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What kinds of stories?

Okay, here’s a confession:  I like genre fiction, mostly.  Almost everything I’m going to recommend will be genre.  Science fiction, fantasy, mystery, horror, superhero stories.  Pretty geeky stuff.  Not all of it will be fiction–occasionally, I’ll recommend an essay or piece of non-fiction, but with the same general sensibility.

I’m going to be recommending at least half short fiction, instead of novels, and on the rare occasions I recommend series, I’ll discuss the best way to get started with it.  (I strongly favor starting series at the beginning, but sometimes the beginning isn’t clear, isn’t available, or isn’t actually a good book to start with.)  Quite a number of the stories I pick will either be exclusively available in audio form, or at least have that form available.  (Right now, my favorite sources for short fiction are Escape Pod, Podcastle, and Pseudopod, the weekly science fiction, fantasy, and horror podcasts from Escape Artists.  As a podcast addict, it’s really easy for me to find new stories or authors this way.)

And–see the post about “When Sysadmins Ruled the Earth” for some details here–a decent fraction of what I recommend is going to be freely available, as a Creative Commons release or something like it.  (I originally thought that I was going to do all free short fiction, but then all the stories that are really good, but have the disadvantage of being, y’know, long, or from an author who hasn’t opted to open their work up, those stories started calling to me and saying, “Don’t ignore us!  We matter!”)

If a work is available freely, the link will be in the post, and if it’s available commercially, there’ll be a link to Amazon.  (These two things are not mutually exclusive, by the way.)  The Amazon link is as much for you to get other people’s reviews of the work as it is for the affiliate fee, but if you happen to buy it from that link, be aware that an undecided fraction of any profit I make from this effort will be funnelled back in to supporting free fiction on the web, and the rest will be used to offset my expenses.

I’m going to try to mention which works that have been nominated for or won awards.  I love me some award-winning fiction, and have a life-goal of reading everything ever nominated for the Hugo or Nebula.  If a story I recommend has won an award or gotten a nomination that I’ve missed, please do tell me; I’ll credit you and update the post.

So that defines pretty much the space we’re working in.  The only actual guarantee you have is that I liked it, but mostly genre, largely short, substantially free, significantly available-in-audio, and uniformly good.  At least, I’d like to think so.

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