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SF Tidbits for 7/11/06

About John DeNardo (13013 Articles)
John DeNardo is the Managing Editor at SF Signal and a columnist at Kirkus Reviews. He also likes bagels. So there.

3 Comments on SF Tidbits for 7/11/06

  1. I don’t get the idea of some of these World eBook Fair free libraries.

    Project Gutenberg is free anyway, and copies in various formats, PDF included, are available freely all the time from other sources.

    The Baen books they have there are the same ones Baen have in their free library on their site in various formats, so the only difference is that these are in PDF and not HTML, RTF, and several other eBook formats Baen provides.

    As far as I can see no other Baen books are included, only those that Baen offers for free anyway.

    And it seems to be about the same in plenty of the other offered libraries.

    It is nice that they provide a page with links to many of these from one place.

    But it would have been much better to get separate listing on those which are free anyway, and those for which they really arranged a time-limited free availability period.

    Presenting the whole lot as a special event, that’s highly inaccurate. And creates a very bad impression. It’s not that I really think they purposely try to deceive people, but I have to try hard to avoid getting to that conclusion when I see a page that tells me they provide free books for a month, and then links to books that were free before and will continue to be free after.

  2. It’s a little hard to see how much Baen was actually involved in this. The folks at Baen’s Bar seemed a tad surprised that the Baen offerings were PDF’s, as it has been a long-standing policy not to release them in Adobe Acrobat format, but in any other open format!

    I was pretty disappointed with this “Book Fair”. I really didn’t see anything there that I haven’t been able to get on my own via Memoware.com, Project Gutenberg, Manybooks.com, etc. They seemed to have “fluffed up” the numbers by tossing in a lot of government publications.

  3. Well, obviously I didn’t do my homework on this one. :-S

    I try to post only tidbits that I think others find useful, interesting. and/or humorous. The Book Fair link is neither of these. Where’s the usefulness in advertising something as “free” when it already was at the original venue? Worse, PDF has to be the lamest format in existence. Bah! The only reason I tolerate PDF at all at this point is because I’ve traded up the slow, bloated stay-memory-resident Adobe for the leaner, meaner Foxit PDF Reader.

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