free books kindle my interest most

by Otaku-kun on April 24, 2012

With my new Kindle, I’ve resolved to read a. more science fiction and b. spend as close to zero money on books as as possible (exceptions being books my wife or kids want to read). This does limit the options, of course, but since I have a lot of other things on my plate (including anime, which gets short shrift on this anime blog). In addition to Amazon’s awesome Lending Library program (for which authors are reimbursed), free ebook lending from local libraries (as long as you dont mind a long wait), and Project Gutenberg, I was also pointed to an amazing resource: the Baen Free Library, which offers numerous science fiction classics with no DRM. Of course as far as series are concerned they tend to offer the first few books only, and if you like it then you can and should go out and buy the rest. But it’s a great way to sample a lot of SF with no investment other than time.

And lo and behold, Lois McMaster Bujold is on the list – with the first two books of the Vorkosigan saga. I’ve already torn through Warrior’s Apprentice and will polish off Mountains of Mourning on my elliptical this afternoon. All credit for the tipoff goes to Mark who has been steadily consuming the entire Vor saga. I find the character of Miles to be very evocative of Ender Wiggins in a few ways, and I wonder if Bujold was a direct influence on Card.

It’s worth noting that Baen also sells books, and any ebook you buy from them is DRM-free (unlike Amazon). Tor Books is also following suit. In general, ebooks remain priced too high for casual buying but the trend away from DRM is very encouraging. I personally believe that reading a friend’s copy of a DRM-free ebook is the same as borrowing their physical copy.

If anyone has any other suggestions on worthwhile reading from the Baen list or other free sources, do let me know!

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Jeffrey Boser April 24, 2012 at 4:27 pm

Baen has also offered many of its books on cd form with their hardcovers.. I have the entire Honor Harrington series on my kindle because of that.

I am not sure why you are trying so hard to avoid spending money on books.. There is some really good stuff that authors deserve to get a few bucks for.. I recommend McDevitt for some good mystery-scifi and Green for some good action, and Watt-Evans has started making his stuff available too.

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Otakun April 24, 2012 at 10:09 pm

The rationale is that there is so much free stuff out there, that I should make a reasonable attempt to “catch up” rather than just throwing money after the newest stuff. It’s no different from relying on a library, and actually with Amazon’s free program the authors do get paid.

I will still buy a book on occasion, but it has to be one I really want to own (and in that case, why not get the hard copy?). For example I will probably get my daughter the complete Harry Potter eventually, but not in ebook format.

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Mark April 25, 2012 at 12:19 am

Glad you’re enjoying Bojold! Mountains of Morning is among the best stories in the series (despite the short length). I’m just starting the last Vorkosigan book, Cryoburn. I anticipate withdrawal pains to set in a few weeks after completion. It’s been an amazing run, and I haven’t been into a single author this much since I mainlined all of Stephenson’s work several years ago. Fortunately, there’s a new book coming out later this year (which, I believe, will focus on Ivan). And her Fantasy series are apparently worth reading as well.

As for Miles and Ender, it’s a connection I never made, but there may be something there from a character standpoint. That being said, those books were being written/published right around the same time (early/mid 80s), so I don’t know how much influence they had on each other.

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Mark April 25, 2012 at 12:22 am

One other suggestion, which I believe is in the Baen Free Library, is Retief! by Keith Laumer. I read several of the stories a while ago, and it’s all about a diplomat who always manages to save the day, though his superiors usually take all the credit for his success. Good stuff.

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