Ebook Bargains


I quite enjoyed that book.


Joe Hill is fantastic. Be sure and check out his comics work as well. Locke and Key is stunning.


Thanks for the heads up on NOS4A2, I loved Heart Shaped Box, by Hill and as previously mentioned Locke and Key is fairly awesome as well.

BTW its also available at B&N for you Nook-ies for $1.99 as well.


just finished NOS4A2 it was fantastic. Thanks for mentioning the deal. I’ve got a copy of Horns (I still prefer paper) I found at a dollar store that I’ll have to read through and I think I might have picked up Heart Shaped Box on Kindle at some time or other. I didn’t know he was Stephen King’s son, that might have kept me from picking it up just assuming he was getting by on the old mans reputation.


This reminds me I need to check out Locke & Key. I think I’ll order the first volume.


So I saw this book, The Long Drunk, is free as a promotion.

It’s an odd detective novel, hard-boiled, with a homeless person trying to solve a murder to get a reward to save his dog who needs expensive surgery. I really enjoyed it. It’s free. You might want to take a look.


New humble scifi ebook bundle is up: https://www.humblebundle.com/books

The Healer’s War by Elizabeth Ann Scarborough,
The Reluctant Swordsman by Dave Duncan,
Freehold by William Dietz,
The Time of the Dark by Barbara Hambly,
Wingman by Mack Maloney.

Beat the average price:
Spellsinger by Alan Dean Foster,
I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream by Harlan Ellison,
The Forge of God by Greg Bear,
Song of Kali by Dan Simmons.

Pay $12 or more:
Encounter with Tiber by Buzz Aldrin and John Barnes,
Blackcollar by Timothy Zahn.

Opinions? Interesting bundle. I haven’t read any of these books. But I have read plenty of books by some of these authors. Alan Dean Foster, Harlan Ellison, Greg Bear, Dan Simmons, even John Barnes, I think. And I read the Conquerer’s Saga by Timothy Zahn, which was pretty terrible, so I stayed away from him after that. Almost makes me want to pay less than $12 just to avoid Timothy Zahn’s book. But maybe the Conquerer’s books were an anomaly among his work?


I enjoyed The Reluctant Swordsman. It is not what I would call a very engrossing story but it was fun to read.


The Reluctant Swordsman is definitely a fun read, though it’s worth noting that it’s the first of three books. It does tell a complete story, so if you decide to read it and stop, you’re OK. I’m a big Dave Duncan fan. He’s got a few stinkers (i.e. Hero, and the current faerie trilogy), but he’s usually very good.

The Time of the Dark is also the first book in a trilogy, but it does not tell a complete story. If you get that, you’ll need The Walls of Air and The Armies of Daylight to finish it. It’s post-apocalyptic fantasy. That is, the world is ending, but the world is a fairly typical pseudo medieval Europe world, and the cause of the end is a plague of vicious nocturnal flying magical critters. It left an impression on me when I first read it at 18. The trilogy is worth reading, but it has a really disappointing cop-out finish.

Spellsinger is featherweight crap. Wannabe rock star gets transported to another world and discovers that he can make magic by singing. Other world is inhabited by cute anthropomorphic animals. The protagonist’s mentor in the new world is a wizard turtle. It’s essentially Foster trying to cash in on Xanth’s popularity. The first book isn’t so bad, but completely forgettable.

I’ve heard I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream is an absolute classic. I’m not personally interested because I really don’t like Ellison or his writing.

The Forge of God is an excellent but very depressing end of the world scenario. Alien ships show up at various points on Earth, and one of them has a stowaway who warns the aliens are here to kill us. Things are not as they seem. It’s a fairly complex novel, and it’s more-or-less hard SF (that is, reasonably plausible and carefully thought out).

I haven’t read Song of Kali. It’s supposed to be good, but it’s horror, and I’m not that much into horror. Simmons being a highly unpleasant nutter has put me off Simmons recently.

I don’t remember much about Encounter with Tiber, other than it’s about a mission to intercept a comet. I vaguely recall it being OK, but not exceptional.

