February Whispersync Deal roundup: PKD, Marie Brennan, Walter Mosley, Ken MacLeod, Theodore Sturgeon, Robin Hobb, and more

Well, February’s well past half over, so as usual it’s beyond past time to get this month’s Whispersync deal roundup put together. So here we go!  [UPDATE: Since this series has drawn some new readers/listeners who may be unfamiliar with Whispersync for Voice, in brief: after (or at the same time as) buying the Kindle edition you can add on the narration if an enabled Audible edition exists, often for a steep discount on even the member/credit price.]

First, from the Monthly Deals for $3.99 or less listings:


The Man in the High Castle and The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch by Philip K. Dick, read by Tom Weiner, and A Scanner Darkly read by actor Paul Giamatti for $2.99+$3.99 each — three fantastic PKD audiobooks on the cheap!


A Natural History of Dragons: A Memoir by Lady Trent by Marie Brennan, read by Kate Reading for $1.99+$3.99 — “All the world, from Scirland to the farthest reaches of Eriga, know Isabella, Lady Trent, to be the world’s preeminent dragon naturalist. She is the remarkable woman who brought the study of dragons out of the misty shadows of myth and misunderstanding into the clear light of modern science. But before she became the illustrious figure we know today, there was a bookish young woman whose passion for learning, natural history, and, yes, dragons defied the stifling conventions of her day.”

The Summer Isles by Ian MacLeod, read by Steve Hodson for $1.99+$3.49 — “Winner of the World Fantasy Award and the Sidewise Award for Alternate History: A pastel-hued yet chilling alternate vision of England, The Summer Isles views the nightmare that the country has become since Germany’s victory in the Great War, through the eyes of a man whose life lies close to the heart of history.”

Futureland: Nine Stories of an Imminent World by Walter Mosley, read by Richard Allen for $1.99+$3.99 — “Life in America a generation from now isn’t much different from today: The drugs are better, the daily grind is worse. The gap between the rich and the poor has widened to a chasm. You can store the world’s legal knowledge on a chip in your little finger, while the Supreme Court has decreed that constitutional rights don’t apply to any individual who challenges the system. Justice is swiftly delivered by automated courts, so the prison industry is booming. And while the media declare racism is dead, word on the street is that even in a colorless society, it’s a crime to be black.”


Scholar: The Fourth Book of the Imager Portfolio by L.E. Modesitt Jr., read by William Dufris for $2.99+$3.49 — “Hundreds of years before the time of Imager, the continent of Lydar is fragmented. Years of war have consolidated five nations into three-Bovaria, Telaryn, and Antiago. Quaeryt is a scholar and friend of Bhayar, the young ruler of Telaryn. Worried about his future and the escalating intrigues in Solis, the capital city, Quaeryt persuades Bhayar to send him to Tilbor, conquered ten years earlier by Bhayar’s father, in order to see if the number and extent of occupying troops can be reduced so that they can be re-deployed to the border with warlike Bovaria.”

The Gift by Dave Donovan, read by Jeff Cummings for $1.99+$1.99 — “When an elite team of specialists receives a long-awaited first contact from an alien race, it’s nothing like what they’d imagined. The “gifts,” from a long-dead but seemingly benevolent alien race, have been sent to help humanity defend itself against an imminent threat. It’s clear that the gifts are intended to help, but at what price?”

Claire DeWitt and the City of the Dead by Sara Gran, read by Carol Monda for $2.99+$3.99 — “Claire DeWitt believes she is the world’s greatest PI, even if few agree with her. A one-time teen detective in Brooklyn, she is a follower of the esoteric French detective Jacques Silette, whose mysterious handbook Détection inspired Claire’s unusual practices.”

