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Saturday, February 26, 2011

The Goblin Market -- $0.99 Dark Fantasy Ebook

I interviewed indie author and pocaster Jennifer Hudock on my other blog yesterday, so I thought I'd write up her dark fantasy ebook here for any goblin-loving kindle folks out there. The Goblin Market is currently on sale for $0.99, though she mentioned putting the price back up to $2.99, so grab it now if you're interested.

From the author:

"The Goblin Market was originally inspired by Christina Rossetti’s poem of the same name. Much like the poem, mine features two sisters–one ensnared by the allure of the poisoned fruit in The Goblin Market, and the other so used to taking care of and cleaning up after her younger sister it feels like just another day when young Chrissie is kidnapped by the goblin king. On her journey Underground and into the faerie world, elder sister Meredith discovers that her ties to that world run much deeper than her kidnapped sister.

It’s very dark, much like the faerie tales of old before Disney got their hands on them and made them pretty."

Book blurb:

Beyond the Goblin Market lies the remains of a lost and broken kingdom divided by war. The war has been over for centuries, but the kingdoms still stand apart, overrun by a creeping goblin darkness known as the Darknjan Wald. It has been written that only one holds the power to destroy that darkness and reunite the kingdoms, but she has no memory of her former life.

Meredith Drexler must save her sister, Christina, from the wicked goblin king, Kothar, who has kidnapped the girl in order to convince Meredith to uphold an ancient commitment Meredith doesn't remember making. Sent Upland disguised as a human child, she has no recollection of her former faerie life, or her uncle's promised marriage betrothal to Kothar.

When she ventures back Underground in search of Christina, every step Meredith takes brings memories of her forgotten past back to the surface. As the pressures of her former life entangle with her quest to save her kidnapped sister, Meredith's predetermined fate is revealed. Will she embrace it, or walk away forever from a life she barely remembers as her own?

The Goblin Market (Into the Green)

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Union of Renegades: High Fantasy Ebook for $1

If you enjoy supporting indie authors (and you enjoy full-length $1 ebooks!), then you can check out Tracy Falbe's Union of Renegades: The Rys Chronicles Book I. The author is on a book blog tour this month, working to get some new readers for her novels. Union of Renegades is the first in a high fantasy series that looks to have plenty going on:

Dreibrand Veta has killed for his country. At the frontlines of imperial expansion, he seeks to rebuild the fortune of his noble family. In his daring travels he encounters the rys, a race far more powerful than the human empire that bred him. Dreibrand cannot defy the rys Queen Onja nor defend his companion, Miranda, and her children from the wicked tyrant Queen. Desperate for help, Dreibrand and Miranda join Shan, a rys with emerging powers who plans to challenge Onja. In Shan's pursuit of the rys throne, he exerts his magical powers, gathers his allies, and incites rebellion among Onja's human subjects. Great wealth and power will reward the kings, warriors, and spies that align themselves with the rys pretender, but defeat could mean worse than death. Onja can imprison souls and her genocidal rage is legendary. Everything is at risk for Shan's union of renegades. 


Tracy Falbe has created a credible fantasy world filled with conflict and danger. The story was easy to follow and most enjoyable. The author's lovely writing style allowed the story to unfold seamlessly and at a good pace. As I got further into the story, I could not help but feel as if I was deeply involved with the characters and their plight. -- Mirella Patzer

Having read Sci-Fi and Fantasy my whole life, I am familiar with the genre...what works for me and what doesn't. This story grabbed me from the very first few chapters. Falbe was able to capture the fantasy genre and make it her own. I could not put this book down and was itching for the 2nd. The story is so compelling, you feel like you are on this journey with the lead characters. There is so much action in this book and so much character development, it amazes me that more people don't know about it. I recommend this book for anyone looking for something new and exciting. You will not be disappointed! -- E. Mcdonald

The whole fantasy series is:

You can follow Tracy on Twitter and read more about her work on her blog.

