PDA Fiction

Tuesday, July 29, 2003

Where Do You Buy Your Ebooks?

I'm very fond of cheap stuff. When I buy books, I usually buy them used.

When I buy ebooks, which I do infrequently, I hate paying as much as I would for a paperback (aka "real book"). I always look for give aways, promotions, and discounts.

It seems as though Powells.com, the web storefront for Powell's Books in Portland almost always has the best price on ebooks. If you love to read ebooks, but wish you could still support independent booksellers instead of mega-corporations, don't overlook Powell's. As any Northwesterner will tell you, it is a wonderful bookstore.


Saturday, July 26, 2003

University of Adelaide Etext Collection

God bless Australia! The University of Adelaide has a wonderful e text collection, with the mandatory warning about not peeking if you live in the US.

The books are generally available in HTML and PDF, and they can be downloaded for off-line reading.

Check out the author index and the links to Other Archives and Collections

Great stuff here!

Friday, July 25, 2003

More Free Books from Microsoft

This week's free books from Microsoft have been posted

Persuader by Lee Child
Beach Music by Pat Conroy
SCE #23 : Wildfire, Book 1 by David Mack

Thursday, July 24, 2003

Free Anti-Virus Software

AVG Anti-Virus is an excellent anti-virus program -- and it is free for personal use. It can automatically download and update its anti-virus definitions. It's smaller and much less buggy than some of the major (i.e., MacAfee) commercial releases.

No catches - no ads - no hidden gotchas.

You wouldn't believe how much virus infected email I get daily. And many of the infected emails are still sporting Klez or other, older viruses that everybody should have protection against by now.

Download and install a copy of AVG and do yourself and everyone else a favor.


Monday, July 21, 2003

Rosie The Riveter

Pocket Junkie has a very nice Rosie The Riveter Today screen plug in. If you have a PocketPC 2002 or 2003, take a look:


Free PDF Tools

Would you like to convert documents to PDF, but can't justify the cost of Adobe Acrobat? Take a look at PDF Suite and OmniFormat. Both are free, full featured, and easy to use.

Combined with the new Acrobat Reader for Palm OS from Adobe, you'll be able to turn anything into an Ebook in minutes.


Saturday, July 19, 2003

This week's Microsoft Reader Free Books

This week's Microsoft Reader Free Books are now posted for download

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
The Flying Book
Face In the Frost


Friday, July 18, 2003

RocketBook Tools

As unhappy RocketBook users know, GemStar has ceased publication.

If you used their services to create your ebooks, they have not left you completely high and dry. You can download their publication tools for free.


I'm not a RocketBook user or reader, but I know that alot of Xena FanFiction is available in this format, especially at the Bards' Academy and MaryD's If that's your preferred format, you might want to grab these tools while you still can.

Thursday, July 17, 2003

Joanna Russ

Speaking of books I loved the first time I read them in the 70's - there is all of Joanna Russ' work. Not much of it is available on the web -- but you can read When It Changed at http://www.scifi.com/scifiction/classics/classics_archive/russ/russ1.html

When It Changed is the short story on which The Female Man is based. This version also has Russ' commentary at the end.

If you enjoy science fiction in general, take a look at the rest of the offerings at http://www.hourwolf.com/sfbooks/ There are several excellent gay authors represented, including Samuel Delaney, Jessica Amanda Samuelson, Vonda McIntyre etc.

Are you a Shadow fan?

All the Shadow magazines are available on line. If you love 30's pulp fiction magazines, don't miss this treasure trove.


Index of On Line Books by Title and Author

The Internet Public Library is another great resource when you are searching for a particular book. You can search by title or author. They also have a nice collection of links to other resources and collections.


SCUM Manifesto

I've loved this since the first time I read it in 1970.

I don't know if it is available as anything but text - but the SCUM Manifesto is all over the web. I doubt Valerie Solanis ever made a dime from it (she died in 1988), but whoever owns the copyright now keeps shutting down various download sites.

