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Wednesday News: Weird Tales weird shifts on Revealing Eden; Newsweek doesn’t...

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Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She self publishes NA and contemporaries (and publishes with Berkley and Montlake) and spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com


  1. ChibiNeko
    Aug 22, 2012 @ 05:56:56

    I have to admit that I’m disappointed that Weird Tales made the decision to pull the book based upon what they’d read on the internet rather than on a personal decision made after reading at least part of the book and looking at Foyt’s promotions and comments about the book. They didn’t read even one page of the book at all. It’d be all fine and well if they were just a reviewer, but they’re a magazine. They should have used better judgement to begin with, but at the very least they should read part of the book before pulling any plans to publish the excerpt.

    I’ve been thinking about it and it kind of makes it an empty “victory” against the book because ultimately it feels like they did it more because they were afraid of bad press and backlash rather than any true personal feelings about the book. I’d much rather that they have published part of Save the Pearls and let the readers make up their own minds or for the magazine to have refused to publish the chapter because they personally thought that the book was objectionable. This? This is just them trying to avoid a bigger confrontation and I actually have less respect for them because they folded under pressure. I don’t agree with the initial decision to publish a chapter from the book and I absolutely disagree with Kaye’s comments in defense of the book, but I think that if they were going to do this then they should have put their money where their mouth is, so to speak.

  2. ChibiNeko
    Aug 22, 2012 @ 06:05:29

    @ChibiNeko: Not to mention that you have to raise an eyebrow at the fact that they were warned by another author months ago that publishing this chapter would be a very poorly received move, yet they did it anyway. Weird Tales asserts that Kaye hadn’t seen any of the publicity for the book, which is even more incredulous because it’s kind of their job to research the books they’re talking about or promoting.

  3. KT Grant
    Aug 22, 2012 @ 06:12:59

    I finally read the first 2 books in Rice’s Sleeping Beauty series. I want to rock in a corner clutching my hoo haa and now I look at my cat and I cringe. I think I’ve been scarred. Can you believe it has almost been 30 years since the trilogy was published?

  4. ChibiNeko
    Aug 22, 2012 @ 06:18:51

    @KT Grant: Has it really been that long? Wow… I remember having the same reaction when I read the Sleeping Beauty books. It’s not that BDSM frightened me as much as I kept thinking “but if they do it that much then it’d hurt A LOT” and “doesn’t anyone have plain sex in this world or does everyone get so used to this that it’s all freaky deeky BDSM sex 24/7? How boring.”

  5. KT Grant
    Aug 22, 2012 @ 06:23:45


    And on the covers it says, if you love Fifty Shades, you’ll love these books. After reading the first 2, I cringed. These books are not for me at all, although I would love to talk to those readers who read the trilogy and enjoyed them to see why.

    Most of the action was paddling, diddling and most of the men getting their jollies off while the women underwent a great deal of sexual torture with no satisfaction.

    Ever see the movie Caligula? Sleeping Beauty trilogy is that movie in book form.

  6. Helen
    Aug 22, 2012 @ 07:23:51

    Re the article on e-readers and eye strain-Does this go for the screens with no back light like Nook simple touch (as opposed to the tablet like readers)? I never seem to experience eye strain with my Nook but man stick me in front of a computer for a few hours and OUCH!

  7. Christine M.
    Aug 22, 2012 @ 07:39:39

    @KT Grant: I remember it hit all the right buttons when I was in my late teens (I was lending/buying erotica novels and shot stories by the dozens at the time, too) . Haven’t picked it up in over 10 years though, so I wonder how it’d hold up.

  8. Sunita
    Aug 22, 2012 @ 08:51:17

    @Christine M.: My take? It doesn’t. I read the first book years and years ago in a kind of horrified fascination. I thought the second book was just bad and I never made it past the first couple of chapters of the third. Aside from all the misogyny and WTFery, Beauty is one of the most uninteresting and annoying heroines I’ve come across in any genre. I revisited the first one a couple of years ago and without the novelty aspect it was even worse.

    I feel so bad for the readers and authors who were invested in Weird Tales. It’s so distressing to see something you love destroyed like this.

  9. Meoskop
    Aug 22, 2012 @ 09:00:19

    Newsweek – at that, kids, is why I canceled my subscription shortly before they ran the famous “Is Obama the Antichrist?” article.

    Weird Tales – I support the co-owners statement and hope he can buy the editor out so the magazine has a chance.

    Beauty Trilogy – this was huge when it came out. Women reading it in airports. I should probably do a post on why BT was big enough to put Rosie O’Donnell in leather for the
    Exit To Eden adaptation. It’s not really about Beauty, this was a time of no easy access to M/M books for hetros, Beauty is the conduit to Mr Benson style reading for the straight crowd and it blew their minds. It was the big buzz, this BSDM stuff! The M/M stuff! I think the prevelance of erotica owes something to those books and their mainstream crossover.

