Free SciFi books

Space Prison from Tom GodwinA few weeks ago ManyBooks.net started to make available a number of SciFi books in PDF format and without any unreasonable restrictions (this is copyrighted material that has been left in the public domain).

Decided to give it a try and not knowing these books, I chose (randomly) to download Space Prison from Tom Godwin (published in 1958 in the middle of the Golden Age of Science Fiction).

I don’t know if it is similar to the other books found on this web site, but I can give you an idea of what I found. First, I noticed that the writing is simplistic (it won’t create any difficulty for non-English speakers digging into this English book). Then, I noticed how much the science was weak (or even shallow): For example, the derelict exiles attempt (and succeed) to build a hyperspace transmitter out of iron, copper and aluminium while their best technological success is a fast-reloading crossbow (that could not make a more-or-less reliable gun).

However, this is a nice story about men been exiled and living through generations for one single goal. Stamina and pure will transcend them leading to a quite predictible end. Despite all its shortcomings, it’s still a nice story. 80 pages is a little too long for what should have been a good short story, but I read it with pleasure.

It probably means that ManyBooks.net is publishing second-grade SciFi matter (unfortunately not some of the best works of a genre which has so few real gems), but it’s still worth the price you pay for it. You should stop there and download a couple of the most interesting books.

PS: For those of you who would be interested, I read the novel on my Palm T|X using the Adobe PDF reader: Adobe Reader for Palm OS. Very good.