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RubyTombstone

Bloody Shambles

Currently reading

Pale Fire: A Poem in Four Cantos by John Shade
Vladimir Nabokov, Brian Boyd
Pale Fire
Vladimir Nabokov
Lords of Chaos: The Bloody Rise of the Satanic Metal Underground New Edition
Michael Moynihan, Didrik Søderlind
Under Stones
Bob Franklin
The Erotic Potential of My Wife
David Foenkinos, Yasmine Gaspard
A Corner of White
Jaclyn Moriarty
Winter's Bone
Daniel Woodrell
Progress: 99 %
Fragile Things: Short Fictions and Wonders
Neil Gaiman
The Beetle
Richard Marsh
Wreck This Journal
Keri Smith

A couple of "short-n-creepies" via pseudopod..

Listened to this wonderful short horror/sci-fi story, "The Chair" by Leah Thomas the other day. Very creepy. Very cool. 

http://pseudopod.org/2013/10/11/pseudopod-355-the-chair/

 

Also listened to, "The Euology of Darien Meek" by Niccolo Skill, which is fantastic. Very Lovecraft, very southern gothic. Made me laugh out loud in places. It's wonderfully read.

http://pseudopod.org/2013/10/11/pseudopod-355-the-chair/

 

Enjoy! If you haven't listened to Pseudopod before, I highly recommend it. Alasdair's closing monologue always floors me. If you can spare $2 a month to subscribe, it couldn't go to a better cause.

GoodReads locks out users, Dismisses as "known bug".
GoodReads locks out users, Dismisses as "known bug".

For anyone else who was kicked off GoodReads 9 hours ago, I finally have a response from their "support" team. Are you kidding me? It's a known bug, so thanks for letting us know? I've been completely unable to load the log-in page, never mind actually log in, and they don't even give an estimated turnaround time? 

 

I've been hearing people around the place complaining about similar issues for the past week. I myself have two accounts, neither of which can access GR.

Not the way I'd have liked to end it on GoodReads.

But, it's true. I do aim to misbehave.

 

Blogpost by Ceridwen.

You guys...

...erm..... did we break GoodReads?

ruh-roh
ruh-roh

Site-wide outage or massive conspiracy?

Did anyone else just find themselves booted out of GR? Or am I special?

If I Were God, I'd Say Sorry'

If I Were God, I'd Say Sorry' - Robert Kirkwood I've been thinking this through, and the thing is, I can't see any benefit to GRAmazon from driving away the particular reviewers they have targeted. I just can't come up with a likely motivation that benefits their bottom line.

These are the possible motives that I can come up with, but none of them benefit Amazon as far as I can see.

1) The "trouble-makers" shape up or ship out. Perhaps this is what they initially thought would happen when they threatened reviewers. That they would either start "behaving" or if not, Amazon would be better off without them. They may have been culling the "dead wood". If they honestly thought this, they would have to have been incredibly naive. Of course those people were going to kick back. And of course it was going to be epic. Just look at the popularity rankings of some of the people on that list. Surely they took that into account?

2) They want GR to be left with Amazon-style reviews which are all gushy unicorns and cupcakes, and which nobody trusts. Perhaps they think that the reviewers they have targeted aren't their key demographic, and aren't driving book sales. This may be true, but there are plenty of popular reviewers who ARE in that demographic and who seem to be walking now in protest.

3) They want to deliberately shut down GR, or more likely merge it into Amazon. Again, the Amazon site doesn't have the trusting relationships that drive book recommendations (& hence sales) like GR does. They would have a service which makes it easier for people to buy books they "like" on GR, but nobody driving anybody to "like" them. Perhaps they think their key demographic will buy whatever Amazon tells them to. Perhaps they are betting on docile consumerism. That's quite the gamble - plus they would be missing a trick in not keeping around the people who create the word of mouth "buzz". There's no actual benefit to this scenario. What do they gain by losing those reviewers?

Can anyone else think of what their plan might have been? Hard as I try, I just can't see this mess as anything other than a bungle on the part of GRAmazon. I think it's a poorly considered bunch of ad hoc decisions which have gotten away from them. If so, all they can do is try to salvage what they can. The question is, how? Delete accounts or say sorry?

