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Apr 122009
 

I found out today that Amazon.com has started de-ranking what they deem to be adult content. Funny thing about that though is that the only thing that Amazon seem to be flagging as adult content is gay and lesbian themed books. They are stripping these books of their sales rankings within Amazon so as to keep them from showing up on searches.

I knew when they yanked the ultra violent video Rapelay that is was a sign of more to come. Granted that video is horrible and needed to be removed. But this latest development only proves that censorship of any kind opens the door for further discrimination.

The problems I am seeing with what Amazon is doing is the out and out homophobia. While they are removing the gay and lesbian books they are continuing to allow mainstream, yet extremely trashy sexual, books such as Laurell K Hamilton’s Incubus Dreams to have sales ranks. How is that?

Mark R. Probst is an author who is affected by the changes. He has posted the response he got back from Amazon about the removal of sales ranks on his books over on his blog. Amazon’s reply clearly states it is a new policy for adult content, yet other people are posting that they are getting responses from Amazon that it is a glitch, an oddly specific glitch, but a glitch.

This has obviously caused quite the stir across the net with much of that fervor coming from the Twitter community, where they are flagging posts with #amazonfail and in the past hour nearly 3000 posts with that tag have come through.

I have to say I agree with their requests from Amazon.com users to stop supporting the site until this is either reversed or sales ranks are removed from all adult content not just that with gay and lesbian subjects. There are plenty of other stores on the web (many of them with better prices and service) so if you can please avoid them. Thanks.

Update: for even more information check out this call for a boycott of Amazon until the fix this issue.

Here are a few more articles for your enlightenment:

Mar 202009
 

Are you old and like to write sceince fiction stories? Then check this out.

“The Speculative Literature Foundation is offering a grant of $750 to any writer of speculative literature of 50 years or older at the time of application who is just beginning to work professionally in the field. There are no restrictions on the use of the grant money.”

Pretty sweet deal. Alas I have a few years to wait before applying. ;)

Apply here: SLF Older Writers Grant

thnx Boing Boing

May 212008
 

Do you think you’ve got what it takes to impress the blogosphere? Well then prove it. Write your best post and then head on over to YearBlook.com.

Yearblook.com is a contest to find the best blog posts on the net. Each day a winner will be chosen. All the winners will then be compiled into a big book of blogs. Yes, an actual book will be published. That’s right your work will actually be published in the real world. Go figure.

As a blogger you can go over and submit your own posts or your friends can do it for you. Once you are nominated you’ll want to have all your online friends head over and vote for you.

Fear not you won’t be losing your rights to your own works. If you win they will contact you to work out the licensing for inclusion into the finished book.

Okay, so being in a book isn’t quite enough for you. How’s about money will that satisfy? Each month the winner for top blog that month has a chance to get $100. Not too shabby, huh?

Well there is one more reason to submit your blog. Free advertisement for you. That’s right drive traffic and increase your audience. Really, I am not seeing a negative to being a part of YearBlook.com.

May 182008
 

I first heard of Laurell K. Hamilton and Anita Blake Vampire Hunter on a toy collector’s forum a few years ago from a fan of the series. I picked up Guilty Pleasures, the first book, and rather enjoyed. Now fast forward a few years. I just picked up the audio version of the book Incubus Dreams, which is book twelve in this series not having read the other ten books in between. So I had high expectations for this story.

Incubus DreamsI finally finished the audio version of Laurell K. Hamilton’s Incubus Dreams. Thank god I was listening to the abridged version (only 10 discs) instead of the unabridged version (24 discs). Twelve hours of this dribble was bad enough I don’t think I could have made it through thirty hours.

So what exactly did they cut out of this story for the abridged version? I thought perhaps major plot points were dropped. But according to the reviews I was reading about the book that might not be the case. So they must have cut out some of the sex or perhaps the sexual scenes had gone into much more graphic detail than what I was getting. I don’t know and I have no intentions of finding out.

I will read her earlier works (I loved Guilty Pleasures when I read that a few years ago and now in comic book form from Marvel), but I don’t think I will bother with any of the books beyond this one. Incubus Dreams is 12th in the Anita Blake series so I will have plenty to check out before I finally give up on this author.

If I wish to read (or in this case hear) pure Vampire/Werewolf erotic fantasy I will look for books like Deep Inside by Polly Frost. With Anita Blake I was hoping for a Vampire mystery with a little sex in the mix, not that the entire story would be filled with only sex. We lost the whole aspect of any mystery or case a few chapters into this storyline and never got it back again until the very end of the book. Everything in between was one sexual experience after another. We had characters come and go too easily without any story development. What happened to the Vampire servant Damian? Anita f—ks him and he has a complete vampiric break down only to drop out of the story completely without resolving the problems brought on by the encounter. That is only one of many, many flaws with this story. The story ends with what else, more sex and the mystery is left unresolved. Not that I will be picking up book 13 in the series any time soon to see if this author bothers to fill her readers in or not.

My suggestion is to stay away from this story. Go ahead and read the earlier works of this author but don’t bother with this book. Even better check out the comic book version of Anita Blake Vampire Hunter (at least she is actually hunting vampires, raising the dead and dealing with werewolves instead of just f—king them all).

As I said I was listening to this story. I did not yet mention the flaws in the audio version, which is published by Brilliance Audio and read by Cynthia Holloway. Cynthia does a good job of rendering the characters and keep our interest even if the story can’t. My biggest problem with the audio version is the production. The publishing company Brilliance Audio sees fit to add unneeded audio at the beginning and end of each disk. Most people today take their discs and turn them into MP3s, which is what I did and that is why I found the fade in/out music and notice to put in the next disk a real distraction. Combine that with the repeated two or three lines of text from the previous disc and the annoyance only compounded. So drop the unwanted extras from your audio discs and maybe they will be easier to listen, although even that would not have helped this story.

May 172008
 

Incubus DreamsIncubus Dreams is the twelfth book in the Anita Blake Vampire Hunter series by Laurell K Hamilton. Sticking with the formula that she knows well this story is full of vampire sex and murder. Although this particular story seems to be more sex than mystery, but it does eventually get back to the question at hand of who or what is murdering these girls.

I have been listening to the audio version of the book. It is nicely read. However, the production leaves a little to be desired. They felt the need to add odd porn like music to the beginning and end of each disk. (I guess the music is pretty fitting when you think of the amount of Vampire/Human/Werewolf sex in this story.) Along with that noise they also tell you the disk is over and to put the other disk in when you do you are greeted by the new disk number and a repeat of the last few lines from the previous disk.

They really could have left those little extra features off the disks as they are more a distraction than they are a help.

May 012008
 

Self-publishing seems to be all the rage these days and I can see why. It is a great way to get your books, stories and ideas in front of people. Get yourself recognized and possibly picked up by a larger publishing company. My cousin is a children’s book author and she has an agent and [...]

Aug 182007
 

This is part two of my article on making money from your blog or website. In the first part we focused on writing. And not everyone likes to write or wants to write. For these people their are alternatives to the standard blog. You can try your hand at video blogs. Tape yourself and your [...]

May 052007
 

Isn’t Free Comic Book Day about free comics? And getting the comics to the kids? Get them hooked so they buy more comics? Then why, oh why, were the two shops I visited on Saturday May 5th only giving away one free comic then charging for any others you picked up? Granted the one shop [...]