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Old 02-10-2008, 02:09 AM   #1
MachinegunDojo
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Good free Sci-fi?

I am into books like Battletech, Warhammer 40K, Star Wars, etc... I'd like to try some free eBooks on my Dash before I start buying. If it matters I am in the US for copyright stuff. I'd figure some of you would know where I can start, I am looking through the Baen Free Library right now but I'm looking blindly and it's getting tiresome reading short descriptions.
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Old 02-10-2008, 02:22 AM   #2
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David Weber's Honor Harrington series might be a good place to start. There are more free Baen books on CD's which are on the web, e.g. at The Fifth Imperium, the 1st is the Baen's Honorverse CD.

Another Baen author to take look at would be Lois McMaster Bujold (4 Hugos).
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Old 02-10-2008, 04:10 AM   #3
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...but no Bujold novels are available for free (only a short story).
I second Honor Harrington recommendation. At All Costs CD handily includes all books in the series so far. Be prepared for some late night reading
Another great authors available from Baen Free Library/CDs are John Ringo (don't start with Ghost series though), Eric Flint (check 1632), David Drake. For a bit older but still great SF try Keith Laumer (Odyssey, The Lighter Side) or Andre Norton. For fantasy, check Elizabeth Moon.
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Old 02-10-2008, 04:19 AM   #4
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Cory Doctorow has all his books and short stories online for free in a variety of formats.

I've found him to be just about the best sci-fi I've read in YEARS. The free part helps.

http://craphound.com/
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Old 02-10-2008, 07:21 AM   #5
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I'm currently thoroughly enjoying Peter Watts' "Starfish", which I got from www.feedbooks.com. The two sequels are there too, as well as an unconnected space opera. Starfish is set in a deep undersea power generating station staffed by a variety of sociopaths and criminals (since no-one else wants the job). It's very dark in all senses of the word, but if you're into Warhammer 40k it ought to suit you
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Old 02-10-2008, 09:18 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MachinegunDojo View Post
I am into books like Battletech, Warhammer 40K, Star Wars, etc... I'd like to try some free eBooks on my Dash before I start buying. If it matters I am in the US for copyright stuff. I'd figure some of you would know where I can start, I am looking through the Baen Free Library right now but I'm looking blindly and it's getting tiresome reading short descriptions.
Hmmm. Military SF fan?

On the free library, start with the Honor Harrington series. They follow the career of Honor, who rises from Midshipman in the Royal Manticoran Navy to Fleet Admiral and peer in two nobilities. Honor's career is based on both the fictional Horatio Hornblower and the real Admiral Lord Nelson.

The Star Kingdom of Manticore has a problem. The Republic of Haven is next door, galactically speaking. The Republic's founders made a deal with the original colonists: "You let us run things, and we'll take care of you!". Centuries later, Haven is a hereditary oligarchy ruling billions of Dolists who live on government subsidies and expect a continually increasing standard of living. The Republic is going bankrupt trying to pay the upkeep, and has taken to conquering and looting smaller neighboring star nations to cover the costs. Manticore is next in line. It will be the biggest opponent Haven has faced. It has a much better navy, but Haven is far larger. Things will be interesting for Manticore.

Next, try John Ringo's "Legacy of the Aldenata" series. The alien Darhel arrive on Earth with an offer we can't refuse. The Darhel rule a galactic federation. The federation is menaced by the Posleen -- hermaphroditic, cannibalistic, centauriods, whose effect on planets they invade is akin to a plague of technological locusts. The Darhel can't fight, nor can any of the other races in the federation they rule. They need a military to oppose the Posleen. Humanity has the required fighting skills, but lacks the technology. The Darhel will provide tech, and Earth will provide soldiers. But make up our minds fast, because Earth is directly in the Posleen's path...

A lot of Free Library offerings aren't on the web site. Baen offered CDs bound into selected hardcovers including books that haven't been put on the site. Zip archives and ISO images of all the CDs are at http://baencd.thefifthimperium.com. When you go there, look for the David Weber-Steve White "The Stars at War" collaborations. Humanity meets the Bugs. The Bugs have a single motive: expand. Other species, including humanity, are food. There can be no negotiation, and no treaties. Just victory or extermination.

That ought to hold you for a bit...
______
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Old 02-10-2008, 12:07 PM   #7
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And of course, after sampling some of Baen's excellent free material please show your support for them by buying a few of their books. They are the "good guys" of the publishing world, publishing in open formats at sensible prices. They deserve all our support.
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Old 02-10-2008, 06:07 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by HarryT View Post
And of course, after sampling some of Baen's excellent free material please show your support for them by buying a few of their books. They are the "good guys" of the publishing world, publishing in open formats at sensible prices. They deserve all our support.
Little worry about that, I think.

Baen began the Free Library as promotion for the paper editions. They were promoting authors. Folks would download complete novels by authors in the Baen stable, discover they liked the author's work, and would buy the next book when it came out in hardcover. Titles in the author's backlist got a gratifying pop in sales as well.

Baen credits the Library with driving their transition from a struggling mass market paperback house to the thriving hardcover publisher with a 70% sell through rate.

The Free Library works.
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Old 02-11-2008, 03:01 AM   #9
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I've bought every "webscription" package since Baen started doing them. Not only are they excellent value for money, but the "side-effect" of buying "packages" of books like that is that I've come across many authors whose books I would never otherwise have read.
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Old 02-11-2008, 04:13 AM   #11
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If you go to www.tor.com now you can register for a free ebook every week. Next week's link is for John Scalzi's 'Old Mans War' which is a brilliant heinleinesque sci-fi novel.
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Old 02-11-2008, 05:08 AM   #12
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Try:
http://www.feedbooks.com/discover/li...cience+Fiction
http://www.feedbooks.com/list/view/22
http://www.feedbooks.com/list/view/26
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Old 02-11-2008, 07:13 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Dajala View Post
If you go to www.tor.com now you can register for a free ebook every week. Next week's link is for John Scalzi's 'Old Mans War' which is a brilliant heinleinesque sci-fi novel.
I filled in the form on Saturday, but have not had any response. I wondered if the offer is only for people in the US, since I gave them a UK postcode. Anyone else outside the US successfully joined up?
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Old 02-11-2008, 07:44 AM   #14
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I don't think anyone got a response yet.
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Old 02-11-2008, 11:53 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dajala View Post
If you go to www.tor.com now you can register for a free ebook every week. Next week's link is for John Scalzi's 'Old Mans War' which is a brilliant heinleinesque sci-fi novel.
_Old Man's War_ was wonderful. Followups _The Ghost Brigades_ and _The Lost Colony_ maintained the standard. Scalzi was good at pulling rabbits out of his hat, and revealing that that world didn't work the way you thought it did. Highly recommended.
______
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