of books available via Fictionwise, and they are light adventure fantasy which is not quite comedic, but firmly on the breezy fun side. These are decently written and entertaining mid-level mind candy.

Don Callander's book over at Fictionwise is of a similar type and quality, and I enjoyed both authors' works. FW also have Lawrence Watt-Evans' works DRM-free, and I second the recommendation above, at least for the Ethshar series which I've read.

John Moore is much more openly comedic, with his books being like an early Pratchett/Holt type spoof of fantasy tropes. Only one of them is available in an e-edition (via Fictionwise, and "Secure" format), but he offers a free download of an unpublished novel (PDF) on his website.

* Unfortunately I forget which. But it's somewhere within the first 6 or so, I think.
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