Reading Free and Cheap on the Web: SF/F

Hello fellow adventurers!

Today I take you down yet another road to science fiction and fantasy. There are a few places out on the web where authors, publishers, and others share bits and pieces of their writing, unpublished stories, or samples of published works.

The first place we’ll stop is the Liad. On Liad, the authors Sharon Lee and Steve Miller share tons of information about their books, tours, releases, awards, and themselves. If you scroll to the bottom of the secondary menu, you’ll see a link to the Splinter Universe. The Splinter Universe has a number of stories written for the web by these authors. Go on, take a peek! I dare you.

Our second stop is the Baen site. Baen publishes books and ebooks (DRM-free!) in the science fiction and fantasy genres, and they have a Library where you can download a few free ebooks. How cool is that? Find Eric Flint, Rosemary Edghill, Sharon Lee (!!), and David Weber, and that’s just to start.

Next, we visit the Book View Cafe – where ebooks, sourced directly from a publishing cooperative made up of authors of science fiction, fantasy, alternate history, and other genres. And they’re also DRM-free! So go on, check out their catalog, see if you’ll take a chance on any of their books for as little as $0.99.

Our next two stops are for those of you who prefer your science fiction and fantasy freebies in audio format. Clarkesworld is a monthly audio magazine with interviews, news, and free speculative fiction in every episode. Worlds Without End has a list of genre-themed (and other) podcasts on their site.

Strange Horizons is another great spot – where you can read weekly issues (and the blog) with original speculative fiction and related nonfiction. There are even podcasts, for audio lovers, and book reviews.

For flash science fiction available every weekday, we head over to Daily Science Fiction. Advertised as the perfect length for a coffee break, they should be easy to fit into even the busiest schedule. The site allows you to view recent stories and to search by topics. Looks like a great place to discover new authors.

Hugo Award finalist Lightspeed magazine publishes stories in just about every SFF genre. Published monthly, it also includes interviews, podcasts, and author Q&As. Stop by once a month for award-winning short stories, or subscribe. You can bet I’ll be checking this one out, now that I’ve discovered it!

And, of course – you can go to any of your favorite authors’ sites and navigate around to see if they share writings or supplementary stuff (covers! news! samples!) online. How do you find out what’s upcoming, test out new authors or books, or discover more about your favorite universes and characters online? Do you ever click around on your favorite author’s sites for extra goodies, like covers and synopses and forums? How do you use the internet to get your reading adventure fixes?

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