  10. Hannah E.
    Aug 22, 2012 @ 09:37:13

    @Helen: I agree. I have never noticed any problem reading my Kindle, in part because I can always increase the text size if I need to. Paperbacks are much harder on my eyes, and of course, reading on the computer is the worst.

  11. Ellen
    Aug 22, 2012 @ 10:12:30

    In re fact checkers or lack thereof, could this also be a factor in rising plagiarism making it into such magazines so much more often lately (yes, anecdotal, I know)? But it seems a fact checker would be another set of eyes or even another intellect to pick up on something that seems oddly familiar that they might have seen in other earlier publications.
    Seems as if the publishing industry as a whole is making cuts that are detrimental across the board.

  12. Courtney Milan
    Aug 22, 2012 @ 10:46:53


    I think you’re giving Harlacher way too much credit. Last night, his responses to some of the comments were…completely, totally odd. I don’t know how else to describe it. Sarcastic, and making inappropriate “jokes” about the whole thing–claiming the website was hacked and they didn’t write the original post, and then saying, “No, that’s not true.” This morning, those comments appear to be scrubbed. Jeff VanderMeer’s description of the conversation that he and his wife had with Harlacher and Kaye about the book (here: makes me think that Harlacher is as much a part of the problem as Kaye.

  13. Sunita
    Aug 22, 2012 @ 11:09:37

    Following Courtney’s link sheds some interesting light on this mess. I knew Foyt was married to Henry Jaglom but I didn’t realize Harlacher and Kaye were film and theater types and so might have personal or professional connections. Now it makes more sense, although sense can’t be the right word to use here.

  14. hapax
    Aug 22, 2012 @ 14:05:12

    With regards to Rice’s Beauty Trilogy, I never found the appeal to be the characters or the sex — as a friend of mine put it, “These books are just about as erotic as taking Barbie and Ken’s clothes off and bashing them together.”

    But whatever Rice’s other faults as a writer, she is capable of a lyrical, baroque, surrealistic prose style that can entrap the unwary reader into a gilded world of fever-dreams; and the Roquelare books, despite (or perhaps because of) their paper-thin characters and bizarre scenarios, are perhaps the best examples of this.

  15. Estara
    Aug 22, 2012 @ 14:46:24

    E-readers and eye strain, my personal experience:

    I’ve been diagnosed with a genetic problem in my cornea since 2009 which really shut down my internet and reading habit for the first year. It’s gotten better since and since my main hobby is reading (audiobooks saved my brain at the time), I cast about for opportunities to read which wouldn’t increase my eye problems.
    Even now (using blue-filter monitor glasses increases my reading time in front of the LCD monitor without adverse effects) I can’t read the PC monitor screen as long as I used to without starting to suffer dry and red eye effect.

    But e-INK readers were just as strain-free to read as paper books AND the fact that I could increase the font size led to me being able to read them with no ill effect MUCH earlier than my paper books (I read romance and sf&f and those small-font epic fantasies really strain the eyes!).

    Which is the main reason I’m praying for the survival of the pure e-reader with eINK – although another one of course is the huge number of books I have to chose from whether at home or while travelling.

    TL, DR version: I believe that LCD screens with backlit monitors do indeed put more of a strain on the eye than reading a paper book does.

  16. Anne V
    Aug 22, 2012 @ 18:05:55

    I have early cataracts and monovision from a bad surgery. I have a lot of trouble with glare and night driving is dreadful and scary.

    eink readers have made an enormous difference in my reading life – I used to read paperbacks with a contact in one eye and reading glasses, and still the wee fonts were tiring. long documents on my computer were misery. Now, because I can resize the font and there is no glare and the screen is a consistent color, I can (and alas, I do) read for hours and hours and hours.

    based on the sample size of me, backlit LCD does indeed contribute to eyestrain.

  17. Meoskop
    Aug 22, 2012 @ 18:16:59

    @CourtneyMilan – yes. Way too kind. Hadn’t seen the comments or history, just the initial revocation. That link has some telling info that negates what appealed to me about his Fauxpology. I no longer find it sincere.

  18. Susan
    Aug 22, 2012 @ 18:49:42

    Everyone I know who has an e-ink e-reader says they can read at greater speed and for longer periods of time than when they read paper books. And, yeah, the Kindle DX w/ the BIG font means my ancient mother can read at all. Yay.

    But computer screens and backlit LCD readers? No way. I have both an iPad an a Fire and can do only a limited amount of reading on them before I feel as if my eyes are going to bleed. I use the tablets for “other things” and stick to a dedicated e-reader for just that purpose.

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