I love this time of year. The magic of snow, good cheer all around, and giving presents. Yes, I like giving even more than getting (though I like getting—don't get me wrong!), because I love offering my friends something I think they'll enjoy.
Here are some gifts for you, dear readers: two new places to find free fiction online, and a free year-at-a-glance calendar.
Book View Cafe is is a joint venture by over twenty multi-published writers including Ninc members Maya Bonhoff, Jennifer Stevenson, and myself, to bring our out-of-print and experimental fiction to readers on the Internet.
Book View Cafe features science fiction, fantasy, speculative fiction, mystery, horror, romance, and young adult in short story, novella/novelette, and novel form. Every day there are new offerings on the site. We will eventually be offering for-pay premium content as well. It's a new exploration in electronic publishing.
I have a holiday piece being serialized there at the moment, "Glad Yule," a fantasy novella I wrote for Fred Saberhagen's An Armory of Swords anthology. Look for it in my bookshelf.
The Mad Genius Club is a group blog of fantasy writers, which is also offering free reads in the form of Sunday Snippets. Every Sunday a member of the blog will post a snippet of fiction, or occasionally an interview or other item of interest. This is an eclectic, international group of folks who are a lot of fun.
Lastly, calendars. I'm really happy to be able to give these, because they are something I actually use myself, even if they have decorations that are not to my taste. I don't know why I never thought of this before: if I design my own calendar, the decorations are guaranteed to be something I like!
So if you need a break from the manic shopping and holiday insanity, visit the Mad Genius Club for a different kind of insanity and a quick smile, or cruise on over to the Cafe and grab a cuppa, sit down with some fun fiction, and relax. And if you're already looking forward to next year, shout out for a calendar, my treat!