Welcome to Biting-Edge, a blog shared by authors and vampire experts, Mario Acevedo and Jeanne Stein. We’ll cover urban fantasy, vampires, pop culture, and all things Joss Whedon. Unlike other fantasy blogs, we don’t insist on body cavity searches (unless you ask politely). Snarkiness is most welcome...though we won't promise not to bite back!

Thursday, November 11, 2010
  Where Does the Time GO????
It's Thursday, and while I usually have my blog for the week finished and ready to post by this time, last week just slipped away.

There was one story that I'm sure you've all heard by now-- Amazon and the book, The Pedophile's Guide to Love and Pleasure. Because Shelf Awareness does such a good job of reporting on these things, I'm going to reprint their article here in its entirety. I've included the links if you want to pursue it further.

Kindle Book Stirs Controversy

To ban or not to ban. Online reaction was swift and angry yesterday when a new self-published Kindle book, The Pedophile's Guide to Love and Pleasure by Phillip Greaves, was offered for sale at Amazon.com. Customers piled up hundreds of one-star reviews and called for Amazon to remove the title. The backlash was strong on Twitter and Facebook as well, with calls for an Amazon boycott until the company stops selling the title. 

TechCrunch reported that Amazon responded to the outcry by saying the company "believes it is censorship not to sell certain books simply because we or others believe their message is objectionable. Amazon does not support or promote hatred or criminal acts, however, we do support the right of every individual to make their own purchasing decisions." By late Wednesday, however, Amazon had apparently removed the book from its website.

The Associated Press (via NPR) noted that this "isn't the first time Amazon has come under attack for selling objectionable content in its store. In 2002, the United States Justice Foundation, a conservative group, threatened to sue Amazon for selling Understanding Loved Boys and Boylovers. That title is still available through Amazon. In 2009, Amazon stopped selling RapeLay, a first-person video game in which the protagonist stalks and then rapes a mother and her daughters, after it was widely condemned in the media and by various interest groups."

CBS News reported that Chris Finan, president of the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression, "said that Amazon has the right under the First Amendment to sell any book that is not child pornography or legally obscene. Finan said Greaves' book doesn't amount to either because it does not include illustrations."

The question of censorship was also a substantial part of the online discussion. In a post titled "Crossing a Line: Is Banning Books Ever OK?" a Book Smugglers blogger observed: "My first reaction was that of revulsion and I not only RT the link with a 'I have no words' attached to it, I also wrote and I admit it, without thinking about what I was saying: Seriously Amazon? YOU NEED TO REMOVE THIS FROM YOUR SITE. Which is of course an attempt at book banning. Needless to say, madness ensued and we got hundreds of @ replies who shared the feelings of disgust and who retweeted the request to pull the book off Amazon.

"There were also quite a few replies who questioned the request on the grounds that censorship should never be encouraged even if the content of a book is disgusting and reprehensible. The ensuing conversation was not only interesting but also eye opening. Because I have always, always seen myself as someone who would never EVER condone book banning or censorship on any grounds, there I was facing a very uncomfortable truth about myself: a line I never ever thought I would cross and yet I did, in a heartbeat."

So, here's my question to you--is banning books ever acceptable? What think you?

# # # #

And because I think we need a palate cleanser after that subject, here's a trailer for those of you who did not catch the new Sherlock on Masterpiece Mystery. I certainly hope they get those new episodes up fast-- talk about leaving us in a cliff hanger!!!!

This guy is geeting a lot of publicity. Did you see the interview with him? Gave me the creeps. He is one sick puppy and probably is in the closet on what either happened to him as a child or he has done to other children (or wants to).
I agree, Lizzie, the ICK factor is huge.

It's like freedom of speech is there , but it doesn't give you the right to yell 'Fire' in a crowded theater when there isn't one.
I know the ACLU will come out swinging on this one and it sickens me that this creepazoid is getting this publicity.

Sherlock Holmes on PBS, I've seen one episode and have this past Sunday's on DVR. I'll watch it after I finish the episode of Hardcover Mystery I'm watching now. I am glad that PBS will show the episodes online, but I will be getting the DVD when it's on sale. It's a really well done show.
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