Non-Kindle folks can also find her books at Barnes & Noble, iTunes, and Smashwords.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Kindle Magazines for Geeks

As you may or may not know, you can subscribe to magazines on your kindle. They're usually cheaper than the paper version, and you're saved the annoyance of figuring out whether to give them away/donate them/throw them away later. Of course, you lose out on the glossy, color pictures, but if you love the idea of magazines wirelessly delivered to your e-reader, there are several subscriptions out there (with, we hope, more on the way). In most cases, prices run between $0.99 and $3 or so.

In keeping with the theme of this blog, I've picked out a couple magazines that may appeal to those of a slightly geeky nature:

The color Kindle edition of Science News is now available on the Kindle Reading App for your Android device. Download issues at no extra cost from Archived Items.

Science News offers readers bold, contemporary, award-winning editorial content and detailed imagery. Concise, current and comprehensive, the magazine provides an approachable overview from all fields and applications of science and technology.

Science News is edited for an educated readership of professionals, scientists and other science enthusiasts. Written by a staff of experienced science journalists, it treats science as news, reporting accurately and placing findings in perspective. Science News readers find valuable coverage of their own fields of interest as well as related disciplines and cross-disciplinary investigations. 

2600 Magazine is the world's foremost journal on computer hacking and technological manipulation and control. Published by hackers since 1984, 2600 is a true window into the minds of some of today's most creative and intelligent people. The de facto voice of a new generation, this publication has its finger on the pulse of the ever-changing digital landscape. Available for the first time in a digital edition, 2600 continues to bring unique voices to an ever growing international community interested in privacy issues, computer security, and the digital underground. 

Published by MIT since 1899, Technology Review is the authority on the future of technology. The award-wining editorial team crafts investigative, in-depth stories that focus on the latest innovations in IT, biotech, nanotech, and energy that are about to hit the marketplace. From the "zero-emissions city" in Abu Dhabi to the early-warning earthquake system in China and to the next-generation applications for social networking, each Technology Review issue identifies and analyzes the most important emerging technologies from around the globe. There is only one publication that provides indispensable knowledge about where technology will take us and how it affects the world around us. Simply put, it’s about staying ahead of the curve by knowing what lies immediately beyond it.

The New York Times Book Review has been one of the most influential and widely read book review publications in the industry since its first publication in 1896. Reviewers select 20-30 notable or important new titles each week, including exceptional new authors. Now, join book lovers and professionals in subscribing to the stand alone Book Review.

This digital edition of The New York Times Book Review contains all the reviews and best sellers lists from the print magazine, however, some other features may not be included. For your convenience, issues are auto-delivered wirelessly to your Kindle at the same time the print edition hits the newsstand.

Asimov's Science Fiction magazine has published outstanding short fantasy and science fiction by today's leading authors for over 30 years. We continue to showcase stories that are innovative, entertaining, and have won numerous Hugos and Nebula Awards. In addition to fiction, readers stay informed about SF and fantasy through a monthly editorial column, an Internet column, insightful book reviews, and thought-provoking articles about science and science fiction. Asimov's is home to many bestselling authors, including Connie Willis, Robert Silverberg, Mike Resnick, Kristine Katherine Rusch, and Stephen Baxter.

Magazine subscriptions come with a 14-day free trial.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Bloodshot, Urban Fantasy by Cherie Priest

Though Cherie Priest may be best known for her popular steampunk fantasy, Boneshaker, she has numerous other titles out in other sub-genres as well. The kindle version of Bloodshot came out last month, and it sounds like an action-packed tale:


Raylene Pendle (AKA Cheshire Red), a vampire and world-renowned thief, doesn’t usually hang with her own kind. She’s too busy stealing priceless art and rare jewels. But when the infuriatingly charming Ian Stott asks for help, Raylene finds him impossible to resist—even though Ian doesn’t want precious artifacts. He wants her to retrieve missing government files—documents that deal with the secret biological experiments that left Ian blind. What Raylene doesn’t bargain for is a case that takes her from the wilds of Minneapolis to the mean streets of Atlanta. And with a psychotic, power-hungry scientist on her trail, a kick-ass drag queen on her side, and Men in Black popping up at the most inconvenient moments, the case proves to be one hell of a ride.

