Friday, June 2, 2017

Zero Sum Game by Sl Huang

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Zero Sum Game by SL Huang

This book is CC By-NC-SA.

Hat tip to deejf for turning me on to it at unglue.it

Here’s an excerpt from the first chapter.

Chapter 1

I trusted one person in the entire world.

He was currently punching me in the face.

Overlapping numbers scuttled across Rio’s fist as it rocketed toward me, their values scrambling madly, the calculations doing themselves before my eyes. He wasn’t pulling his punch at all, the bastard. I saw exactly how it would hit and that the force would fracture my jaw.

Well. If I allowed it to.

Angles and forces. Vector sums. Easy. I pressed myself back against the chair I was tied to, bracing my wrists against the ropes, and tilted my head a hair less than the distance I needed to turn the punch into a love tap. Instead of letting Rio break my jaw, I let him split my lip open.

The impact snapped my head back, and blood poured into my mouth, choking me. I coughed and spat on the cement floor. Goddammit.

“Sixteen men,” said a contemptuous voice in accented English from a few paces in front of me, “against one ugly little girl. How? Who are you?”

“Nineteen,” I corrected, the word hitching as I choked on my own blood. I was already regretting going for the split lip. “Check your perimeter again. I killed nineteen of your men.” And it would have been a lot more if Rio hadn’t appeared out of nowhere and clotheslined me while I was distracted by the Colombians. Fucking son of a bitch. He was the one who’d gotten me this job; why hadn’t he told me he was undercover with the drug cartel?

The Colombian interrogating me inhaled sharply and jerked his head at one of his subordinates, who turned and loped out of the room. The remaining three drug runners stayed where they were, fingering Micro-Uzis with what they plainly thought were intimidating expressions.

Dumbasses. I worked my wrists against the rough cord behind my back—Rio had been the one to tie me up, and he had left me just enough play to squeeze out, if I had half a second. Numbers and vectors shot in all directions—from me, to the Colombian in front of me, to his three lackwit subordinates, to Rio—a sixth sense of mathematical interplay that existed somewhere between sight and feeling, masking the world with constant calculations and threatening to drown me in a sensory overload of data.

And telling me how to kill.

[Read More…]

Friday, January 20, 2017

10 Brilliant Hard Science Fiction Novels

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From NASA’s Unsplash Collection - public domain

10 Brilliant Hard Science Fiction Novels
For those who take their science fiction with a side of accuracy…

From The Portalist here’s 10 mini reviews of Science Fiction novels. Stephen Lovely is the reviewer. Here’s a bit from his intro.

If you’ve ever rolled your eyes at a science fiction novel’s description of light-speed travel or told a friend that the Death Star wouldn’t really have made a sound when it blew up in space, then you’ll appreciate these hard science fiction novels. The term “hard science fiction” doesn’t mean sci-fi that’s tough to read, of course; it means sci-fi that really values scientific accuracy.

Now I wouldn’t call all of these novels hard science fiction and John W. Campbell probably wouldn’t either. But it’s a different world than it was in the golden age and if you are looking for some real science fiction that’s real good here you go. I haven’t read all of them but the ones I have read I would recommend. I would guess that you can’t go wrong with any of these picks.

Also the feature image above the reviews is from Nasa’s Unsplash collection. 34 images you definitely can’t go wrong with and they are all public domain.

Friday, January 6, 2017

So You Want to Read Epic Fantasy: Here’s Where to Start

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Stories of Beowulf fighting the dragon Public Domain

So You Want to Read Epic Fantasy: Here’s Where to Start

I love reading and writing super shorts. Of course I spend more time reading epic fantasy. It’s got where trilogies aren’t enough. The stories are huge. Vast in scale and imagination. I will never write epic fantasy. But I do read it.

Link on over for these recommendations by Shawn Speakman. The ones he mentions that I have read or am reading are definitely good. I’ll bet they all are.

In his intro Speakman says:

Epic fantasy once meant large books with an everyman-type of lead character against a dark lord. But to me, the epic fantasy that has been written in the last three decades are not only large in size and scale of story but also feature numerous point of view characters and several storylines that are separate but are also intertwined.

