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Old 03-01-2012, 03:24 PM   #1
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Exclamation Free (Kindle KDP) Six Against the Stars by Stephen Hunt [SF Zany Space Opera Romp]

The influx of "stepfamily with benefits" pseudo-incest porno seems to have slowed to a trickle (and here's an interesting Dear Author round-up of the situation which is not simply playing out on Smashwords alone and Paypal's differentially applied standards, which do seem like an excuse to arbitrarily seize accounts and the money within if they feel like it).

On the other hand, the KDP exclusive-or-else-hey-kids-let's-have-fun-playing-single-vendor-lock-in-and-hide-the-DRM-keys slushpile is starting to get in some body-part-enlargement self-help guides, and no, not just for your pecs.

Incidentally, is it just my browsers/account, or has Amazon seriously screwed up the listings when you try to re-sort an auto-search (like the one you get when you click on an author name and choose "see search results for this author") by price and they inflate the results with about a zillion other unrelated things?

In any case, we have something of a double-feature sf/fantasy backlist-published author treat in the slushpile today.

Previously-title-featured Stephen Hunt (ISFDB, Wikipedia) is a Canadian-born British writer best known for his steampunk fantasies which are currently published by HarperCollins. He offers as part of the slushpile two probably self-pub space operas (no ISFDB entries for these titles, and they've got his 1994 novel from the same "Green Nebula Publishing", which only ever seems to have printed Hunt's work), one an omnibus of a comedic-looking adventure romp, and the other the continuation of a more serious-looking adventure thriller.

Six Against the Stars (Omnibus: Book 1 & 2) is exactly what it says in the title, collecting the complete duology of what looks like a zany comedy-of-errors space opera romp which makes use of the term "misadventures" and was out from "Green Nebula" in 1999, according to the infobox.

Free for who knows how long, and who can tell pre-purchase if these have got DRM anymore @ Amazon main UK DE ES FR IT Additional surcharges may apply in certain regions.

Description
As the self-proclaimed biggest coward in the galaxy, Horatio has it easy on what passes for 40th century America. A much-favoured sycophant in the court of the King of Earth, Horatio lives in a genetically engineered paradise where there's a vat-grown slave waiting around every marble column with a bunch of grapes to drop into his oh-so perfectly designed mouth.

Unfortunately for Horatio, the artificial intelligence that rules the great mass of humanity spread across the stars has other plans for this feckless seducer. So, if you ever wonder how the galaxy's biggest coward finds himself actually trying to save it, you're not alone... but then, unfortunately, neither is our hero!

His misadventures are abetted by a psychotic Martian warrior, a robot who thinks it's related to Sherlock Holmes, a beautiful genetically enhanced assassin, a scientist with a computer for a brain, and a millennia-old clone who was alive when the last U.S. President was executed by a firing squad.

It's six against the galaxy. Six against the stars. They'll save the universe... but they might damage it first.


Transference Station is the 2nd book in the Sliding Void series of more serious action/adventure-looking space opera thrillers, for which we received the 1st one free several weeks ago. IIRC, Hunt has used up all his allotted KDP freebie days on that one, so I wouldn't expect a repeat of it anytime soon.

This is a new release from "Green Nebula" and free for who knows how long with what DRM @ Amazon main UK DE ES FR IT

Description
Are things finally looking up for Captain Lana Fiveworlds? She's managed to reach what passes for civilisation in the wild border systems of the Edge - Transference Station - the largest trading hub in the free worlds. With her ramshackle starship, the Gravity Rose, safely docked, she's now desperately searching for a cargo to stave off bankruptcy.

Lana's crew needs paying - including the amorous barbarian prince she rescued from a failed colony world. But her crew have other priorities: the ship's android, Zeno, is distracted by terrible secrets from his past, while her alien navigator, Polter, runs into trouble indulging his religious fervour.

If that wasn't enough, there's a deal available... but only from the dodgiest broker in a thousand planets. With rival starship captains looking to sabotage Lana for good, and a dangerous mission to a mysterious planet which is far more than the lies she's been spun, things can only get worse from here on in.