I'm not a big vampire person myself, but this one sounds promising!

$8.25 for the kindle: Bloodshot

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Klingon for the Galactic Traveler

If you're a kindle-owning Star Trek fan, it's never too early to order Trek-related titles. With Klingon for the Galactic Traveler loaded on your e-reader, you'll never be at a loss for the right words when dealing with those bumpy-headed aliens.

Although, if the kindle price does indeed end up being more than the paperback price (currently $14.99 and $14.48 respectively), I will have some choice words in Klingon for the publisher.

Organized into four easy-to-use sections, this book will guide your steps through the Klingon language and customs:
  • The regional dialects of the Empire 
  • Common, everyday usage of the language
  • The slang phrases and curses that color the Klingon vocabulary
  • Most importantly, the proper verbal, physical, and cultural responses.
A misspoken word to a Klingon, who is quick to take offense and even quicker to take action, could have dire consequences. This book is the indispensable guide for the galactic traveler.

Coming in May.

In the meantime, you might want to entertain yourself with Kelsey Grammer speaking Klingon in an old episode of Frasier:

Monday, February 14, 2011

This Is Rocket Science: True Stories of... (Young Adult Space Non-fiction)

If you're ready to get your science geek on, this National Geographic offering might be of interest: This Is Rocket Science: True Stories of the Risk-taking Scientists who Figure Out Ways to Explore Beyond.

Note: this ebook is for younger readers (grades 6-9), so it may be too simple for you if you're already a space pro.

Beginning 2,000 years ago when Chinese scientists developed gunpowder and fireworks, this concise title outlines the history of rocket technology, all the way up to twentieth-century marvels, such as the R-7 rocket that launched Sputnik into orbit, and today’s latest research. Throughout, Skurzynski lucidly explains challenging concepts, such as Newton’s laws of motion, and she shows the intricate connections between historical events and scientific breakthroughs, particularly in passages about World Wars I and II and their aftermath: “However unpleasant it might sound, the Cold War stimulated the development of space and satellite technology,” reads one quote from a Russian space engineer. Sci-fi’s important role in shaping modern rocket science will intrigue kids, who will also enjoy reading about young people’s cutting-edge contributions, including a magneto-plasma rocket MIT students made from a Coke can and a plastic water bottle: “They built it for fun, but . . . it worked! This is how exciting future technologies are born.” Amply illustrated with a mix of captivating photos and archival art, this will inspire interest in a wide audience. Grades 6-9.

This Is Rocket Science

Friday, February 11, 2011

Five Steampunk Novels Under $5

If you were a fan of the post on 99-cent steampunk ebooks, and you've already purchased your steampunk kindle skin, then you might enjoy some more offerings from this fun fantasy sub-genre. The following are Kindle reads currently available for $5 or less at Amazon:

From the author of the popular steampunk novel, Boneshaker, Maria Isabella Boyd's success as a Confederate spy has made her too famous for further espionage work, and now her employment options are slim. Exiled, widowed, and on the brink of poverty...she reluctantly goes to work for the Pinkerton National Detective Agency in Chicago.

Adding insult to injury, her first big assignment is commissioned by the Union Army. In short, a federally sponsored transport dirigible is being violently pursued across the Rockies and Uncle Sam isn't pleased. The Clementine is carrying a top secret load of military essentials--essentials which must be delivered to Louisville, Kentucky, without delay.

Intelligence suggests that the unrelenting pursuer is a runaway slave who's been wanted by authorities on both sides of the Mason-Dixon for fifteen years. In that time, Captain Croggon Beauregard Hainey has felonied his way back and forth across the continent, leaving a trail of broken banks, stolen war machines, and illegally distributed weaponry from sea to shining sea.

And now it's Maria's job to go get him.

He's dangerous quarry and she's a dangerous woman, but when forces conspire against them both, they take a chance and form an alliance. She joins his crew, and he uses her connections. She follows his orders. He takes her advice.

And somebody, somewhere, is going to rue the day he crossed either one of them. 

