Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The Baen Free Library

A couple years ago, I was stranded at home with a broken ankle. Since I had just purchased my loft, and was only staying there a couple days a week (the rest of the time at a crashpad near work), I had no cable TV. Shoot... not even a TV. No internet either -- I was "borrowing" connectivity from a neighbor, though it was a crappy connection.

How to pass the time?

I figured reading a book would be good, but I certainly wasn't capable of getting myself to a bookstore. Then I recalled the Baen Free Library. I'd run into it, in some story about how publishing free content can actually help your business. Eric Flint wrote a page about why they are giving away books for free. The man gets it.

So... off I went. Through the crappy connection, I was able to get several books downloaded, and settled in to read them. One of those books was 1632, a story about a West Virginian town picked up, in whole, and thrown back in time and relocated to Germany. It is the first in a long series by Eric Flint. And it is really, really good.

And this is exactly why I say that Jim Baen gets it. After reading all the free books in the series, I went on to purchase another eight books or so. Baen Books made money where they otherwise would not have.

I have recently returned to the B.F.L. in a quest for books for my Kindle 2, which I got back in March. Yes, they offer their books in Kindle format. Lately, I've been reading the books from The Belisarious Series. The first four are available for free in the B.F.L., and the last two are free on Baen's Fifth Imperium website.

I'll end with a note that the B.F.L. is housed on webscription.net, which sells quite large number of books, and all available in Kindle format. There are even some books that Amazon doesn't provide in Kindle format (like the excellent Paladin of Shadows series by John Ringo).

[Update: Eric Flint wrote that web page, not Jim]

Friday, June 19, 2009

My Bacon Number

No, not the tasty pork product.

The actor...

I've just discovered that Wil Wheaton has a Bacon Number of One, after appearing with him in She's Having a Baby.

Back in 2004, I played poker with Wil after his keynote speech at ApacheCon in Vegas.

Thus... my Bacon Number is Two.