Piracy: an ongoing problem

Stephen L. Wilson brings attention to another piracy site that is blatantly offering free downloads of books.

There is a Facebook page for this site, so I ask you all to report it on that particular social network.


“I am getting the word out – your work as an author may be compromised. There is a website and facebook site which operates much like Napster did with music. They are blatantly giving copyrighted works away free, without the author knowing. I have posted this to my blog, and have been diligently getting word out through facebook. This is a serious threat to indie authors. Please take the time to have a look. All information is in my blog post. Thank you, and have a nice day.


Stephen L. Wilson


via ATTENTION: Authors, Publishers and Friends.

Meet the Author: Australian Geoff Brown, and his memoir, Hammered. – IAN WALKLEY » IAN WALKLEY

Welcome Geoff, would you like to tell us a little about your background?

I grew up in a working-class suburb west of Melbourne, Victoria. I’m an only child, and made some bad choices early on in life. I spent over twenty years as a drug user, and only just got clean in my late thirties. I’ve always read a lot, and written as well, although I didn’t take writing seriously until I’d cleaned up my act. I started networking online in the horror genre (a genre I’ve always loved), and quickly made a few friends among the horror community in the US.

I joined the Australian Horror Writers Association (AHWA) in 2009, as I wanted to network more in Australia and saw the group as a great opportunity. Social-media sites gave me the chance to interact with writers, editors and publishers all over, and I quickly made many friends in the writing industry. In 2010, I became the vice-president of the AHWA when the committee change-over occurred. This networking was instrumental in my rise as a writer. In late 2011, I was asked to take over as the president of the AHWA, and this has helped even more. I now deal with people in the major publishing houses around the world, as well as world-renowned writers.

via Meet the Author: Australian Geoff Brown, and his memoir, Hammered. – IAN WALKLEY » IAN WALKLEY.

Female ‘Vampire’ Had Brick Jammed In Mouth

The remains of a female “vampire”, buried with a brick jammed between her jaws, have been found in Venice, Italian researchers say.

Female 'Vampire' Had Brick Jammed In Mouth

The brick is thought to have been used to prevent the woman feeding on victims of a plague which swept through the city in the 16th Century.

Experts said the discovery supported the medieval belief that vampires were behind the spread of plagues like the Black Death.

The skeleton was unearthed in a mass grave from the Venetian plague of 1576 – in which the artist Titian died – on the small island of Lazzaretto Nuovo in the Venice lagoon.

via Female ‘Vampire’ Had Brick Jammed In Mouth.

This is how racism takes root…

By now surely everyone knows the case of the eight men convicted of picking vulnerable underage girls off the streets, then plying them with drink and drugs before having sex with them. A shocking story. But maybe you haven’t heard. Because these sex assaults did not take place in Rochdale, where a similar story led the news for days in May, but in Derby earlier this month. Fifteen girls aged 13 to 15, many of them in care, were preyed on by the men. And though they were not working as a gang, their methods were similar – often targeting children in care and luring them with, among other things, cuddly toys. But this time, of the eight predators, seven were white, not Asian. And the story made barely a ripple in the national media.

Of the daily papers, only the Guardian and the Times reported it. There was no commentary anywhere on how these crimes shine a light on British culture, or how middle-aged white men have to confront the deep flaws in their religious and ethnic identity. Yet that’s exactly what played out following the conviction in May of the “Asian sex gang” in Rochdale, which made the front page of every national newspaper. Though analysis of the case focused on how big a factor was race, religion and culture, the unreported story is of how politicians and the media have created a new racial scapegoat. In fact, if anyone wants to study how racism begins, and creeps into the consciousness of an entire nation, they need look no further.

via This is how racism takes root | Joseph Harker | Comment is free | The Guardian.

Stolen Poem: Too Soon Old

The following poem is currently doing the rounds of social networking sites with the title of “Crabby Old Man” and was supposedly written by a dying old man in a nursing home. After a little investigation I learned that the poem was lifted from the real author’s web site and circulated with a heart warming but false story.

It’s a beautiful poem, but the real author–Dave Griffith–needs to be attributed.

What do you see nurses? What do you see?
What are you thinking, when you’re looking at me?
A crabby old man,  not very wise,
Uncertain of habit, with faraway eyes?

Who dribbles his food,  and makes no reply
When you say in a loud voice, ‘I do wish you’d try!’
Who seems not to notice, the things that you do.
And forever is losing a sock or shoe?

Who, resisting or not, lets you do as you will,
With bathing and feeding, the long day to fill?
Is that what you’re thinking?  Is that what you see?
Then open your eyes, nurse, you’re not looking at me.

I’ll tell you who I am, as I sit here so still,
As I do at your bidding,  as I eat at your will
I’m a small child of ten with a father and mother,
Brothers and sisters who love one another.

A young boy of sixteen with wings on his feet.
Dreaming that soon now a lover he’ll meet.
A groom soon at twenty, my heart gives a leap.
Remembering the vows that I promised to keep.

At twenty-five, now I have young of my own,
Who need me to guide and a secure happy home.
A man of thirty, my young now grown fast,
Bound to each other with ties that should last.

At Forty, my young sons, have grown and are gone,
But my woman’s beside me to see I don’t mourn.
At Fifty, once more, babies play ’round my knee,
Again, we know children, my loved one and me.

Dark days are upon me, my wife is now dead.
I look at the future, I shudder with dread.
For my young are all rearing young of their own.
And I think of the years, and the love that I’ve known.

I’m now an old man, and nature is cruel.
‘Tis jest to make old age look like a fool.
The body, it crumbles, grace and vigor depart.
There is now a stone  where I once had a heart.

But inside this old carcass, a young guy still dwells,
And now and again, my battered heart swells
And now and again  I remember the pain.
And I’m loving and living life over again.

I think of the years, all too few gone too fast.
And accept the stark fact that nothing can last.
So open your eyes, people, open and see..
Not a crabby old man; look closer… see… ME!!

via Tennessee Granddaddy: Too Soon Old.

Writing Australia

By providing excellent professional development opportunities across the country and a voice for writers, Writing Australia is building the sense of a national writing community.

Writing Australia’s mission is to promote and develop Australia’s literature sector through brokering a range of national programs and partnerships for the benefit of Australian writers.

via Writing Australia.

DoJ rejects B&N/Authors Guild objections to settlement | The Bookseller

The Department of Justice has rejected objections raised by the public to its proposed settlement with HarperCollins, Hachette and Simon & Schuster over alleged e-book pricing collusion and the agency model. Bookseller Barnes & Noble, American author association the Authors Guild and a group of US independent publishers including Grove/Atlantic and Perseus had been among those to lodge complaints.

The settlement with the three publishers, agreed in April, enjoined the publishers to terminate the Apple agency agreements, not to enter into any contracts that prevent retailers from setting their own e-book prices for a two-year period, and not to “enter into any agreement with an e-book retailer relating to the sale of e-books that contains a price Most Favoured Nation”.

Macmillan, Penguin and Apple rejected the terms of the settlement and face trial on 3rd June 2013.

The DOJ received 868 public comments to the proposed settlement, with nearly 70 in favour of the settlement and the remainder opposing it. “Most of these came from publishers, authors, agents and bookstores that acknowledged an interest in higher retail e-book prices,” the DoJ noted.

via DoJ rejects B&N/Authors Guild objections to settlement | The Bookseller.