Free (and Legal) Science Fiction/Fantasy Reading
I got into a discussion today about an online resource sharing books for people to read during the pandemic. Only problem is, they don’t actually have permission to share some of those books…
Rather than rehash the fight over online file-sharing here, I thought I’d put together a list of legit SF/F reading and listening material for folks to explore and enjoy. I put out a call to authors on Twitter, asking for links. The response was both gratifying and a little overwhelming.
The British Science Fiction Association is doing something similar here.
- Apparition Literary Magazine
- The Arcanist
- Beneath Ceaseless Skies
- Curious Fictions
- Daily Science Fiction
- Future SF
- InterGalactic Medicine Show
- Micro SF/F
- Strange Horizons
- Escape Pod
- LeVar Burton Reads
- The Once and Future Nerd
- Welcome to Night Vale
Free Fiction from Authors
- Bellet, Annie – Short stories
- Berthiaume, Heidi – Microfiction stories
- Bisson, Simon – Hummingbird Futures, short story collection
- Blake, Polenth – Patchwork, short fiction collection. “Includes superheroes, space bees and moon mushrooms.“
- Bonesteel, Elizabeth – Survival Tactics, short story collection
- Buhlert, Cora – Twitter links to Evacuation Order (space opera) and several other stories
- Cohen, LJ – Derelict. “When Ro tinkers with a broken ship, she doesn’t count on waking its traumatized AI.“
- Connolly, Harry – A Key, an Egg, an Unfortunate Remark, “my pacifist urban fantasy w/ a sixty-five year old protagonist who’s a mix of Gandalf and Auntie Mame.”
- Cox, Stephen – Short fiction, various genres
- Crawford, Richard S. – “Burying Uncle Albert,” short story about “a family dealing with dark deeds, a hidden past, and zombies.”
- Danley, Kate – “snarky, badass urban fantasy“
- de Bodard, Aliette – The Dragon That Flew Out of the Sun, “anthology of my Xuya space opera stories, inspired by Vietnamese culture“
- Dixon, Buzz – Free flash fiction every Tuesday
- Downes, Sarah – Long Live the Tidal King, a parallel timeline novella around a manuscript on the life of King Cnut and the two men who authored it. (Free through 4/3.)
- Duane, Diane and Morwood, Peter – Freebies at Ebooks Direct
- Ermakova, Marina – Terrestrial Magic, “urban fantasy set in a post-apocalyptic Italy, where a scientist researches legendary animals and dodges assassination attempts“
- Eudaly, Rhonda – Posts flash fiction on Fridays
- Frasier, A. W. – Watcher, “about a genderfluid god and a Watcher going on ridiculous adventures and falling in love“
- Hamill, E. M. – Dalí, a space opera/spy adventure, free until 3/31
- Handley, Rachel – Twitter link to short story “Possible Worlds”
- Hawkins, Jaq – The Goblin Trilogy (click author link on Smashwords for more)
- Haynes, Simon – Peace Force: light SF adventure (Harriet Walsh Book 1), free on Amazon for the next 2-3 days.
- Heartfield, Kate – Twitter thread with links to free fiction
- Higginbotham-Hogue, Nicole – Don’t Tell Me Twice
- Hines, Jim C. – My free stuff is linked from the right sidebar of my website.
- Hutchinson, Dave – Now Wash Your Hands, a “collection of some old bits and pieces.“
- Irvine, Alex – Short fiction
- Johanneson, Patrick – Short fiction
- Klein, Karen C. – Torin’s Legacy, “a magical adventure book. Impish apprentices, magical malfunctions and grumpy wizards included.“
- Kwak, Jessie – Negative Return, “a sf heist along the lines of Firefly with some Godfather mixed in for good fun.“
- Lawless, J. R. H. – Short stories at Curious Fictions
- Lee, Fonda – Stories and excerpts at Curious Fictions
- Logan, Michael – Wannabes, “a satire about music, demons, reality TV and God forming a rock band with departed idols”
- Lord, Karen – Twitter thread with links to free fiction and nonfiction
- Lyman, Paige – Two short SF stories
- Marmell, Ari – Strange New Words (short fiction collection)
- McColley, John A. – Short stories
- McDonald, Sam – Twitter thread with links to free poetry, nonfiction
- McGuire, Seanan – October Daye short stories. (Site also has Incryptid short stories.)
- McKenna, Juliet E. – “The Wizard’s Coming”
- McSweeny, Madison – “The Beast and the Hummingbird” (short story). “A young girl becomes judge, jury, and possibly executioner in an otherworldly trial, after stumbling upon a monster chained up in the woods.“
- Meikle, William – Free stories and samplers
- Moore, Tanya – Free stories
- Novakova, Julie – Dreams from Beyond, anthology of Czech translated SF
- Novy, Rick – Short stories
- O’Connacht, Lynn E. – Sea Foam and Silence: The Complete Collection – “hopeful, low stakes SFF short stories and a soft queer verse novel retelling of The Little Mermaid”
- Phoenix Fiction Writers – Free books from their member authors
- Powell, Gareth L. – “Downdraught” (Novella)
- Quackenbush, Thomm – Stories and sample chapters, “most of which are new weird, contemporary fantasy, horror, or science fiction.”
