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text 2015-03-16 04:57
[Reblog] Who is Excessica? And why are they caving in to bullies?

OA Comment: Wow. So many people who need to fuck right off. Particularly Anne Rice's unhinged ass. I don't know what Excessica is either but I'll be sure never to give them any money. Good for the authors who pulled their books. 



The digest version, I think:


Jenny Trout speaks her mind about a racist/rapist book.  Jenny Trout encourages readers to let booksellers know how vile the book is and encourage them not to sell it.


Anne Rice puts pressure on Excessica, who is apparently (I didn't do any real research; it's late and I'm tired) a publisher, not to publish Jenny Trout's book in a boxed set, Bad Boy Next Door.


Excessica caves to Anne Rice's bullying and pulls Jenny Trout's book from the boxed set.


Jenny Trout's fellow authors stand up to Anne Rice's bullying and pull their own books from the boxed set.


I don't know who or what Excessica is, but I don't like them and I won't support them.


They're spineless worms.

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text 2015-02-09 01:09
*That* Fanfic and Why It's Okay to Still Be Pissed

With the imminent release of the movie adaptation of that Twilight fan fiction people will not shut up about it and it seems like people are suddenly falling all over themselves to defend it and its writer. 'It's not her fault if people can't see it's abusive.' 'I don't like it but I can see what others see in it.' 'Abuse is NBD, people, jeez!' 'People just hate anything that elevates female sexuality!' Oh, God, you guys, can we please not?


You know, if this were an actual book I'd maybe feel that way as well. Hell, Twilight was a steaming pile of abusive crap and I was still able to find the fun in it. This, however, is a different story. There's nothing fun about this fic. There's nothing fun about the content or what it's done in the publishing industry.


1. This is fan fiction, not a book. One that is tied heavily to the source material and takes directly from it in many places. Really. Please don't lose sight of that fact.


Long list of links about this thing, but there is a whole section for you to explore the similarities and outright instances of directly taking from the source text.


This is not okay and should not be okay with anyone. Especially real authors who spend their time writing their own characters and stories. The slew of fanfics picked up by publishers in the wake of the success of this thing is not okay. Just think about your book or the books of writers who slogged their way through their own work sitting in slush piles on editors' desks or getting rejection letters while those editors are trolling fanfiction.net and AO3 for stories written from other people's work.


Even if you're going to forgive everything else wrong with this fanfic, if you are on board with how unethical and wrong this is please don't shrug it off.


2. This fic is not a romance. It's just not.


Also, the "hero" of Fifty Shades of Grey does something at the end that is not redeemable by romance novel standards. I won't spoil the story for the three people who haven't read it yet, but bottom line: Not a romance novel, not a romance hero. And that's not because of his BDSM tendencies -- you'll see why if you keep reading. –from here


And while there are a lot of books in the romance genre labeled as romance that are not romances this one is by far the worst because (well, it's not a book) it is so popular and so many people who don't read, and especially don't read the genre, think they are well versed on it because of this fic. Don't we have enough to deal with as romance readers without having people think this is what we read? Or having a bunch of people tell us what the genre is or isn't or should be based on this one fic? We should really all be completely insulted by that.


3. The general insult to BDSM. I was sick of BDSM before this thing got popular. Like with this fic a lot of times it's thrown in as something that has to be corrected for the characters to find their HEA. Or, it's poorly researched and poorly done. So the first insult is using BDSM to make money without having any respect for it. This fic takes it much further in that every practitioner of BDSM in it is a child molester, or mentally unstable, or deeply psychologically damaged. Then they must be fixed. Insult number two. There is only the mildest of kink. Like I can imagine people reading it going, "Wait, that's BDSM? Honey, did you know what we've been doing is BDSM?!" Insult number three. All the fans of this drivel who refuse to bother to find out what BDSM actually is but will attempt to shout down actual practitioners that this IS BDSM and 'what do you know?!' Insult number four. Then there is all the abuse. They were never within the confines of a safe, consensual, and sane BDSM relationship. The story just uses that term to cover up what he was doing as okay. It's not. Insult number five.


