PDA Fiction

Monday, July 26, 2004

eReader.com: Moby Dick

Today's free ebook at eReader.com is Moby Dick

eReader describes it as, "Shakespearean in its scope, depth, and language, Moby Dick (1851) reveals the tragic results that must come when man constitutes himself a god: the destruction of the captain, his crew, and his ship, by the enraged, harpooned Leviathan, who lives on."

But don't let that fool you -- it's a great book.

eReader.com: The Gathering Storm

The Gathering Storm, the first volume of Churchill's The Second World War, is on sale (today only?) at eReader.com for $3.99

If you enjoy reading history, don't miss this one. Churchill won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1953 due in no small part to this awe-inspiring work.

This is a 2.2 MB sized ebook - so if your PDA doesn't have a storgae card, think twice before ordering.

Friday, July 23, 2004

Marriage Protection Act Passes

(Free registration required to read the story)

From the Washington Post:

"The House approved a bill yesterday to strip the federal courts of jurisdiction over same-sex marriage cases, despite warnings by opponents that the measure is unconstitutional and would open the floodgates for efforts to prevent judges from ruling on other issues, from gun control to abortion.

"With strong backing from the Bush administration, the Marriage Protection Act was adopted 233 to 194. However, the bill is likely to face strong opposition in the Senate, where some Republicans joined with Democrats last week to block a proposed constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage.

"GOP sponsors described the bill as a fallback measure that would prevent federal courts from ordering states to recognize same-sex marriages that are permitted by other states. The bill, drafted by Rep. John N. Hostettler (R-Ind.), would prevent such a ruling by denying all federal courts, including the Supreme Court, jurisdiction to rule on the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act, a 1996 federal law that says that no state has to recognize same-sex unions established in any other state...

"...Twenty-seven Democrats joined with 206 Republicans to pass the bill."

Rollcall vote is here. How did your Congressman or Congresswoman vote?

(Note: This isn't the recently defeated Constitutional amendment. This is a brand new, very-dangerous-for-everyone attack on Gay Americans, and through that wedge, on every minority (or non-rightwing approved) right that is afforded constitutional protection.)

Thursday, July 22, 2004

National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States

The Complete 9/11 Commission Report is available for the Commission's site as a PDF (7.4 MB) Illustrated.

The Executive Summary is available as a slightly smaller PDF (5.9 MB)

Black Mask has the Report posted in a bunch of formats including:

MS Reader

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Download For Democracy

The Download For Democracy campaign uses peer-to-peer networking to give Americans a fast, free, and easy way to access over 600 government documents. Many, many in PDF -- use Repligo to put them on your PDA.

New eReader /Palm Digital Media Newsletter Discount Code 

Punch in this week's Promo Code BERLIN to receive a 10% discount off each book that you purchase. Offer good through July 27, 2004 on all books priced more than $3.00. Cannot be used in conjunction with other special offers.

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Fictionwise Adds More MobiPocket Rebates

Fictionwise has added more books to their MobiPocket Rebate Specials:

90% Micropay Rebates on these titles in Secure Mobipocket format:

Deep Fathom
by James Rollins

Habit Busting: A 10-Step Plan That Will Change Your Life
by Pete Cohen & Sten Cummins

Receive 85% Micropay Rebates on these titles in Secure Mobipocket format:

Ellen DeGeneres: The Funny Thing Is...
by Ellen DeGeneres

by Robert Conroy

Receive 80% Micropay Rebates on these titles in Secure Mobipocket format:

Pandora's Star
by Peter F. Hamilton

Battlefield Earth: A Saga of the Year 3000
by L. Ron Hubbard

Receive 75% Micropay Rebates on these titles in Secure Mobipocket format:
Fool's Errand [The Tawny Man Book 1]
by Robin Hobb

Lost Light [A Harry Bosch Novel]
by Michael Connelly

Receive 70% Micropay Rebates on these titles in Secure Mobipocket format:

Three Plums In One: One For the Money, Two For the Dough, Three To Get Deadly
by Janet Evanovich

The Talisman
by Stephen King

Monday, July 19, 2004

eReader.com: The Mysterious Affair at Styles - FREE

Tuesday's free ebook at eReader.com's Summer Spectacular is Agatha Christie's The Mysterious Affair at Styles.

If you are a mystery fan, check out the selection at PDAFiction - which has long included The Mysterious Affair at Styles without the DRM restrictions.

eReader.com: Dragonquest

Anne McCaffrey fans won't want to miss this deal from eReader.com:

Dragonquest:The Dragonriders of Pern Vol 2 is on sale - $5.98 with the newsletter discount (Promo code = HOOT).