Emily Fenwick, formerly with the NYPD, is now the reluctant defender of 1890 New York. Unfortunately for Emily, who hates "the creepy stuff", she ignored her inner voice, went to a carnival in Central Park, and entered a Victorian tent in hopes a psychic would have some encouraging news about her woefully boring love life. The guarantee she received of meeting a tall, dark, and handsome stranger comes with a huge catch - he lives in an alternate dimension of the past.

Jack Pettigrew leads a quirky band of lost souls in a battle to save New York circa 1890. Nightmares have come alive and threaten to terrorize a fragile era. Jack leads the “punks,” who have been sucked back in time through a vortex. Each has a fleeting memory of their own death–or near death–and must determine for themselves why they have been chosen for this mission. Is Steamside their Purgatory? Could an Egyptian obelisk in Central Park be the cause of the time rift, or is Emily herself to blame for the goblins, zombies, and other nightmarish scenes plaguing them?

If the Punks want to return to 2010, they must ensure there’s going to be an 1891. If they conclude they’re really ghosts, then it might be time to party like it’s 1999.

Two dads, five siblings, and goggles!

Grim Doyle has always known his life was not exactly "normal", and things get even more curious when he discovers a set of stones that sweep him and his family to the fantasy, steampunk world of Verne - a place they had escaped from years ago. Now that they've returned, Grim and his siblings hide from the evil Lord Victor and his minions. And while learning about Jinns, Mystics, and the power of absinth they try to discover who is trying to kill them with the deadly Scourge.

Set in a New Amsterdam that's still a royal colony at the turn of the 20th century, this engaging dark fantasy collection from John W. Campbell Award–winner Bear (Carnival) introduces a tough, witty female sleuth. Abigail Irene Garrett is the perfect Victorian hard-boiled detective, with the added benefit of necromantic skills that make her a formidable forensic investigator in a world where sorcery is common. Teaming occasionally with vampire sleuth Sebastien de Ulloa, Irene cuts a figure of crime-fighting confidence through five of the six stories, grappling with demonic killers summoned for personal revenge or political intrigue, and plunging into wildly unpredictable adventures such as those recounted in "Lumière," a stunning blend of steampunk and eldritch horror. Bear's tales are not only ingeniously mysterious but also richly textured with details that bring the society and history of her alternate America to vivid life. Readers who like the grit of Laurell K. Hamilton's Anita Blake novels and the historical heft of Chelsea Quinn Yarbro's vampire tales will find similar pleasures here.

Europe is a dangerous, virtually lawless place. Armed bandits prowl the railway lines in their armed Steam Locomotive looking for easy marks, and heavily armed mercenary engines travel from town to town looking for work in a world where every day is a struggle for its civilians.

Erica, an emotionally disturbed girl from England finds herself joining one of these mercenary teams. What follows is a trek across Europe to where two mighty cities, each representing a different way of life, stand on the verge of a war which will shape the way Europe develops.

On one side are the Steam using traditionalists of St Vith, led by the charismatic and cunning General Roosje Cuvelier. On the other, stands the mighty Winterscheid Diesel Empire under the iron fist of the merciless Kaiser Sigmund Eisenburg.

Two vicious armies, treachery from her own allies and the world’s deadliest super-weapon are just a few of the dangers that Erica must face in her journey.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The Code Book: The Science of Secrecy from Ancient Egypt to Quantum Cryptography

The Kindle version of The Code Book: The Science of Secrecy from Ancient Egypt to Quantum Cryptography came out a couple weeks ago. I've had the paperback for a couple years, and it's actually the book that inspired my philologist/cryptographer main character in Encrypted.

In an enthralling tour de force of popular explication, Singh, author of the bestselling Fermat's Enigma, explores the impact of cryptographyAthe creation and cracking of coded messagesAon history and society.

Some of his examples are familiar, notably the Allies' decryption of the Nazis' Enigma machine during WWII; less well-known is the crucial role of Queen Elizabeth's code breakers in deciphering Mary, Queen of Scots' incriminating missives to her fellow conspirators plotting to assassinate Elizabeth, which led to Mary's beheading in 1587. Singh celebrates a group of unsung heroes of WWII, the Navajo "code talkers," Native American Marine radio operators who, using a coded version of their native language, played a vital role in defeating the Japanese in the Pacific. He also elucidates the intimate links between codes or ciphers and the development of the telegraph, radio, computers and the Internet.

