Friday, 17 August 2012

The Babel Fish Challenge

So, you might have heard a lot of talk about DRM lately. DRM stands for Digital Rights Management; it's that digital lock on your ebooks that stops you lending them to a friend, or transferring them from one device to another. It's annoying for readers, and there's evidence to suggest that it actually has no affect on piracy. Because of this, some authors and publishers have been pushing to get rid of it altogether.

And now Tor, the SF/F imprint of Macmillan, has decided to do just that. The reaction has been overwhelmingly positive. Tor are by no means the first; many smaller publishing houses, and even the Pottermore site (Harry Potter books), have been doing this for some time. But Tor is the first of the publishing 'giants' to take this step, and hopefully others will soon follow suit. Tor's new DRM-free ebooks can be bought directly from their online store. (The link takes you to the UK site. For the US click here)

But what does this have to do with Babel Fish??

Right, the Babel Fish.

To celebrate their step into the world of DRM-free books, Tor decided to give away three special USB sticks containing over a hundred of their ebooks. 158, to be exact! Books by China MiƩville, Peter F Hamilton, Adrian Tchaikovsky, Charles Stross, John Scalzi, Juliet Marillier, Amanda Hocking, Neal Asher and many more. Oh, and the entire Douglas Adams Hitchhiker's collection (hence the Babel Fish). As far as book prizes go... WOW!

They gave one of these Babel-Fish-themed USBs to the wonderful folks at the SF/F site Pornokitsch, who ran a competition to win it. And... yep, I won! :-D

Which brings us to the Babel Fish Challenge. This is pretty simple. I will read and review ALL the books on the Babel Fish USB. I'm not setting myself a time limit, as there are a lot of books on here, and I don't want to rush them. (And don't worry - I won't become a one woman Tor promotion blog either; I'll still be reading and reviewing books from other publishers!)

I'll be creating a Babel Fish Challenge page and linking to all the reviews from there, so that I can keep track of my progress. If you want to join in, read and review books by any of the authors listed on the challenge page, and post a link to your review in the linky at the bottom of the page. And yes, hopefully there will be prizes! ;-)

And now I'm off to start reading!

More about Tor and going DRM-free (Tor's US site) (Guardian)

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