Friday, November 30, 2012

Bow Chica Wow No: Universal sues over Fifty Shades porn

Apparently not all is right in Fiftyville, as Universal has their knickers in a twist over a porn version of Fifty Shades of Grey entitled Fifty Shades of Grey: A XXX adaptation. I know, creative title, right? My first thought upon hearing this was that Universal needs to lighten up since a porn adaptation of the title is inevitable and from some angles, porn is pretty much the only way you can have a true adaptation of the books without the MPAA going insane.

It's fairly normal for the adult film industry to create versions of mainstream things, normally based off of TV shows and movies but occasionally dabbles in other popular things. They usually slap a "pardody" label on the title and insert a few lame jokes at the expense of the original idea, which allows them to skate by as a parody. It's something that isn't always liked, but is generally ignored and tolerated by the owners of the original product/idea.

The difference with this one? Evidently they decided against the parody angle and straight up adapted book one and parts of book two of the Fifty Shades trilogy. If this is the case then Universal does have the right to sue the company that made the film and keep it off of the shelves. Part of me still thinks it's silly since it won't harm the sales of the movie if it ever actually gets made (which I don't think it will), but another part of me knows that you can't really slide on stuff like this because in the end it's still a blatant copyright violation.

All I know is that the clicking you hear is probably the sound of a million keyboards looking around to see if there is a leaked copy of the movie on the internet. It looks like it was available for a brief period of time, but has been pulled off the market.

Further reading:
*'Fifty Shades of Grey' Porn Adaptation Sued by Universal

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

And you thought your review was bad?

Hi all!

I couldn't help but post what I think has to be one of the most negatively reviewed books out there:

I came across these Amazon reviews while going about my merry way, looking for things to report on. I'll just say that this has to be one of the nastiest, yet funniest, negative reviews I've ever read. It's so over the top that you honestly can't say that it's really offensive. At least not when you compare it to reviews for books such as the Maradonia series by Gloria Tesch. But then again, that's a different story since she managed to somehow get the attention of ED.

Reviews for this book on Amazon have nuggets such as:

"Sweet mother of pearl! Cynthia Soroka has created a masterpiece. This book should be purchased by every aspiring author for inspiration. If (...)this can get published, then so should just about any author who can string a couple words together."

"This book was so bad, the bookstore owner tried to talk me out of buying it!"

"The characters are such hollow cliches that you will laugh at their illogical (and pointless) predicaments, and cry when you realize that you still have more pages to wade through. You will find yourself unable to choose between reading more of the horrid, soap opera dialogue and being punched in the stomach repeatedly by a random thug."

All culminating in the following review:

"this is the worst book i have EVER tried to read. bar none, totaly the worst. i would rather roll over tiny bits of broken glass, then jump into a vat of lemon juice than ever have to even look at the cover of this book ever again. i can only guess the ONE 'fan' must have read a different book. 

random S&M bits, bad soap opera dialog, senseless plot changes (when you could find the plot), zero demensioned characters, over simplistic explainations....GRRRR.... i am so stunned at how bad this was, i can't even spell right!! neither could the author, nor can she write anything beyond an 8th grade level, as far as i could tell. this book begs the question, was it blackmail or what, that got this drivel published?

 i have half a mind to email the writer so i can demand back the half an hour of my life i gave to this 'book'! i can't even bring myself to take this back to the used shop i bought this in, i just threw it away. i didn't want anyone to see that i had actually spent money on it...did i mention this book was horrid? yes, i thought so....."

I actually feel a little sorry for the author, if she read any of it. It's all valid criticism but ouch. The reviews on Goodreads aren't much better.  So next time you think that your negative review is bad, just remember that that person probably isn't stating that they would rather roll in glass and bathe in lemon juice than to read the book again.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Get it free: Kitty Glitter

Hi everyone! I'm following up the previous post with a blog entry that's entirely Kitty Glitter themed. Yesterday I posted a link to her book The Color Purple 2, a timeless classic about unruly kitties and their owners. Today I'm going to bring you some of her work that you can currently get for free on Amazon.

