Gaiman gives it away!

American GodsAnd we like it. To celebrate the seventh birthday of his blog, the wildly inventive Neil Gaiman asked his fans to vote on which of his titles they’d like a free electronic copy of. Now that the voting is over, American Gods is available for online readers at the Harpercollins site for the month of March. Gaiman’s fourth novel tells of an epic struggle between a pantheon of dieties such as Odin, Anansi and Thoth, long thought dead but actually just lying low and doing menial jobs, and an upstart race of New American Gods – gods of television and the credit card, the Internet and the internal combustion engine.

Gaiman is not the first hugely talented author of speculative fiction to offer their work gratis. Kelly Link, Charles Stross, and Cory Doctorow are among a growing group of forward-thinking writers giving away their work via creative commons licensing. And there are other visionary organizations that have been giving books away for over a century! As Gaiman put it in a recent post on his blog: “Libraries are good things: you shouldn’t have to pay for every book you read.” Amen.

3 thoughts on “Gaiman gives it away!”

  1. I have enjoyed everything of Gaiman’s I’ve encountered so far, and am intrigued by his spin on the “creative commons” idea. I have yet to hear it compared to libraries in end, if not in function. It is true that there has been free access to these media for years and, yet publishing is still around. Thank you Neil for the book and for realizing that free access to your work will probably only increase your popularity.

  2. I heard an interview with Neil Gaiman on NPR a couple of years ago and he struck me as a really decent fellow, in addition to being an excellent writer. And I like his reading suggestions — all the books I’ve read so far because he wrote a promotional quote for the cover have been fantastic.

  3. After reading “The Philosophical Strangler” by Eric Flint I found that it was available for free on the Web. “The Baen Free Library is a digital library of the science fiction and fantasy publishing house Baen Books where (as of February 2007) 94 full books are available for free download in a number of formats, without copy protection. It was founded in autumn 1999 by science fiction writer Eric Flint and publisher Jim Baen to determine whether the availability of books free of charge on the Internet encourages or discourages the sale of their paper books.” (quote from Wikipedia article “Baen Free Library”) Their thought is that it has only increased sales. Eric Flint holds forth about the concept at length. link to the site is
    Philosophical Strangler is quite funny, btw, if you like comic fantasy.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s