- Rempt, Irina – “Two fantasy books set in the same world“
- Samphire, Patrick – Twitter thread with links to free short stories
- Slinde, Andrew – short and flash SFF
- Swendson, Shanna – Spindled, serialized YA fairy tale riff
- Tearmann, O. E. – The Hands We’re Given, “hopeful spec-fic audio-book here: a fight for freedom in the future America. Sex, drones, rock and roll!“
- Thomas, Llinos Cathryn – F/F romance novellas
- Thompson, Tade – Household Gods and Other Narrative Offences (a collection of seven stories)
- Trent, Tiffany – “The Bargain” – Fey King who undergoes a career change
- Underwood, Michael R. – Genrenauts: The Data Disruption, “a novelette about dimensional travelers trying to help a group of cyberpunk mercenaries rescue their missing hacker.”
- Voss, C. A. – Genesis. “It’s like Independence Day meets Jurassic Park with a touch of Armageddon.“
- Watts, Peter – novels and short fiction
- Wendig, Chuck – the Mookie Pearl duology. “Urban fantasy about a dude who works the literal intersection between the criminal underworld and the actual-literal-monstery-underworld.”
- Willis, Matthew – “Ascent,” a “multigenerational saga of a family’s relationship with a mountain“
- Wolfe, Alexandra – Free fiction and excerpts
- Ybabez, Gillian – Short stories
- African Speculative Fiction Society – More than 1000 SF stories by African authors
- AO3 – Hugo award-winning website hosting more than five million fanfiction works
- Baen’s Free Library
- BSFA Vector Reading Series
- Coyle, T. Thorn – video reading of “The Ice Cream Van: a Faery Story“
- Decameron Project – provides a new short story by a different author every day
- Hines, Jim C. – YouTube has a reading of “A Game of Goblins,” with more coming soon.
- Huggins, G. Scott – YouTube reading of “In the Employee Manual of Madness”
- Jones, Russell – “a free scifi poetry and prose reading from me”
- Mikalatos, Matt – Daily video readings of YA fantasy novel The Crescent Stone
- Project Gutenberg – 60,000+ public domain and creative copyright licensed works.
- Sava, Scott Christian – Twitter thread of kids comics
- Smashwords: Authors Give Back – Free books, filterable by genre
- Storer, Alex – The Art of a Changed World, “explores my cover art for Alice Sabo’s work and celebrates creative collaboration in the age of self publishing.“
- Valente, Catherynne – YouTube readings from The Orphan’s Tales
- VanPelt, Jim – YouTube readings
- Vibbert, Marie – Virtual readings
- Wallace, Andrew – Reading 20 minutes/day from his novel Celebrity Werewolf
I’ll update as I’m able, but this ought to keep y’all busy for at least a few weeks of social isolation!
March 30, 2020 @ 4:56 am
Thanks for this Jim! Going to share your link here far and wide!
March 30, 2020 @ 8:41 am
Thank you for this!
I have added it to my living Google Doc where I am collating resources/ideas for people during the social/physical distancing and school closures era. This is a public file, feel free to use and share, folks!
Jaq D Hawkins
March 30, 2020 @ 9:00 am
All my fiction is free on Smashwords for self-isolaters.
The Goblin Trilogy
A companion book of short stories
The Wake of the Dragon (Steampunk)
I’m trying to make time to upload the most recent book, The Chase for Choronzon. Possibly by tomorrow.
James Van Pelt
March 30, 2020 @ 11:18 am
Hi, Jim. I’ve just started doing some YouTube readings at https://www.youtube.com/user/jimvanpelt1.
I have two flash pieces up and an intro reading to SUMMER OF THE APOCALYPSE.
Thanks for doing this. Stay well.
March 30, 2020 @ 1:00 pm
There is also even *more* free fanfiction on http://www.fanfiction.net, with some excellent filters.
March 30, 2020 @ 5:55 pm
Most of Lois McMaster Bujold’s excellent Vorkosigan saga is also available! [Link Removed]
Jim C. Hines
March 30, 2020 @ 6:10 pm
Sarah – The Baen Free Library is already linked in the resources above, and should have all of the files Baen wants to make available. I’m not comfortable including a link to a file-sharing site where the files were pulled from BitTorrent and rehosted. Thanks.
March 30, 2020 @ 11:03 pm
To add to the podcasts, The Once and Future Nerd is a great story and has tons of episodes if you want to fill some time!
March 31, 2020 @ 12:44 am
Much of Peter Watts’s work (four novels, Blindsight and the Rifters trilogy, and a lot of stories as well) is available on his website: https://rifters.com/real/shorts.htm
D. D. Webb
March 31, 2020 @ 8:38 am
Webfiction is always free and not as widely known as it could be; there’s a vote-ranked list of popular webserials at topwebfiction.com and a more curated overview of the medium at webfictionguide.com.
I’m a fantasy person myself, and in that genre I highly recommend A Practical Guide to Evil and The Wandering Inn, both of which are linked at the sites I mentioned above. I also recommend The Gods are Bastards, but full disclosure, I’m the author of that so I am not exactly unbiased. Those three at least (and a lot of other stories) are enormous and long-running epics into the millions of words, and are always free to read online.
April 6, 2020 @ 2:10 pm
Starship Sofa seems to be missing from your back list of postcasts. All of their back catalog (600+ episodes, plus some spin-off podcasts like Far Fetched Fables) are online for free.
April 6, 2020 @ 3:40 pm
Aren’t H. Beam Piper’s works all public domain?
April 8, 2020 @ 6:07 pm
Hi. I’ve been giving away EPUB and PDF editions of my old heavy metal/science fantasy novels as well. Links are on the front page of my website
April 11, 2020 @ 9:20 pm
Oh my gosh
I may not be productive for quite awhile…
Just what I need
70+ freebies for while you’re stuck at home
April 13, 2020 @ 10:33 am
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