The Bloodline Feud by Charles Stross: Free download

This is one of my favorite books / series and you should read it! It has the "changeling / long lost princess" trappings of much fantasy, but actually it's about economics, and why the "elves" would probably be narcoterrorists.

Every time I watch an episode of Game of Thrones, I wish I was watching an episode of The Merchant Princes instead.

The eBook Club Pick for February

At the beginning of each month, the eBook Club gives away a free sci-fi/fantasy ebook to club subscribers.

We're happy to announce that the pick for February 2017 is: The Bloodline Feud by Charles Stross, an omnibus edition collecting the first two novels in Stross' parallel-universe techno-thriller series The Merchant Princes.

The Merchant Princes is a science fictional examination of parallel universes whose societies exist at different points of development, as one woman from "normal" Earth discovers her true bloodline and the ability to walk between these worlds.

The first book in his second series set in this world just came out, Empire Games, and it is also fantastic.

Though sadly, baseline reality seems to have already shot past some of his more outlandish predictions, just like in the Laundry series...

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13 Responses:

  1. John Styles says:

    I endorse this message. Less well known than it should be.

  2. phuzz says:

    When the nightmare surveillance dystopia almost seems like a better place to live than the real world, something is up with the world.

  3. I also love this series. The new book is next on my last after I finish Chernow's Hamilton bio.

  4. Waider says:


    "This offer is only available in the US and Canada. We apologize for the geographic restriction, unfortunately it is required for various legal reasons."

    I guess I may have to actually buy it instead.

    • They ask you for you country and don't validate your answer. But Charlie likes it if you pay for his books. :-)

      • Ru says:

        If you visit Charlie's blog, you may notice that he also mentions this deal, and points out that it doesn't have any good way of verifying where you are.

  5. Note that Charlie has recently published Empire Games, which is book four of The Merchant Princess series. And highly recommended.

    • Jonathan says:

      Depending on how you count. I've read 6 Merchant Princes novels already, and I haven't read them anthologised as The Bloodline Feud (etc) yet. I might re-read them in the anthologised format as I heard they might be a bit like "Director's Cut" versions.

  6. Phil Holland says:

    Seconding the Empire Games recommendation.

    And, yeah - how disappointing is it that his cynicism about the ways we'd stumble was still a little too optimistic? While listening, I kept having to answer "could this really happen in the US?" with "could only this really happen?".

    • John says:

      Poor Charlie gets hit with this all the time. He had a Laundry novel mostly in the can, and when Brexit happened, he had to furiously rewrite half of it, because the fictional British government he had tried to paint as a dystopian bureaucracy NOW SEEMED TOO RATIONAL.

      From his blog post on the topic:

      "The TL:DR is that I have had to trash an entire draft of the next Laundry novel because I tried to satirize British politics, and British politics is beyond satire."

  7. pfriedel says:

    Charlie is one of my favorite authors for managing to make sci-fi about economics _interesting_. Sure, the whole elder gods meets IT bureaucracy shenanigans of the Laundry series brought me in, but the "So here's how a slower-than-light interstellar economic system could possibly work" type stories are absolutely fascinating.

  8. MattF says:

    Speaking of SFF, I've just discovered Max Gladstone's 'Craft' novels. He's written five and number six is in process and will probably be published in July. Go look 'em up, you might find them interesting.