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Free Science Fiction eBook – D-99 by H.B. Fyfe

Free Science Fiction eBook

D-99 by H.B. Fyfe

D-99 by H.B. Fyfe


A Brain Plucker exclusive offer courtesy of Wonder Publishing Group in tandem with SFFaudio.com’s 4th Annual Audiobook Challenge. H.B Fyfe’s Vintage SF Novel D-99 This complete novel was originally printed in 1962.

D-99 by H. B. Fyfe —HTML | PDF

Here’s the back cover copy:

EARTHMEN IN TROUBLE

Harris was caged in an underwater “zoo” by a pack of blue lobsters.

Maria drew a five-year sentence on a puritanical planet for trying to buy a souvenir—and for being excessively feminine.

Taranto & Meyers had committed the crime of being shipwrecked on a planet that didn’t like strangers.

Gerson was simply kidnapped.

And nobody had any idea why five citizens of Terra were being held on other worlds—and the ultra-secret Department 99 existed only to set them, and others like them, free.

This tense novel is the story of one evening’s work for Department 99—their successes and failures—and of the strange crisis that almost wrecked D-99.

Future Releases-Block, SHANE and Sterling

Working on getting some new titles out today. Did some new covers and thought I’d share. The titles will be released by the end of the month.

Mona by Lawrence Block

Mona by Lawrence Block

Shane by Jack Shaefer

Shane by Jack Shaefer

The Hinges of Hell by Stewart Sterling

The Hinges of Hell by Stewart Sterling

Orson Scott Card on NPR’s Talk of the Nation

Heard an interesting interview with Orson Scott Card today on NPR’s Talk of the Nation. He talks about the Ender Series. I have to admit I was all onboard with the initial series but lost interest after the parallel Ender’s Shadow series. I liked the original series because each book was unique. Ender’s Shadow wasn’t a bad book by any means. OSC also talks about the comic book adaptation which sounds very interesting. I’m going to take a look at it. But then again after reading the books, my time is probable better spent on something unique to me. He also talks about the Hollywood adaptation of Ender’s Game.

Orson Scott Card interview [MP3]
Talk of the Nation [site summary]

Voice-Over Voice Actor–Get it now at 15% off

Voice-Over Voice Actor

Voice-Over Voice Actor

This Summer I got to be part of a singular event for me. I was the “sound engineer” for a Voice-Over seminar at the Chelsea Library in Michigan. It was given by two excellent voice-over actors that work in Hollywood. They are Yuri Lowenthal and Tara Platt. Check out their sites and you’ll see they have tons of cred! They’ve both done voices for NARUTO [Tara Platt (the voice of Temari) and Yuri Lowenthal (voice of Sasuke)]. Yuri is also the voice of BEN TEN on Cartoon Network as well. And like a said, tons of other voices.

Well it was an excellent seminar. They covered so much great material in the brief time they had. When it comes to Voice-Over Acting, they got it goin’ on! And now they have a new book coming out next month. I just found out that if you order it now, you can get for 15% off. Check out their book’s site and pre-order today. You can even get a signed copy. I can’t wait to get my copy.

Tara, Yuri and Me

Tara, Yuri and Me

New Book Release – Poor Superman and Others

A new print book is now available at Amazon. This is available as an eBook at Fictionwise. And will be for the Kindle soon.

Poor Superman and Others by Fritz Leiber

Poor Superman and Others by Fritz Leiber

The Bookless Library – Is It a Good Thing?

“When I look at books, I see an outdated technology, like scrolls before books,’’ said headmaster James Tracy. (Mark Wilson for The Boston Globe)

“When I look at books, I see an outdated technology, like scrolls before books,’’ said headmaster James Tracy. (Mark Wilson for The Boston Globe)

Over at the Boston Globe site they have an article about Cushing Academy Library doing away with physical books as they have decided to go all digital.

Instead of a library, the academy is spending nearly $500,000 to create a “learning center,’’ though that is only one of the names in contention for the new space. In place of the stacks, they are spending $42,000 on three large flat-screen TVs that will project data from the Internet and $20,000 on special laptop-friendly study carrels. Where the reference desk was, they are building a $50,000 coffee shop that will include a $12,000 cappuccino machine.

And to replace those old pulpy devices that have transmitted information since Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press in the 1400s, they have spent $10,000 to buy 18 electronic readers made by Amazon.com and Sony. Administrators plan to distribute the readers, which they’re stocking with digital material, to students looking to spend more time with literature.

Part of me wonder how cost effective this is over traditional books. I would think there that the available content would be overwhelmingly cost effective over buying the dead tree versions. But then again there is great quantities of digital content available to anybody with an internet connection and a netbook or digital reader. There are already digital library services like NetLibrary and Overdrive to greatly expand a library’s contents.

As a eBook and Audiobook publisher, as well as a POD publisher, you’d think I’d be thrilled at the thought of a bookless library. Maybe it’s nostalgia, but I get a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach with the digital-only library. I think what bothers me is not that physical books could become unnecessary, but that libraries as physical places could be irrelevant.  Why have a “learning center” at all? If all this info can reach you wirelessly, why go to a library? And that saddens me because I love going to libraries. Before surfing the net, I used to surf the bookshelves at my library. Nowadays, not so much. But libraries are transitioning with the times as a more social institution, at least that’s my hope.