I used to like Timothy Zahn, but stopped after the first Conquerer book. Blackcollar is very early Zahn, and quite readable, if not terribly deep. The premise is that humanity had a war with aliens and lost, and is now a subject race. Blackcollars were commandos with enhanced reflexes who used low-tech weaponry because the aliens were too good at detecting metals and power sources. This is a post-occupation story about a small cell of blackcollars.

These books are all pretty old, and generally available at bargain prices. My take: definitely get the base group if you haven’t read either The Reluctant Swordsman or The Time of the Dark. Beat the average only if you haven’t read The Forge of God and you think you’ll like either the Ellison or Simmons book. The average is $10 or so, and I’d say either book in the $12 group is worth an extra $2 if you were already going to spend $10. Neither is worth $6, IMHO, so don’t spend $12 just to get those two books.

The pricing schedule is odd, because the $12 books are some of the weaker books in the group. If I’d been structuring it, I would have used 2 books from the second tier as the $12 books, as long as neither one was Spellsinger.


FWIW, I think Song of Kali is possibly Simmons’ weakest book. (Haven’t read all of them, though.) Certainly not up to his best standards, like Carrion Comfort and The Terror.


If you are a Tim Powers fan his novella Salvage and Demolition is on sale for $0.99 in all the popular ebook formats. It’s pretty good. Here’s the description:

Salvage and Demolition, the astonishing new 21,000 word novella by Tim Powers, begins when Richard Blanzac, a San Francisco-based rare book dealer, opens a box of consignment items and encounters the unexpected. There, among an assortment of literary rarities, he discovers a manuscript in verse, an Ace Double Novel, and a scattering of very old cigarette butts. These commonplace objects serve as catalysts for an extraordinary–and unpredictable–adventure.

_Without warning, Blanzac finds himself traversing a ‘circle of discontinuity’ that leads from the present day to the San Francisco of 1957. Caught up in that circle are an ancient Sumerian deity, a forgotten Beat-era poet named Sophie Greenwald, and an apocalyptic cult in search of the key to absolute non-existence. With unobtrusive artistry, Powers weaves these elements into something strange and utterly compelling. The resulting story is at once a romance, a thriller, and the kind of intricately constructed time travel story that only the author of The Anubis Gates–that quintessential time travel classic–could have written. Ingenious, affecting, and endessly inventive, Salvage and Demoliton is a compact gem from the pen of a modern master, a man whose singular creations never fail to dazzle and delight.


Thanks for the tip, just picked it up.


Is it really astonishing? I mean… really? It better be or I’m asking for my money back!


I am[quote=“Mark_Asher, post:71, topic:73651, full:true”]
If you are a Tim Powers fan his novella Salvage and Demolition is on sale for $0.99 in all the popular ebook formats. It’s pretty good.

I am, and I bought. Thanks! Looking forward to it.


Some great video game books in the latest StoryBundle. The Spelunky book is a FANTASTIC all-around game design primer. Incredibly lucid and practical. I highly recommend it. And Playing the World is a very thorough history of wargaming and role-playing games.


Yeah most overused word in book reviewing / blurbing the past few years. Often ignore a book on reflex when people claim astonishment,



Star Trek and comics nerds, there’s an awesome Humble Book Bundle right now of Star Trek comics in ebook form (CBZ/PDF/ePub). Including a unique 48-page printed comic for the top tier.


In a sense, you’d better hope not, since to be astonished would be to be struck…

C15: from earlier astonyen (see astonied), from Old French estoner, from Vulgar Latin extonāre (unattested) to strike with thunder, from Latin tonāre to thunder

Fun with words!


I got hit with an ad last week for some mailing list called BookBub, claiming to send out lists of daily ebook deals. At first I thought it was spam, but then I had an “Oh, what the hell!” moment & bit.

One week later, and I’ve bought a handful of good books for my Kindle at $3 or less. I had to weed out a bunch of genres to cut down on noise, but selecting only history, biography, & science has yielded some decent buys.

Worth checking out if you don’t mind getting all the emails.


China Mieville’s classic novel Perdido Street Station is $2 on a Kindle deal of the Day today.