Ebook Freebies #1
January 26, 2009 | 5:13 pm
By Robert Nagle
Welcome to the first installment of free ebooks. Every few weeks, TeleRead provides a list of free ebooks which have come to our attention (see also our Guide to Free Ebook Download sites). This regular feature will give an annotated list of the latest ebooks to come to our attention recently. (See also: Teleread’s general list of where to find free ebook titles).
This installment we will be playing a little game of catch up. Over the last few months Teleread has been blogging about so many free titles that it seems like a waste not to mention them here. Also, two wonderful blogs are providing regular announcements about “new” free releases: Finding Free Ebooks and Ebooks Just Published. In many ways, this column is just culling stuff from there.
- Sci Fi novelist Jeffrey Carver has made some early novels from Chaos Chronicles available for free online.(Chris Meadows covered this).
- British writer Adrian Graham released The Revelation and a hundred other stories (download from Feedbooks) Basically, it’s a 100 one page episodes, some humorous, neurotic, existential. Of course, you can’t get too deep with a 1 page story (well, there’s Kafka). I’m reading this now and am enjoying it greatly.
- Robert Boyczuk’s Horror Story and Other stories (PDF) is a collection of genre-bending wierdness ranging from straight horror to literary metafiction to sci-fi (writes Alex Good)
- Marc Horne’s Tokyo Zero (Manybooks). (Court Merrigan writes, Horne writes in a lyrically jarring fashion that never quite releases the tension long enough for you to get your footing.)
- Richard Herley has been releasing quite a number of fiction titles for free online. The Tide Mill is a historical novel set in 13th century Sussex involving illicit love, medieval theology, etc. (Paul Biba described it as a good rousing read which could have made a good movie. Herley has written about the ebook world quite a bit for TeleRead recently.
- Jon Evans’ Beasts of New York: A children’s book for grown ups . See also his blog and other writing samples. Evans is a travel writer who writes thrillers (as best as I can tell). This book seems atypical for him.
- Denny Heye’s Obnoxious Librarian from Hades is a satirical look at libraries and bureaucracies. See the accompanying blog.
- Joseph Assad’s The Banjo Player Must Die (Author’s website). Satirical sci fi which some describe as brilliant/outrageous and somehow involving hamsters.
- Jim Kelly’s Burn is a book by award-winning scifi writer about forest fighters (as best as I can tell). Manybooks has some other short stories in downloadable ebook form.Unfortunately his classic story collection Think Like a Dinosaur is not available as a free ebook (yet).
- Vonda McIntyre’s Moon and the Sun is a Nebula award winner. That link contains several other ebook titles as well. Vonda contributes to the Book View Cafe Blog
- L. Lee Lowe’s Mortal Ghosts has been out for a while, but is worth another shout-out. It’s a young adult fantasy novel (and also available as a podcast). According to his Lowebrow literary blog, Lowe has been working on another title called Corvus (Here’s an interview and another).
- Irish Literary Revival scanned and republished a dozen or so out-of-print works by Irish authors. Mostly poetry, high-quality, award-winning by poets who published books a decade or so ago.
- James Boyle’s The Public Domain is a worthy addition to the copyright reform movement. (PDF)
- Edge.org polls intellectuals and scientists about various philosophical questions. The question for 2009 is “What game-changing scientific ideas and developments do you expect to live to see?” The 2009 print-friendly version puts text from 151 thinkers all on the same page. (I just cut and paste it into a text file and import into Calibre). See also the 2008 print-friendly question (What have you changed your mind about?) and the 2006 question (What are you optimistic about?) . On all these links you have to scroll down a bit, but once you get to the main section, you will see that the URL contains all the responses on a single pageyou just need to cut-and-paste the rest and ignore the random garbage at the top).
Public Domain/Classic Texts
(note: Public domain trickle down to the free ebook sites eventually, but in the meantime, Project Gutenberg continues to release new books at a maddening rate).
New Zealand Electronic Text Centre publishes lots of New Zealand and Maori classics, both fiction and nonfiction. They publish in TEI format and also MS Lit format. It’s relatively easy to convert MS Lit format into Mobipocket or Sony LRF (with the aid of Calibre). The site contains lots of links between texts, so if you surf the Jane Stafford and Mark Williams introductory essay, you are set. (See also the online ebook, Maoriland: New Zealand Literature 1872-1914 by the same authors).
- Katherine Mansfield is probably the most anthologized story writer from New Zealand. (Here are 2 story collections on Mobileread).
- James Cowan has collected an anthology entitled Legends of the Maori which includes folk tales, poetry and mythology.
- Other titles: Jane Manders’ 1920 Story of a New Zealand River (English woman adapting to life near a New Zealand River), Indiscretions: A Memoir (posthumous prose memoir by poet Charles Brasch; see James Bertram’s introductory essay).
- Sport is a leading NZ literary magazine which appears in digitalized form on this site (CC-SA licensed). Unfortunately, it’s only available as online html.
Selected Plays of Guan Hanqing, 13th century plays found on SilkPagoda/Munsey’s site. Silk Pagoda sells a lot of low-cost editions of famous Asian texts. Also available for free: Journey to the West, Romance of 3 Kingdoms
Tony Kline’s translation site contains more translations than know what to do with. Kline is a polyglot and geek who has apparently been translating every classic work under the sun (every one I care about anyway). Apollinaire! Ovid! Corneille! Catullus! Horace! Machado! Akhmatova! I can’t comment on his skill as a translator, but for the few works I know intimately well, his translation compares favorably.
- U. Penn’s Digital Library hosts 13 Newberry award winners by women writers.Apparently, it lists other Newberry writers by men too.
(Please limit your comments to those discussing any of the titles listed above. If you would like to suggest or recommend a title for the next installment, please email idiotprogrammer AT fastmailbox.net ) .