Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Tracking free fiction (part 2 of 3): online publishers of reprints (including classics)

Series: Part 1 - original fiction; part 2 - reprints (this document); part 3 - link aggregators, commentators, & miscellaneous sources (yet to come).

This is a very premature announcement - because some reprints from F&SF magazine tend to be available only for a few days, & one has just been posted for a week. I mark such posts with "[limited time]" in the output feed. Bot SF master feed subscribers should be already getting it - just watch out for free fiction entries marked "[limited time]".

This bot is intended to automatically & continuously track a lot of online publishers of downloadable fiction reprints; output of the bot is available via this feed (this feed is automatically included in Bot SF master feed). This announcement is premature because very few publishers are currently tracked - not even the very important ones. But it will get better with time.

Also see opening remarks of part 1 - original free fiction bot.

Alphabetical list of publishers tracked.

This list is not updated very often. A more list is generated by this query.
  1. F&SF: Occasional reprints. I think at least once a month. Sometimes available only for a few days. I mark all their posts "[limited time]" (even though some are online forever).
  2. Irene Gallo's recently started "Saturday morning cartoons" video posts at Tor. "a quirky, sometimes delightful, occasionally a little (ok, maybe a lot) creepy, and off-beat".

    For some reason, these embedded don't display in my Firefox (embedded YouTube normally works for me). But I can play the URLs contained in feed items. And comments on those pages indicate they directly work for at least some people.
  3. Joe Hutsko's novel "The Deal" (1999) being serialized on Boing Boing. "a new chapter ... every Friday".
  4. John Klima's "Your Weekend Getaway:" free fiction posts at Tor blog. Very rare posts - I've seen only one yet.
  5. Quasar Dragon II: Mostly pulp era fiction.
  6. Tor announcements of free ebooks for registered users. I mark them both "[registration required]" & "[limited time]".
  7. Zeashan Haider Zaidi's serialized novel "Taboot" (in Hindi): "A humorous science fiction serial". Added 28 September 2008. Moved here from original free fiction feed because the author clarifies (in Hindi) it's a reprint.

    Currently at fourth episode. It started off well, but the individual episodes are neither chapters nor complete scenes; they seem to be arbitrarily cut off at random points - making following the serial somewhat tedious.

    I explicitly mark the language in feed output. I'm wondering if it will make better sense to automatically translitrate these episodes to English before inserting into this feed?

    Gives me two other ideas. How about also picking up original fiction in Japanese, German, ... & inserting it into this feed after automatic translitration? And the other way round - why not a feed in French made by transliterating this feed? Likely to be a bit of work. Probably future projects, unless I lose interest.

Alphabetical list of publishers ignored.

Yet to be filled in. Because I currently work exclusively off publisher's feed, there is bound to be a good sized list of known sources I don't track because either they don't have a feed, or feed is unusable by a machine.