Lana Fiveworlds and her crew of misfits are still sliding void, just, but for how much longer?

Sometimes, the brown stuff piles up so high you need antigravity thrusters to fly over it.


And here's the slushpile trawl dump which consists of the things from recognizably-credentialed/interesting-enough looking sources. I skipped over a bunch of repeats.

Not sorted for reasons I'm sure you're all aware of if you've been paying attention.

And romance lovers should check out Britomart's thread of recent Kindle-available backlist romances, several of which are still free, which includes some Smashwords titles which you won't need to strip/convert if you've a non-Kindle reader.

Nebula nominated former Marion Zimmer Bradley protegee Vera Nazarian repeats her previously-title-featured fantasy novel: Dreams of the Compass Rose, which I'll stick here instead of bumping up the old pre-slushpile thread since we've got so many repeats this morning for the publisher promo stuff alone.

Leanne Tyler has been published by small romance specialty imprint The Wild Rose Press (available via Fictionwise). She offers a contemporary foodie f/m romance: A Country Kitchen Christmas

Dave White has been small-press-published and has a short story in a St. Martin's/Minotaur-printed anthology. He also says he has won a Derringer Award, whatever that is. He offers a mystery/crime thriller: Witness to Death

Julia Madeleine says that she, too, has been nominated for a Derringer Award for one of the short stories in her crime collection: Stick A Needle In My Eye

Zoe Sharp offers the 1st in her Charlie Fox series of mystery/crime thrillers about an ex-British Army English biker chick, originally 2001-Piatkus hardcovered: Killer Instinct

Minor ISFDBed Benjamin X. Wretland is back with another ghostly supernatural thriller in his novella series: Cpl Thomas Tweed's War (Sketches from the Spanish Mustang)

Another two of these graphic novel issues for your collection: JAZAN WILD'S CARNIVAL OF SOULS "All Hell's Breaking Loose" and
JAZAN WILD'S CARNIVAL OF SOULS In Amazing 3D! (Red / Green 3D Glasses Required)
I like how the title gets truncated in Amazon's official "short" link name to "Amazing Glasses Required", which sounds like a disclaimer that more things should come with, like "batteries not included".

Derek Clendening has a single story in his ISFDB entry which goes to a short printed in a Kevin J. Anderson-edited anthology. He offers two horror thingies of varying length: Linkage for them both

Tracy L. Carbone has a minor ISFBD entry with only a few things in it, but one of them was editing a Stoker-nominated horror fiction anthology. She offers a horror short: Pretty Pig Let Me In

Michael Parker offers his 1980 Macmillan-published wilderness/disaster thriller about something going terribly wrong at an oil company's arctic drilling operation: North Slope

Previously-featured Edgar-nominated true crime & thriller writer Anthony Bruno returns with an FBI vs serial killer thriller: Bleeders (A Trisha McCleery book)

Minor ISFDBed Carole Gill returns with a collection of horror shorts: Nightwalker and other tales

Australian writer Martin Roth returns with another in his Christian military thriller series, this one also involving a murder mystery set in Japan: The Maria Kannon (Military Orders Series, Book 2) I'm not going to look up his publication credits again, but I think he had something out from one of the smaller Christian fiction imprints and a bunch of claimed award nominations for it.

Ken McClure returns with the 4th in his Dr. Steven Dunbar medical thrillers, this one 2004 Allison & Busby published: The Gulf Conspiracy

ISFDBed David Bain has another horror short: Those Who Can, Help

Sedonia Guillone has been published by Loose-ID and Ellora's Cave. She offers two m/m contemporary romance shorts set in Japan, which may or may not also have erotic content, via Ai Love Press: Linkage for the lot

Another Ai Love Press offering is another m/m multicultural paranormal possibly-erotic romance "super-novel" by Mya (no last name given), who has also been Loose-ID published: Embraced By the Sun

