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review 2015-12-25 00:22
The Android's Dream (audiobook) by John Scalzi, narrated by Wil Wheaton
The Android's Dream - John Scalzi,Wil Wheaton

I should have reviewed this right after I finished listening to it, but I just wanted to move on to something else. My memories of certain details may be a bit fuzzy, but I'll do the best I can.

The story: A human diplomat figures out how to use his own farts to get revenge against the Nidu diplomat who played a part in his father's death. The incident results in both diplomats' deaths and might lead to war, unless Earth's government is able to locate a breed of sheep known as “Android's Dream” and present it to the Nidu for use in their upcoming coronation ceremony. Unfortunately, someone's been killing off every Android's Dream sheep in existence. Harry Creek, a war hero and brilliant hacker, will have to push his skills to the limit in order to locate the last remaining suitable specimen and save Earth.

I got this during an Audible sale because Wil Wheaton's narration in the excerpt seemed pretty good, and because I enjoyed Scalzi's Lock In. Lock In felt fast-paced despite its massive infodumps, and even though its characters didn't really grab me, it made up for that by being a lot of fun. I was expecting more of the same from The Android's Dream, and I was looking forward to the AI mentioned in the description.

A good chunk of the beginning was basically an elaborate fart joke. It was totally juvenile, and I felt a little embarrassed about laughing, but I did laugh. I settled down for what I figured would be a humorous but forgettable story. What I got instead was a forgettable slog up to a part that pissed me off to the point that, if this had been the first thing by Scalzi I'd ever read/listened to, I might never have picked up one of his works again. Instead of quitting, like I kind of wanted to do, I kept slogging until I finally made it to the end, by which time my anger had cooled.

Lock In had a problem with infodumps, but for some reason I didn't mind them in that book. In this one, I did. It felt like the sections on Nidu politics, the Church of the Evolved Lamb, and more went on and on, and I often had trouble staying interested. It helped that Wheaton's voice was nice to listen to, but I eventually realized that one of the drawbacks to Wheaton's narration was that he seemed to only have maybe four or five distinct character voices in his repertoire, and there were way more than four or five characters with speaking parts. Scalzi's writing didn't help much: Creek and Robin, a pet shop owner Creek found himself having to protect, tended to have the exact same snarky tone.

What transformed this book from mediocre to something worse was what Scalzi did with Robin, who, if I remember correctly, was the only confirmed female character with dialogue (there was one character whose gender was never identified). I'm going to have to enter spoiler territory to properly write about this.

Okay, so Creek got word that the last remaining Android's Dream specimen could be found at Robin's pet shop. He thought that the sheep was one of the animals for sale at the store, but he misunderstood. In reality, Robin was the sheep, or at least as close to being one as anyone was going to be able to get. You see, she was adopted. Her biological mother was a lab creation, a sheep-human hybrid so deformed she couldn't even walk. She and the other animal-human hybrids were created so that wealthy and influential people could rape them. The person who created the hybrids tweaked the sheep-human hybrid so that she could get pregnant and planned to use the pregnancy as blackmail material. However, things went wrong and Robin was born, a healthy human-looking girl who happened to have 18% sheep DNA (all in places that had no effect on her physical appearance and little-to-no effect on anything else).

I'm honestly not sure whether this was all supposed to be considered darkly humorous or completely horrifying. I, personally, considered it horrifying. I was fine with the giant fart joke, locust-like alien babies, and the weird cult filled with a bunch of people trying to see if fake prophecies could become real. Bestiality-as-backstory went too far for me.

(spoiler show)

Robin got crapped on in this book. There are those who would probably disagree with me. After all, she was technically the most important character, and by the end of the story she was briefly the richest and most powerful person on two planets. However, not only did she have a horrifying backstory, she was also a completely worthless character. Creek and Brian, the AI Creek created using a copy of his long-dead friend Brian's personality and memories (or something), did the bulk of the work, and Robin was just there. She wasn't even able to help herself when she decided that she didn't actually want all the things that had just fallen into her lap. Once again, it was Creek to the rescue.

I managed to listen to the whole book, and now I've finally reviewed it. Hurrah. A note to myself, in case I ever get the urge to give it another try, maybe see if it's better in print than in audio: don't do it. Remember the bestiality. Remember the loyal pet dog that was killed and then shot in the head in front of its owner. The AI was not worth it and mostly just felt like a guy who could do amazing stuff with computers and didn't happen to have a body. You're better off reading something else.


Rating Note:


I had a tough time deciding how to rate this. It felt like a 3-star and 1-star book had been stitched together, with the bulk of it leaning more towards 3 stars. However, as I wrote this review, all the distaste I felt for Robin's backstory and the way she was handled in general came welling back up.


(Original review posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.)

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review 2014-08-04 14:14
The Golden Ass: Or Metamorphoses by Lucius Apuleius
The Golden Ass: Or Metamorphoses (Penguin Classics) - Apuleius,E.J. Kenney

Bestiality. Kidnapping. Mugging. Ye olde carjacking. Burglary. Assault. Murder. Female paedophiles. Incest. Male rape. Adultery. Animal cruelty. Serial killers in the making. Poisonings.Homosexual priest gangbangs. Shapeshifting. Gods and goddesses. The Seven Deadly Sins. Evil mother-in-laws. Drama. Comedy. Tragedy. Adventure. Romance. Horror. Urban legends. Stories within stories. Inspiration for that Hannibal episode where a person was sewn into a dead horse’s belly.



