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Old 12-28-2010, 05:03 AM   #1
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Free book (MultiFormat, DRM-free) - Starfarers [Science Fiction]

As a post-holiday treat, noted SF author Vonda McIntyre and the sf/fantasy writer's consortium BookViewCafé are making available the 1st novel in her Starfarers series free for a limited time.

This is downloadable in multiple formats, all DRM-free, as well as readable online.

If you find you want to pick up the rest of the Quartet, it's actually cheaper to splurge for the Omnibus containing all 4 books than pay for the remaining 3 separately.

And BVC also publishes through Smashwords and thence to Kobo, so you can probably use coupons if you find any suitable.

Here's the link directly to the Starfarers Quartet page at BVC.

Might as well copypaste the description for the lazy below:

The starship Starfarer is poised for our first voyage to another star system. The Alien Contact Team — physicist Victoria Fraser MacKenzie, geneticist Stephen Thomas Gregory, geographer Satoshi Lono, and alien contact specialist J.D. Sauvage — and the rest of the faculty and staff prepare for humanity’s most ambitious exploratory expedition.

But the world has changed. A new regime orders the vessel to be abandoned. It will be turned into an instrument of war.

What do the Starfarers do?

They do what any red-blooded Alien Contact Team would do.

They steal the starship.


Just a reminder that the BVC has some good backlist books by pretty decent established midlist print authors, and very reasonable terms (MultiFormat, DRM-free, re-downloadable for as long as the site lasts, and generally $4.99 or less per individual title, plenty of free sample stories and novellas), so it's a nice place to get stuff if you happen to like sf/fantasy.
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Old 12-28-2010, 05:14 AM   #2
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Old 12-28-2010, 06:40 AM   #3
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Got it!

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Old 12-28-2010, 07:00 AM   #4
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Old 12-28-2010, 08:18 PM   #5
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Old 12-28-2010, 08:38 PM   #6
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Old 12-29-2010, 04:22 AM   #7
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Old 12-29-2010, 10:27 AM   #8
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ePub quality

Thanks of course.

However, have you seen ePub version? It looks like a poem. covers about 1/3 of the screen field right in the middle of the page
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Old 12-29-2010, 11:26 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by astra View Post
Thanks of course.

However, have you seen ePub version? It looks like a poem. covers about 1/3 of the screen field right in the middle of the page
You're right, it is awful.

If you have any comfort level with editing css you can easily fix it in calibre by tweaking the epub. Open the style css file you get when the epub is exploded. Remove all the lines that say "Bookman" in them (to get rid of the extra large bold font they picked for some reason) and remove the two lines in the .calibre section that specify margins at 27%. Then have calibre put the epub back together and it is fixed.

It is a horrible epub however. Font choice should be left to the user's default instead of specifying something, unless it is crucial to the text (i.e. typewriter font or handwriting font for a note within the story). I'm not sure what's up with the huge margins,

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Old 12-29-2010, 01:19 PM   #10
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Got it. Thanks! Maybe they've fixed the ePub, it looks fine in iBooks now.
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Old 12-29-2010, 01:27 PM   #11
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Got it. Thanks! Maybe they've fixed the ePub, it looks fine in iBooks now.
Nope.
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Old 12-29-2010, 02:58 PM   #12
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I find the easiest "fix" for these is to open the zip file, delete the CSS (or just rename it), then rename back to EPUB.
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Old 12-29-2010, 04:05 PM   #13
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I find the easiest "fix" for these is to open the zip file, delete the CSS (or just rename it), then rename back to EPUB.
The problem with doing this is that you lose all formatting of the story. That's why I open the css and try to remove the problematic elements.

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Old 12-29-2010, 06:49 PM   #14
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Loosing all the formatting is the worst possible solution ever.
Why bother with ePub then? Use txt file.
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Old 12-29-2010, 08:31 PM   #15
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Quote:
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Loosing all the formatting is the worst possible solution ever.
Why bother with ePub then? Use txt file.
Because a txt file would not have the formatting that still remains - including bold, italic, included graphics, covec pages, etc. No doubt I lose "something", but since I don't want any text or font overrides and the defaults for indents are fine, I want the default margins.

Maybe something else is in that css that is helpful, but they are generally such a mess on these badly formatted epubs that simply removing results in a superior product. Not to mention readable, as one of the worst errors I find is something like a type 2 font specified over and over, which can barely be corrected to a readable size on 6" screen (and sometimes not, depending on the reader - some won't override that irritating decision by a publisher using a 22" screen to preview).
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