Free Reading Friday

Need a free read?

Sign up for the Tor newsletter, and they will send to your inbox a link to a digital book. This week, the publisher is offering Harry Turtledove’s The Disunited States of America, from the Crosstime Traffic series. From Publisher’s Weekly, “In Turtledove’s fast-paced fourth Crosstime Traffic novel (after 2005’s In High Places), two teenage protagonists from different versions of the United States meet in Elizabeth, Va., a backwater town in a balkanized North America. Beckie Royer, an inadvertent gunrunner from Los Angeles, accompanies her grandmother and uncle in a car loaded with assault rifles meant for African-American rebels in Virginia. The state, known as a country in this alternate history, is on the brink of a race-related civil war—and a war with Ohio. Into the chaos comes Justin Monroe, a Crosstime Traffic traveler on a trade mission with his mother. Becky and Justin solidify their friendship as the mayhem escalates to biological warfare, and they and their families face ethical and space-time dilemmas. Via sympathetic characters, Turtledove delivers lessons on racism and diplomacy for a young adult audience.”

Asimov’s is offering Connie Willis’s All Seated on the Ground for free reading. Here’s an excerpt from the opening lines, ”

I’d always said that if and when the aliens actually landed, it would be a let-down. I mean, after War of the Worlds, Close Encounters, and E.T., there was no way they could live up to the image in the public’s mind, good or bad.

I’d also said that they would look nothing like the aliens of the movies, and that they would not have come to A) kill us, B) take over our planet and enslave us, C) save us from ourselves à la The Day the Earth Stood Still, or D) have sex with Earthwomen. I mean, I realize it’s hard to find someone nice, but would aliens really come thousands of light-years just to find a date? Plus, it seemed just as likely they’d be attracted to wart hogs. Or yucca. Or air-conditioning units.”

Note: Both these free reads are SF, but urban fantasy readers might also enjoy them.

Happy reading!