4. Speaking of abuse. There's liking something problematic and then there's trying to insist that it's not problematic, or even worse in this case, that it's okay because it's something that you don't understand. And another reason why it's so heinous to call this a romance. We're supposed to be moving away from abuse and rape as romance. You can dig a man who rapes a woman, tortures her without permission as punishment, and leaves bite marks and bruises all over her chest to prevent her from showing skin, but dear God, don't sully an entire book genre or lifestyle with it. It's funny, I remember all the people defending the abuse in Twilight, particularly because it was more insidious and thought maybe the next thing with more overt abuse would get people to understand. And now there's this fic and people are going out of their way to say it's okay. When, exactly, will it not be okay? Yeah, I guess I'm an "asshole" because I think we should be doing better as a society and a genre.


5. People can have problems with this fic without it being a ding on female sexuality. Hell, I don't want my sexuality tied to it in any way shape or form. Do you? By all means, if you see someone applying the "all" label to the genre or to women because of this fic then take them down. (Oh, and that mommyporn thing. That's just insulting to moms. No moms I know like this crap. And, shocker, moms can like well written erotica and actual visual porn, too!) But specific criticism of this fic and stories like it isn't inherently anti-female.


6. ELJ's behavior in fandom and as a *gag* popular "author". Just, ugh.


7. "New adult". Enough said.


8. General disgust for something so poorly written being so popular is totally okay, too. It is objectively bad on every level and we should definitely not shrug that off as okay either. Do we really want people thinking that producing something this bad is fine? Is that really the direction in which we want literature and publishing to go?


I'm not sure why there is so much positively toward this thing happening now, but this is definitely not one of those times where it's deserved. It especially perplexes me seeing it from real authors. All P2P and P2Pers should be ostracized from the real book community. Or maybe it's too much to think that there should be consequences for people's actions. Of course it is. I mean, how many books have I read that should have made the bajillions this woman has made from cobbling together other people's work and calling it her own? Anyway. I'm not going to take the finger-wagging. If you want to make all of this perfectly okay, that's your business but I am certainly not going to follow and I hope I'm not alone in that.

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text 2014-07-08 01:45
Dear Simon & Schuster . . .

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text 2014-06-15 19:45
Why Certain Female M/M Authors Should Take Several Seats

Apparently I do female relationships wrong because my default with other women isn't "bitchy" and hateful. Thank God I'm not a lesbian otherwise every relationship would be defined that way. At least according to several female M/M authors in this AAR piece, "Women Writing M/M Romance".


It's hard to even know where to begin with this one. So, how about here: 

“In fact, in many ways, I feel like a man,” Josephine [Myles] stated in her British accent. This realization makes it easier for her to bypass all the traditional tropes found in mainstream romances.

Uhm, what? 

That doesn't even, nope, moving on . . .


“Romance itself is the emotional side of literature,” Anne [Tenino] explained. “That’s what we’re bringing to gay fiction.”

And gay men themselves could never achieve this, right? All hail the saviours of M/M books!

Oh, except wait, most female writers of M/M fetishize gay men and their relationships. They relate more through sex than real emotion and seem like cardboard stock more than humans you want to root for, which is why I moved away from reading M/M romance. It got entirely too frustrating for me.


“There’s an equality at the beginning of the relationship that’s a very powerful dynamic to explore,” [Z. A. Maxfield] explained. 

No, there's not. Gay men are still people who bring different strengths and weaknesses to their relationships. If she approaches every story that way how utterly boring her books must be. But let's say that's true. Why would it not be true of F/F romance? Too many lady parts? 


If Amy Lane's commenting on reviews, and ridiculous defense of P2P didn't get you to stop reading and supporting her, her comments in this article surely should.


Amy began by saying that “love is redemptive” and if any group needs the redemptive qualities of love, it’s gay men.

Just them? For the record, gay men aren't straight women's playthings. Unfortunately, she gets infinitely worse.