If you use this link, you can add Dragonflight for free

Sunday, July 18, 2004

MobiPocket Month at Fictionwise

Fictionwise is offering 100% Micropay rebates on selected MobiPocket books through July 22nd :

I, Robot by Isaac Asimov

Sexual Bloopers: An Outrageous, Uncensored Collection of People's Most Embarrassing X-Rated Fumbles by Michelle Horwitz

A Clash of Kings by George R. R. Martin

The Narrows by Michael Connelly

Benjamin Franklin: An American Life by Walter Isaacson

Slightly Dangerous by Mary Balogh

Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson

Remember - you have to select the MobiPocket version to get the 100% Micropay rebate -- but it's not a bad way to add any of these books to your library.

Friday, July 16, 2004

Amazon Distopias
I've been reading Susanna Valent's distopian Amazons series, about a right-wing fundamentalist take-over in the US, set in the very near future (2006)
The publisher describes it as the story of "...the dynamic Naval officer Kris Nordstrom, forced to resign when Christian and Muslim fundamentalists join forces to capture the White House and make their anti-woman anti-queer agenda law."
The books are reasonably well-written. Volume 2, Bound The Restless Wave, however, is in serious need of final proofing and copy editing. Several times, a proper name is replaced by the notation "[?]" - presumably indicating that someone should go back and insert the correct name. Really, that someone shouldn't have to be the reader.
Distopian fantasies can seem over the top in their depictions of a world gone radically wrong. Is it likely that loonie Christian fundamentalists will join with crazy Muslim fundamentalists to strip American women of the rights as citizens? Would American women just sit back and take it? Well - the mechanics of the thing aren't really explored in these novels - they are just postulated.
It's all just a paranoid fantasy. Ah - but then, I pick my way through the morning news -- and every day, some new religious outrage seems to take place in the US capitol. Not long ago, The Rev Moon was crowned the Messiah in a ceremony conducted in the Dirksen Office Building (see here and here) attended by over a dozen lawmakers; the Federal Marriage Amendment took up several days of Senate time that might have been spent more productively (though I really enjoyed the Box Turtle digression - see quote at end of article here and fun with quote everywhere) ; there's today's Congress Held Hostage By Militant Homosexuals brouhaha.
And now, a candidate running in the Oklahoma Republican primary for US Senate has advocated the death penalty for doctors who perform abortions. Is this guy a complete space cadet with zero chance of winning? No - he's Tom Coburn, a former member of the US House of Representatives. This is apparently what passes for mainstream Republicanism in mid-America, circa 2004.
Perilous times or just laughable? You decide (and you can help decide in November)
In the meantime, Fictionwise is selling Volumes 1 & 2 of Susanna Valent's Amazon books in MultiFormat. Keep an eye out for the publication of Books 3 and 4.
Strong to Save [The Amazons #1]
Bound the Restless Wave [The Amazons #2]

eReader.com: Bimbos of the Death Sun

Bimbos of the Death Sun is on sale this weekend at eReader.com for $2.50

You'll think it is either hilariously funny or really offensive - or just plain stupid -- depending on your emotional investment in Trekkie-dom

From the blurb:

"Sharyn McCrumb's Bimbos of the Death Sun is a strange work. Ostensibly a mystery novel complete with a murder and an array of suspects with plausible motives, it won an Edgar Award in 1988 for Best Original Paperback Mystery. Although we follow the plot, curious to know who killed famed novelist Appin Dungannon and why, the fact is that what happens in this novel is in some ways much less important than where it happens. Bimbos of the Death Sun is not a mystery that merely happens to be set at a science fiction and fantasy convention; it's a novel about a particular, peculiar American subculture, and it just so happens that a murder and investigation occur while the Trekkies and Dungeon Masters are convening to buy and sell memorabilia and don their hobbit costumes.

"In fact, the novel is really a parody of that culture and, as such, it has garnered understandably ambivalent reviews from the science fiction and fantasy community it caricatures. The perspective of the novel is decidedly that of an outsider's..."

Thursday, July 15, 2004

This Week's Discount Code at eReader/Palm Digital Media

Punch in this week's Promo Code HOOT to receive a 10% discount off each book that you purchase. Offer good through July 20, 2004 on all books priced more than $3.00. Cannot be used in conjunction with other special offers.