Top Ten Mystery Novel – A Bullet For Cinderella

A novel, A Bullet For Cinderella by John D. MacDonald, being published by Wonder Publishing Group (my company).  Is now in the top ten sellers at Fictionwise.com in the Mystery category. This book is part of the Noir Masters series, which I’ll be doing a post on soon. Read all about the book at Amazon or Fictionwise. We will be publishing a print edition in about a month!

#10 in Mystery Books @ Fictionwise

#10 in Mystery Books @ Fictionwise

Rave Review for The Fabulous Clipjoint by Fredric Brown

One of the greatest websites, if not the best (IMHO), just posted a rave review of The Fabulous Clipjoint by Fredric Brown. For those who don’t know, I’m the publisher of Wonder Audio (as well as Wonder eBooks and Wonder Publishing Group). The review comes from my bud, Jesse Willis at SFFaudio.com. Here’s an excerpt:

…this is a truly awesome audiobook. I will stake my reputation on you loving it. If you’re twice as apt to like an old crime novel as a new one, then you’re three times as apt to love The Fabulous Clipjoint. The mystery is not hard to follow, the story is told in first person, but conversely it was devilishly hard to solve. I pride myself on being an excellent armchair detective, but I was happily baffled right up til the big reveal. That’s really saying something. William Coon sounds like a wise teenager. But then whenever he’s tasked with another character’s voice he switches: Falsetto, gruff, kindly, Coon does them all. Highly recommended.

You can get it today at: Audible.com/Wonderaudio

Fabulous-Clipjoint_AUDIBLE

And the review designated the title with the accolade–SFFaudio Essential.

Why Vintage Cover Art is Better Than Today’s Cover Art

(A post written all as “IMHO“)

Why is it that I like the vintage art better than today’s art? The short answer is it’s more expressive, i.e. it creates a visceral emotional response. Today’s art is more polished. God forbid that a paint stoke shows. The colors are more realistic. It is perhaps technically more accomplished, but that makes it more sterile expressively.

I know I’m speaking in generalities There are individual artist today that are fantastic. The whole lowbrow art movement has some amazing stuff. And I’ve seen some small independent artists that really move me.

My beef is with the commercial book market cover. There is an overwhelming homogeneous style that looks like they’re all being painted by the same artist. And the graphics that they’re putting on the covers looks like it’s all from the same graphic designer regardless of publisher. And there’s the shear amount of text that they’re throwing on the covers. Some of the fonts are so ornate, you can’t read the title!

Crappy Contemporary cover

There really should be a return to some of the design principles of the past. Simpler fonts, brighter colors, more iconic images. Why? Because most the images are first seen as a thumbnail online. More and more people first see a cover as a thumbnail.  This smaller size calls for a cleaner design. And some publishers get this. But then they go so heavy on the text graphics, leaving no room for art, therefore no emotional pull.

There are some publishers that have gone retro in a great way. My favorite example would be Hard Case Crime series. Wonderful stuff that is reminiscent of the Golden Medal books of the 50s. The Sir Arthur Conan Doyle cover shown is monochromatic, but what fantastic use of lighting.

I design most of the covers for Wonder Publishing Group. I usually re-porpose cover art in the public domain. Although there’s exceptions, these are things I try to keep in mind. Is the image expressive, kinetic, and iconic? Are the colors intense? Can the title be read when it’s a thumbnail image? And does the whole thing functions as a thumbnail? And of course, it has to look good full-sized.

And most of all–is it dramatic? Action and scenes are the great “pulling-in” elements of vintage art. After viewing the cover, the germs of the story are already planted in your mind.

You be the judge.

Hard Case Crime - Good Retro!

Hard Case Crime - Good Retro!

A New Cover Design for WPG title

A New Cover Design for WPG title

Upcoming Releases from Wonder Publishing

Poor Superman and Others by Fritz Leiber I thought it might be helpful and hopefully interesting to list some of the many titles that are in various stages of completion. Let’s start with the stuff over the near horizon first. I’ve got a lot of things in the pipeline for WPG (Wonder Publishing Group).

PRINTED BOOKS (and also eBooks):

Poor Superman and Others by Fritz Leiber­—this one is nearly completed. It will be a print book and eBook. Over 100,000 words anthology by this Science Fiction Grand Master. The cover design will be showing up on this blog just as soon as I get it completed. Contains many classics as well as forgotten gems.

A Bullet for Cinderella by John D. MacDonald—A title from WPGs Noir Masters series. This is also currently available as an eBook.

EBOOKS:

Wonder eBooks, being of division of WPG, also has a lot of titles in the pipeline. Some of these titles will eventually be printed as physical books as well. Some of them will be published together in omnibus editions.

Gunman’s Chance by Luke Short—WPG’s first Western title by a master of the genre. This should be available for the Kindle in about a week.

A Poul Anderson anthology—this one doesn’t have a title yet but will be similar in size and scope as the Fritz Leiber title mentioned above.

Hang By Your Neck by Henry Kane—Another Noir Masters title.

A Robert Bloch novel—Wonder eBook has already published This Crowded Earth as an eBook. I recently came across another SF novel by Robert Bloch. Hopefully we’ll be publishing both of them together as a print book.

Henry Kuttner and C.L. Moore anthology—this one is a bit farther down the pipeline. Still working on what will be in it.

AUDIOBOOKS:

I’ve got some audiobooks in the pipeline as well:

The Men Return/Worlds of Origin by Jack Vance read by Tim Rowe

The Defenders by Philip K. Dick read by Mark Douglas Nelson

People of the Crater by Andre Norton read by Mark Douglas Nelson

And I recently did a list of possible forthcoming printed books and listed 35 titles.

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