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Arthur's Classic Novels, his Love of Mankind and the Internet
September 16, 2010 12:16 PM   Subscribe

Arthur's Classic Novels has 4000 free ebooks, no registration, nicely organized by author and topics: great old Science Fiction magazines l plentiful online education with 650 books for doctors l a vast collection of famous novels l short stories l by women l Buddhist Scriptures, including The Buddhist Bible, a fave of Jack Kerouac l magazines online l stories by Robert Sheckley l The Autobiography of Charles Darwin l huge collection of fairy tales l philosophy l P. G. Wodehouse l vintage technology l Oscar Wilde l Mark Twain l Rudyard Kipling l George MacDonald l the Koran l a collection of eText resource links. About Arthur Wendover. posted by nickyskye (33 comments total) 154 users marked this as a favorite

 
Fantastic! Thank you.
posted by Ahab at 12:37 PM on September 16, 2010


I could bookmark and not read each of those, but somehow it doesn't have the gravitas of collecting and not reading a wall of books.
posted by StickyCarpet at 12:38 PM on September 16, 2010 [3 favorites]


I just got a Kindle yesterday, this is perfect thanks.
posted by doctor_negative at 12:39 PM on September 16, 2010


Lots of Lovecraft there. The Old Ones thank you for spreading the word!
posted by Kafkaesque at 12:40 PM on September 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


This is so cool! Does anybody know how I can get these on my free Kindle App on my Droid?
posted by glaucon at 12:41 PM on September 16, 2010


Yeah, how is this legal, exactly?
posted by Amanojaku at 12:46 PM on September 16, 2010


Arthur Machen in the Weird&Horror link. Hell yes.
posted by Sticherbeast at 12:47 PM on September 16, 2010


It's legal. Copyright does not last forever, and works of fiction eventually enter into the public domain. In addition, some authors who still own a copyright of their works, give consent for those works to be distributed for free on the internet.
posted by grizzled at 12:49 PM on September 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


Ooooooooooh old sci fi.
posted by marginaliana at 1:03 PM on September 16, 2010


> It's legal.

Uh, how do you know? Have you examined every piece of work on offer here and determined that? Sturgeon's More than Human, for example, is certainly not in the public domain. This strikes me as pretty fishy.
posted by languagehat at 1:05 PM on September 16, 2010


It's legal. Copyright does not last forever, and works of fiction eventually enter into the public domain. In addition, some authors who still own a copyright of their works, give consent for those works to be distributed for free on the internet.

Yeah, I understand copyright doesn't last forever, but I can tell you for a fact that those Astounding magazines aren't PD yet, and that it's pretty unlikely the Zelazny, Andre Norton, Poul Anderson, and Larry Janifer estates, at the very least, gave permission. Hell, he has Fred Pohl up there, and he's not even dead yet. I think he ol' Arthur just put up whatever he wanted, some PD, some not, and he should probably be expecting letters from some lawyers in the near future.
posted by Amanojaku at 1:06 PM on September 16, 2010


OK, it's mostly Gutenberg e-texts, correct?

My favorite one of these recycling-ebooks sites is Manybooks, because it looks great, tons of formats are easily available, and there are user reviews to read if you dislike sorting through library stacks without any context except a title and genre.
posted by circular at 1:07 PM on September 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


Sturgeon's More than Human, for example, is certainly not in the public domain. This strikes me as pretty fishy.

Good heavens. Does this mean the Internet is being used to infringe copyrights?
posted by Joe Beese at 1:14 PM on September 16, 2010 [4 favorites]


Project Gutenberg has some Fred Pohl, too. That's because stories published before 1964 had to have their copyrights renewed 28 years after publication, and many authors didn't bother or missed some stories.

Related: Project Gutenberg SF Bookshelf.
posted by fings at 1:15 PM on September 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


Project Gutenberg has some Fred Pohl, too. That's because stories published before 1964 had to have their copyrights renewed 28 years after publication, and many authors didn't bother or missed some stories.