Long, long ago, in a Year of the Dragon far, far away, Toronto-born Greek-resident Irish citizen Robert Maclean wrote a novel that was published by Atheneum. This is not it, but instead a humorous novel from "Baker" (probably no relation to the Christian fiction mega-publisher) dating to 1999 if the paperback credits are accurate. He says it's been shortlisted for the "London Observer's P.G. Wodehouse Comic Novel Prize", but I'm not going to bother to google: Mortal Coil: A Comedy of Corpses

Speaking of my fellow more-or-less Canadians, writer of construction and economics articles Alex Carrick is back with another short collection of : Ten Tales of Spotty Ruin (Ten Tales Series)

Leda Swann has written a few things for Ellora's Cave. She offers an f/m/m historical erotic romance set in the court of King James I (presumably of England, not Scotland, where he would have been VI or so, IIRC): Lily's Lovers

Jeanne Campbell edits an anthology of erotic romance stories set in a women's fantasy club, out from the same "Pink Zebra Publishing" who're the imprint name for those Big-6-paperbacked Cheyenne McCray writing as Jaymie Holland erotic romance shorts we've gotten so many of. So if you were happy with the quality level of those, you may want to give a try to: The Bordella: Book One

Consuelo Saah Baehr who's written a bunch of acclaimed historical/literary fiction returns with a non-fiction personal journal 1976-Simon & Schustered: Report from the Heart

I forget exactly what Leslie Wooddavis was included for previously, but I think it was for a minor maybe-self-pub sf novel which had some known outlet praise in a review. Anyway, she's got some sort of thriller about being trapped in a science-vs-magic cult if you're interested: Whilom Magic - The Star

H. Will Bashor says that he's a PhD and has taught at a specified university. Someone with his name did contribute a couple of times to the academic Linguist's List e-mail group a couple of times in 2000. This is his biography of : JEAN-BAPTISTE CLÉRY: Eyewitness to Louis XVI & Marie Antoinette's Nightmare

UK author Madelynne Ellis who I think has been previously included, has a bunch of familiar-looking credits from a small erotic romance imprint and a short story in the Mammoth Book of Hot Romance. She offers a paranormal f/m romance which is probably fairly steamy: Blood Moon

This Brian Edwards may or may not be the same one as has an ISFDB entry for illustration credits. In any case, he says his sf novella about a mysterious vanished alien race (cover makes it look like a Lovecraftian homage) was print-published twenty years ago and sometimes the ISFDB is missing entries for minor things from way back. He does have a print credit for an Oxford University Press textbook in their Engineering Science series, so hopefully he's got a decent ability to string together coherent sentences in: Going to Meet the Old Ones

Stoker/Edgar-nominee Billie Sue Mosiman returns with another collection of shorts: THE SUBWAY COLLECTION-Dark Stories to Read On the Go

Mark Yarwood says he's written for television, including the UK comedy Smack the Pony, which I've seen episodes of. I'm not going to bother looking up the IMDB entry he probably has, but here's his darkly satirical novel about societal obsessions: Ugly Things

Previously-featured EC Sheedy who had a story collected in the Mammoth Book of Special Ops Romance now writing as Carole Dean offers a contemporary romance which may be a repeat: California Man

MeiLin Miranda has had short stories included in anthologies from sf/fantasy/specialty-themed erotic romance publisher Circlet Press, and she offers two shorts, one of them published in said anthology, and the other which seems to be a mystery/horror: Linkage for them both

I.J. Parker returns with a brand-new Severn House-published installment in her historical Japan-set murder mystery series: The Fires of the Gods (A Sugawara Akitada Novel)

Xulon Press is one of the minor Christian fiction imprints. In 2004 they paperbacked this inspirational personal journey/memoir by Carl Hershey, which he offers under their imprint name: Reversing Thrust .... A Backward Step Into Manhood

Sally Clements is another The Wild Rose Press alumna. This is her contemporary romance: The Morning After

Minor ISFDBed Jane Toombs returns with another installment in her historical saga set in early California which may also have romantic content: Golden Chances Book 7 - The Wild Card

