The Spyders of Burslem, now on the Kindle

My hand-coded ebook edition of my new original novel The Spyders of Burslem is now available from Amazon USA and Amazon UK. Also available now as a 6×9″ paperback. It’s a dark historical mystery, with steampunk elements.

“It is the year 1869 in the English Midlands pottery town of Burslem, where a new age of industry and learning struggles to be born. A young graduate has arrived to teach the workers, but finds himself on the trail of a deadly evil.”

60,000 words, hand-coded, linked table of contents. Get the first 10% free on the Kindle Store.


Chapter One: Arrival.
Chapter Two: A Providential Meeting.
Chapter Three: The Raising of the Zodiac.
Chapter Four: A Pint of the Finest.
Chapter Five: In a Darkling Aetherstorm.
Chapter Six: Death and Time.
Chapter Seven: Discoveries.
Chapter Eight: The Scrying.
Chapter Nine: A Cunning Kiss.
Chapter Ten: What the Dark Brings.
Chapter Eleven: The Face and the Mind.
Chapter Twelve: The Shadows of the Blind.
Chapter Thirteen: The Workings of Men.
Chapter Fourteen: Lost and Dreaming.
Chapter Fifteen: A First Frost.
A historical note.

My new book is now on the Kindle store

I’m pleased to say that my latest book, Walking With Cthulhu: H.P. Lovecraft as psychogeographer, New York City 1924-26, is now available an an ebook for the Amazon Kindle ereader: on the USA Kindle Store and the U.K. Kindle Store. The hand-coded Kindle edition has a linked table-of-contents, and a fully-linked “round trip” endnotes system.

If anyone needs a scholarly book hand-coded for the Kindle from a Word file, I’ve thoroughly cracked the workflow and am available for hire.

You can sample the book via the Kindle 10% preview, or as a PDF (PDF link, 4Mb). If you prefer print, there’s also a new paperback copy available.

Early H.G. Wells SF, free, collected for the Kindle

H.G. Wells for the Kindle, 1895-1910 (Download link: 3Mb, .zip file)

I thought I’d create a handy “one click” download for all of the classic early science fiction and fantastic fiction of H.G. Wells:—

The early science fiction novels:

The Time Machine (1895)
The Island of Doctor Moreau (1896)
The Invisible Man (1897)
The War of the Worlds (1898)
When the Sleeper Wakes (1899)
The First Men in the Moon (1901)
The Food of the Gods and How It Came to Earth (1904)
In the Days of the Comet (1906)
The War in the Air (1908)
The Sleeper Awakes (Wells’s 1910 revision of When the Sleeper Wakes)

Short story collection:

The Country of the Blind and Other Stories. (You only really need this one collection. Wells wrote that this particular story collection covers: “all the short stories by me that I care for any one to read again”. The stories the collection contains were all written between 1894 and 1910.)

These Kindle versions have been checked and viewed and appear to be free of errors. Just copy the .mobi files to your Kindle. These works are in the public domain, and were downloaded and repackaged for your convenience from open sources. Do not let anyone charge you for this file and its contents!

If you enjoy these, you may also enjoy my sequel to The Time Machine.

With A Little Help

Cory Doctorow shows us how to do ‘wide spectrum’ ebooks. His new near-future science-fiction collection With A Little Help is offered for free in a dozen or more conversions for ebook readers, (inc. mobi for the Kindle), as free downloadable audio books, on-demand paid paperback editions from with four different covers, and as a sumptuous first-edition hardback for SF book collectors (around $300 with shipping). Donations are invited by PayPal for the free editions. By early May he’d reported a clear profit of $14,375, albeit on the back of his considerable name and talent.

The book itself? The Wall Street Journal says

“Cory Doctorow’s latest collection of short stories is one of the best, most closely focused collections that science fiction has ever produced.”

The WSJ also has interesting things to say about the 150,000-word book SF series doorstop volumes that publishers demand (and often demand are padded into tedium, leading to the regrettable rise of the habitual ‘skimming reader’). The rise of these has led to a certain amount of neglect for writers who prefer to craft the novellas and short stories that are perhaps the natural home of the genre. The WSJ suggests that ebooks may turn the tide, emulating the vibrancy and competition of the pulp era that gave birth to science-fiction.

Avoiding negative reviews on Amazon

Useful tips from Booksprung today, on keeping your Amazon reviewers happy when they get that all-important “free preview” of your Kindle book. The tips are mostly for big publishers who are shovelling out free chapters at $0.00, in order to try to get into the “Top 100 Free” list, a marketing tactic which is confusing some dumb readers who think they’re getting the whole book.

For the rest of us, the suggestion we all state the word-count in the product description is an important one. Readers are also likely to leave negative Amazon reviews if the ebook has no linked table-of-contents.

Free audio books for the Kindle 3

Many of the Kindle 3 reviews overlook the fact that the Kindle is also an audio-book player. It plays MP3 files in the order you add them, which solves the “filename sorting” problem prevalent on desktop PC media players when the book comes without a playlist. And with 3Gb of storage to play with, storing a 600Mb audio book shouldn’t be a problem. Although battery life might be — I’ve yet to see a good battery test review where they look at life during audio playing + screen reading.

Want to test the Kindle 3’s audio book capabilities? There’s Librivox of course, which has a growing bank of free amateur-read audio books. I might recommend the classic short-story “The Cats of Ulthar” as a first “test my Kindle” download (although the reading on is much better). Librivox’s search and site navigation leaves something to be desired, but the combined audio book search-engine Librophile searches their site and many more. Also have a look at Project Gutenberg’s human-read audio books pages.

For a more ambitious test, Amazon is currently offering you two free audio book downloads, if you sign up for your free 14-day trial. Watch out though, as they want your credit card details and the fine print allows auto-renew unless you cancel before the trial ends (not after). Also be aware that there’s no preview of which books are available for the free download — it might be limited to popular fiction, for instance — which won’t interest non-fiction readers.

There will also be spoken-word podcasts for whatever your specialist niche interest is, although you no doubt know better than I what those might be. You might also check to see if your favorite authors have released any free ‘taster’ audio stories on their websites. There are also some quirky genre sites — or instance, the car maker BMW offers free classic stories in the crime/thriller genre. The fans at Old World Radio offers public-domain radio dramatizations from the 1950s, including classic science-fiction stories from the likes of Ray Bradbury, Asimov, and Simak. The H.P. Lovecraft Literary Podcast offers free full readings of classic Lovecraft stories, by proper actors.

Also have a look at the JURN Earworm search-engine, which lets you search just for intelligent speech radio (BBC, NPR, etc), intellectual podcasts, open courseware and the like. Some of these stream, some can be downloaded.

Book cover
Read the amazing sequel to H.G. Wells’s famous science fiction novella! Buy for the Amazon Kindle on Amazon U.S. or in paperback on