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

The love that dares not neigh its name

'Nuff said


Monday, July 12, 2004

Book Burning

From CNN:

"CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) -- A church's plan for an old-fashioned book-burning has been thwarted by city and county fire codes.

Preachers and congregations throughout American history have built bonfires and tossed in books and other materials they believed offended God.

The Rev. Scott Breedlove, pastor of The Jesus Church, wanted to rekindle that tradition in a July 28 ceremony where books, CDs, videos and clothing would have been thrown into the flames.

Not so fast, city officials said.

"We don't want a situation where people are burning rubbish as a recreational fire," said Brad Brenneman, the fire department's district chief.

Linn County won't go for a fire outside city limits, either.

Officials said the county's air quality division prohibits the transporting of materials from the city to the county for burning.

Breedlove said a city fire inspector suggested shredding the offending material, but Breedlove said that wouldn't seem biblical.

"I joked with the guy that St. Paul never had to worry about fire codes," Breedlove said.

The new plan calls for members of the church to throw materials into garbage cans and then light candles to symbolically "burn" the material"

Wouldn't want to seem "unbiblical" would we. Dim-witted, brainless, ignorant and bigoted ... but not unbiblical

Searchable PDF of Senate intelligence Report

Simson Garfinkel of MIT has re-scanned and OCR'ed the Senate Intelligence Committe's Iraq Report.

The result is not only smaller (thank god!) but searchable.

There are 2 versions:

"http://web.mit.edu/simsong/www/iraqreport2-textunder.pdf is a copy of the scan but with OCR applied, with the text underneath the original images. It has all the fidelity of the original report but you can search it. No clue why this version of the report is half the size of the original.

http://web.mit.edu/simsong/www/iraqreport2-ocr.pdf is just the OCR’ed text. It’s 4.3MB in length. There are many random OCR errors, including occasional bold text that should be something else, but it’s pretty reasonable, easy to search. and quick to download."

The New York Times > Technology >Online Battle of Low-Cost Books

Still not convinced that DRM schemes and copyright restrictions will be the death of books? Take a look at this NY Times article, decrying the market for used books! Not ebooks. Not stolen books. Not library books (they're next). But used books -- those things you've been buying and selling since you learned to read.

Here's a nice quote:

"Lorraine Shanley, a principal at Market Partners International, a publishing consultant, said that the industry was just starting to appreciate the dimensions of the problem.

" 'Used books are to consumer books as Napster was to the music industry,' she said. 'The question becomes, 'How does the book industry address its used-book problem? There aren't any easy answers, especially as no one is breaking any laws here.' "

"There aren't any easy answers, especially as no one is breaking any laws here"???? How about there isn't any problem since no one is breaking any laws here! I'm speechless.

Sunday, July 11, 2004

eReader.com: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

Today's free book from eReader.com is The Wizard of Oz

They are back to the kiddie books, it seems. Why don't they give away adult Public Domain books? Do they actually imagine there are hoardes of juveniles with Palm Readers on their PDAs and credit cards at the ready, waiting to open an account at ereader.com?

Saturday, July 10, 2004

eReader.com: Around the World in Eighty Days

FREE, today (Saturday 7/10) only at eReader.com : Jules Verne's Around The World in 80 Days

eReader.com: A Grave Denied

Are you a Kate Shugack fan? Dana Stabenow's most recent Shugak novel is one sale at eReader/PDM for $4.49 with the Newsletter Discount


Punch in this week's Promo Code RAWLINS to receive a 10% discount off each book that you purchase. Offer good through July 13, 2004 on all books priced more than $3.00. Cannot be used in conjunction with other special offers.

Friday, July 09, 2004

Palm Reader/eReader Pro

I mentioned, a few days ago, that although I owned the Pro version of the Palm Reader, I didn't see much advantage to it.

Aym kindly pointed out one of the features that many folks find worth the price: font support.

"FYI - one other major benefit of the pro version of eReader is the ability
to change the fonts. As a general rule I don't think it's worth buying
their fonts, but any font that worked with the pre-OS5 FontHack will work

See Mobipocket's site (ironically) for a great collection of links"

That's true - and the point about using the free Font Hack fonts is worth underlining. You don't need those $10 Palm Reader font packs. Go to Lubak's site or PalmGear or where ever you go for your PDA software and grab some free fonts.

Stop the Federal Marriage Amendment

The HRC has provided a handy PDF of a poster that you can print and post.

