A Hymn Before Battle is the first novel I’ve read entirely on a Palm Pilot, thanks to the foresight and hipness of Baen Books. A Hymn Before Battle is part of the Aldenata ISO–a compilation of 20 Baen books given away completely for free. As a reader who has already put quite a bit of lucre in Baen’s coffers, I couldn’t applaud this move more. In this age of media companies attempting more and more draconian measures to protect their profits, it’s so nice to see a company trust its customers.
Since military SF and fantasy as genres lend themselves to book series, it adds a lot of value to me as a customer to get the first book in a series for free to sample it. Which, when you think about it, is the clichéd drug dealer strategy for obtaining customers. The first one’s free.
Baen doesn’t employ any kind of harebrained digital resource management (DRM) schemes. You can do whatever you want with the material on the Aldenata ISO, except sell it. Very cool.
To my surprise, reading a novel on the Palm Pilot actually worked out really well. The small screen size really doesn’t encumber the experience very much, and it’s infinitely handier to pack a bunch of novels on the Palm than to carry them in physical form.
As the father of an 18-month-old, the Palm format actually rocks. I can bring the Palm with me to various rooms as my offspring goes through her peregrinations, then take it with me for a quick hit of prose when standing in line. Couldn’t I do the same with a paperback? Sure. But the Palm has one killer feature the paperback lacks: Backlighting. Dimly lit rooms are no longer an impediment. Behold! I make fire!
UPDATE: For those too lazy to google, the Baen Free Library is found here.
Music: “Hymn” by Ultravox
Posted Thursday, 04 December, 2003 by Nic Lindh
Another book roundup, including some stellar athletes and soldiers, what might be the most jaded, soul-weary protagonist ever, and some grimdark fantasy.
The Internet is getting creepy, and Nic is breaking out his tinfoil hat after newspaper paywalls push him over the edge.
Nic is tired of tech sites obsessing over Apple’s financials and business strategy. So very tired.
Nic reads a book about the processed food industry and is incensed.
Computers are complicated. This brings out the irrational in people.
Nic proposes the loan word Rechthaberei be incorporated into American English.
The Core Dump is back! Books were read during the hiatus. Includes The Coldest Winter, Oh, Myyy!, Tough Sh*t, The Revolution Was Televised, The Rook, Mr. Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore, Gun Machine, Fortress Frontier, Standing in Another Man’s Grave, and The Memory of Light.
This site will return in February.
From a true patriot to a world-weary detective, a dead god, and a civilization about to sublime from the galaxy, this book roundup spans the gamut. Includes Where Men Win Glory, Wild, Inside the Box, The Black Box, Three Parts Dead, Red Country, and The Hydrogen Sonata.
Springsteen gives a concert in Phoenix. It’s fantastic.