The glass case over the pastry display was shattered, a masked goon moaning on the floor in front of it. Half the tables in the small cafe were overturned, broken plates and smashed sandwiches scattered across the tile. The rest of the customers had fled, and a terrified barista peeked out from behind the counter.
Oh, and the salad bar was still on fire.
Surveying the destruction, Dave would have sighed if he wasn’t still catching his breath. He glanced at Val, who was checking her reflection in a handheld mirror, another masked goon lying at her feet.
Free ebooks are the best. They’re a great way for readers to try new series risk-free, and they help authors reach new audiences. But there’s just so many of them that it can be hard to find one you like.
Free ebook Friday spotlights a free ebook I’ve personally read and enjoyed, and hopefully, it’ll help you find a good read. The posts come out on random Fridays, not weekly, and the books featured will probably be speculative fiction.
This week’s pick is:
With a stolen experimental starship and a pair of advanced synthetic limbs, Hunter isn’t an average bounty hunter.
“A gunslinger adventure with good, clean fun!”
When he accepted the job on a backwater planet, Hunter thought it would be easy. He and his partner just had to track down a missing researcher. But when they find her, she’s fled a quarter of the way around the massive ring of twenty-seven gates and Hunter realizes all is not as he was told.
A Princess of Mars is serial fiction at its finest. Long before Netflix perfected the algorithm to keep us glued to our seats for episode after episode, Edgar Rice Burroughs had that s**t down.
Originally serialized in the magazine The All-Story in 1912, A Princess of Mars tells the story of John Carter. He’s a a former confederate soldier who, while on the run for his life, stumbles into a mysterious cave that transports him to Mars. As you do.
Once he wakes up there, the first thing he has to do is relearn how to walk, because thanks to the lesser gravity and atmospheric pressure, each step sends him shooting into the air.
Hold on. A man gets sent to another planet, and the different planetary conditions give him superhuman strength? Why does that sound familiar…
Space cops! Ray-gun fights! Space fashion! Alien divas!
I love all these things, which is why they ended up in a short story I wrote recently called Starstruck. It’s a retro sci-fi adventure that ticks off a couple boxes from my 5 Favorite Vintage Sci-Fi Tropes list and is inspired by old science fiction and pulp comics.
That’s probably why it’s such a good fit for Broadswords and Blasters, a “pulp magazine with modern sensibilities.” Their latest issue, number 12, came out yesterday, and you can read over a dozen awesome pulp stories in it. I’m super excited that Starstruck is included in their number.
Space Cadet Duke Rayburn just wants to go one day without getting criticized by his impossible-to-please superior. But when he’s assigned to protect a galactic celebrity who’s being stalked and threatened, he’ll have to do whatever it takes to keep her safe–and worry about the consequences if he survives.
Used bookstores have certain sort of magic. It might be the smell of old pages filling the air like fairy dust, or the chance to stumble upon a hidden gem with a story lost to time. And no two stores are the same, each one giving us a new maze of bookshelves to explore.
There’s a used bookstore about thirty minutes from my house that’s extra awesome because it also sells comics. Its sci-fi/fantasy bookshelves are hidden in the back, and they’re a treasure trove packed full of more stories than I could read in a lifetime. Looking over the rows of spines to pick out my next purchase is always an adventure.
I bought this one mostly because it has a cat on the cover.
Did you know January is Vintage Science Fiction month? I didn’t until I saw the hashtag on Twitter, which piqued my interest, because I love old sci-fi. You can feel the enthusiasm and energy in a lot of those old space travel stories, written in a time where mankind was just venturing beyond Earth’s atmosphere, and everyone was excited about the possibilities.
January is also great timing, because I’ve got a retro sci-fi short story coming out in Broadswords and Blasters Issue 12later this month. You might find more than one of these tropes in it. Or not. Read it and see. 😉
Are you venturing into the cold reaches of space and don’t know what to wear? No need to worry. Just pop a fishbowl over your head, and you’ll be fine.
2019 is almost over, and it was a good year for superhero fiction. You can check out Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 of my wrap-ups throughout the year to find any books you missed. Below, I’ve got a mix of books that came out in the last couple months and releases from earlier in the year that I overlooked. Hopefully, you can find something that catches your interest.
As usual, I haven’t personally read all of these novels, so check out the reviews and samples before purchasing. And happy reading!
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by Marissa Meyer
All’s fair in love and anarchy in Supernova, the epic conclusion to New York Times bestselling author Marissa Meyer’s thrilling Renegades Trilogy
This volume sees Nova and Adrian struggling to keep their secret identities concealed while the battle rages on between their alter egos, their allies, and their greatest fears come to life. Secrets, lies, and betrayals are revealed as anarchy once again threatens to reclaim Gatlon City.