Inamorata by Megan Chance, read by David deVries for $1.99+$1.99 — “American artist Joseph Hannigan and his alluring sister, Sophie, have arrived in enchanting nineteenth-century Venice with a single-minded goal. The twins, who have fled scandal in New York, are determined to break into Venice’s expatriate set and find a wealthy patron to support Joseph’s work. But the enigmatic Hannigans are not the only ones with a secret agenda. Joseph’s talent soon attracts the attention of the magnificent Odilé Leon, a celebrated courtesan and muse who has inspired many artists to greatness. But her inspiration is otherworldly and comes with a devastatingly steep price.”

Next, from 50 Kindle Books for $2 Each here’s what caught my eye:


Tears in Rain by Rosa Montera, read by Mary Robinette Kowal for $2+1.99 — “As a replicant, or “technohuman”, Detective Bruna Husky knows two things: humans bioengineered her to perform dangerous, undesirable tasks, and she has just 10 years on the United States of Earth before her body automatically self-destructs. But with “antitechno” rage on the rise and a rash of premature deaths striking her fellow replicants, she may have even less time than she thought.”

Against the Light by Dave Duncan, read by Ralph Lister for $2+$1.99 — “The Hierarchy, high priests of the religious order the Light, has installed King Ethan as the monarchical figurehead, ruling both the magical kingdom of Albi and its predominant religion. Scattered throughout the land, worshippers in the old ways of the Earth Mother are persecuted as heretics. And when young missionary student Rollo Woodbridge returns home to Albi, he is immediately arrested for heresy and treason, setting off a chain of events that plunges the land into utter chaos. ”

MetaGame by Sam Landstrom, read by Paul Michael Garcia for $2+$1.99 — “In sci-fi author Sam Landstrom’s MetaGame, he creates a believable but disturbing world with fewer than six degrees of separation. In fact, every single person, product, pastime, and proclivity humans take part in is interconnected. Life is the Game – and winners never die. In the Game, points amount to currency and top scorers are eligible for immortality. A mysterious, unifying force, the OverSoul, calls the shots, and an individual player’s health contract can be indefinitely extended – and with the offer of a permanent 20-year-old’s body and health, it’s with fanaticism that gamers play the Game.”

The Bird Eater by Ania Ahlborn, read by Peter Berkrot for $2+1.99 — “Twenty years ago, the mysterious death of his aunt left Aaron Holbrook orphaned and alone. He abandoned his rural Arkansas hometown vowing never to return, until his seven-year-old son died in an accident, plunging Aaron into a nightmare of addiction and grief. Desperate to reclaim a piece of himself, he returns to the hills of his childhood, to Holbrook House, where he hopes to find peace among the memories of his youth. But solace doesn’t come easy. Someone – or something – has other plans.”

Heirs of Grace by Tim Pratt, read by Leslie Hull for $2+1.99 — “Recent art school graduate Bekah thought she’d hit the jackpot: an unknown relative died, and she inherited a small fortune and a huge house in the mountains of North Carolina. Trey Howard, the lawyer who handled the estate, is a handsome man in his 20s and they hit it off right away – and soon become more than friends. Bekah expected a pleasant year to get her head together and have a romantic fling. Problem is, the house is full of junk…and siblings she didn’t know she had are willing to kill her for it.”


Third, some selections from Open Road Media‘s ebook+audiobook catalog:




More Than Human by Theodore Sturgeon, read by Stefan Rudnicki and Harlan Ellison for Blackstone Audio for $4.61+$3.99 — As with any Rudnicki audiobook you’re getting a fantastic performance; adding in Ellison’s more-than-cameo for one of the all-time iconic sf audiobooks: “In this genre-bending novel, among the first to have launched sci fi into literature, a group of remarkable social outcasts band together for survival and discover that their combined powers render them superhuman. There’s Lone, the simpleton who can hear other people’s thoughts; Janie, who moves things without touching them; and the teleporting twins, who can travel ten feet or ten miles. There’s Baby, who invented an antigravity engine while still in the cradle, and Gerry, who has everything it takes to run the world except for a conscience. Separately, they are talented freaks. Together, they may represent the next step in evolution – or the final chapter in the history of the human race. As they struggle to find whether they are meant to help humanity or destroy it, Sturgeon explores questions of power and morality, individuality and belonging.”

