East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

Another massive book haul…

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One of the most frustrating, if minor, things out there, is the way in which promotions on Amazon are handled – so that maybe you get an announcement from an author’s Twitter account, “hey, my novel’s on sale for the next week!” and you go and check and no, it’s not.
It is on sale for customers from the US, or the English-speaking world, but on good old Amazon.it the ebook is still going for ten bucks.
Oh, shucks!

I subscribe to a service known as The Fussy Librarian, that hits my mail every day with curated special offers and free promotions. It’s good, and the frequency of disappointments is lower.
But still, the feeling of being promised a discount and finding out that no, not in our corner of the empire… well, it’s bad.

But sometimes life is good.

Case in point, a recent campaign that I’ve found out by chance, and taken advantage of straight away – Tor Books trilogies, on sale as single-volume massive ebooks. As I think I mentioned in the past, I’m no longer so hot about big fat thick trilogies (life is short) but sometimes the opportunity is just too good.

What got me going was finding out, while browsing the Amazon.it pages, the Amberlough books were on sale – Lara Elena Donnelly’s deco-flavored fantasy stories have been on my to-read list for quite a while, and at first I thought The Amberlough Dossier was a collection of shorter works set in the same universe as the novels; it is not: it’s the three novels, in a single ebook, for little over two bucks.
So I bought it.

And then saw there were more three-books collections going for the same ridiculous price. So I gave myself an allowance of twenty bucks (just what I got for selling a flash fiction), and went on a shopping spree…

The Ascendant Trilogy by K. Arsenault Rivera has been on my radar for a long time. I had actually checked out the first novel, finding it quite interesting with its mix of Oriental flavors, epic-scale confrontations and philosophical speculation. So picking this one up – all 1500-and-odd pages of it – was a no-brainer.

As it was a no-brainer picking up Nancy Kress’ Yesterday’s Kin trilogy – that is being published in Italian too, but the three-novels package cost me less than hapf a single volume in my language. So there. It’s been a long time since I read something by Kress, and this SF series filled with aliens and intrigue sounds like a good thing to have handy for the summer.

These three trilogies were on my shopping list anyway, and so I just jumped at the opportunity. But then I kept browsing…

Still in the science-fiction field, I added to the pile Richard Baker’s Breaker of Empires trilogy – because it’s good to have a military space opera handy for those moments when we need action and space empires.

Up next, The Mythos War Trilogy, by Levi Black, the sort of books that promises high-octane action, weird horror and Lovecraftian creatures. I am not much of an Urban Fantasy reader, but this one looks right up my alley.

And at this point, having stacked about 6000 pages-worth of fiction on the virtual cash counter of Old Mr Bezos’ bookstore, it was pretty obvious I was in a downward spiral that could only end with my allowance completely blown. Well, The least I could do was blow my hard-earned money in style.

The next two trilogies I picked up just because I was on a rampage, and they looked attractive, and I was curious, and it was cheap…

The Arabella Ashby trilogy, by David D. Levine, has naval warfare, steampunk vibes, and Mars. If I need to explain why I am highly anticipating this read, you are on the wrong blog.

And then Thoralya Dyer’s Titan’s Forest trilogy caught my eye – and reading the synopsis, and checking out the preview, it sounded like something different enough to be worth my time.

And there you have it… eight thousand pages of good fiction from a solid publisher, and from authors I respect and whose work intrigues me. Mostly fantasy, but with enough science fiction thrown in to grant variety.

I was about to check out, quite happy because I had saved part of the money I had allowed myself, when one final volume caught my eye.

As an aside – I do not believe in “guilty pleasures”: life’s too short to waste time on feeling guilty for the pleasure we find.
For this reason, I will not describe the TV series The Librarians as a guilty pleasure.
It’s simple, fun light entertainment, and there is no guilt in finding pleasure catching a few old episodes once in a while. Just as there is no guilt in buying the one-volume ebook collection of the three novels that were published a while back. Greg Cox wrote the three books, and he’s been a solid author of tie-in light fiction for ages. His name is a guarantee. So in the pile went this one, too.

Twenty-four novels. Eight trilogies. Ten thousand and odd-pages. Seventeen bucks.
At this point, come hell or water high, come lockdown or a zombie plague, reading matter will not be a problems for quite a while.

And, check out your local Amazon pages – maybe you’ll be able to catch these discounts too.
It’s sort of a late Christmas present we can give ourselves.

Author: Davide Mana

Paleontologist. By day, researcher, teacher and ecological statistics guru. By night, pulp fantasy author-publisher, translator and blogger. In the spare time, Orientalist Anonymous, guerilla cook.

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