If you've got a thing for pithy sayings from famous dead people, Linda Pendleton, wife and occasional co-writer with the late Don Pendleton of Mack Bolan Executioner action/adventure fame has amassed a compilation of them for you to enjoy: A Small Drop of Ink: A Collection of Inspirational and Moving Quotations of the Ages

Andy Straka offers the 1st in his Frank Favlicek mystery/thriller series, originally 2001-Signet-paperbacked: A Witness Above

Christian fiction writer Janice Thompson currently has an official promo Baker/Revell-offered romance permafreebie across various stores (Fools Rush In, if you're interested and haven't already picked it up). She herself offers what seems to be an inspirational women's fiction novel about dealing with infertility: Fill These Empty Arms

This collection of collaboratively-written theme stories includes some big names in the crime/suspense field including fellow MR member author Paul Levine, Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine Reader's Choice award-winner Dave Zeltserman and Ed Gorman and Max Allan Collins, who are NY Times bestseller people, IIRC: Die, Lover, Die!

From the same imprint, another collection of shorts from mostly the same authors: Top Suspense: 13 Classic Stories by 12 Masters of the Genre (Top Suspense Anthologies)

Here's Canadian Steve Vernon's ISFDB entry. Here's Canadian Steve Vernon's hockey-based probably comedic horror thing, which includes a bonus time-travelling hockey tale: Sudden Death Overtime This has specific praise from Gord Rollo, who seems to be one of the respected published horror authors who once showed up in the Deals forum to complain about his book being unconsentedly freebied by Dorchester who famously imploded due to not paying their author royalties.

Previously-included Ten Speed Press-published non-fiction writer and winner of some Western Writers of America award for her historical novel Carol Buchanan returns with another apparently small-pressed western historical novel set in Montana, sequel to the award-winning one: Gold Under Ice

German crime fiction award-winning Henry Holt-published South African expat Roger Smith returns with a criminal redemption short: Ishmael Toffee: A Novella

Linda L. Richard's 2004-MIRA paperbacked mystery/thriller is not KDP, but playing pricing catchup with Smashwords, so may not be price-matched in your particular region: Mad Money (Madeline Carter)

Decadent Publishing Company LLC offers another batch of mostly-romances which range from simply steamy to probably outright erotic, depending. They also seem to have a plotty historical steampunk thriller set around an alternate Triple Alliance (you'll recognize this term if you've read post-Victorian European history leading up to WWI) which looks pretty interesting so maybe they're expanding the line of stuff they publishing like Harlequin and Samhain have been branching out: Linkage to start digging through the lot. There's a bunch of Prime-lending "free" stuff that Amazon auto-dumps into the $0.00 price-filtered listings, but there's at least 4 new freebies in different sub-genres, including the cracktastically titled "Fae Eye for the Golem Guy".

Way back last year, I previously included Suzanne Tyrpak's historical Ancient Greek sleuthy mystery/suspense because I like historical sleuthy mystery/suspense and it had an introduction by known published crime writer Tess Gerritsen. Her Ancient Roman historical sleuthy mystery/suspense has an introduction by known horror writer and frequent Konrath co-writer Blake Crouch: Vestal Virgin (Suspense in Ancient Rome)

I approve of the use of not-too-cutesy cartoons to illustrate educational/self-help works. Thus I include: The Comic Guide to Search Engine Optimization (SEO) - A Beginners Guide

I'm not sure exactly what's in this graphic novel, but the art isn't too bad for an amateur (I've seen worse pro-published) and the write-up makes it sound interesting and the title is awesome, so: Wandering Koala vs. The Scientific Method, Comics 1 and 2

Happy reading, if indeed you spot something you think you might like.

Last edited by ATDrake; 03-01-2012 at 03:28 PM. Reason: Actual linkage to the thread I mention would be helpful.
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Old 03-01-2012, 03:47 PM   #2
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Thank you!
I picked up the Ken McClure novel, and Vestal Virgins. Despite the fact that I still haven't read the previous freebies I downloaded. Oh well. Worst case I'll just delete them.
Interestingly, the urge to download free e-books have decreased lately. Must because of the fact that I have so many unread.

