free book offer – Courtney Milan’s “The Duchess War”

November 22, 2014

Remember that I mentioned I was reading a feminist historical romance series that a lot of you would enjoy? Well, I finished it earlier this week. And this is me, Kermit-flailing about The Brothers Sinister series by Courtney Milan. I did very nearly Kermit-flail IRL on the bus when I opened up one of the later books in the series to find it dedicated to, amongst others, Rosalind Franklin.

Even better, I went to Courtney Milan’s website to pick up links for the books, and found a blogpost saying that the first full length novel in the series, The Duchess War, is free over the holiday season. (Except on Amazon at the moment, because Amazon will not let publishers set the price to free unless publishers remove the book from all other outlets.) Go and get it – there are links in that post to the various retailers where you can pick it up for free. There is a prequel novella, “The Governess Affair”, which I read first, but I don’t think you need to have read that for this one to make sense.

I will write reviews of the individual books, I promise, but for now I wanted to get the link to offer on The Duchess War out there.
ETA: And since I started writing the post, Amazon UK have price-matched, and it’s free there as well: The Duchess War (The Brothers Sinister Book Book 1)


Amazon sale – Elisabeth Sladen’s autobiography

November 22, 2014

The latest Amazon UK Kindle sale includes Elisabeth Sladen: The Autobiography for 99p. You don’t need Kindle hardware to read this, just a device that will run the Kindle app.

The other Kindle item of potential interest to this parish is Alex Woolfson’s gay sf romance comic “Artifice” which is currently on countdown deal at both Amazon US and Amazon UK. Deep discount, rising in price each day until it’s back to normal price.

Lots of other stuff in the Kindle sale of potential interest to some of you, including large swathes of Neil Asher and Inspector Morse.


Notes from the Kindle sale

October 26, 2014

Some books of interest to this parish in the Amazon UK autumn sale””, including Peter Hamilton’s Void trilogy”” for 99p-1.19 per volume. UK only, although there may be similar sales going on elsewhere.

The Dreaming Void: The Void trilogy: Book One (Void Trilogy 1)””
The Temporal Void: The Void trilogy: Book Two (Void Trilogy 2)””
The Evolutionary Void (The Void Trilogy)””

(I like Hamilton, but I’m not in the mood for what one reviewer described as “blockbuster epics so huge that the hardcovers can be used as aids to hippopotamus euthanasia”, so I’m dithering on this one even at that price.)

My Word is My Bond: The Autobiography”” – Roger Moore’s autobiography. I bought this when The Works was remaindering the hardback, and found it an enjoyable tour through the film industry, if not quite as entertaining as his friend David Niven’s memoirs. And if you’re old enough to remember Niven’s memoirs with fondness, there is a (rather sad) coda to Niven’s story from Moore. At 99p I bagged it in order to clear space by Oxfamming the hardback.

A Blunt Instrument – Georgette Heyer””
One of Heyer’s police procedurals, and great fun. At £2.07 not as heavily discounted as the others.


legal defence fund for Dear Author

October 4, 2014

I’ve been mostly offline for the last couple of weeks, so I’m late with this news. Romance book blogger Jane Litte and her group blog Dear Author have been sued by erotic romance publisher Ellora’s Cave for reporting on the problems experienced by some of EC’s authors. Those problems include allegations by a number of authors of late or non-existent royalties payments, and books being put out with little or no editing.

There is now a defence fund, as this is going to be an expensive suit to fight. I’ve donated, because I believe that Dear Author should be able to report legitimate concerns about a publisher’s behaviour without fear. There’s more information about the fund at Dear Author’s post. As some people in comments have been concerned about their legal name being exposed by the donation process, I can report that the GoFundMe site asks for your name twice, the first time being the name to use on the public acknowledgement, and the second time defaulting to using the same name but allowing it to be changed to the name on your credit card. There’s also an option to be anonymous on the public acknowledgement.