What doesn’t The Golden Ass have?


Continue reading 

Source: literaryames.wordpress.com/2014/08/04/the-golden-ass-or-metamorphoses-by-lucius-apuleius
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url 2013-10-16 18:13
Is Censorship Contagious?

About ebook retailers taking down erotic self-published books for the inclusion of rape, bestiality and incest. Why this has happened, why only self-pubbed books, why people want to read controversial subjects, and the laws of supply and demand.


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text 2013-09-04 20:33


Q. What do you get when you mix pedophilia, bestiality, and necrophilia?

A. Your average Young Adult Paranormal Romance…


Too dirty of a joke?

Well, you should’ve heard the original!


All jokes aside….


Let’s be serious!

Werewolves are sexy!

And I have no problem with necrophilia as long as the corpse is a vampire

But I do have a problem with is feeling like a pedophile for swooning over some 15 to 16 year old KID!

And here’s where the whole “point” of this post comes in!

I want to start a petition!


For Cassie Clare, and all other authors alike to make their future characters of legal age! 18 and older!

We (their fan base) are aging and we don’t want to read about some 16 year old kid accomplishing more in life then we ever will!

       If you believe in this petition… feel free to leave your name below… (I’ll be sure to add it to the list)

I’ll go first 

  1. The Book Obsessed Loser




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review 2012-08-05 00:00
Bestiality: An Historical, Medical, Legal and Literary Study - Gaston DuBois-Desaulle, A.F.N. (Translator) Not sure what to expect, I read this book because I saw it in a list from a New England Sex Clinic. Intrigued, I went to see if my library owned a copy. Colour me shocked when I found it available for lending. I'm sure the librarians handling this were thinking, what is going on. At the same time I requested two other BDSM books and another bestiality book. Either I'm really trying to get me freak on or I'm doing research. They will never know.

This book is a translation and it was interesting. From a historical aspect, bestiality is mostly chronicled through laws and religion. Basically, we are inferring that humans committed acts of bestiality because there were laws against it. If we go by our 21st century litigious society, specifically in the States, we can assume that the laws were created because someone was caught doing it. Why else would a law be put into place? It's an interesting hypothesis which I can agree to, but that is only because of my own personal reference and experience with how laws are created in the States.

I've also learned that specific ethnicity were accused of both sodomy and bestiality as a way of their life. Voltaire (whom I've never really liked) passionately hated the Jewish and accused them of all sorts of unnatural laying with beasts. It's a bit odd but what it does, is shows how a person can be so bias.

The book also covered the inquisition and witches. Witches were specifically accused of laying with goats and other animals which were really the Devil incarnate. Interesting piece of common knowledge - Devil's semen is cold. That is how they knew the animal was possessed. I don't even know what to say about this tidbit.

What I found interesting from a legal perspective was that sodomy and bestiality were often times considered one and the same. They were used interchangeably. And apparently only homosexual men committed sodomy and under law, they were fully punished. It's quite the witch hunt.

From a medical perspective, it just went weird. The book analyzes three different medical conditions which would cause a person commit these "unnatural acts".

1. Peripheral neuroses
2. Spinal neuroses
3. Cerebral neuroses (p. 138)

These last are manifested by:

A. Paradoxia, or the sexual instinct appearing outside the limits of normal sexual life.
B. Anesthesia, or absence of sexual instinct
C. Hyperesthesia, or increasing of the sexual instinct
D. Paresthesia, or perversion of sexual instinct. This last division alone should hold us since it unites under its label:

1. Cruel and bloody love
2. Anthropophagy
3. Active and passive flagellation
4. Penchant for an inanimate object
5. Exhibitionism
6. Necrophilia
7. Contrary sexual instinct
8. and finally Bestiality.

All I know is that cases in the book reviewed people who had an overwhelming desire to fuck an animal. And they were cruel too. Rabbits, chickens, cats were killed during the rectal copulation. It's a travesty to abuse an animal in this manner. In the "dark ages" people who have committed this crime were tortured and burned with the animal the violated. How is this fair to the violated animal?

The really bizarre part of this book is in the literature section. I had no idea there were so many books in the late 1800s and early 1900s about women and apes. Or what we may now classify as gorillas. Apparently, there are numerous (fictional) accounts of negresses laying with the big apes in the jungle. They would go into deal how the apes with mate with the women and treat them better than human males. It's all a bit bizarre. The fact that they wrote as if it were truth rather than fiction is stranger. Then again, I started thinking about all the paranormal shifter books we have now. Perhaps, following Jungian philosophy, we have a collective unconsciousness which desires this illicit joining between man and beast. Why else are there so many shifter books and lately, some of the shifters are having sex in their shifted form. What is this allure? Is it to bring us all back down to an animalistic level? I'm not sure. I just know that this act is something which causes many people to squirm - whether in desire or disgust.

This book is a fascinating history lesson and a bit thought provoking. The material at times is a bit dry. Of course, this is a translation, so perhaps in original French, it's better.
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