Edit:
I forgot to mention: Book of Shadows by Alexandra Sokoloff is free to non-US readers. Available at UK, DE, ES, IT.
Not sure if it includes Australia and NZ though. ( I got the UK link from the Murderati post, but the other links isn't workning.. ) I read this, and it is a great book.

Alexandra Sokoloff also offers her dark YA novel Spaces in Between for free at all the stores. Link to the US page.

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Old 03-01-2012, 04:06 PM   #3
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Thanks, I snagged some of the first in series mysteries.
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Old 03-01-2012, 04:16 PM   #4
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Quite a big haul today. Great work, again.
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Old 03-01-2012, 04:26 PM   #5
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Dang - just when I think I've done a good job negotiating the free/price drop sites, you go turning slush-pile dross into hidden gold. Don't know how you do it, but thanks!

Picked up the South African novella, The Vestal Virgin, Mortal Coil, Killer Instinct (one I almost DB'ed in the past), and that French one although "Diderot Press" kinda induced an eye roll. Pleased to see he apparently has a follow-up: "Oh, Léonard! Hairdresser to Marie-Antoinette and Other Sublime Ladies."

Sorry for rambling - just: thanks for your efforts.
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Old 03-01-2012, 04:37 PM   #6
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My methods are elementary, like Sherlock Holmes' principles of deduction which he claims anyone can apply if they have the knowledge and will.

They are also described in this post here, from the last time someone asked.
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Old 03-01-2012, 05:10 PM   #7
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Picked up a couple.

Thanks!



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Old 03-01-2012, 07:47 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ATDrake View Post
Incidentally, is it just my browsers/account, or has Amazon seriously screwed up the listings when you try to re-sort an auto-search (like the one you get when you click on an author name and choose "see search results for this author") by price and they inflate the results with about a zillion other unrelated things?
No, this has been happening to me as well. Started several days ago.

For example, I just picked an author at random (Erin Hunter). On her author page, there are 104 entries. A regular search (not using quotes) returns 380 results. Sorting by price returns 24,435,975 results. Extremely useful. Must be something wrong......

Anyway, picked up some more titles. Thank you.
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Old 03-01-2012, 08:33 PM   #9
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All sorts are broken. You can fix them by finding the #ref that gets added and deleting it and all they way up to the last &sort=

or just type in the sort by hand (sometimes almost as fast) to modify the command.

OTOH - if you are on the Kindle fire, the searches have been broken since day one. Find a title, fine, open the book page, so far so good, click the author name - get bad command and no result. You have to edit the command line/URL and change every %2520 to %20, so that it searches (as %20 is the space and the stupid silk browser apparently screws it up and adds the extra "25".
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Old 03-01-2012, 09:50 PM   #10
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There was some good stuff in that lot. I've been meaning to look into Stephen Hunt's writing for example. Thanks very much.
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Old 03-02-2012, 12:07 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by koland View Post
All sorts are broken. You can fix them by finding the #ref that gets added and deleting it and all they way up to the last &sort=

or just type in the sort by hand (sometimes almost as fast) to modify the command.
Thanks for the tip, koland. Getting results into the millions is not terribly helpful.
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Old 03-02-2012, 12:39 AM   #12
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I try to pick up some of the free books often. I figure it gives me a chance to see if a given author is one whose work I would like to read, and if it turns out that a given author's style is one I don't like I haven't lost any $ via the sample.
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Old 03-02-2012, 12:49 AM   #13
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I have read the Stephen Hunt books, they are definitely worth a look.
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Old 03-02-2012, 03:16 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Blue Tyson View Post
I have read the Stephen Hunt books, they are definitely worth a look.
Thanks for that. I was always interested in The Court of the Air etc.. Would be nice to sample his writing before committing to any purchases.
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Old 03-02-2012, 04:16 AM   #15
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Also read this one, which was good, too :-

In the Company of Ghosts – Stephen Hunt

So he's versatile and better than professionally competent. Probably the former led him to offer these, stuff he wanted to write but publisher than only wants fat fantasy of some sort wasn't interested in.

They seem to be all 2.99 in general, so a good price.
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