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Wednesday, July 13, 2016

More Goodies From Gutenberg!

Some time ago, I discovered that there are some classic SF stories on Project Gutenberg. I'm not just talking about Verne and Wells, but about some of the big name writers of the twentieth century's Golden Age of SF. I found, to my delight, works by Fritz Leiber, Poul Anderson, H.Beam Piper and Harry Harrison that have gone out of copyright. They all disappeared from my iPad when the first one was broken, but I retrieved the Fritz Leiber stories and tonight I have gone back to see what else is available.

Most of them are short stories or novellas that first appeared in magazines, usually in the 1930s - and sometimes the magazine covers are there to enjoy, though I don't mind if they're not.

So, what did I pick up this evening? I found some of the works of Fredric Brown ("Happy Ending", "Two-Timer")Murray Leinster(Med Ship Man") and Henry Kuttner. One of them, "The Ego Machine", by Henry Kuttner, I had actually read, but it had dropped off the iPad. There's even a short story by Gordon R Dickson, "No Shield From The Dead."

You can get plenty of classic stories, mind you, in iBooks, and very cheaply, in the various SF Megapacks. I do have some of those, but I'm being careful with the downloads. There's only so much space on my iPad and I can keep more control with the Gutenberg downloads which are often just individual short stories.

I do want to get hold of some of the Hogben stories of Kuttner, but there's only one on iBooks - ten pages long - and I think I've read it. The Hogben stories are about a long lived hillbilly family originally from Atlantis. They're very funny, but you can't get them in ebook. The one time I found one listed in the ToC of an anthology I bought it only to find that there was some sort of a copyright issue and they had instead published a story by someone else - a story I had in another anthology!

Another short story I can't find is Murray Leinster's "First Contact." It's hugely famous, but nobody seems to be anthologising it in ebook, despite several volumes of Leinster stories available in iBooks.

So, it goes both ways: you can sometimes find stories free on Gutenberg that you wouldn't have thought were out of copyright and there are stories you'd be happy to buy that have copyright issues that prevent them coming out in ebook!

Ah, well, there's plenty to read while I wait! 

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