Yes, I Farted

Yes, I Farted - G.R. McGoodreader OMG OMG OMG i love this author!

What's amazing about this book is how succinctly it makes a point about taking responsibility for one's own putrid errors. The whole smelly episode does dissipate more quickly when someone takes responsibility. Otherwise it's just a never ending round of finger-pointing. "He who smelled it dealt it" and "OMG that's disgusting. You. Are. SO gross!" accomplishes nothing.

But back to the GR-approved portion of the review..
OMG i can't believe she did that! i cant wait til the next in the series rofl
The Great Goodreads Censorship Debacle - G.R. McGoodreader I laughed, I cried, I swore, I shook violently from a frustration-induced seizure.
The Hydra (Monsters of Mythology) - Bernard Evslin hydra

Manny Raynor's original post has been deleted by GoodReads. Lucky I kept a copy! I have reprinted it here with permission from the original author.

HYDRA by Manny
In the shower just now, I suddenly had a Eureka moment. The aspect of this current censorship war that's been upsetting us most is the feeling of powerlessless. Goodreads can arbitrarily change the rules on us, and they hardly even bother to respond when we complain. But we are not powerless. There are twenty million of us, and only a few dozen of them. We just need to get a little more organized, and we can easily resist.

So here's one concrete way to do it, based on the legend of Hercules. You will recall that Hercules had a difficult time against the Lernean Hydra; every time he cut off one of its heads, ten more grew back. We can do the same thing if we adopt the following plan:

1. Back up all your reviews, so that you have a copy of everything you have posted.

2. If you think that one of your reviews has been unreasonably deleted by Goodreads, repost it with an image of the Hydra at the top.

3. If you see someone else posting a Hydra review, make a copy of it and post it yourself.

We can improve this basic scheme with a little thought; for example, it would be better to have a place where we keep HTML marked-up source of reviews, so that they can immediately be reposted with the same formatting, and we need a plan for duplicating deleted shelves. But we can sort that out later. Without getting too bogged down in the details, I'm sure you see what will happen. The net result of Goodreads unreasonably deleting a review will be that it immediately comes back in many different places.

People who know their Greek mythology will be aware that Hercules did in fact defeat the Hydra, and Goodreads can use the same method if they dare; they can close down the account of anyone who participates in the scheme. That will work, but I am not sure that anything less drastic will be effective. I think Goodreads will be reluctant to escalate to this level. A large proportion of the most active reviewers are now part of the protest movement, and they would be losing much of the content that makes the site valuable. Even more to the point, the media have already started to get interested (maybe you saw the article in the Washington Post). They would love the story, and it would create a mountain of bad publicity for Goodreads and Amazon.

I'd say the odds are heavily in our favor. Why don't we try it? I promise now to respond to any Hydra calls.
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Non Censure

Non Censure - Ute Lemper hydra

Reposted with permission from Clouds who recently had this review and nine others deleted.

-Ruby


------------------------------------------
Hello there,

Your review of Non Censure was recently flagged by Goodreads members as potentially off-topic. As the review is not about the book, it has been removed from the site. You can find the text of the review attached for your personal records.

Additionally, your reviews of the following books were recently brought to our attention:

Moomins Cookbook
Quotations from Chairman Mao Tsetung
All Flesh is Grass
The 5th Wave
The Void
An Uncommon Whore
Unannounced
Logic: A Very Short Introduction

Please note that any reviews you post must contain your own original content (see our review guidelines). Any reviews that are copy-pasted duplicates of other reviews will be removed. Given this, the reviews in question have been deleted. We have attached copies for your personal records.

Please note that if you continue to violate our guidelines, your account may come under review for removal.

Sincerely,
The Goodreads Team

Additionally, your review of The Hydra was also removed.

Sincerely,
The Goodreads Team

------------------

When Goodreads announced their policy change I was annoyed - somewhat because I felt this represented a step towards censorship - but mostly because it was handled in such an unprofessional, cack-handed way.

But we've moved on a step since then. We've moved past the original issue with reviewers attacking authors in their book reviews. Goodreads is now specifically, systematically removing those reviews written in protest of the initial policy change. They are deleting the voice of the opposition.

