Posts Tagged ‘free’

“For Want of a Nail” is a Hugo nominee!

I am very, very pleased to announce that my short story, “For Want of a Nail” is on the Hugo ballot this year. I got to sit in the crowd at Norwescon and watch the Hugo nominations be announced, live.  This was a lot of fun. Especially when my name went up on the screen with the story. Heavens!

The other short story nominees are:

‘‘Ponies”, Kij Johnson ( 11/17/10)
‘‘For Want of a Nail”, Mary Robinette Kowal (Asimov’s 9/10)
‘‘Amaryllis”, Carrie Vaughn (Lightspeed 6/10)
‘‘The Things”, Peter Watts (Clarkesworld 1/10)

This story originally appeared in the September  2010 issue of Asimov’s Science Fiction. To celebrate, we’d like to offer you the story.

Edited to add: There is also an electronic version with bonus features, if you are interested. Details here.

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Caption Contest: Win a copy of Shades of Milk and Honey

Look! My author copies of Shades of Milk and Honey arrived today.

We are also eight days away from the release day of August 3rd. Not that I’m counting.

To celebrate, I’m going to give away two signed copies of Shades of Milk and Honey.

How do you win? Between now and August 1st post a caption in the comment thread on my website to go with this illustration from 1800.

On August 2nd, I’ll open a poll with the various captions listed and give a copy of the novel to the most popular caption AND to my personal favorite.

Edited to add: Yes, you may enter more than one. However, with this addition I’ll narrow them down to my top favorites before posting the poll.

A Sample of Shades of Milk and Honey: Chapter One

Shades of Milk and Honey will be released on August 3rd, which is just a month away– not that I’m counting…

To celebrate that, we’re releasing the first chapter as a sample. You may download it to read in .pdf or .epub or read the sample chapter below.

I will say that of your options, the pdf is of the actual interior and is very, very pretty. The interior designer is Nicola Ferguson and I am particularly in love with the way she has the first page of each chapter set.

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Typewriter Triptych, story 2: Playing Against Type

The second story in my typewriter triptych is up at Shareable. Here’s a teaser:

Playing Against Type

Harold pressed his hand against his knee to stop it from jiggling. It gave him a chance to wipe the sweat off his palm, too. Never show fear in front of actors. “I thought we had the camera until Friday.”

Conversation around the sound stage had silenced. The cast and crew of Last Dime had all rotated like some automaton the moment the man in front of him had pushed onto the set. Most of them were dressed like laborers from the 1930s, with torn trousers and battered hats. If you ignored the lights and the crew in modern dress, it could be a labor meeting during the Great Depression — not a happy labor meeting at the moment.

Go to Shareable: Playing Against Type to read the whole thing.

My SF story “A Type of Favor” is online at

I have three stories that will appear on over the next three days. They are examining what it might be like to make a film in a future with an economy based on sharing and cooperation.  Each story can stand alone but hopefully you get more out of them when they are read as a whole.  It’s the first time I’ve tried to write a mosaic story.

Here’s a teaser of the first one.

A Type of Favor

Like most of the co-operatives that sprang up after the Oil Wars, the Broadway co-op had a specialty. While other co-ops might focus on medicine or music, the Broadway members created and exported films to the commercial world. In exchange for pooling their time and resources they were able to have a higher standard of living than any independent artist. But of course, even an economy based on sharing and cooperation demands sacrifices…

Jenn stared at his chin, focusing on the stubble and hoping that her distaste didn’t show. Why had she borrowed Harold’s tools? Now she owed him.

Harold’s request to borrow one of her typewriters for the film he was making was perfectly reasonable, but this did nothing to keep the sour taste out of the back of her mouth. When she’d traded borrowing points, she hadn’t thought the typewriters would be in danger. No one used them anymore. She’d thought she was throwing skills or tools into the communal pot when she immigrated to this co-op. At her old one, no one cared about the typewriters. Was there a way she could say “No,” plausibly?

Read the full story at

Oh, and it has pictures of our actual typewriter collection.

Shades of Milk and Honey ARC giveaway on Library Thing

This might seem like a silly thing to be pleased about, but I’m now a LibraryThing author, which just means that I have an author page and get a shiny yellow badge next to my personal account.

So, to celebrate, I’m giving away an ARC of Shades of Milk and Honey on LibraryThing. Basically, you sign in, click the request button and at the end of the month LibraryThing draws a name and I mail it to the person who requested it.

Sure, you could wait until the novel comes out in August, but this is a chance to win an Uncorrected Proof. That’s right, you can enter for a chance to see my mistakes! Um… wait, that doesn’t…

Novel! Free!

“First Flight,” free at + recipes!

My short story, First Flight, is up at It has absolutely goooooorgeous art by Pascal Milelli, which looks enough like my actual grandmother that my mom was disappointed that she didn’t have earrings on.

