Downpour’s 100-title science fiction $5.95 audiobook sale: Ian McDonald’s Luna: New Moon, Molly Tanzer’s Vermilion, Cory Doctorow, Jeff VanderMeer, Ray Bradbury, and more:

In Downpour’s 100-book $5.95 Sci-Fi sale there are dozens of highly-rated and recommended titles. Here’s what most caught my eye, from a quartet of great titles from 2015, to Cory Doctorow, Jeff VanderMeer, Catherine Asaro, Walter Mosley, Jane Rogers, and Brenda Cooper, to classics from Ray Bradbury and Walter M. Miller. (If you really love classic sf there’s plenty of Heinlein and Bova to peruse as well.)

Planetfall by Emma Newman Luna by Ian McDonaldVermilion by Molly Tanzer Dark Orbit by Carolyn Ives Gilman
The Dead Mountaineer’s Inn by Arkady Strugatsky, Boris Strugatsky The Pnume by Jack Vance
Eastern Standard Tribe by Cory Doctorow Overclocked by Cory Doctorow
A Darkling Sea by James L. Cambias Inside a Silver Box by Walter Mosley
Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer The Veiled Web by Catherine Asaro
The New Space Opera by Gardner Dozois, Jonathan Strahan The New Space Opera 2 by Gardner Dozois, Jonathan Strahan
The Testament of Jessie Lamb by Jane Rogers Building Harlequin’s Moon by Larry Niven, Brenda Cooper
A Pleasure to Burn by Ray Bradbury A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M. Miller Jr.
Exogene by T. C. McCarthy Chimera by T. C. McCarthy

Happy $5.95 deal-hunting! But don’t wait too long, this sale ends July 31.

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June #WhispersyncDeal roundup: Umberto Eco, T. Kingfisher, Scott Meyer, Rysa Walker, Gwenda Bond, Steve McHugh, Dennis Lehane, Ian Fleming, and more

Between this month’s Summer Reading Deals in Kindle Books and 50 Kindle Book Deals for $2 Each listings there’s quite a few (over 300!) Whispersync for Voice titles to check out. From comedic fantasy to YA time travel, Umberto Eco to new fiction in translation, there’s something for everybody to check out:

The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco for $2.99+$3.99 is the legendary Eco’s award-winning first novel, read by the marvelous Sean Barrett along with Nicholas Rowe and Neville Jason: “The year is 1327. Franciscans in a wealthy Italian abbey are suspected of heresy, and Brother William of Baskerville arrives to investigate. When his delicate mission is suddenly overshadowed by seven bizarre deaths, Brother William turns detective. His tools are the logic of Aristotle, the theology of Aquinas, the empirical insights of Roger Bacon—all sharpened to a glistening edge by wry humor and a ferocious curiosity. He collects evidence, deciphers secret symbols and coded manuscripts, and digs into the eerie labyrinth of the abbey, where “the most interesting things happen at night.””

The Seventh Bride by T. Kingfisher, read by Kaylin Heath for $1.99+$1.99 — T. Kingfisher is the Hugo Award and Nebula Award nominated author Ursula Vernon’s pseudonym for writing for grownups. Here: “Young Rhea is a miller’s daughter of low birth, so she is understandably surprised when a mysterious nobleman, Lord Crevan, shows up on her doorstep and proposes marriage. Since commoners don’t turn down lords – no matter how sinister they may seem – Rhea is forced to agree to the engagement. Lord Crevan demands that Rhea visit his remote manor before their wedding. Upon arrival, she discovers that not only was her betrothed married six times before, but his previous wives are all imprisoned in his enchanted castle. Determined not to share their same fate, Rhea asserts her desire for freedom. In answer, Lord Crevan gives Rhea a series of magical tasks to complete, with the threat “Come back before dawn, or else I’ll marry you.” With time running out and each task more dangerous and bizarre than the last, Rhea must use her resourcefulness, compassion, and bravery to rally the other wives and defeat the sorcerer before he binds her to him forever.”

