Serpents! Serpents!

If you’ve ever read Alice in Wonderland, you might get that reference. If you haven’t, or haven’t in a while, allow me to explain.

To quote Jefferson Airplane (back before they were a Starship), one will make you larger, and one will make you small. Sides of the mushroom, that is. And one side of the mushroom made Alice’s neck stretch so long that her head poked up through the trees and disturbed a pigeon:

`Serpent!’ screamed the Pigeon.

`I’m NOT a serpent!’ said Alice indignantly. `Let me alone!’

`Serpent, I say again!’ repeated the Pigeon, but in a more subdued tone, and added with a kind of sob, `I’ve tried every way, and nothing seems to suit them!’

`I haven’t the least idea what you’re talking about,’ said Alice.

`I’ve tried the roots of trees, and I’ve tried banks, and I’ve tried hedges,’ the Pigeon went on, without attending to her; `but those serpents! There’s no pleasing them!’

Alice was more and more puzzled, but she thought there was no use in saying anything more till the Pigeon had finished.

`As if it wasn’t trouble enough hatching the eggs,’ said the Pigeon; `but I must be on the look-out for serpents night and day! Why, I haven’t had a wink of sleep these three weeks!’

`I’m very sorry you’ve been annoyed,’ said Alice, who was beginning to see its meaning.

`And just as I’d taken the highest tree in the wood,’ continued the Pigeon, raising its voice to a shriek, `and just as I was thinking I should be free of them at last, they must needs come wriggling down from the sky! Ugh, Serpent!’ (Alice in Wonderland, chapter 5)

Okay, so why am I talking about children’s literature and/or snakes?

I’m not. Not really, anyway. I’m talking about that favorite pastime of people on the internet everywhere — jumping to conclusions based on insufficient data.

About a week or so ago, the word went out among independent and small press authors, warning about a website called OMG, PIRATES!!!

Except they weren’t. I went to the site, took a look. Read the FAQ, checked out what they were about,and went “Oh. It’s a dating site for books.”  And before you ask, yes, Princes was up there.

The reason I’m not linking the site? It isn’t there any more. Because dozens of writers who did not bother to do their own research, or who did not understand how Amazon and Nook lending work, panicked. They swamped the hosting company for the website with DMCA notices, and the site was taken down.

Violet Blue talks more clearly than I can about this, in an article over on So I’m not really going in to what happened, or where the site came from, or who started it or why. Violet covers that nicely.

No, I’m on a bit of a rant here. Because one of my writing groups (a marketing group that I’m pretty sure is going to be my former writing group about twenty seconds after this goes live) was one of the sources of what Violet accurately calls a witch hunt.

When this broke, and people were panicking and yelling “OMG! Serpents! Pirates! Batten down the hatches and unleash the DMCA!” I pointed out that this was legal. That it was a legitimate use of Amazon and Nook lending capabilities, and it was in essence a lending library for ebooks. I wasn’t the only one pointing this out. We were ignored. We were told right off that we didn’t know what we were talking about. And one person even said that they wouldn’t want their books in a library anyway, because then no one would buy the book!

Right… that was the point when I stopped trying to make sense. I had better things to do than yell down a dry well.

When the Violet Blue article went live today, I posted it to the list. And the people who were the most vehement about how this was piracy?  Well, a couple of them are now asking what they can do to help get the site back up. And some of them… yeah…

Violet Blue has been dismissed as a shock-jock, as someone who is trying to get a rise out of people. She’s been denigrated (Little Violet? Really?), and her very accurate point that this has made indie and self-pub authors look bad is being dismissed out of hand. Even though there is a link to the Twitter thread on the subject, and the thread has been going on for days.

Look, people. I get it. Book piracy  on the internet is rampant. It costs us money. Yes, I know.

That doesn’t mean that just because it looks like a pirate, it IS. Do your research! Don’t trust that whoever is telling you that this is a pirate site know what they’re talking about!

After all, it might just be a kid who ate the wrong side of the mushroom

ETA: I just found out that the gentleman behind LendInk has been getting threatened. And so has his host company. THREATS???? For doing something that is perfectly legal? People, this is OBSCENE!