You can (at least for now) find a copy here: http://www.womynkind.org/scum.htm

Books in PDF format


I don't usually read anything in PDF if I can avoid it. However, I'm trying out the latest PDF reader for my Palm, so i went looking for a few PDF novels. Penn State has a very nice collection of public domain works in PDF. This particularly seems like a good format for poetry on a PDA. Take a look at the complete Emily Dickinson. And Aeschylus' Agamemmnon (not my preferred translation - but what the heck).

Wednesday, July 16, 2003

Want classic literature already formatted for the Palm or Microsoft reader? Take a look at the immense collection offered by The University of Virginia

Do you wonder where to find Plain Text versions of out of copyright books on the web? My choice is Project Gutenberg Australia.

Why Australia? Because the US Copyright laws have been recently extended (again), making virtually anything written in the 20th century off limits. That's not the way Public Domain was supposed to work. As Project Gutenberg Australia says, " Project Gutenberg in the United States produces etexts in accordance with US copyright law. Here at Project Gutenberg of Australia we produce etexts in accordance with Australian copyright law.... Under Australian copyright law, literary, dramatic, & musical work published, performed, communicated, or recorded and offered for sale in an author's lifetime are protected for the life of the author plus fifty years from the end of the year of the author's death. After this time they enter into the public domain. EBooks on this page may be still copyright in the US and are therefore not available from the US site."

Adobe has a new version of their Acrobat Reader. It replaces the older E Book reader -- and it finally makes it possible to read Adobe E Books on your Palm or Pocket PC. Check it out:


Check the system requirements and supported devices before you install it.

Are you looking to "borrow" commercial e books from a lending library?

Both Fictionwise and KnowBetter offer this service. Check it out!

If you are a Sci-Fi or Mystery fan, you should be able to find something to read at Fictionwise. They have plenty of free etexts, as well as a large collection of for sale books. Try it all for free. If you find yourself going back and buying alot, think about the BuyWise Club -- it offers discounts and a lending library. Yep - you can read current novels for free legally through FictionWise. Support the authors!

KnowBetter started out as a Rocket Ebook spot (though it now covers all e text formats). Outside of the Xenaverse, it is getting hard to find Rocket Books - so you might want to check this site out as well. It also has a lending library.

KnowBetter is affiliated with FictionWise -- so compare library plans before signing up for either one. There is alot of duplication.

If you have a PocketPC (Ipaq, Dell Axim, Toshiba.... etc) you might be interested in Microsoft's summer e book promotion. They are offering many best sellers for free, including the latest Tony Hillerman book. They'll offer 3 books per week, from now until November. You can only download the books during the week they are offered.


What's the catch? You have to upgrade to the new version 2 of Microsoft Reader with the new, tighter DRM security. Some folks HATE this. Some folks don't care. I have to admit, I like the free books, so I upgraded my Dell Axim.

The upgrade process is unbelievably complicated and screwed up. If Microsoft can find a way to make something on the PocketPC harder than necessary, they do it. You'll be told you need to remove the old version of Microsoft Reader from your PPC. Most users can't remove Reader, because it is in ROM. But you can just pretend and go along with the upgrade. MS Reader v2 will be installed in RAM. Then you'll need to reactivate it. Then the upgrade page won't recognize it and you may find yourself in an endless loop. Aargh.

I finally ended up downloading the desktop version of Reader as well. Microsoft was happy with this and let me download the free books, which ended up in My Documents\My Library\ I mention the location because the download dialog just reported "Downloading to a temporary file" and gave me no chance to specify a location. I had to do a search to find them, so I could then install them on the Axim.

Once I sent the books to the Axim, I had no trouble opening and reading them.

Some folks report that the upgrade screwed up their existing library of MS Reader .lit books. I didn't have a previous library -- but if you do, make sure you back up everything before you begin.

While I'm browsing, I come across lots interesting ebook information. Perhaps other folks would also find these links useful. I thought I'd use this blog to add messages and links about additional reading and resources outside the scope of PDA Fiction. If you love to read - you might find some new material here. If you know of a site or money saving offer that you'd like to share, please let me know.