Spell or High Water and An Unwelcome Quest by Scott Meyer, read by Luke Daniels for $1.99+$1.99 each, are Books 2 and 3 of the Magic 2.0 series: “Martin Banks is just a normal guy who has made an abnormal discovery: he can manipulate reality, thanks to reality being nothing more than a computer program. With every use of this ability, though, Martin finds his little “tweaks” have not escaped notice. Rather than face prosecution, he decides instead to travel back in time to the Middle Ages and pose as a wizard. What could possibly go wrong? An American hacker in King Arthur’s court, Martin must now train to become a full-fledged master of his powers, discover the truth behind the ancient wizard Merlin…and not, y’know, die or anything.” While Book 1 of the series, Off to Be the Wizard, isn’t in this month’s sale listings, it is however one of those “evergreen” Whispersync deals at $3.99+$1.99, so if you haven’t jumped aboard this series, it’s still crazy cheap to get started.

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Audible’s $4.95 “Editors’ Picks” sale ends today: Octavia E. Butler, Ursula K. Le guin, Cixin Liu, Lev Grossman, Patrick Rothfuss, Susanna Clarke, Junot Diaz, Justin Cronin, and more

And there are a ton of science fiction and fantasy books to choose from. Here’s my absolute favorite audiobooks from the sale:

Kindred Audiobook The Dispossessed Audiobook The Three-Body Problem Audiobook

UNABRIDGED
  • By Octavia E. Butler
  • Narrated by Kim Staunton
UNABRIDGED
  • By Ursula K. Le Guin
  • Narrated by Don Leslie
UNABRIDGED
  • By Cixin Liu
  • Narrated by Luke Daniels

The Magicians Audiobook The Name of the Wind Audiobook Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell Audiobook

UNABRIDGED
  • By Lev Grossman
  • Narrated by Mark Bramhall
UNABRIDGED
  • By Patrick Rothfuss
  • Narrated by Nick Podehl
UNABRIDGED
  • By Susanna Clarke
  • Narrated by Simon Prebble

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao Audiobook The Passage Audiobook

UNABRIDGED
  • By Junot Diaz
  • Narrated by Jonathan Davis, Staci Snell
UNABRIDGED
  • By Justin Cronin
  • Narrated by Scott Brick, Adenrele Ojo, Abby Craden

And there’s a dozen more I can certainly recommend out of this sale: Michael J. Sullivan’s Theft of Swords, Kevin Hearne’s Hounded, Jim Butcher’s Storm Front, Arthur C. Clarke’s Rendezvous with Rama, James S.A. Corey’s Leviathan Wakes, Walter M. Miller’s A Canticle for Leibowitz, and plenty more that I’ve heard good things about as well.

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A toxic need for closure — James reviews The Girl on the Train

The Girl on the Train
By Paula Hawkins
Read by Clare Corbett, Louise Brealey, and India Fisher
[ Downpour | Audible ]

— Review by James Alexander —

The hype surrounding The Girl on the Train, especially given the upcoming film adaptation, may want you to believe it is the next Gone Girl. It’s not. It’s nowhere near as sensational or propulsive as that. This is a drama set at a much lower key, which makes up for its melodrama by taking things in a darker, more personal direction. Continue reading

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May #WhispersyncDeal roundup: Ink Mage, The Oddfits, Neal Pollack, Wayward Pines, Evermen, Ania Ahlborn, and more

Of the about 300 titles in the Monthly Deals listings, 142 are listed as “eBooks with Audible Narration” which, I gather, is how the Kindle store has been listing what used to be called “Whispersync for Voice” titles these days. I’m going to continue calling these “Whipsersync Deals” and this month we get Clive Barker, Neal Pollack, Blake Crouch, James Maxwell, Ania Ahlborn, Susan Ee, Robert Dugoni, Stuart Neville, Michael Wallace, and tons more, and though again as last month there’s not a whole lot of “absolute must buys” at the very top, Victor Gischler’s Ink Mage series and Tiffany Tsao’s The Oddfits come awfully close; and, again as last month, this is coming out riiiiiight at the very end of the month again, so don’t wait too long as these deals end at midnight or thereabouts on May 31/June 1:

Ink Mage Audiobook The Oddfits Audiobook

Ink Mage, The Tattooed Duchess, and A Painted Goddess by Victor Gischler, read by Fiona Hardingham for $1.99+$1.99 each are the complete A Fire Beneath the Skin trilogy: “In the first installment of the A Fire Beneath the Skin trilogy, the city of Klaar has never fallen. No enemy has ever made it across the Long Bridge or penetrated the city’s mighty walls. Even when a powerful invading army shows up at the gates, the duke and his daughter, Rina Veraiin, are certain that it poses little threat. But they are cruelly betrayed from within and, in a horrific spasm of violence, the city is brought to its knees. With the help of her bodyguard, Kork, the battle-trained young Rina narrowly escapes the slaughter and makes her way to the lair of an ancient sorcerer—the Ink Mage—who gifts her with a strange, beautiful set of magical tattoos. Now a duchess in exile, Rina sets out on a quest to reclaim what is rightfully hers, aided by a motley assortment of followers who will help her in her cause—some for noble reasons and others for their own dark purposes. With the enemy’s agents nipping at her heels, Rina must learn to harness her new and startling magical powers if she is to assert her rightful place as ruler of Klaar.”

The Oddfits by Tiffany Tsao, read by Nico Evers-Swindell for $1.99+$1.99 was just published by AmazonCrossing and Brilliance Audio in February this year; shelved as “literary speculative fiction” it’s right in my wheelhouse and, perhaps, oddly enough in yours: “Eight-year-old Murgatroyd Floyd doesn’t fit in—not as a blue-eyed blonde living in Singapore, not in school, and certainly not with his aloof expatriate parents, who seem determined to make his life even harder. Unbeknownst to him, there’s a reason why he’s always the odd boy out: he is an Oddfit, a rare type of human with access to the More Known World, a land invisible to most people. Yet unfortunate circumstances keep Murgatroyd stranded in the Known World, bumbling through life with the feeling that an extraordinary something is waiting for him just beyond reach. Seventeen years later, that something finally arrives when a secret organization dedicated to exploring the More Known World invites Murgatroyd on a mission. But as the consummate loser begins to grow into the Oddfit he was meant to be, the Known World becomes bent on exterminating him. For once in his underachieving life, will Murgatroyd Floyd exceed expectations and outsmart those trying to thwart his stupendous destiny?”

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April #WhispersyncDeal roundup: Christopher Moore’s The Serpent of Venice and Jonathan Coe’s Expo 58, Christie Golden, Wiley Cash, The Twenty-Sided Sorceress, and more

There are 165 Whispersync-for-Voice-enabled titles on sale in this month’s Monthly Deals in Kindle Books, but… there aren’t too many that really catch my eye, and only a few really, really top shelf titles. But! Those are quite good ones indeed, so, as this is coming out riiiiiight at the end of the month (sorry folks!) take a quick look; and once I get through the monthly titles, I do have a few indie picks this month, including a countdown deal, as well as a new audiobook adaptation of Jane Eyre which is newly Whispersync-enabled as well. So read on to the end!

The Serpent of Venice: A Novel by Christopher Moore, read by Euan Morton for $1.99+$3.99 — “New York Times best-selling author Christopher Moore channels William Shakespeare and Edgar Allan Poe in this satiric Venetian gothic featuring the irresistibly mischievous Pocket, the eponymous hero of Fool. Venice, a really long time ago: Three prominent Venetians await their most loathsome and foul dinner guest, the erstwhile envoy from Britain who also happens to be a favorite of the Doge: The rascal-Fool Pocket. This trio of cunning plotters have lured Pocket to a dark dungeon, promising a spirited evening. Their invitation is, of course, bogus. These scoundrels have something far less amusing planned for the man who has consistently foiled their quest for power and wealth. But this Fool is no fool…. Once again, Christopher Moore delivers a rousing literary satire: A dramedy mash-up rich with delights, including (but not limited to): Foul plots; counterplots; true love; jealousy; murder; betrayal; revenge; codpieces; a pound of flesh; occasional debauchery; and water (lots of water). Not to mention a cast Shakespeare himself would be proud of: Shylock; Iago; Othello; a bunch of other guys whose names end in o; a trio of comely wenches; the brilliant Fool; his large sidekick, Drool; Jeff, the pet monkey; a lovesick sea serpent; and a ghost (yes, there’s always a bloody ghost). Wickedly witty and outrageously inventive, The Serpent of Venice pays cheeky homage to the Bard and illuminates the absurdity of the human.” Continue reading