As he ranges from Julius Caesar's secret military writing to coded diplomatic messages in feuding Renaissance Italy city-states, from the decipherment of the Rosetta Stone to the ingenuity of modern security experts battling cyber-criminals and cyber-terrorists, Singh clarifies the techniques and tricks of code makers and code breakers alike. He lightens the sometimes technical load with photos, political cartoons, charts, code grids and reproductions of historic documents. He closes with a fascinating look at cryptanalysts' planned and futuristic tools, including the "one-time pad," a seemingly unbreakable form of encryption. In Singh's expert hands, cryptography decodes as an awe-inspiring and mind-expanding story of scientific breakthrough and high drama.

It's about a 400-page book full of information, so $8.99 isn't bad for the Kindle price:

The Code Book

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

99 Cent Fantasy Ebooks from

Looking for some inexpensive Kindle reads from big-name publishers? Tor has released a variety of 99-cent fiction offerings. These are fantasy stories they've published on their website over the last few months (note: you can read these online for free so only grab them at Amazon if you want the convenience of reading Kindle versions).

A tale of magic, revenge, and bitter death—on the rain-spattered streets of the great city. This is epic fantasy not “in the tradition of Tolkien,” but, instead, sensual, ominous, shot through with the sweat of fear and the intoxication of power.

One of the most prolific new writers of the decade, Lake won 2004’s John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer. His novels include Mainspring, Escapement, Pinion, and Green. The world of Green is also the setting for “A Water Matter.”

The past is another country, in Mary Robinette Kowal’s tale of time travel and aviation history. "First Flight" is a finalist for the 2010 Locus Award.

The winner of the 2008 John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer, Mary Robinette Kowal is the author of short fiction published in Strange Horizons, Cosmos, and Asimov's. Her first novel, Shades of Milk and Honey, will be published by Tor in 2010.

Layosah has lost five sons and her husband to her kingdom's endless wars; all she has left is an infant daughter and a dangerous idea.

Zeppelin City by Michael Swanwick & Eileen Gunn ($0.99)

Will Radio Jones's invention save the day? Can Amelia Spindizzy outfly all competition and outsmart the brains in jars?

In Charles Stross’s novel The Atrocity Archive and its sequels, the “Laundry” is a secret British agency responsible for keeping dark interdimensional entitities from destroying the cosmos and, not incidentally, the human race. The battles with creatures from beyond time are dangerous; however, it’s the subsequent bureaucratic paperwork that actually breaks men’s souls. Now, in “Down on the Farm,” Laundry veteran Bob Howard must investigate strange doings at another obscure, moth-eaten government agency—evidently a rest home for Laundry agents whose minds have snapped…

Charles Stross is the Hugo-winning author of some of the most acclaimed novels and stories of the last ten years, including Singularity Sky, Accelerando, Halting State, the "Merchant Princes" series beginning with The Family Trade, and the story collections Toast and Wireless. In 2010, his Laundry story “Overtime,” published on, is a finalist for science fiction’s Hugo Award.

Search for more free and $0.99 " Original" fantasy ebooks at Amazon.

Monday, February 7, 2011

DIY Steampunk Projects, Yeah!

If I was crafty, handy, or capable of completing a DIY project without hurting myself, I would have plopped down the $2.99 and downloaded this Steampunk workbook the moment I stumbled across the page. After all, the only reason I played World of Warcraft as long as I did was so my gnome engineer could make the flying gyrocopter. This ebook looks like a blast:

DIY Steampunk gives you full step-by-step instructions for 26 amazing exercises in retrofuturism. Learn how to make your own steampunk keyboard, airship goggles, mad scientist lights, art cars, and even a steampunk Mr. Potato Head! All projects come from, are written by steampunk experts, and contain pictures for each step so you can easily do it yourself. Build the future!

