The author of the books is a Russian. That's right, a guy from a faraway strange country overflowing with oil and gas, and famous for its five-o'clock vodka. Besides, we have a tamed bear in every household. Unfortunately my pet bear had incidentally fled (probably back to its native forest), and left me with nobody to train and too much leisure to deal with. To kill time, I started writing books.
In case you don’t believe a word of what you've just read, here is a more routine explanation. I’m a computer pro who usually works with big computers (called network servers) to perform strange tasks no one outside of my profession really understands. I won’t bore you to death by describing my job in details. Just keep in mind that, due to my profession and my educational background (I’m a Master of Science in Computer Sciences and Discrete Math), I write science fiction novels. I mean, REAL science fiction (like Robert Heinlein’s if you need an example), not those fairy tales with telepathy and blasters that are often considered SF nowadays. In essence, all my books belong to the hard SF genre even if they feature orcs, trolls, winged pretty fairies, human-generated fireballs and almighty gods. If you happen to read about a shining laser beam in my novel, rest assured that soon enough you'll find a scientific explanation of how exactly it works - based on laws of physics that are in effect in this specific universe, that is.
Or maybe you won’t.
I believe that SF attributes are but secondary details even in the hardest SF book. So I tell stories about people, not science, technology, sociology, philosophy and so on. While you can find all that in my novels, it's no more than a background. That’s why I don’t usually explain the behind-the-scenes technology. If you can’t figure it out on your own but are interested in details, you can always ask me directly. And if you believe that I am way off the mark (because such-and-such contradicts all known laws of physics, for example)... well, I’ll really enjoy proving that it’s you who got it wrong here. ;)
All my books are distributed for free. Why? Well, there are many complex answers to this simple question. The main reason is that information wants to be free. Since literature is a kind of information, this slogan applies to it, too. Besides, my most important goal is to keep increasing the number of my readers. Everything else is secondary.
Another problem is, the book-publishing industry is agonizing. It was born a century and a half ago to support paper book publishing - and it has changed very little since then. However, the bitter truth is, this industry is largely obsolete in the modern world. Electronic means of communication (the Internet, first and foremost) provide everyone with an opportunity to publish books. The fact that a large number of people still believe in nothing but paper books, doesn't reverse the trend but rather simply prolongs the agony.
And this agony has some very unpleasant consequences. In particular, to maximize their profits, publishing houses and literary agents they work with stick to a strict system of ‘genres’ - as defined by clear and unequivocal requirements. Anything that does not fit in with the limits of a ‘genre’ (so-called ‘upmarket fiction’) is quite unlikely to be published. Look at what happened in the beginning to Joan Rowling and her Harry Potter series if you need an example of the problems such ‘upmarket’ authors might encounter. And my books belong exactly to this ‘upmarket fiction’ area. Well, maybe if I were persistent and spent many years begging different people to publish my books, I would succeed in the end. But, honestly, I’m not Joan Rowling, so I am far too lazy to start doing it. I write books anyways - whether they are paper-printed or not, so putting them on the Internet to let people read them is the easiest way to solve this particular problem.
That's why all my books are accessible for free. However, there is a complication. As I said, I'm Russian, and I write in Russian. Not the easiest language to learn just for reading several books, is it? And translating books costs money – a LOT of money. While my friend and translator Edward Porper charges me much less than any other professional translator or translation firm would, I still can’t afford it. That’s why I need my readers' help.
You don't have to pay anything for the books already published. You can download, read and distribute them for free. However, if you like what you read and want to see other books of the saga translated into English, I ask you to help. Please visit the 'How to help' page to see the list of available options. And remember that even a small donation (like 3-5 dollars) can make a big difference.
By the way, if you read Russian, you can visit my page http://lotosh.1gb.ru. All my books in Russian can be downloaded from there for no charge.
And thank you for having read this text to the end.