Check out these free full-length novels, short stories and novellas from popular Sci-Fi and Fantasy authors. Hurry! These offers won’t last long!
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Novella by Becky Chambers
From the publisher…
A stand-alone science fiction novella from the award-winning, best-selling, critically acclaimed author of the Wayfarer series.
Told in the first-person narrative, Chambers spins the story of 22nd-century astronaut Ariadne O’Neill and her three crewmates as they explore habitable worlds. Earth and politics are decades in their wake. Through the process of “somaforming”, O’Neill and her crew survive the hostile environments of exoplanets. Combined with suspended animation, fragile humans can endure the long voyages to get to them. With their bodies transformed for each planet and with so much time elapsed back on earth, O’Neill and her crew are increasingly out of touch with the humans they’d left behind on Earth.
I came across To Be Taught, If Fortunate as I explored other books narrated by Brittany Pressley (narrator for the recent Elizabeth Moon books in the Vatta’s War follow up.) Her performance really makes the story shine. For a limited POV, she adds a fuller dimension with different inflections and accents to the other three crew members.
If you like Enterprise, Gravity, Interstellar, or, if you’re already a fan of Chambers, To Be Taught, If Fortunate is a fun fast read (or listen).
Salvaged by Madeleine Roux
From the Publisher: A woman on the run. A captain adrift in space. One of them is infected with an alien parasite. In this dark science fiction thriller, a young woman must confront her past so the human race will have a future.
Set in a future where human travel amid the stars is common, Salvaged is a mash-up Alien and The Expanse.
The main character, Rosalyn Devar, is a bit of a mess, by her own admission. She’s left behind a career as a bioengineer and a wealthy, influential family to be a space janitor that cleans up the aftermath of ill-fated research expeditions (i.e. the remains for former ship crews). But she can’t outrun her demons.
Called out for drinking on the job, she talks her way into a second chance by agreeing to salvage the Brigantine, a research vessel that’s “gone dark.” Devar arrives to find that reports of the Brigantine crew’s death are very much exaggerated.
The crew has been infected with an alien lifeform (nicknamed “Foxfire”) that’s smarter than your average microbe. This is where the comparison to The Expanse series by James S. A. Corey, comes into play. Like Corey’s protomolecule, Foxfire seeks to consume the humanity of its hosts and join them like a hive mind.
Stranded on the diseased ship, Devar’s near-constant fear of contamination by Foxfire is unnerving. As her mysterious back story unfolds, it seems Devar was fated to encounter the tragic crew of the Brigantine.
Written in the third person and alternating from the perspectives of the main characters, the plot unfolds to reveal the circumstances that sealed the Brigantine’s fate and set Devar on her self-destructive course. Some bright spots of wry humor and a fledging awkward romantic attraction between Devar and the Brigatine’s, Captain Edison Aries, defer some of the bleakness. Unlike other infected crew members, the Aries has managed to fight the organism’s influence and keep his humanity, so far.
The narration by Emily Woo Zeller is excellent. She seamlessly moves between the different characters. If you’re a fan of science fiction horror and space opera, I highly recommend, Salvaged by Madeleine Roux. I’ll be sure to look for more from Roux in the future.
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Here’s your chance to help the Allies and Enemies series make a little bit of history by making it a three-time nominee for a Dragon Award.
Please consider nominating my book, Allies and Enemies: Legacy for “Best Military Science Fiction or Fantasy Novel” in the 2019 Dragon Awards. [It’s the 4th category down on the list. Click the image or link below to visit the nomination page.]
There’s no cost to you and you need not attend Dragon Con to participate in the nomination or voting process. The link to nominate is located here:
Once you register and nominate only one or as many choices as you are comfortable with for the many categories that include comics, movies, games and tv shows. Be aware that you get only one nomination per category. The deadline for nominations is July 19th.
From Captain Marvel to Captain Janeway, strong female protagonists make good science fiction great. Check out the “The Future is Female: Heroines of Sci-Fi” giveaway on Story Origin. Download for free 17 full-length novels, short stories and novellas all featuring women who kick butt and take no prisoners.
I took a break from killing myself over prep for the next book(s) in the Allies and Enemies series (as well as a billion other projects to have a thought-provoking interview with Kirk at Troubadour Magazine. Click the link here to experience the very strange faces that I apparently make when I’m racking my poor brain. The subject? “Science Fiction as Analogy”.
DragonCon is over. We must return to our normal lives. For some of us that means re-joining the muggle world and putting aside our alter-egos. I count myself among that number. (Though if the Fates are kind, it might not always be the way for me.)
I was fortunate to be tapped for four panels this year. The last of which I was honored/challenged with being in the only female in a group of military sci-fi luminaries (Jack Campbell, Marc Alan Edelheit, Doug Dandridge, John D. Ringo, David Weber — moderated by Baen’s David Afsharirad). (See photographic evidence above.) Intimidating wouldn’t even begin to cover it. I did my best.
Additionally, I managed to make some great new friends that I hope will lead to mutually enriching experiences going forward. I’m still new to this whole “writer thing” and I get the sense that I’ll always feel that way. But it’s good to know that there are others out there willing to share their insights and advice. My hope is to someday be the same helping hand to other writers.
Until then, it’s back to the “real life” stuff that pays the bills.