It was put together by the folks over at the popular website, so I'm sure the entries will be sound. Check out their Steampunk Channel to get an idea about what some of the projects could end up looking like.

DIY Steampunk Ebook

Friday, February 4, 2011

99-Cent Science Fiction Classics for Your Kindle

Looking to stretch that dollar and read some good, old-fashioned science fiction? Here are a few SF classics available in the Kindle store, all priced at $0.99 or less (note, you can probably find these for free at Project Gutenberg and other non-Amazon ebook sites, so if you don't mind a couple extra steps, that's an option too!):

The War of the Worlds is an American classic written by H.G. Wells and published in 1898. No one would have believed in the last years of the nineteenth century that this world was being watched keenly and closely by intelligences greater than man's...' So begins H. G. Wells' classic novel in which Martian lifeforms take over planet Earth. As the Martians emerge, they construct giant killing machines - armed with heatrays - that are impervious to attack. Advancing upon London they destroy everything in their path. Everything, except the few humans they collect in metal traps. Victorian England is a place in which the steam engine is state-of-the-art technology and powered flight is just a dream. Mankind is helpless against the killing machines from Mars, and soon the survivors are left living in a new stone age. 

John Carter of Mars is a series of books written by Edgar Rice Burroughs. It is currently being turned into a film produced by Disney and directed by Andrew Stanton (director of the critically acclaimed WALL-E and Finding Nemo)

The first three books in the series were told from the point of view of John Carter; many books followed the first three, but frequently were written in third person. The entire series is eleven volumes and titled the “Barsoom” series.

This eBook contains the first three books in the series. It also contains an easy to navigate table of contents.

The books included in this collection are as follows:
A Princess of Mars
The Gods of Mars
The Warlord of Mars 

Unless you're a mathematician, the chances of you reading any novels about geometry are probably slender. But if you read only two in your life, these are the ones. Taken together, they form a couple of accessible and charming explanations of geometry and physics for the curious non-mathematician. Flatland, which is also available under separate cover, was published in 1880 and imagines a two-dimensional world inhabited by sentient geometric shapes who think their planar world is all there is. But one Flatlander, a Square, discovers the existence of a third dimension and the limits of his world's assumptions about reality and comes to understand the confusing problem of higher dimensions. The book is also quite a funny satire on society and class distinctions of Victorian England.

The further mathematical fantasy, Sphereland, published 60 years later, revisits the world of Flatland in time to explore the mind-bending theories created by Albert Einstein, whose work so completely altered the scientific understanding of space, time, and matter. Among Einstein's many challenges to common sense were the ideas of curved space, an expanding universe and the fact that light does not travel in a straight line. Without use of the mathematical formulae that bar most non-scientists from an understanding of Einstein's theories, Sphereland gives lay readers ways to start comprehending these confusing but fundamental questions of our reality. 

A shipwreck in the South Seas, a palm-tree paradise where a mad doctor conducts vile experiments, animals that become human and then "beastly" in ways they never were before--it's the stuff of high adventure. It's also a parable about Darwinian theory, a social satire in the vein of Jonathan Swift (Gulliver's Travels), and a bloody tale of horror. Or, as H. G. Wells himself wrote about this story, "The Island of Dr. Moreau is an exercise in youthful blasphemy. Now and then, though I rarely admit it, the universe projects itself towards me in a hideous grimace. It grimaced that time, and I did my best to express my vision of the aimless torture in creation." This colorful tale by the author of The Time Machine, The Invisible Man, and The War of the Worlds lit a firestorm of controversy at the time of its publication in 1896.

In the Year 2889 was first published in the Forum, February, 1889. It was published in France the next year. Although published under the name of Jules Verne, it is now believed to be chiefly if not entirely the work of Jules Verne's son, Michel Verne. In any event, many of the topics in the article echo Jules Verne's ideas. 

"Valley of Dreams" is a science fiction novelet by Stanley G. Weinbaum. Originally published in the November 1934 issue of "Wonder Stories," "Valley of Dreams" was Weinbaum's second published story, a sequel to his classic, "A Martian Odyssey".