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Saturday, March 24, 2018

Classic Goodies of SF Downloaded!

A while ago, I got the Bluefire Reader app so I could read a review book. I was being sent the print copy, but meanwhile, till it was available, they sent me the ebook.

The problem I didn’t notice till I was sent another book to read via Bluefire is that the publisher gets its review ebooks via a library and you don’t get to keep them. Sixty days after they appear, they are gone. A bit much when you’re doing cheap publicity for a book and not even to be able to keep it!

Anyway,  you get a free copy of Treasure Island with Bluefire and I wondered if I could start loading some more freebies via this reader. And you can - it’s connected to Feedbokks.

I was a bit suspicious of some fairly recent releases of the last ten years, even those that were just short stories. Had the authors given their permission? I avoided those. But there were plenty of classics - Verne, Wells, Edgar Rice Burroughs, some others I’d seen in Gutenberg. There were some I hadn’t, such as Conan Doyle’s Professor Challenger tales. I’d read “The Disintegration Machine”, a highly entertaining Challenger story about what can happen when a teleport goes wrong, but for some reason I didn’t find it in my iBooks collection and it wasn’t in Gutenberg any more, not that I could see. Professor Challenger, as you might or might not know, is the leader of the expedition to South America in The Lost World, the one with the dinosaurs. That novel was enormous fun, seen from the viewpoint of a young journalist who goes on the expedition to impress his girlfriend. There are also some short stories about the same characters. So I grabbed them from Feedbooks.

I saw two of Olaf Stapledon’s books and took one I’d heard of, The Last And First Men. I also picked up a short story by Edmond Hamilton and found an H.G Wells story I hadn’t heard of, “The Star.”

And while I was about it, I wandered back to Project Gutenberg, where I discovered a couple of Henry Kuttner stories I hadn’t seen, one originally written under a pen name.

I love to binge, every now and then, on classic SF. There is so much new stuff these days, but now and then it’s good to go back to where it began, don’t you think?

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