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March WhispersyncDeal roundup: A Head Full of Ghosts, A Dirty Job, Three, Anno Dracula, Kurt Vonnegut, Tibetan Peach Pie, Scott Lynch’s The Lies of Locke Lamora, and more

This one’s coming later in the month than I’d like, but I’ve been dumping my free time into Tom Clancy’s The Division and listening with rapt attention to Simon Vance’s narration of We, the Drowned. Of the 164 Whispersync-enabled titles in this month’s Monthly Deals for $3.99 or Less listings, there’s the usual crop of uninteresting (to me!) and the “not quite a deal, actually” titles. And then there are these gems, which I hope you (and your wallet) enjoy:

  

A Head Full of Ghosts: A Novel by Paul Tremblay, read by Joy Osmanski for $1.99+$3.99 — One of the best books of 2015, nominated for the Bram Stoker Award: “A chilling thriller that brilliantly blends domestic drama, psychological suspense, and a touch of modern horror, reminiscent of Mark Z. Danielewski’s House of Leaves, John Ajvide Lindqvist’s Let the Right One In, and Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House. The lives of the Barretts, a normal suburban New England family, are torn apart when fourteen-year-old Marjorie begins to display signs of acute schizophrenia. To her parents’ despair, the doctors are unable to stop Marjorie’s descent into madness. As their stable home devolves into a house of horrors, they reluctantly turn to a local Catholic priest for help. Father Wanderly suggests an exorcism; he believes the vulnerable teenager is the victim of demonic possession. He also contacts a production company that is eager to document the Barretts’ plight.

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Does Brandon Sanderson have superpowers or is he just chained to his laptop? James reviews Calamity (The Reckoners, Book 3)

Calamity Audiobook

Calamity: The Reckoners, Book 3
By Brandon Sanderson
Narrated by MacLeod Andrews for Audible

— Review by James Alexander —

Does Brandon Sanderson have superpowers or is he just chained to his laptop? It feels like the Reckoners trilogy has only just begun and the conclusion is already here. And it isn’t the only thing he’s been doing right now. Continue reading

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For Those of Us Who Have Spent Way Too Much Time at IKEA! Dave Reviews Horrorstör

Horrorstör
By Grady Hendrix, narrated Tai Sammons and Bronson Pinchot
Length: 6 hours, 16 minutes

Does anyone else out there have an aversion to IKEA? Like, someone suggests we pop over there real quick, maybe bribes you with coffee and cinnamon rolls, and then BAM. The whole Saturday has mysteriously disappeared? Wait, what just happened to me this past weekend?

Horrorstör is one part Office Space, and one part haunted house story. Thankfully, the haunted house in Horrorstör is essentially an IKEA.

I’m thoroughly enjoying Grady Hendrix’s Great Stephen King reread over at Tor.com (please note the presence tense, and my faith it’ll one day continue), and thought his White Street Society short stories exquisite dark humor, so when I heard he had a novel set in a Haunted IKEA (or, more accurately: ORSK, an IKEA competitor), I knew I had to check it out. Continue reading

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Audible’s $5.95 members-only sale: The Fifth Season, H is for Hawk, Aurora, The Grace of Kings, A Wizard of Earthsea, A God in Ruins, A Canticle for Leibowitz, and much more

Audible is having a big $5.95 members-only sale with over 200 titles, across science fiction and fantasy, non-fiction, YA, classics, and more:

And 200+ titles are a lot to page through. Here’s what I most recommend from the sale, but hurry! The sale ends March 6, 2016 at 11:59 PM PT (US).

 

The Fifth Season: The Broken Earth, Book 1 by N.K. Jemisin, read by Robin Miles, and Aurora by Kim Stanley Robinson, read by Ali Ahn, both for Hachette Audio — Wait, WHAT? These are the two best fantasy and science fiction audiobooks (and books) from 2015. The Fifth Season begins new fantasy trilogy by Hugo, Nebula & World Fantasy Award-nominated author N. K. Jemisin, starting with a powerful magician literally ripping a volcanic rift across a continent and continuing into a moving story of a mother seeking both vengeance for her murdered sun and for signs of her missing daughter in the aftermath, and Aurora is absolutely amazing from both a generation ship and artificial intelligence perspective, along with being one of the most subtly and terrifically produced audiobooks I have ever had the pleasure of listening to. If you don’t know where to start with this sale, start here.

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