Posted by EASchechter in hypocrites-and-idiots-abound, someone-is-wrong-on-the-internet, this-is-why-we-can't-have-nice-things, 0 comments


Orson Scott Card is a fine writer. I used to be a big fan of his, one of the people in the “WHERE IS THE NEXT ALVIN MAKER BOOK???” camp (and then he wrote it, and I wish he’d waited a little longer. But that is neither here nor there…)

Used to be. That’s the operative phrase.

These days, I wouldn’t buy an Orson Scott Card book if you held a gun to my head. Because I won’t put my coin in the pocket of a rampant homophobic who has gone on the record as saying that homosexuals should not have equal rights, and that homosexual acts should be  criminalized. Not only that, he has advocated overthrowing the government  of any nation (including the US!) that grants homosexuals equal rights, or that does not criminalize homosexual acts.

So I suppose it should come as no surprise that Card’s latest work is violently homophobic. What is that work, I hear you ask? Why,  a retelling of Hamlet, of course.  No, I’m not linking to the book. I will, however, link to the review.

Now, Mr. Alexander (the reviewer), says everything I would want to say, and says it far better than I could. To be honest, right now, I’m more at the stage of sputter…sputter… whiskey  tango FOXTROT???

And my reaction isn’t because Card wrote this. Anyone who is following along and playing Homophobic Bingo: the Home Game just maxed out their score. This is no surprise.

The surprise is that Subterranean Press published it. Subterranean is a boutique press — usually, they publish collectables and limited editions. The only reason I can think of that they would publish a piece of hateful dreck like this is that they KNOW there is a cash cow here. Card’s followers in the Mormon Church and the National Organization of Marriage will buy this book. Die-hard fans who don’t care that the man is a homophobic ass will buy this book. And the shit-storm that is going to arise on the blog-o-sphere because of the message in this book is going to fuel those sales.

But really, Subterranean, is that how you want to make your money? Really?

Posted by EASchechter, 3 comments

School of Creative Writing. Is it a Scam?

It has been brought to my attention that one of my blog posts (one that I have since deleted) was copied whole cloth onto another website, along with a falsified Gravatar that made it look as if I had posted it myself. I have filed a DMCA notice with their hosting company, and the offending page has been removed. However, my name is still listed as being a writer connected with this site.

This is false.

I have no connection with the School of Creative Writing.  I have not submitted my writing to them, not have I ever posted any of my writing on their site. I am in no way affiliated with this so-called school. And quite frankly, I would be very suspicious of any creative writing school that resorts to stealing copy.

Posted by EASchechter in a-writers-life-is-never-dull, hypocrites-and-idiots-abound, someone-is-wrong-on-the-internet, 0 comments

>Who exactly is the enemy here?

>I posted to Facebook the other day about Spirit Day. And a friend (Friend A) decided that my Facebook was the place to vent his rage at what he sees as an attack by Christianity on homosexuals. Another friend (Friend B) pointed out to him that he was painting Christianity with a very wide brush and that not all Christians were like that. I told Friend A that he needed to soapbox in his own Facebook, not in mine.

Friend A proceeded to tell me off, and then tell Friend B that yes, ALL Christians were TEH EVIL!!! At that point, I told Friend A that we were done, and he was not allowed to insult my friends. And I unfriended him.

He then sent me a message telling me that I was being unsupportive. 

Um…. no. I ripped him a new one, pointed out that he was acting like the hate-mongers who condemn all Muslims for the crimes of a few, and then asked him if he would like it if all SCA members were condemned for the acts of the idiot child molester up in PA.

His response? My choice, and if I chose to SUPPORT THE ENEMY, then he didn’t want anything to do with me.

I held back from telling him to grow the fuck up. Maybe I should have. But he’s been blocked now, and apparently, I’m now THE ENEMY.

Later, I’ll probably look at this and laugh my ass off. Right now, I’m too pissed. I’m gonna go write a fight scene now and try to cool off.

Posted by EASchechter in facebook, someone-is-wrong-on-the-internet, 0 comments

>Silver Lining

>I suppose a good thing that comes out of Elizabeth Moon’s screed is that it saves me a boatload of money. Now I don’t have to buy any of her books.

Honestly, you’d expect one of the luminaries of SFF to not have her head so far up her ass she can count her own back teeth…

Posted by EASchechter in bigotry, someone-is-wrong-on-the-internet, 0 comments