Yes, and I don't doubt that some of the stuff is fine. But Pohl wrote "The Siege of Eternity" in 1997. It's possible it was given away as an e-version for free at some point, but like I said: there's a lot of material there I'm pretty skeptical about.
posted by Amanojaku at 1:25 PM on September 16, 2010


For another example: as far as I know, only eleven of P. K. Dick's early works (all available on Project Guttenberg) are PD, but Arthur has thirty-two novels and story collections up. There's no way that's legit.
posted by Amanojaku at 1:34 PM on September 16, 2010


Cool. Glad to see all the philosophy. Too bad Kafka is in the philosophy section, though. Disturbing commentary about society 'n' government 'n' stuff =/= philosophy.
posted by John Cohen at 1:53 PM on September 16, 2010


Wow thanks! I needed stuff to read!
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 1:54 PM on September 16, 2010


Also, just a cosmetic point, but the organization is pretty sloppy. In the "philosophy" section, there's a subsection for "Arthur Schopenhauer," but then there's a Schopenhauer work under a catch-all section for "Various Writers" at the end. "Various Writers" also includes 5 books by William James -- there doesn't seem to be any reason why he didn't get his own section.
posted by John Cohen at 2:02 PM on September 16, 2010


I looked through the P. G. Wodehouse list and everything on it looks pre-1923, i.e. not a copyright violation.
posted by phliar at 2:09 PM on September 16, 2010


I had no idea that The Metamorphosis was written by both Kafka and Nietzsche. Who says you can't learn something new from the Internet?
posted by crunchland at 2:12 PM on September 16, 2010


For the Kindle, I'm a huge fan of FeedBooks and the option to download an ebook format of your choosing.
posted by eyeballkid at 3:09 PM on September 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


This is awesome, thanks!
posted by koeselitz at 3:10 PM on September 16, 2010


Yeah, Nietzsche wrote, like, half the story, but he and Kafka had an argument about whether to specify the nature of the ungeheueren Ungeziefer (he was like "you gotta tell 'em what kind of bug it is, man!" and Kafka was like "who cares, dude, it's vermin!") and Kafka kicked him out of the band and Nietzsche went crazy and started embracing horses on the street... you can read all about it in my forthcoming tell-all book.
posted by languagehat at 3:12 PM on September 16, 2010 [6 favorites]


And copyright: well, let's see. Speaking purely for the US here: anything before 1922 is public domain, because it doesn't come under the 1976 act (which came into force in 1978), right? After that, anything from before 1950 (I think) that didn't have its copyright re-registered.

But, yeah – stuff from before 1922 is public domain at this point, no matter what. Like, for example, the 'great early American novels 1900-1919' ones. I haven't looked much at the rest of the site, though. Is there much stuff from after 1922?
posted by koeselitz at 3:15 PM on September 16, 2010


Okay, yeah – they certainly have some infringing stuff there.
posted by koeselitz at 3:17 PM on September 16, 2010


Off topic but cool, the PG SF books have illustrations!
posted by sammyo at 3:59 PM on September 16, 2010


This is great! Thank you.
posted by mkim at 7:10 PM on September 16, 2010


koeselitz:

"Okay, yeah – they certainly have some infringing stuff there."

On it.
posted by jscalzi at 7:16 PM on September 16, 2010


I know that I feel safer because the Fun Police are on the case!
posted by frodisaur at 10:46 PM on September 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


It's YOU! You're the one who ALWAYS finds the good stuff online! Thank you for consistently putting together some of the best posts on Metafilter!
posted by Mael Oui at 11:08 PM on September 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


Aldous Huxley's "Chrome Yellow" and "Brave New World" under philosophy.
He might have a decent library, but he sucks as a librarian.
posted by robotot at 2:53 PM on September 17, 2010


He might have a decent library, but he sucks as a librarian.

I too am enraged at the categorization of this free ice cream!
posted by meadowlark lime at 2:56 AM on September 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


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