It’s been mentioned in the comment threads at Dear Author (and in the coverage at the Absolute Write Water Cooler, which is where I first saw the news) that a few authors have been publicly gloating about the lawsuit. The authors in question have had poor reviews, and as a result think that the Dear Author blog deserves everything it gets by way of punishment. They’re being very short-sighted. It may give them a warm happy glow now to see their supposed nemesis punished, but the chilling effect of this suit is going to have major repercussions for authors if bloggers decide it’s safer not to report on publishers’ misdeeds. That includes the self-publishing platforms — some of those have done some very naughty things that I’d rather know about when I’m deciding where to publish.

No, I’m not just saying this because Dear Author was nice to me. The only review I’ve ever had from Dear Author was a D, and I think it did hurt my sales. I’m saying this because I think that Dear Author’s reporting is good for authors in general, and I resent someone trying to make them shut up.


www.british-history.ac.uk

July 6, 2014

While cat-vacuuming^W^W researching country house floor plans yesterday, I stumbled into this site: http://www.british-history.ac.uk

It appears to be run by the University of London, and has a large number of digitised historical documents. Some of the content is subscriber-only, but most of it’s free. Just the collection of Ordnance Survey maps will be of interest to a number of you, but there’s a lot of other lovely research material as well, including gazetteers.


Hugo novels on special in the UK

July 5, 2014

As pointed out by Charlie Stross, his UK publisher has reduced the ebook of his Hugo-nominated novel to £1.99 for this month. I wandered off to check Orbit’s other two nominees in the Hugo novel category, and they too are reduced to £1.99. Or at least they are on Kobo and Amazon; Waterstones doesn’t seem to have got the message yet. Note that these prices are available in the UK only.

http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/neptune-s-brood-1

http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/ancillary-justice

http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/parasite-3

Neptune’s Brood
Ancillary Justice
Parasite (Parasitology)

Yes, I have bought all three. They are DRMed, but that is the price point at which I’m willing to treat a book as disposable. (As in, if I saw the print version in The Works I’d be willing to buy it with the intention of recycling to Oxfam after reading to make space.)

ETA: http://readingsff.wordpress.com/ notes in comments:

Actually, the price is down for all three to 2,99 € on amazon.de. That’s a good deal, too. So it might be a good idea for fellow Europeans to check out their respective amazon sites.

I’ve just checked amazon.co.au, as it normally falls under UK & Commonwealth rights, and thus would be in Orbit’s territory. Alas, no — still standard price. :-(


book log: June 2014 part 1

June 29, 2014

As previously noted, the book log is woefully out of date. However, I want to try and write up this year’s Hugo Voting Packet while it is still of some use to other people (and indeed me, for purposes of doing my ballot), so I’m skipping straight to this month instead of trying to keep it in order. Here are the three short story nominations I’ve read so far (if it wasn’t in epub, it didn’t go on the Kobo):

35) “The Water That Falls on You from Nowhere”, John Chu (Tor.com, 02-2013)

Hugo short story finalist. The water of the title falls on anyone who lies — the less truthful what is said, the harder and colder the water falls. It’s possible to avoid the water by being careful with your phrasing, but that just makes it obvious that you’re being economical with the truth. What does it do to relationships, for both good and ill, when it becomes impossible to lie convincingly? Beautifully written character-driven short.

http://www.tor.com/stories/2013/02/the-water-that-falls-on-you-from-nowhere

http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/the-water-that-falls-on-you-from-nowhere

Amazon uk
Amazon US

(DRM-free)

36) “The Ink Readers of Doi Saket”, Thomas Olde Heuvelt (Tor.com, 04-2013)

Hugo short story finalist. Wishes for the year are sent floating down a Thai river, and it’s one village’s duty and privilege to gather the wishes up and grant them, in exchange for the money and gifts attached to the wishes. It’s a situation that’s ripe for exploitation, but all the lives around the river are connected, and wishes can be granted in surprising ways. It’s a fun concept and there’s some nice writing in it, but the story didn’t quite gel for me.

http://www.tor.com/stories/2013/04/the-ink-readers-of-doi-saket

(DRM-free)

37) “Selkie Stories Are for Losers”, Sofia Samatar (Strange Horizons, Jan-2013)

Hugo short story finalist. First person narrative by a young woman who has good reason to believe that selkie stories are for losers. It’s difficult to say much about it without spoilers. I liked it but thought it took time to get going.

http://www.strangehorizons.com/2013/20130107/selkie-f.shtml


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