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Long time, no see...

Hey, all:

I've come to the realization that I really fucking miss you guys and your virtual presence. I miss your thoughts and your writings. I'm going to make an effort in the new year to be more present here and to interact with people in a more meaningful way. Hope you all are well, that you will forgive my prolonged absence, and that you will have patience with me as I get caught up with your lives.


Letter from NYPL staffer in Iran

I generally shy away from posting on political issues, but this was distributed to my division at work today from a former co-worker of mine, sent to him from another NYPL employee. It is an intense and rather terrifying read, but in a moment of flag-waving patriotism, I'm compelled to share. I may not agree with the way that previous administrations have run this country, but at least I can voice my outrage without being gunned down like a dog in the street; and while the concept of journalistic objectivity might not carry much water with some (ok, *many*) of our media outlets, at least I have free access to independent sources and a great plurality of voices. Anyway... off my soapbox now. Make of this what you will.

Feel free to repost (including Andy Wagstaff's preface, please).

Letter from NYPL staffer in IranCollapse )
The following message was reposted from here:

If you write books with homosexual characters, read books with homosexual characters, please look at this:


Mark, Erastes, and Alex (among others) had their Amazon sales rankings removed over the last few days for The Filly, Transgressions and False Colours respectively. On enquiring about this, Mark was told the following:

In consideration of our entire customer base, we exclude "adult" material from appearing in some searches and best seller lists. Since these lists are generated using sales ranks, adult materials must also be excluded from that feature.

Hence, if you have further questions, kindly write back to us.

Best regards,

Ashlyn D
Member Services
Amazon.com Advantage

Please note that just before this, Erastes' Transgressions and Alex's False Colours were topping out the rankings. Also note that "The Filly" is a YA Books, and therefore I would suggest one of the more important books to have out there for kids questioning their identity, and Transgressions and False Colours are being shelved with the Romance section of Barnes and Noble. Though as Mark points out, that is of no fucking importance because this is homophobic bias pure and simple.

I have no idea what to do about this except spread the message. If anyone has any ideas on what to do, tell me. Because I am not letting this lie. Amazon are clearly happy to take the money, but not happy to give these books the recognition they rightly deserve.

EDIT: List of books affected here: http://community.livejournal.com/meta_writer/11992.html

There is a petition circulating HERE... feel free to sign it and pass it along.

As active slash readers/writers, supporters of equality in the arts and in daily life...if you dislike censorship, or think gay people are, well, people, please consider following this link to Amazon's support page (you will need to log in):


and notify them that you will not be giving them your business, as they are engaging in discriminatory practices. There is an excellent letter here for an example.

I spend a significant sum on Amazon every year, have sent friends Amazon gift certificates, and have used it as a portal to sell my old books and CDs. I was even considering buying a Kindle! No more. At least, not until they change these discriminatory practices. This is truly disappointing. For those that shrug their shoulders and think "Meh, it's not as if they're refusing to sell these books-- they're still technically available..." consider this: many people use Amazon as their own personal copy of Books In Print, and operate under the assumption that if it doesn't come up in an Amazon search, it doesn't exist. This sort of insidious action has the end result of making these books invisible unless you search for them specifically by name. And we're not just talking about explicit sexual content, either. I mean, really-- they've stripped Bastard Out of Carolina of it's sales rank due to it's "Adult" content, but not Alan Moore's Lost Girls... Are you fucking kidding me?!? Seriously?!

Ugh. Off to go do some writing of my own now.



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