“I’m tired of women’s nasty, mean games, and don’t want to write about them,” Amy added.

Are you fucking kidding me with this? Every woman in the world, Amy? 


Mary Calmes then chimes in with this gem,


“I don’t want to write about bitchy women.”

Then don't?

But no, she sounds like another who thinks this of all women so any female she'd write would act that way. So, never mind.


It sounds to me like neither of them have had any meaningful female relationships if this is what they think of their own gender, which is why they CAN'T write women, not won't. Good luck with your internal misogyny, ladies. I hope it's serving you well in the M/M sub-genre.


By the way, if you feel you have to insult something or everything else to justify what you read/write, you need to look at your life, look at your choices.




*edited to add missing word that apparently just disappeared into the ether. 

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review 2014-05-21 15:26
Book Review: Learning With A Man by Albert Nothlit
Learning With A Man - Albert Nothlit

The blurb sounded good - high school senior coming of age, with insinuated bullying and issues with a best friend - so I requested this from the publisher.


Yeah, it sounded good.


Then I read the book. My reaction to this book is based on my own hang-ups so your mileage may vary. 


What I expected - a hurt/comfort story about two young men figuring things out while coming out, with a bit of angst and drama but a sweet romance.


What I got - virgin sex with porn star qualities, with a bit of plot thrown in. Ray has been ignoring Jeff for months, even though they used to be best friends. Jeff gets bullied at school because he's out. We learn that Ray is two years older than Jeff, and supposedly the assistant coach, so the idea seems to be that Ray works for the school, yet is seen canoodling with students? 


Neither Ray nor Jeff have ever been with another man. Neither has experienced giving or getting blowjobs, buttsex or rimming. Yet, both perform these virginal acts much like porn stars. The sex scenes read as if the author was giving a blow-by-blow (pun intended) account of his favorite porn movie. 


Jeff getting his first blowjob:


"I held Ray's head with my hands, grabbing his hair, and began thrusting into his open and willing mouth."


Then on the next page, Ray's sucking cock like a pro, all the way to the base, and Jeff's gagging Ray with it, but doesn't care, even though he knows that this is Ray's first time giving head. With a grandiose finish all over Ray's face, because that's what virgins do.  


I expected a lot more awkward fumbling from these two, considering that neither had any experience with any of this. I was actually looking forward to that awkwardness, because of the blurb. 


And I was only halfway through the book. 


Two pages later, I was confronted with a " huge man cock". As I wasn't thinking of poultry, I didn't need the reminder that this particular cock referred to Ray's appendage rather than a rooster. Unless this was supposed to be a reminder that Ray's dick is bigger than Jeff's because of their two year age difference? 


Moving on...


At about 90%, Ray and Jeff engage in a first time rimming session. Old pro that Jeff is (it's his first time, y'all), he refers to it as Ray "servicing his hole". 


Thankfully, I was almost done at that point and just read the remaining pages to see where these two would end up. 


The dialogue was mostly juvenile, as is to be expected from their ages, so I was okay with that. The plot had a few holes, such as Ray being out of school and working for the school, yet sitting in the cafeteria with Jeff's classmates and also carrying on a beard relationship with a girl in Jeff's class. Hello, impropriety. That's a huge no-no, and would get Ray fired before he could blink. Even fictional characters should be subject to the law, to make your book realistic as a contemporary romance. 


There were some moments that were endearing, like when Ray and Jeff have a come-to-Jesus discussion, or when Ray does that heroic thing toward the end that serves as a catalyst for the two to finally figure things out. 


The idea for this book, the plot bunny, was great. Fear of coming out and teenage angst were what I was looking for, and if I deduct the virgin/porn-star sexing from the writing, this was a good book. There were plot points that made perfect sense, and I could understand how Jeff felt at the repeated betrayals, and how he would finally draw a line and say enough is enough. I could've done without the explicit, detailed account of their bedroom adventures. 



** I received a free copy of this book from the publisher. A positive review was not promised in return. **





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