Friday, February 1, 2008

Why I am off bookstores

I am an avid reader, have been ever since I was a kid. As I grew older I started to settle in with one genre in particular, Science Fiction. As any SF fan will tell you this genre isn't exactly mainstream. And it shows. Go into any corporately run bookstore and you'll have at tough time finding a good SF novel. Sure they’ll have a section dedicated to science fiction and there will be some really good authors to choose from (Michael Chrichton, Isaac Asimov, Douglas Adam etc.).

But having to choose from only grade A material can get tiring. This is like when you’ve tried everything that McDonalds has to offer and decide to venture off in search of some “real” burgers. I found that these bookstores tended to be cautious and wouldn’t take chances with unknown authors. This was devastating as I was being cutoff from some really great stories. Sure they were available on Amazon but with costly shipping charges the online reseller wasn’t an attractive option.

So what’s a guy to do? Get help of course. It seems the internet is willing to offer free goodies when its feeling generous. There is some really good SF to be had that isn’t usually available in the large bookstores, who are more interested in pressuring you into buying their wares then offering a wide selection of quality science fiction. A good source of free SF is promotions carried out by the authors themselves. For example Jeffrey Thomas’ "Deadstock", available on his publisher’s website also Baen publishers offer some of their titles for free which can be downloaded from their website. Also the well known Guttenberg Project gives you free access to classic SF works like Jules Verne's “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea” or H.G. Wells' “The War of the Worlds”.

Until I get through these digital books I’ll be abstaining from the greedy bookstores. I don’t know when they’ll get their act straight. What do you know?

UPDATE: Tor is giving away free e-books! I am never stepping foot in another bookstore ever again (* lives to regret these words).
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