I have never written a review attacking an author - it's just not my thing, and I wasn't in the firing line - but I was annoyed enough to join the protest movement. And now they've started deleting protest reviews, which puts me and a lot of good, thoughtful reviewers, right in the middle of the censor-sniper's sights. That makes it a lot more personal. That makes me a lot more angry.

I'm now amping up my involvement in the protest movement - this morning I posted 7 Hydra reviews and will be looking at what else I can do when I get home after work (this is my lunch break). They've re-drawn the battle lines, so I'm painting a target on my chest.

I'm a sci-fi reviewer - I've never caused any problems with anyone on this site - it's YOUR actions which have instigated this situation Goodreads - and I'm not leaving until you back down or ban me.

------------------

1.) Posting this protest review resulted in it being deleted.
2.) Reposting will apparently get my account 'put under review for removal'.
3.) I'd like to state for anyone 'reviewing' this that I fully intend to keep reposting every review I hear about that's been deleted - because this censorship policy is WRONG.
4) If the only response to that, you're capable of considering, is removing my account entirely, rather than engaging with your outraged users in meaningful discussion, than just hit the big delete button right now...

Plastic (Materials In Australia)

Plastic (Materials In Australia) - David Llewellyn I don't really think it's fair of me to review this, given that it's a children's science text book and I'm a forty year old woman reading it for a challenge. But, hey! I did read it, and it was okay.

The challenge, by the way, was to read something with a Dewey Decimal System number of 666. Sorted.
Pale Fire: A Poem in Four Cantos by John Shade - Vladimir Nabokov, Brian Boyd When I commit to reading something, I don't fuck around. Let's DO THIS..Such a pity I had to buy the novel separately. I understand why it's done this way, but realistically, you're not going to read this material without having read the novel.

The n-Body Problem

The n-Body Problem - Tony Burgess There's a NEW Tony Burgess book coming out? WHY WAS I NOT INFORMED?! I'm off to scour the ends of the earth to find a copy. I will not rest until this has been done..
Sassafrass, Cypress & Indigo - Ntozake Shange I picked this book up as part of a Treasure Hunt challenge, to fit the category of "Titles containing any shade of purple". This is exactly what I was hoping to get from the challenge - the discovery of a great book that I otherwise would never have chosen for myself.SC&I tells the story of three African-American sisters from the deep South, with the legacy of slavery still very much present in everything that surrounds them. Set in the 60s-80s, the story follows each sister as they grow from girls to women, their doting (if pragmatic) mother the glue that binds them. Ugh. See THIS is why I would never have picked the book up.I'll try again. SC&I is beautifully, whimsically written, containing snippets of recipes, song lyrics and spells. The book follows three highly spiritual and spirited African-American sisters, as they grow from girls to women, finding their sexuality and their place in the world post-slavery.... Blurgh. I think that might actually be worse.Whichever way I try to describe this book, it sounds hopelessly cheesy, hopelessly middle-aged-womany. But it isn't. Or it is, but that's okay. It's so easy to fall under this book's spell.Tell you what - why don't you just read it? It's very short, very easy reading. It's light, despite the subject matter - oppression, institutional racism, cultural re-awakening.... sigh. Just read it. You'll like it.

Tenth of December: Stories

Tenth of December: Stories - George Saunders AUDIOBOOK REVIEW: I'm loathe to review this book, as I listened to the audio over a period of a few weeks, while cooking. The problem with this for me is that all the stories are read in the same voice. George Saunders reads them all in a very similar way, making it really difficult to get a sense of the individual voices across stories, and even within them. I had a lot of trouble figuring out which story it was on, and who was speaking at any one time. Some of the stories seem as if they could be related, which added to my confusion. Since I was listening in snippets while cooking, it would take me a while each time to remember which story it was up to.I do suspect that if I were to read this on the page, I would have a better sense of each character's unique voice and a better sense of the overall structure of the book and the stories within it. I also think I would have picked up more detail this way. So I'm rating it 4 stars for now based on these assumptions, with the intention to buy the book and read it properly.