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E-Reading and E-Books And Other E-Things, Oh My! by Ray Printer Friendly

I recently downloaded an e-reader application, and it's one of the few things I like about my stupid phone. What I really like is that it introduced me to a site called Feedbooks.

Feedbooks has a pile of public domain stuff, so if you want to catch up on your Sherlock Holmes or Alice in Wonderland, you can sure do it. But what I'm really digging is the "Original Works" section.

Sure, there's a lot of crap on there--pages and pages of teenage girls trying to emulate Stephenie Meyer's bullshit. And while they're still better than her flaccid-cock style of chin-drool writing, that doesn't make them anything I'd want to read.

But there's good stuff, too.

I first searched for the keyword "zombie," just to see if anything would come up. I wasn't really expecting much, and was pleasantly surprised to find that not only did they have a rather large selection of zombie fiction, some of it is actually pretty good.

There are full-length novels on the site, but everything I've downloaded so far has been short-story length. I'm not gonna get into serious review territory here, because this is more to inform you of the website. At some point, I might line up five or six stories for mini-reviews. Still, though, if you have an e-reader of any sort, these are a couple of stories I'd recommend.

Feedbooks offers downloads in EPUB, Kindle, and PDF, so you can read the stories on pretty much anything.

The first story I read was This Is Not A Test, by Pete Clark.

In the days following a worldwide infection, a man struggles with the challenge he faces,

and copes by turning every encounter, even the flesh eating ones,

into a test that he will either pass or fail.

Although it doesn't pack a hard punch, it's well-written, and I thought it did a pretty good job of conveying the sense of loneliness one might feel at the end of the world. The protagonist looks down daily from his high-rise apartment, watching the world change below.

I really liked that idea. It's a quiet story, low-key and sedated. Worth reading.

The other book I read was DEAD(ish) by Naomi Kramer.

Lindaís had a bad day.

First her boyfriend killed her. Then she woke up, still on this boring plane of existence, and with an odd obsession about her missing body.

Mike wonít tell her what he did with her body, and she canít find the stupid thing herself.

Thereís only one thing she can do - torment the bastard until he coughs up the information.

If Clark is the quiet kid who sits behind you in English class, Kramer is the crazy chick in the cafeteria, jumping up on the table and pushing her finger through her fly and waving a make-believe penis around.

DEAD(ish) is clever and humorous, and the author starts in with the joking as early as the Creative Commons licensing agreement. Or--as she puts it--the boring stuff.

She switches perspective throughout the story, telling the tale through various characters. When I first realized this, I was concerned--written sloppy, this kind of trick can drag me out of the story faster than a bouncer at a strip club. But Kramer skates the line just fine, and I was impressed with her ability.

So those are my first picks/recommendations. If you don't have an e-reader, but are still looking for a couple of quick reads, download the PDF versions and print them out. Neither one is gonna bankrupt your ink supply, and they're both enjoyable stories. Or hell, just read 'em at your computer, you bastards--you spend enough time there.

Oh, one more thing before I go: I also uploaded my latest short story, Escape.

I might start uploading my short stories there as I post them here, just in case it's easier for any of you to read them on phones or e-readers. I don't know--it's kind of a pain in the ass to upload, and I am pretty damn lazy.

Anyway, that's it. Take it easy, kids.


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