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Old 03-07-2008, 09:19 PM   #46
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... 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?
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Old 03-07-2008, 09:58 PM   #47
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Old 03-08-2008, 02:24 AM   #48
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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?
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Old 03-08-2008, 09:20 AM   #49
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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.
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Old 03-08-2008, 09:37 AM   #50
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If you're referring to The Dance of Time, it's out and available.

There's something 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), so it doesn't really count as a "new" book, per se.

Puzzled me at first, since the existing books are definitely a complete story.
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Old 03-08-2008, 05:52 PM   #51
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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.
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Old 03-09-2008, 07:17 PM   #52
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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. 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.
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Old 03-09-2008, 07:35 PM   #53
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Originally Posted by binzer View Post
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.
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Old 03-09-2008, 08:41 PM   #54
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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
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Old 03-10-2008, 03:00 AM   #55
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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. 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?
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Old 03-10-2008, 04:09 AM   #56
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IMore on topic, I have a question about something. I purchased the ebook version of The Best of Jim Baen's Universe. 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.
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Old 03-10-2008, 04:55 AM   #57
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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).
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Old 03-10-2008, 11:18 AM   #58
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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.

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Old 03-10-2008, 02:13 PM   #59
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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...
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Old 03-10-2008, 02:53 PM   #60
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Yeah, that one catches me out sometimes too.
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