Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

There's free stuff on the Internet? Gee whiz!

Share |
There's free stuff on the Internet?  Gee whiz!

It’s late, the library is closed, there’s nothing on the tube, you’ve read everything on your shelves, and have no extra change to go out and purchase the latest magazines. What, oh what, shall you do?

Consider these three online ‘zines, chockablock crammed with great stories by both established pros and promising newcomers:

Flurb - Established by sci-fi author Rudy Rucker, Flurb is a fantastic collection of new fiction from noted purveyors of the fantastic such as Cory Doctorow, Paul Di Filippo, John Shirley, Ian Watson, and many others. There’s a notable wackedness to most of the stories – for a sample, try Marc Laidlaw’s Lovecraft tribute "The Vicar of R’lyeh".

Steampunk Magazine - A ‘zine devoted to the Steampunk movement, defined as “works set in an era or world where steam power is still widely used—usually the 19th century, and often set in Victorian era England—but with prominent elements of either science fiction or fantasy, such as fictional technological inventions like those found in the works of H. G. Wells and Jules Verne, or real technological developments like the computer occurring at an earlier date.” Both fiction and essays are presented, with luminaries such as Michael Moorcock providing content both strange and provocative.

Astonishing Adventures Magazine - Devoted to new stories which hearken back to the glory days of pulp and its practitioners – read Paul Malmont’s great novel The Chinatown Death Cloud Peril for a fictional idea of the personalities behind the stories.

Don’t like short stories? Prefer a novel? Well, aside from the vast output of copyright-expired works at Project Gutenberg, there’s a slew of new works available online (usually through a Creative Commons license):

Cory Doctorow - All of Doctorow’s sci-fi novels (Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom, Eastern Standard Tribe, etc.) are free for downloading from his website. I recommend them all, with particular emphasis on Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town. Plus, he’s Canadian, so let’s help a brother out.

David Wellington - This new horror maestro has several serial novels available on his site, including his latest, Plague Zone. I recommend Monster Island (also available for purchase at a bookstore near you), as I love a good zombie tale.

Peter Watts - For dark, frightening, spectacular sci-fi, you could do no better than Watts. The Canadian author has released his latest sci-fi opus Blindsight for online consumption.

David Moody - This British horror novelist has released his apocalyptic novel Autumn to scare the masses.

So, there you go. FREE STUFF! Sorry they all have a fantastic bent to them, but hey, again, I loves me a good zombie story. If only I could write one, but I fear my style does not lend itself to horror, and as Shaun of the Dead and Fido have effectively cornered the market on zombie comedies, I’ll think I’ll pass on the attempt. For now.

The views expressed in the Writer-in-Residence blogs are those held by the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Open Book: Toronto.

Related item from our archives

Corey Redekop

Corey Redekop, author of the critically acclaimed novel Shelf Monkey, is a librarian and freelance writer. He lives in Thompson, Manitoba.

Go to Corey Redekop’s Author Page