Why is it cool that she looks like my grandmother?  Because she’s based on Grandma, even if the name isn’t the same. My grandmother, is still alive, well, and sharp as anything. She was born in 1905.

Grandma in 1920

I got the story idea because we were sitting around talking about things she had seen and it is staggering.  She remembers World War I, for crying out loud, and the Titanic.  Anyway, when she turned 100, she said, “I figure the Good Lord put everyone on this earth for a reason. I just haven’t done my yet, so I better get busy.”

To celebrate, I’d like to share these recipe cards with you.  I made them for Grandma’s 101st birthday and they are some of my favorite things she makes.

Here’s a teaser of First Flight.

Eleanor Louise Jackson stood inside the plain steel box of the time machine. It was about the size of an outhouse, but without a bench or windows. She clutched her cane with one hand and her handbag with the other. It felt like the scan was taking far too long, but she was fairly certain that was her nerves talking.

Her corset made her ribs creak with every breath. She’d expected to hate wearing the thing, but there was a certain comfort from having something to support her back and give her a shape more like a woman than a sack of potatoes.

A gust of air puffed around her and the steel box was gone. She stood in a patch of tall grass under an October morning sky. The caravan of scientists, technicians and reporters had vanished from the field where they’d set up camp. Louise inhaled with wonder that the time machine had worked. Assuming that this was 1905, of course—the year of her birth and the bottom limit to her time-traveling range. Even with all the preparations for this trip, it baffled her sense of the order of things to be standing there.

So, go on, read about my Grandma.

Campbell-winner David Anthony Durham giving ARC

My dear friend, the 2009 Campbell-winning, David Anthony Durham has ARCs of The Other Lands, his new book. And he’s giving one away!

Okay. Here it is. My first The Other Lands giveaway. There may be more to come, but this one is purely from my own stash. I’m offering one of the three advanced copies of The The Other Lands (Acacia, Book 2) that I received from Doubleday, and I’m tossing in a shot at the mass market paperback of the UK edition of Acacia: The War with the Mein. This is them:

You can enter for them separately, and you can enter up to two times. But I’m going to make you work a little bit.

Free Buttons! is this nifty site where authors can submit reprints and readers can create their own ideal anthology. In print. It’s great if you want to sample a bunch of people and prefer reading on paper than on the screen.

I ‘ve got several stories up there and they are doing this cool promotional.  All through WorldCon, writers from Anthology Builder will be giving out pins, like this one.  But that’s not the best part.

AnthologyBuilder representatives will be giving out gift certificates and free anthologies to anyone sighted wearing an AnthologyBuilder badge.

How do you get one? Ask me about living on a planet with rings.

Shimmer #10: Free Issue

We’re celebrating Shimmer’s tenth issue by giving it away for free ! We’ve got twelve fantastic new stories and an exclusive interview with Cory Doctorow that you won’t want to miss — and don’t let your friends and family miss out, either.

Download your free copy today, or buy the lovely print edition and celebrate with us!

Evil Robot Monkey

I have three version of Evil Robot Monkey to offer for your consideration as one of the Hugo nominees for Short Story.  It was originally published in the Solaris Book of New Science Fiction, vol. 2 edited by George Mann.

You may download a pdf of “Evil Robot Monkey“, illustrated by me. I do layout the way other people doodle and made this while I was waiting for the announcement to go live.

Or you could listen to me read it. Six minutes of science-fiction.

Evil Robot Monkey, by Mary Robinette Kowal

Edited to add: Andrew Neely very kindly converted the audio to an M4B (iTunes audiobook) version.

Or, you can skip after the cut and read the story right here.

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Diamonds in the Sky Released – Free fiction

Mike Brotherton, who taught the Launchpad Workshop, had a brilliant idea. A lot of people get their ideas about science from fiction, but the problem is that much of the science in fiction is really bad — like that whole exploding in vacuum thing. So he decided to put together an online anthology of science fiction specifically to use in conjunction with teaching astronomy.   Diamonds in the Sky went live today.

Here’s his announcement.

The anthology is free and you can go there now and read the stories, most of which are original but a few of which are reprints from Analog or Asimov’s. Contributors include Hugo and Nebula award winning authors. Each story focuses on one or two key ideas from astronomy and should have some educational value, but are hopefully first and foremost simply entertaining and good quality stories. The project was funded by the National Science Foundation as a public education and outreach effort, and I’d like to reach as many readers as possible so please spread the word!

My story, Jaiden’s Weaver, takes a look at life on a world with planetary rings.

Twitter / thaumatrope

Thaumatrope is a new twitterzine that delivers 140 character stories. You think that’s impossible? Check out horror story and see what you think.

The first issue also has an interview with Scalzi and fiction by Kenneth Newquist.

Oh, I’m particularly proud to be in the first issue because of this bit from the About page:

The idea for Thaumatrope formed when @nelilly asked @MaryRobinette, what use is Twitter? while on the Websites for Writers panel at Philcon.