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

This Week's eReader / Palm Digital Media Discount Code

Punch in this week's Promo Code RAWLINS to receive a 10% discount off each book that you purchase. Offer good through July 13, 2004 on all books priced more than $3.00. Cannot be used in conjunction with other special offers.

eReader Pro Sale

eReader Pro aka Palm Reader Pro is on sale for $9.95 (regular price is now listed as $19.95 - wasn't it $14.95 before it was renamed?)

I bought the Palm Reader Pro some time ago - and I really don't see any advantages over the free version, except the integrated word look-up that's part of the included dictionary. If that is a function you need, now might be a good time to buy.

Monday, July 05, 2004

Fictionwise: Bound the Restless Wave [The Amazons #2]

Judging by the covers, these Amazons wear bikinis and cut off shorts. I don't know if that is any sillier than Xena, but since no one on the cover looks like Lucy Lawless, it is a disappointment. However, Fictionwise still gets points for consistently offering small press lesbian fiction.

Bound the Restless Wave [The Amazons #2] [MultiFormat]
by Susanna Valent

eBook Category: Science Fiction/Family/Relationships
Description: The Queer "Left Behind Continues"--The suspense mounts in the second volume of this acclaimed new series by the bestselling author of The Queen's Slave Woman series. In Book 1, Strong to Save, we met the dynamic Naval officer Kris Nordstrom, forced to resign when Christian and Muslim fundamentalists join forces to capture the White House and make their anti-woman anti-queer agenda law. While Kris vacations with her sister's family and learned her teenaged niece is also a lesbian, Kris' friend, Andrea Santiago, secretly in love with her, plots a way to escape to the still liberal West Coast and take Kris along, hoping propinquity will lead to passion. In Bound the Restless Wave, the two women finally set sail together to California and become lovers. They meet Nicole Gervais and become a triad. Soon the three are making plans and joining forces with other women, determined to make a new life outside the U.S. None of then know that it is a decision that will land Kris and Andrea in deadly danger and lead to hairs-breath escapes, car chased, helicopter rescues, and intense shootouts. Meanwhile, Kris' nieces, Danielle and Carole, are forced to pretend to believe in the new fundamentalism, while trying desperately to find a way out of the clutches of their cult-like church and easily-led parents. A Queer counterpart to the Left Behind series, this is a series no liberal should miss. Cover: Mia Jennings Mia@somtel.net

Fictionwise Price: $3.39 (Buyws=ise Club Price: $2.88)

Check at the excerpt at the bottom of the page

Fictionwise Strong To save (The Amazons Book 1)

The publisher describes this series as "The Queer 'Left Behind' " Do we actually need a gay version of that wretched, right-wing trash? I suppose the publisher is just hoping to catch a popular wave -- let's hope the politics (not to mention the prose) is less offensive. There is an excerpt on Fictionwise.

Strong to Save [The Amazons #1] [MultiFormat]
by Susanna Valent

eBook Category: Science Fiction
Description: The Queer "Left Behind"--Here's what Sensual Romance says about the lnovels of Susanna Valent: "Though there is action and lots of violence--the characters are all three dimensional and sympathetic. There are no heterosexual sexual encounters in [her] books." And now Susanna Valent's talent and daring take her to a whole new level in The Amazons Quartet, a four-volume saga of Sapphic passion and resistance in the face a new male-dominated future tyranny. In Book 1, Strong to Save, it's 2006 and the U.S. is being turned upside down by a government taken over by the extreme right wing elements of the Republican Party, an Islamic coalition, and a fundamentalist church. The most conservative, misogynist elements of society join to crush women and liberals, especially feminists, lesbians, transgenders, and gay men. The right-wing Congress passes all kinds of repressive, xenophobic, sexist and homophobic laws. The four freedoms of the Bill of Rights cease to exist for the disadvantaged portions of the population. These new laws are depriving women of their social, political, financial, personal rights--even the right to control their own bodies and fates as they are increasingly confined to the domestic realm and heterosexual husbands gain complete legal power over their wives. Women who dare to appear alone in public are being increasingly physically threatened by women-loathing men of every description. Along with every other woman in the country, charismatic, dynamic Coast Guard Captain Kris Nordstrom is under siege to adopt the values and behavior of fundamentalist religious fanatics, and as a lesbian, she is more threatened than most. Although she was already in the closet as a military officer, she is given the heart-breaking choice of being fired or resigning from active duty simply because she is a woman. After leaving the Coast Guard, Kris vacations with her teenaged nieces, Danielle and Carole, and finds her heart breaking even further at the thought of what their futures will be like if they have to grow up in the new America

Fictionwise Price: $3.39 (Buywise Club Price is $2.88)