On page three hundred and twenty two, your book contains the vile prurient words ‘In the privacy of her bedroom, with the curtains drawn and shutters closed Purity Smith stole a glance at her well-turned ankle.’ For this disgusting, lascivious piece of prose you are henceforth cast out of literary society and your works all to be destroyed. Such obscenity can never be tolerated.
By Order: The Special Prosecutor The State Council of Public Morality.
Yes. Well the sight of a lady’s ankle was once considered rather risqué. And for some reason a pretty one was described as ‘well-turned’ – Which puts a whole new twist on turning your ankle — And history’s worm turns too.
Of course, in reality, people went one with much the same conduct as today. It was just done in ‘secret’ and of course that was much better.
Well, according to some people anyway.
It was a bit like the log-rolling that went on in the SFWA Nebula nominations. Susie, Fred, Joe and Mary would nominate Pat. And then Fred, Mary, Joe, and Pat would nominate Susie. And in another category, oddly, Susie, Fred, Joe and Pat would nominate Mary… and so on. It was a bad joke, a mockery of the legitimacy of the Award. You could see all the nominators back in those days, and it was painfully obvious. A fair number of people – me among them – complained. The then president, John Scalzi, promised to do something about it. And he was as good as his word: he made the names of the nominators secret.
Strangely, the same clique of log-rollers went right on getting nominated. I’m sure it was pure chance that saw those same names on the Hugo noms too. Looking at the ‘me too’ coming out of Hollywood – which will, inevitably affect the writing world – I see the same sort of thing happening. Of course it won’t actually stop the casting couch, or actors and actresses giving sexual favors for roles. That would be hard and take real change. It’ll just hide it, make as if it isn’t happening.
I see a new ‘puritanism’ coming charging down the track at them, and probably us.
Shrug. You know mostly we just ride with the tide of the world. Contrary to the myth, authors rarely make popular opinion. At best we shape it a little. Populism works because… well, because it is popular. The Zeitgeist moves and so must we – or not (that is one’s own choice after all. It can destroy your sales, or, contrariwise, if you’re one of a few standing against the tide, give you enough readers to be able to).
I’ve managed to always write more or less within my principles and I’m not exactly a graphic pron writer, but I’m quite happy for it to float the boats of others. Puritanism will put some challenges up there, especially for the authors who rely heavily on sex or the shock value of sex. Fortunately, this too will change as it always does. My grand-kids will probably be able to enjoy the backswing.
On a separate tack – interesting post here from David Gaughran. It seems that scammers have been screwing with Amazon and that Amazon has come down hard… on innocent people doing promotions – which is rough if that is part of your business model, as it should be. It makes for uncertain ground. I’m honestly not sure what the final outcome is going to be, but it is certainly something that should make every author work on having their own mailing list, and look toward the possibility of selling their own work directly from that before you put it up on Amazon, and well before you go KU. I got an advert from Jetpack about taking payments for physical goods etc. for my WordPress Website, but selling e-books still seems too hard. Still, in small volumes I imagine manually sending an .epub file to individual customers would be a pain in the nether region, but possible. Anyone having better systems to suggest – I’m sure I wouldn’t be the only one pleased to hear about it.
Anyway, forgive this being bit short today, but I managed to hurt myself today (just a stupid muscle injury that will get better quite soon) and am taking it to bed.