Yes, that's right. The fabulous Miss Glitter is taking on the true spirit of Thanksgiving and giving us some of her sweat, blood, and tears for absolutely nothing. Right now you can get the following:

Thrill to the latest adventures of Meow Solo and friends. For a side bonus, Zooey Deschanel dies in the first page after getting pistol whipped by Meow Solo. Then everyone runs off to have an orgy. 

There's a reason that Bill Murray said that cats and dogs playing together was a sign of the End of Days. Now you can see why, in this taunt thriller about a dog that just won't let go of the cat it desires.

Ashton Kutcher's Space-Sex Rampage

When one Hollywood star goes to far and begins to fuck everything to death, only one being can stand in his way: Meow Solo.


On a more sedate side note, I'd like to encourage everyone to check her stuff out not only because Glitter is incredibly funny, but to show encouragement for her right now. She recently discovered that she's HIV positive, so go make her feel better by talking about and getting her books!!

They published what? 5 of the WTF-iest books on Amazon

Ah Amazon. Home to some of the most strange things that the Internet can hold. Here are some of the strangest books I could find on Amazon. Note that these aren't necessarily the strangest, just the strangest I've found so far. Unsurprisingly, many of these are self-published, not that there's anything wrong with that.

Remember Wesley Crusher: Teenage F*ck Machine? Yep. We all do. Now the same person who brought you that timeless class also brings you a sequel to The Color Purple. I honestly don't think I need to write any more than that.

Yes, that is a book written by a licensed physician about masturbating your way to success. While I'm certain that the book isn't as simple as "whip out your wangdoodles and shake it all over your boss/client's vicious knid", but I will say that if masturbation really had a secret technique that unlocked success, then we'd have a lot more Donald Trump type people out there.
I'm fully aware that most everyone out there has seen this book, but it still takes one aback that someone actually took the time to not only create recipes that used semen, but to (presumably) perfect them. I suppose asking "do you swallow" in Photenhauer's house is an easily answered question.

What makes this book so particularly WTF? It's not the book as much as it's the claims behind the book. According to the author, the material in this book is so outrageous, so controversial, that the government has been following him to various websites and ensuring that it would be removed somehow. Apparently Wikipedia is part of the conspiracy, making up rules just to ensure that his "truthful" tome would remain obscure. Considering that this is the same website that has an article for alien abduction insurance, I can't help but think that this is less a conspiracy and more that the article was so crazy that even Wikipedia cried uncle. Tin foil hats are not included with this book.

Ever wonder what you should put hydrogen peroxide on? Ever wonder what you shouldn't? Luckily for you and I, Lisa Barnes is here to tell us. Some of the information does seem to be interesting, such as the ability to use HP to clean contact lenses, much of this falls under the "well duh" category. I think most of us ladies are pretty aware that you shouldn't use HP to clean your hooha.

This one is just because of its name. No matter how great the book is, most of us will never get past the title.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Fanfiction for sale: SOLD!

Hi everyone!

I was just informed of two upcoming fanfics that will be getting an official publication. I think this makes it the fourth book in the last year or so that has its roots as a fanfic of one work or another.

This brings up a question that really makes me wonder: is it really right to profit off of a work that was originally based on characters another person wrote? My first reaction is that it's not right, that the characters are based off of someone else's creativity.

Fifty Shades of Grey is one example of a fanfic turned published work where you can see the book's roots as a Twilight fanfic. Ana is Bella, right down to the repetitive lip biting and several times during the story you can see where James drew heavily on the original Twilight series.

Then you have stuff like the upcoming book Beautiful Bastard, also a Twilight fanfic. (The other book, if you're curious, is a One Direction fanfic. Go figure.) I dug a little and found that the book will only have a fraction of the original fanfic in it, the rest of it being rewritten for publication. Of course, James made those same claims, that she rewrote parts of Fifty Shades, only for comparisons to show that the only big change she made was to rename all of the characters. Does rewriting a fanfic make it OK?