To talk about and recommend epic fantasy, it requires an epic list. These are the books I recommend people start with if they want a truly epic reading experience.

I can’t really add to that. So get epic. And enjoy!

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Galaxy Science Fiction Novels Collection

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Galaxy Science Fiction Novels Collection

DESCRIPTION

Galaxy novels, sometimes titled Galaxy Science Fiction Novels, were a series of mostly reprint American science fiction novels published between 1950 and 1961.

The series was started by H.L. Gold, the editor of Galaxy Science Fiction, in 1950 as a companion to the main Galaxy magazine. There was one (often abridged) novel per issue, which appeared in digest size format, which made the books in the series look like digest magazines.

In 1959, after 35 issues, the series was sold to Beacon Books, which changed the format to mass-market (small size) paperback and introduced its own numbering scheme, continuing the series for another 11 issues. They also had the contents of some books revised to add mild sexual content and changed their titles accordingly.

RIGHTS
All items are placed into the Public Domain under a Creative Commons Non-Attribution License. No restrictions under any copyright statutes which may exist now or in the future; in the local, global, intergalactic, or Universe-wide realms (if present government corruption extends that far).

Saturday, December 24, 2016

/r/FreeEBOOKS

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Available for free on Amazon

A subreddit for free ebooks. Lots of Science Fiction and Fantasy. New recommendations all the time. To Gutenberg and beyond.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

The Linux Setup - Piers Anthony, Author

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The Linux Setup - Piers Anthony, Author

He uses Libre Office. For more details click on the link.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Baen Free Library

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Cover to CD 13. The best of Jim Baen’s Universe

Baen Free Library

I’m not sure about the licensing on this great science fiction. I do know it is free to download and it is DRM free. It is also available in many formats and for free reading on the net.

There are also some Baen CDs here and here.

On the CD art it says:

NOTICE: This disk and its contents may be copied and shared, but NOT sold. All commercial rights reserved.

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So kind of like a CC NC license. Not free culture but similar to CC BY-NC.

Thanks and Enjoy!

Liane The Wayfarer

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Public Domain Wizard image by Olivia Jester

Liane The Wayfarer by Jack Vance

From his first collection “The Dying Earth” here’s a link to a great short story.

Read “Liane The Wayfarer” online.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Escape Pod

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Image from the Escape Pod website.

Escape Pod - Science fiction podcast magazine.

Weekly mp3 Science Fiction short story audiobooks. The mp3s are CC BY-NC-ND. This is not a free culture license but it does allow you to post and share the readings.

Free Speculative Fiction Online

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Image from the Recommended Page at Free Speculative Fiction Online.

Free Speculative Fiction Online Home Page.

I found this site searching for online fiction by Ursula K. Le Guin.

Read Ursula K. Le Guin on Free Speculative Fiction Online.

This link shows the power of this site better than the home page.

All stories are available for free. This site does not link to pirated SF!
Sites violating the non-elapsed copyright of the respective stories by making them accessible
without the author’s and/or publisher’s explicit agreement are not included.

These stories are not necessarily free culture but they are free to read and you can use pocket or instapaper to save them and read offline. I like the way icons are used to describe the selections. Creative Commons stories have the license on display.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Game Icons

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Dwarf Helmet by Kier Heyl
Open Treasure Chest by Skoll
Castle Ruins by Delapouite
Pointy Sword by Lorc
Wooden Door by Lorc

Game Icons

These icons are all available under the CC BY 3.0 license.

Game-icons.net

Link on over for thousands of game icons. Not all fantasy related. Thats just what I picked for this site.

Thanks to my son, Kier Heyl, who turned me on to this site. He drew the Dwarf Helmet.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

The Last Question

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Multivax Logo

The Last Question by Isaac Asimov

This is one of those interesting golden age stories that’s part joke the way it’s built around a weird religious belief. Kind of like Terry Pratchett’s Discworld except Discworld is predicated on a gonzo reality where all of humanity’s weird beliefs are true.