kestrell: (Default)
Updated from an older list of 250, these ebooks can be either downloaded or read online free, although not all of them may be accessible.
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I'll be leaving for Readercon this afternoon, and for once I am very much looking forward to the enthusiastic air conditioning of the Burlington Marriot. I'll probably be offline until Sunday, as I can rarely manage to configure my laptop to make use of the free Wi-Fi in hotels and I'm too cheap to pay for it.

For horror fans, Cemetery Dance is offering a free ebook of Brian James Freeman's _The Painted Darkness_, which CD will be publishing in hardcover in the autumn. The ebook also includes a bunch of extras, and there is also the option to listen to the book in streaming audio. Check it out at
kestrell: (Default)
Microsoft is pleased to announce that Engineering Software for Accessibility (Microsoft Press, 2009; 100 pages) is now available as a
free download
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After yesterday's story
which was inspired by the title of the as-yet-unreleased anthology _Unicorns Vs. Zombies_ co-edited by Holly Black, I went looking for Holly's new book, _White Cat (Curseworkers, Book 1)_, available on Audible (if you need any more reasons to go looking for this book other than it is written by Holly Black, try reading the
review by Sarah Rees Brennan
(the review itself was so amusing that I added Sarah's new book to my Audible wishlist so I would remember to buy it next month).

I then found that
(which features a lot of podcasts of fantasy stories) has an exceptionally well done
podcast of Holly Black's "The Dog King"
read by a voice actor who reads for the Braille Institute.

The story is from Holly's collection
_The Poison Eaters and Other Stories_
You can also read what I consider to be one of the finest stories ffrom that collection
"The Coldest Girl in Coldtown"

I am, however, left to ponder how Holly and Sarah used the octopus to demonstrate what goes on at a SF convention--is there any video or audio of this explanation?
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Kes: This may well be my new favorite master site for finding free ebooks.

Teleread's catalog of free ebooks
especially recommended is the
Online Novels blog
which offers ebooks categorized by genre and language
kestrell: (Default)
1. For the Win (2010) by Cory Doctorow

2. From Bricks to Brains:
The Embodied Cognitive Science of LEGO Robots

by Michael Dawson, Brian Dupuis, and Michael Wilson (AU Press, 2010)

Available as a paperback or a PDF ebook

About the Book

From Bricks to Brains introduces embodied cognitive science, and illustrates its foundational ideas through the construction and observation of LEGO Mindstorms

Discussing the characteristics that distinguish embodied cognitive science from classical cognitive science, From Bricks to Brains places a renewed emphasis
on sensing and acting, the importance of embodiment, the exploration of distributed notions of control, and the development of theories by synthesizing
simple systems and exploring their behaviour. Numerous examples are used to illustrate a key theme: the importance of an agent’s environment. Even simple
agents, such as LEGO robots, are capable of exhibiting complex behaviour when they can sense and affect the world around them.
kestrell: (Default)
Kes: This post and the following one are both examples of how more books are being made more accessible than ever before, defying what once may have been considered economic and physical limitations.
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Kes: though of course, these are inaccessible to screen reader users--I'm pretty peeved aboutt the first edition penny dreadfuls
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A post
about Brewster Kahle, Internet Archive Founder and Chief Librarian, and his
“BookServer” project

Notable quotes:

block quote start
• Next he announced that not only were these files available in ePub form, but that they were available in the “Daisy” format as well.  Daisy is the format
used to create Braille and Text to Speech software interpretations of the work.
block quote end
block quote start
• Next up, Mike McCabe of IA, came up and demonstrated how files in the Daisy format could be downloaded to a PC then downloaded to a device from Humana,
specifically designed for the reading impaired.  The device used Text-to-speech technology to deliver the content, but what was most amazing about this
device was the unprecedented ease at which a sight impaired person could navigate around a book, moving from chapter to chapter, or to specific pages in
the text.
• Brewster took a break from the demonstrations  to elaborate a couple of facts, the most significant of which was the fact the books in the worlds libraries
fall into 3 categories. The first category is public domain, which accounts for 20% of the total titles out there – these are the titles being scanned
by IA.  The second category is books that are in print and still commercially viable, these account for 10% of the volumes in the world’s libraries.  The
last category are books that are “out of print” but still in copyright.  These account for 70% of the titles, and Brewster called this massive amount of
information the “dead zone” of publishing.  Many of these are the orphan titles that we’ve heard so much about related to the Google Book Settlement –
where no one even knows how to contact the copyright holder. 
block quote end
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Cory described his new short story collection in this Publishers Weekly article
and my little fangirl heart is just blown away to find that Leo LaPort will be reading one of the stories for the audio version, while Jonathan Coulton will be writing and reading the introduction.

I think I feel faint.
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The University of Texas’ Ransom Center has digitized their
Edgar Allan Poe collection
including books annotated by the author. The collection was launched to accompany the bicentennial of Poe’s birth.
The digital collection incorporates images of all Poe manuscripts and letters at the Ransom Center with a selection of related archival materials, two books by Poe annotated by the author, sheet music based on his poems, and portraits from the Ransom Center collections. Poe’s manuscripts and letters are linked to transcriptions on the website of the Poe Society of Baltimore.
There’s lots of interesting stuff, including some manuscript pages that would be lovely printed out and framed or used as part of a collage.

This site is collecting
Poe's Ultimate Song List
which is any song about Poe or any song or spoken performance based upon his works.

Need more Poe? How about
The Tell Tale Heart (UPA, 1953 )
And for some variety, here are
The Complete Works of H. P. Lovecraft


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