Sean Williams's Darwinian religion novel CROOKED LETTER now free download

Sean Williams sez,
Pyr has released my novel The Crooked Letter as a PDF, free to all, without DRM. _The Crooked Letter_ is kinda urban New Weird on a massive scale. It's been compared to China Mieville, Philip Pullman, Ursula K Le Guin, Stephen King, Neil Gaiman, Michael Moorcock, yada yada, and it won both the Aurealis and Ditmar Awards the year it was released (the first fantasy novel in the history of the awards do so). It's also my attempt to take all the world's religions and wrap them up in a crazy Darwinian package that even a hardcore atheist like me might be tempted to buy.

I'm particularly excited about this because I've been wanting to release my novels on the web for as long as the web has existed, and this is the first time one of my publishers has agreed to do it. If it does well, maybe others will follow. Huzzah!

(This may be of interest to readers of my novelisation of _Star Wars: The Force Unleashed_, which was the first game-related novel to debut at #1 on the NYT hardback list. The two books, however, could not be more different!)

free free free THE CROOKED LETTER free free free

The Crooked Letter on Amazon (Thanks, Sean!)


  1. Actually, releasing this novel online for free is not so crazy. This is the first I’ve heard of this guy, so if I like it I might start reading his newer works.

    Actually, it turns out that most books go out of print, so if a book has outlived its cash flow potentials, why not re-harvest it as a way to drive people to the newest stuff?

    Seems a natural extension of a books’ lifecycle these days:

    Hardback–>Trade Paper–>Paperback–>Internet.

  2. Pyr is more and more becoming a favourite publisher of mine. Having Ian McDonald in their program does help though. :-D

  3. Couldn’t the two novels be more different if one had been written in a different language? Perhaps using a different alphabet? I’m just sayin’ …


    Anyway, I like the idea of releasing things free to interest people in new work, as well as to perhaps jump-start sales of old work. I have no problem buying media online, but I’ve grown to really hate buying-before-trying. This kind of trick is perfect for me!

    (I’ll wait till it’s not boingboing’ed though. Perhaps a torrent? Anyone?)

  4. #7 Gramiq: Why stop there? One could be a book, and the other might be a rock at the bottom of the Marianas Trench ;P

    I missed the quote at the beginning and for a second had thought that Cory wrote the novelization of The Force Unleashed. That was a fun couple of seconds.

  5. From a purely business-savvy standpoint, making the first book of a series available for free after it’s been available for a couple of years sounds like an excellent business plan. The premise sounds interesting as well, so I’ll give it a shot.

  6. Trying to download while having the servers slammed by happy mutants did take me back to the days of my 28.8 modem though.

    I did the same thing that I did back then. Went in and made a cup of tea, checked the mail and gave the dogs a cookie, and when I came back…

    all done!

    This is nice. Thanks Sean, and bOINGbOING for the linkage.

  7. boingboing effect made this impossible for me to d/l so i ended up buying a used copy on Amazon for really cheap heh.. sounds very interesting! Seemed very Mieville-esque, so it piqued my interest

  8. Hm. I rarely read whole books on the computer (read a friend’s draft of a novel once…), but I’m not going to waste paper printing it out either. I stare at a screen all day – not any harder on the eyes if it’s the draft of my book, someone else book, news sites, research, etc.

    Downloaded this one because it has a religious twist, which intrigues me. Took a look at the first chapter over breakfast, and had to force myself to stop reading well into chapter 2 – an engaging story, even though it’s not a genre I read often.

    Giving me a taste of one book only makes me interested in reading others in the series – and I will pay to read them. I’m one of those people who buys the hardback out of sheer impatience sometimes.

  9. This trick sure seems to have worked, I just saw that the Amazon Sales Rank went from #700,000ish to #109,221(!)

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