Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Free e-Book

My son Cory was trying to find a good deal on this book.  He checked the library, and they didn't have it.  So he checked Barnes & Noble, Borders, and Amazon and was trying to find the best price and figure out shipping.  I suggested maybe getting the Kindle version on Amazon for $9.99 - and no shipping cost.  He doesn't have a Kindle, but there's the free Kindle for PC app so he cold read it on his computer.

Then, he found out that they're offering free downloads of pdf versions of the book, so he can do that for now.  I'd never heard of the book, but it sounds kind of interesting, so I downloaded it, too.  It's called Machine of Death, a collection of stories about people who know how they're going to die.
The machine had been invented a few years ago: a machine that could tell, from just a sample of your blood, how you were going to die. It didn’t give you the date and it didn’t give you specifics. It just spat out a sliver of paper upon which were printed, in careful block letters, the words DROWNED or CANCER or OLD AGE or CHOKED ON A HANDFUL OF POPCORN. It let people know how they were going to die.

The problem with the machine is that nobody really knew how it worked, which wouldn’t actually have been that much of a problem if the machine worked as well as we wished it would. But the machine was frustratingly vague in its predictions: dark, and seemingly delighting in the ambiguities of language. OLD AGE, it had already turned out, could mean either dying of natural causes, or shot by a bedridden man in a botched home invasion. The machine captured that old-world sense of irony in death — you can know how it’s going to happen, but you’ll still be surprised when it does.  (read more)
For the price I can try it out and see if I like it.  Knowing Cory he will love it and want to get his own 'hard copy' later on, but at least for now he can read it.