Kelly Link's gorgeous short story collection now a CC download

Kelly Link's short story collection Stranger Things Happen is one of the strongest, most original books of stories I've ever read, comparable to modern classics like Ted Chiang's Stories of Your Life and Others Now comes the news that, 1) Kelly has a new collection out (w00t! w00t!) and 2) that she has released all the stories from her first collection as free downloads under a Creative Commons license (w00t! w00t! w00t!)!

Gavin sez,

We're celebrating publication day on Kelly Link's new collection MAGIC FOR BEGINNERS by releasing her debut collection STRANGER THINGS HAPPEN as a Free Download using a Creative Commons License. We've put the book up as in Plain text, HTML, RTF, & PDF files and are open to linking to other (more tech-savvy) people's conversions.

Link's new collection received a starred review from Publishers Weekly — and praise from writers such as Michael Chabon and Alice Sebold. Her stories are published in everything from literary journals (Fence), genre anthologies (The Faery Reel), zines (One Story, Say) to McSweeney's Mammoth Treasury of Thrilling Tales and have been awarded the Tiptree, World Fantasy, and Nebula Awards.

Publisher Gavin Grant says he and Link were inspired by author and copyright activist Cory Doctorow who had put each of his books online under a Creative Commons license.

"We're a tiny independent press," said Grant. "Of course we want to explore different methods of getting our books out to readers — and in spreading the word about Creative Commons. We don't expect this to kill sales. If anything (fingers crossed), it may help. After all, the book is already available in hundreds of libraries, on,'s Search Inside program, and even on BookCrossing. None of these programs have stopped the book from finding readers."

From Link's "Flying Lessons"

1. Going to hell. Instructions and advice.

Listen, because I'm only going to do this once. You'll have to get there by way of London. Take the overnight train from Waverly. Sit in the last car. Speak to no one. Don't fall asleep.

When you arrive at Kings Cross, go down into the Underground. Get on the Northern line. Sit in the last car. Speak to no one. Don't fall asleep.

The Northern line stops at Angel, at London Bridge, at Elephant and Castle, Tooting Broadway. The last marked station is Morden: stay in your seat. Other passengers will remain with you in the car. Speak to no one.

These are some of the unlisted stations you will pass: Howling Green. Duke's Pit. Sparrowkill. Stay in your seat. Don't fall asleep.

If you look around the car, you may notice that the other passengers have started to glow. The bulbs on the car dim as the passengers give off more and more light. If you look down you may find that you yourself are casting light into the dark car.

The final stop is Bonehouse.


(Thanks, Gavin!)