Friday, August 9, 2013

Celebrating the Births . . . John Varley and Frank M. Robinson

Celebrating the births of two good SF writers who were born today and have free fiction legally available.  As always, check out their free stuff and if you like it, consider purchasing their other work.

John Herbert Varley (born August 9, 1947)
     A Hugo and Nebula award nominee, Varley is best known for his outstanding Gaea Trilogy (Titan, Wizard, and Demon).  Check out some of freely available fiction and his homepage.

• At Bean: "Air Raid"
     "The computer melted the skin away from her face to show me the bone structure, rotated it, gave me cross-sections. I studied the similarities with my own skull, noted the differences. Not bad, and better than some I'd been given"

• At Lightspeed: "Just Another Perfect Day"
     "I know how you’re feeling. You wake up alone in a strange room, you get up, you look around, you soon discover that both doors are locked from the outside. It’s enough to unsettle anybody, especially when you try and try and try to recall how you got here and you just can’t do it."

Audio Fiction

Frank M. Robinson (born August 9, 1926)
     Possibly best known in the speculative fiction arena for his non-fiction Science Fiction of the 20th Century: An Illustrated History, which received a Hugo nomination, Robinson also wrote good SF, a little of which is freely available.  His homepage has a biography.

• At Project Gutenberg: "The Worlds of Joe Shannon" from  IF Worlds of Science Fiction March 1954.
     "Strumming a harp while floating on a white cloud might be Paradise for some people, but it would bore others stiff. Given an unlimited chance to choose your ideal world, what would you specify—palaces or log cabins?"

• At Project Gutenberg: "Decision" from Space Science Fiction September 1953
     "The captain had learned to hate. It was his profession—and his personal reason for going on. But even hatred has to be channeled for its maximum use, and no truths exist forever."

Old Time Radio
At The Internet Archive: (All direct MP3 downloads)
• "The Reluctant Heroes" X Minus One. 1957. - OTR Plot Spot.
      "Team members of a remote base on the Moon serve long tours of duty, and come into conflict over who is next in line to return to Earth."

• "The Girls from Earth" X Minus One. 1957. - OTR Plot Spot.
     "Two crooks con the all-male colony on Mars into paying for a shipment of beautiful women from home at a hundred dollars a head, but beauty is in the eye of the beholder."

• "Untitled Story" Dimension X. 1951.
     "   "A strange amalgam of Sci-Fi and the hard-boiled detective story. A private eye is hired by the city mayor to obtain an elixir of life from an enigmatic scientist. His investigation reveals a strange conspiracy that could have serious repercussions for the future of humanity." - OTR Plot Spot.

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