Daily Archives: July 30, 2010

A Pre-Hiatus Gift to You: A Free E-Book!

Before I head off for my six-week hiatus, I thought I’d leave you a little reading material. A decade ago, I wrote a series of entries which I called “That Was The Millennium That Was,” chronicling what I thought were some of the best, worst and weirdest things of the last millennium. It was a pretty good series — good enough that I was able to repurpose some of the essays for resale and featured a couple others in Your Hate Mail Will Be Graded. But the whole run of the series has been off the site proper for over seven years, which means that many of you haven’t seen most of these pieces.

So, as a parting gift, here’s the whole series as a free e-book, DRM-free.

Click here for EPUB format

Click here for MOBI format

Clicking on the link should download the thing to your computer, and then you can transfer it to the e-book reader of your choice. Between EPUB and MOBI, I think I’ve just about covered every current e-book reader out there, and if you have an e-book reader that doesn’t read either of those formats, well, I guess I don’t know what to say to you, except, possibly, here’s the free MobiPocket reader for your computer.

Two notes:

1. This is an amateur e-book, created by me cutting and pasting the entries into an RTF file and then running it through a format converter. So a) it is very lightly copy-edited and you may run into a few flubs here and there, b) it’s not a brilliant work of e-book formatting. Hey, it’s free, and I think I caught 95% of the misspellings. You can handle the rest. No, I don’t want you to send me an e-mail telling me when you find a flub. I’ll be on hiatus, remember?

(Update, 5:20pm: Whatever reader Béranger has been kind enough to add a table of contents to the epub version; I’ve updated the file with the new version. Thanks, Béranger!)

2. Feel free to share the e-book on a non-commercial basis (i.e., one-on-one with friends, etc), and to mention it on your blog, in tweets, and so on — and if you do, thanks very much. But do me a favor and link to this post when you tell people about it, because that way I can have a reasonable gauge of how many copies have been downloaded, which is information I would actually find useful for thinking about free e-books in the future. Please don’t upload it to repository sites like Scribd, or to torrents or other such things, again, so I can have a reasonably clear idea how many people are checking the thing out. Thanks.

One final note — this e-book is offered for free, as a gift, with no expectation of payment. I’m good for now, thanks. That said, if after reading it you feel moved toward compensation one way or another, I would be pleased if you took a dollar or two (or three, or five, or ten) and sent it to a literacy charity of your choice. Two that I like are Reading is Fundamental and First Book. Literacy is a good investment for everyone, and helping kids and adults learn to read is one of the best ways to “pay it forward.” So give it some thought, if you enjoy what you read. Thanks.

Meet the Guest Bloggers

No, Ghlaghghee will not be a guest blogger while I am on hiatus over the next several weeks. I realize that breaks the heart of some of you. You’ll just have to live with disappointment. For everyone else, I am pleased to introduce to you the folks you’ll be spending the next few weeks with here at Whatever. Your guest bloggers, in alphabetical order:

John Anderson: John Anderson is a friend of mine from my AOL days — that would be the mid-90s, when AOL occupied the same mindspace Google does now (and Google folks hate when you make that comparison) — and more recently was one of the founders of Comics Alliance. I also get a more or less monthly e-mail from him telling what stuff I should be listening to right now, and he’s usually right.

Mykal Burns: Another friend from way back, although in this case way back is waaaaaaay back, since I’ve known Mykal since I was in the sixth grade. Yes! I know! No one was even alive back then. What can I say. Mykal writes now and then for blogging.la, and when he’s not busy with other things, he’s a roller derby referee.

N.K. Jemisin: You may recall Nora from her recent Big Idea piece on her massively critically acclaimed debut novel The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, or you may know her because you’ve been reading through this year’s Hugo and Nebula nominees, and her short story “Non-Zero Probabilities” was on both shortlists. Or you may read her own blog.

Mary Robinette Kowal: Oh, you all know Mary by now, right? Campbell winner? Hugo nominee? Current SFWA Vice President? Author of the fabulous debut novel Shades of Milk and Honey, which officially comes out next Tuesday? My partner in crime for “John and Mary Show You Their Shorts“? Yeah, you all know Mary.

And overseeing it all will be the site manager Kate Baker, who some of you may know as an accomplished audio reader (for example, here’s her reading the Parsec Award-nominated “The Things,” written by Peter Watts), among the many other things she does.

THEY ARE ALL AWESOME. Really, I ran tests, and that’s what the tests came back saying. They all officially start on August 1 and continue through September 12.

What will they post? Whatever they feel like, just like I do. When will they post? Whenever they feel like, just like I do. So basically the place will run just like it normally does, just without me for six weeks. I hope they all have fun with it, and I hope you all have fun with them as well.