King of Morning, Queen of Day by Ian McDonald, read by Deidre Mullins for $3.52+$3.99 — “Winner of the Philip K. Dick Award and the Prix Imaginales. Three generations of women share a mysterious power – one that threatens to destroy them. In early-twentieth-century Ireland, life for Emily Desmond is that of the average teenage girl: she reads, she’s bored with school, and she has a powerful imagination. Then things begin to change. Her imagination is so powerful, in fact, that she wills a faerie into existence – an ability called mythoconsciousness.”

Dawn (The Xenogenesis Trilogy Book 1) by Octavia E. Butler, read by Aldrich Barrett for $1.99+$3.49 — “In a world devastated by nuclear war with humanity on the edge of extinction, aliens finally make contact. They rescue those humans they can, keeping most survivors in suspended animation while the aliens begin the slow process of rehabilitating the planet. When Lilith Iyapo is “awakened”, she finds that she has been chosen to revive her fellow humans in small groups by first preparing them to meet the utterly terrifying aliens, then training them to survive on the wilderness that the planet has become. But the aliens cannot help humanity without altering it forever. Bonded to the aliens in ways no human has ever known, Lilith tries to fight them even as her own species comes to fear and loathe her. A stunning story of invasion and alien contact by one of science fiction’s finest writers.”

Wild Seed (The Patternist Series Book 1) by Octavia E. Butler, read by Dion Graham for $3.03+$3.99 — A fantastic book and audiobook: “For a thousand years, Doro has cultivated a small African village, carefully breeding its people in search of seemingly unattainable perfection. He survives through the centuries by stealing the bodies of others, a technique he has so thoroughly mastered that nothing on Earth can kill him. But when a gang of New World slavers destroys his village, ruining his grand experiment, Doro is forced to go west and begin anew. He meets Anyanwu, a centuries-old woman whose means of immortality are as kind as his are cruel. She is a shapeshifter, capable of healing with a kiss, and she recognizes Doro as a tyrant. Though many humans have tried to kill them, these two demi-gods have never before met a rival. Now they begin a struggle that will last centuries and permanently alter the nature of humanity.”

Dragonsbane (Winterlands Book 1) by Barbara Hambly, read by Derek Perkins for $3.19+$3.49 — “When the Black Dragon seized the Deep of Ylferdun, young Gareth braved the far Winterlands to find John Aversin, Dragonsbane – the only living man ever to slay a dragon. In return for the promise of the King to send help to the Winterlands, Aversin agreed to attempt the nearly impossible feat again.”

Sinai Tapestry (The Jerusalem Quartet Book 1) by Edward Whittemore, read by Brian Troxell for $1.99+$3.99 — “Sinai Tapestry, the brilliant first novel of the Jerusalem Quartet, is an epic alternate history of the Middle East in which the discovery of the original Bible links a disparate group of remarkable people across time and space.”

Next, a few deals via My Bookish Ways:


House Immortal (A House Immortal Novel Book 1) by Devon Monk, read by Leslie Carroll for $1.99+$3.49 — “Matilda Case isn’t like most folks. In fact, she’s unique in the world, the crowning achievement of her father’s experiments – a girl pieced together from bits. Or so she believes. That is, until Abraham Seventh shows up at her door, stitched with life thread just like her and insisting that enemies are coming to kill them all.”

Metrophage by Richard Kadrey, read by Peter Ganim for $3.99+$3.99 — “Welcome to the near future: Los Angeles in the late 21st century—a segregated city of haves and have nots, where morality is dead and technology rules. Here, a small group of wealthy seclude themselves in gilded cages. Beyond their high security compounds, far from their pretty comforts, lies a lawless wasteland where the angry masses battle hunger, rampant disease, and their own despair to survive. Jonny was born into this Hobbesian paradise. A street-wise hustler who deals drugs on the black market—narcotics that heal the body and cool the mind—he looks out for nobody but himself. Until a terrifying plague sweeps through L.A., wreaking death and panic. And no one, not even a clever operator like Jonny, is safe.”