Part of me thinks that it's a little unethical to publish fanfiction and get paid for it. Then I did a little research and realized that honestly, it's not uncommon at all to see people base fictional works off of other people's creations. A look at the Wikipedia page for stuff based on Alice in Wonderland shows a plethora of works where people have directly based their works on the various characters. Heck, there's even an adult movie based on Alice, called Alice in Wonderland: An X-rated Musical Fantasy. It's a little hypocritical to say that some artist in Japan can create an entire franchise around Alice dating various characters in the Caroll books, but James can't create three books worth of original fanfiction about Twilight characters and publish it herself.

I do realize that Alice in Wonderland is in the public domain and Twilight is not, but a lot of the arguments about fanfic-ing for profit tend to go beyond copyright laws themselves and usually center around whether or not it's really right for someone to write a work based on someone else's characters, regardless of legality. I'm still mostly unsure as to where I fall on this. Obviously the legal standpoint is shaky on either side.

Here's how the law pretty much stands:

You can write whatever you want about works that are in the public domain as long as you credit the original creator somewhere in the work and do not try to pass off the basic designs as entirely your own stuff. You can pretty much even publish the original work as long as you don't try to say that you wrote Pride and Prejudice. This is why you see so many copies of public domain works from different publishers and companies. It's when you get into specific translations of works from another language or Ye Olde English to modern phrases that copyrights can be claimed. When it comes to stuff that's currently under copyright, you can do what you want when you have permission from the author/owner to do it.

But when you don't? That's when it gets shaky. You can write that you were "inspired by" the story and say that it influenced you, but that your story is your own. Or you can say that everything is a coincidence, as is the case with Jude Law's Repo Men and Repo!: The Genetic Opera. (But to take a look at the two plots, many of us are calling BS on those claims.) If you did base your story off of someone else's copyrighted work, you can publish the work legally if you change enough of the stuff to where you say that everything is entirely your own. This is where it gets really difficult to win a lawsuit if you're the one that wrote the original work that the fanfic is based on. You not only have to prove that the original work was based on your own stuff, but that the characters and situations are so close to your own that it's a copyright violation and not just the other author pulling in common tropes and situations. Most times it's just not worth it in the long run to bring to court, partially because it's so hard to prove copyright violations, partially because it costs so much, and partially because nobody comes out of it looking good.

But the concerns over whether or not it's legally right to profit off of other people's works does not answer whether or not it's morally right. It's easy to say "copyrighted", but like I said above- people often end up arguing over reasons that don't entirely have a lot to do with copyright and everything to do with creativity. There's no easy answer here, that's for certain.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Paula Broadwell: And you thought YOU were an author behaving badly?

Hey all, long time no write, I know...

I just had to stop in to comment on the whole Paula Broadwell fiasco. For those new to the situation, Paula Broadwell is a writer living out of North Carolina that has written a biograpy on a guy that a lot of us probably have never heard of. Which is probably how he sort of wants it.

Now I bet you're asking "but why is she an author behaving badly"? Did she flame a reviewer? Post five hundred five star reviews for her own work? Post just as many negative reviews for her competition?

Nope, she held an affair with David Petraeus, the director of the CIA. Which lead to him eventually resigning from his post due to the fallout.

That, my dear readers, is an author behaving badly. Yes, I'm fully aware that she didn't hold Petraeus down and force herself on him and I'm equally sure that he has to have been fairly charming and offered a level of excitement that her husband and regular life didn't offer. I mean, hello- a spy and a position of power? James Bond fantasy, anyone? But at some point you have to just shake your head and acknowledge an author behaving badly when you see one.

Further reading:

*Woman Linked to Petraeus Is a West Point Graduate and Lifelong High Achiever