Monday, January 24, 2011

How many Hugo Nominees and Winners can you get for free?...

To me, the Hugo Awards are THE award for science fiction. Tastes may vary I know, but I like to use them as a guide to the genre. So as far as I'm concerned, if you can get a lot of Hugo nominees and winners online for free then you can get a lot of science fiction online for free.

I took this to the extreme and did all the math. I got all of the Hugo Award information from Wikipedia's Hugo Awards entries. And I cross-checked that against which stories were available at Free Speculative Fiction Online, which I've found to be pretty thorough. Basically if you find a science fiction story somewhere else online, but the Speculative site doesn't offer it, I'd definitely question the other site's legality and/or legitimacy.
For the purpose of this chart I lumped the Retro Hugos in with the normal Hugos

So that is 180 science fiction stories I can put on my Nook for free. And these are all stories that are considered the best of the best in science fiction.

Now most of these stories are available to view online without download options, but thanks to the wonders of the internet, if you can find the text online, you can also convert it to a format an e-reader can use. Here is a site that offers free online conversion of files. I tested PDF to Epub format and it translated pretty well. Meanwhile, doc format to Epub was perfect. So assuming you have the text of the story on a website, all you have to do is copy the text and paste it into a blank Word document file and you are ready to go! (Thanks to Michael at the Classic Science Fiction Board for suggesting this site)

To me, I think it proves that everyone should get an e-reader of some kind. Otherwise your options are to read off the computer screen which strains most people's eyes, or print the stories out which can get pricey with the cost of ink. It just seems like e-readers pay for themselves because you can download so many stories for free.


  1. I've long been anti-e-reader because of my love of reading stories book in hand. However the more short stories I read online, and the online genre mags that I am starting to subscribe to, make me think an e-reader is in my future somewhere. I certainly have no desire to read a novel on one, and still prefer to try to track down stories in books when possible. But, for the price you are looking at here (free) it sure seems like there is quite a lot out there to enjoy.

    Lot of work you did here John. Well done!

  2. John, you should do a follow-up report about how much new science fiction is available for ebook readers. Look at all the online magazines and see which offer paid ebook editions and how many offer free downloads of stories or whole issues.

  3. Great post, John! I read a lot of fiction online these days, though I have little interest in getting an ebook reader. Well, my computer chair is really comfortable, and I don't get a stiff neck from reading online, like I often do with real books.

    Yeah, it's a little harder on the eyes (especially since I got my new computer monitor, an LED device), but I just increase the font size and sit back a ways. Even when I own a book, I often find myself re-reading it on the computer, if it's freely (and legally) available online.

    As you say, there's a lot of great fiction available, and it changes all the time. It's really a great time to be a reader!

  4. has a weekly post of free genre fiction online.

  5. It's funny you say that Gary, because posted about this blog entry.

    It's a good place to check out.