Assassin’s Apprentice (The Farseer Trilogy, Book 1) by Robin Hobb, read by Paul Boehmer for $1.99+$4.95 — “With unforgettable characters, a sweeping backdrop, and passionate storytelling, this is a fantasy debut to rival that of Robert Jordan. Filled with adventure and bloodshed, pageantry and piracy, mystery and menace, Assassin’s Apprentice is the story of a royal house and the young man who is destined to chart its course through tempests of change. Young Fitz is the bastard son of the noble Prince Chivalry, raised in the shadow of the royal household by his father’s gruff stableman. An outcast whose existence has forced his father to abdicate his claim on the throne, Fitz is ignored by all royalty except the devious King Shrewd, who has him secretly tutored in the arts of the assassin. For in the young man’s blood is a heritage of magic, the talent called the Skill, as well as another, even more mysterious ability.”

Penultimately, SF Signal’s monthly ebook roundup yields even more deals:


If you didn’t pick them up in last month’s WhispersyncDeal roundup: Bradley Beaulieu’s The Winds of Khalakovo (The Lays of Anuskaya Book 1) for $2.51+$1.99 and The Straits of Galahesh (The Lays of Anuskaya Book 2) and The Flames of Shadam Khoreh (The Lays of Anuskaya Book 3) for $3.79+$1.99 each.

The Dragon Business by Kevin J. Anderson, read by James Langton for $3.99+$1.99 — “King Cullin may be known as “the Dragon Slayer”, but he fears his son’s legacy will be as “King Maurice Who Speaks with Proper Grammar”. The boy keeps his nose buried in parchments, starry-eyed at the idea of noble knights and eager to hand royal gold to any con man hawking a unicorn horn. Tonight, though, Cullin will educate the prince in the truth behind minstrels’ silly songs of glory…. ”

Dragon Keeper (Rain Wilds Chronicles, Vol. 1) by Robin Hobb, read by Anne Flosnick for $1.99+$2.99 — “After many years, dragons have hatched again outside the ancient city of Cassarick. But something is wrong with the creatures; each is inferior or weak in some way, and many die. Tending these stunted dragons has left the people of the surrounding area weary. The Traders Council, the city’s leadership, fears that if the Rain Wilders stop providing for the young dragons, the hungry and neglected creatures will rampage and destroy Cassarick. To avert catastrophe, the council rules to relocate the young dragons to “a better location” up river, and residents are recruited to escort the valuable yet fearsome creatures on the arduous journey. Among them are Thymara, an unschooled Rain Wilds girl of sixteen, and Alise, a wealthy, educated, and deeply unsatisfied Bingtown Trader’s wife.”

Lastly, two more “random” title I bookmarked to include in this roundup, on sale through March 10:


Tears of the Jaguar by A.J. Hartley, read by Tanya Eby for $1.99+$1.99 — “When a sudden rainstorm disrupts an archeological dig at a remote Mayan site, site supervisor Deborah Miller makes an astonishing discovery: a collection of rubies so precious that generations of men have died – and killed – to possess them. Some believe the jewels harbor occult power; others believe they are the key to the arms race; still others see merely their potential for profit. But Deborah doesn’t want power or money – she only wants the truth.”

Scarlet and the Keepers of Light (The Scarlet Hopewell Series Book 1) by Brandon Charles West, read by Harriet Stevens for $0.99+$3.47 — Via reddit: “We’re pricing the first in our YA fantasy series Scarlet and the Keepers of Light (we’re the publisher) at just .99 on Kindle to celebrate it coming out in Whispersync—add-on just $3.47! It seems to be popular with all ages, and it’s got a rating of 4.6 on Amazon (29 reviews) and narrator rating of 4.6 on Audible (9 ratings).”

Happy bargain-hunting!

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