With the current Tor Books fiasco going on I thought I might point out some alternatives. For those who want to continue reading but not support Tor, and don’t want to do something illegal like torrenting books, there are various places you can patronize.
- First, Baen Books is a wonderful place. I can’t say enough about them and the goodwill they have engendered throughout the years. They have a Free Library linked where they have some a nice sampling of some of their offerings. These are the full books, not chapter samples, and are available in a myriad of formats, so no matter what type of eReader you have you should be able to download the file and put it right on your device without any problems.
- Secondly, Baen Books used to put CDs in their hardcover books as a way to encourage a broader readership. The CDs were meant to be shared among fans. You may still be able to find the CDs in your local library. But you can also download them from various sites. The Fifth Imperium has copies of most of the CDs (one of the authors asked that her books not be shown, but you can still find them if you search for them). You can download the ISO.zip files if you want to burn them onto a CD for yourself, or you can download the CD.zip files and simply extract them (which is what I did). There are various formats presented, but some are not in .epub or .mobi, so you will have to convert some of them to your format of choice. This can be done quite easily through the free eLibrary program called Calibre. Between the Baen Free Library and the Baen CDs you will have a couple of hundred free Science Fiction and Fantasy titles to choose from.
- Project Gutenberg is a site that is actively expanding it’s collection of public domain titles of all different types of works. These are usually pretty well formatted and are in various formats for the different eReaders. Some of the titles I’ve downloaded include E. E. “Doc” Smith’s Triplanetary (of the Lensmen series) and Skylark of Space, Alan Edward Nourse’s Gold In the Sky and Raymond Jones’ The Year When Stardust Fell. There are other Project Gutenberg sites for various other countries as well, since not all countries have the same copyright laws.
- Phoenix Pick is another SF/F publisher that every month offers a free selection from their catalogue of new and backlist titles. Simply sign up for their monthly newsletter to find out what the featured selection is. I’ve enjoyed the offerings of Nancy Kress, Kevin J. Anderson, Catherine Wells and L. Sprague de Camp.
- Open Library is another choice, though I have yet to use them. They appear to be a network of libraries from around the country.
All of those listed are in addition to your own local library or free indie published works available on the various vendor sites like Barnes and Noble, Kobo and Amazon (Kindle).
Should you decide to boycott Tor (and I’m not actually calling for that), there are many choices available for other reading material. Go out there, build up your eLibrary to compliment your physical library.There’s nothing sexier than a really nice library collection.
So, have fun reading and don’t steal, it’s not fair to the authors.