Talk to Me (9/29): Future Banned Books?

future-banned-books

I’ve spent this whole week talking about Banned Books of the Past and Present. But now I want to take some time to think about

Future Banned Books

I would absolutely love to think that at some point we’ll overcome this ridiculous idea that we should challenge or ban books and do away with it all together. But, humans as a whole aren’t the brightest of creatures. So, we know that isn’t going to happen any time soon. So, this post is going to be all about the reasons we might ban books in the future. Credit for this topic goes to Melanie Bernard who gave me the idea when I was banging my head against a wall.

Alternative Lifestyles

Our reasons for challenging or banning books tend to evolve as we evolve, though admittedly some traits stay the same. Social media has blossomed over the last ten years. This gives us a tendency towards ever-increasing transparency and exposure to other lifestyles and types of families.  There is a progression towards acceptance of other lifestyles/races/genders (Ye Olde Trump-et be d*mned). These issues are always going to be talked about in books. Are they going to be perceived differently?

By Rovena Rosa/Agência Brasil [CC BY 3.0 br (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/br/deed.en)], via Wikimedia Commons for Future Banned Books

By Rovena Rosa/Agência Brasil [CC BY 3.0 br], via Wikimedia Commons

Cyborgs/Robots/AI

 

The ever-boundary pushing technological advancements that bring us both closer together and further apart are sure to play a role in future fiction works. Are people one day going to find themselves speaking out against books that talk about humans and people who are partly made of robotic parts getting together?

What about Artificial Intelligence? As we move ever closer to a self-aware Artificial Intelligence being created, it’s going to become an issue that humanity takes sides on. Are we going to see a movement towards banned books in the future that involve AI?

Religion/Lack of

Photocredit: Wikimedia Commons

Photocredit: Wikimedia Commons

What about religion? This has been a hot button for many books being challenged or banned. Are banned future books going to include those with strong religious/anti-religious themes? More and more people are coming forward and openly identifying as atheist and/or agnostic. We’re banding together to create a force for good at the same time. Slowly, surely, people are beginning to wake up to the fact that atheists and agnostics are unique because we’re good because we choose to be good. We don’t kill in the name of some ‘god’. Atheists don’t try to force people to believe that our X is better than their X. Good deeds are done because this life is all we have, and people’s memories of us are our afterlife. We need to make those memories good. We’re decent and helpful towards our fellow humans we want to be. That’s it.

Close-Mindedness

As we’ve seen in recent weeks, there is an increasing trend towards diversity in our literature. Authors are getting bashed and mocked and such because they choose not to include diverse characters in their works.  People who are close minded are finding themselves on the receiving end of the finger-pointing and scorn because of their unwillingness to be open. Could we see a pendulum swing to where books may be banned because they feature characters who are NOT open-minded? Do you think there might ever be a point where heterosexuality, m/f marriages, and being white are looked upon  in books with disdain?

So, why do you think we’ll ban books in the future?

Talk to me!

 

 

Seed Me Review (Horror Thriller)

seed-meSEED ME WARNING: DO NOT CONSUME

If you’re reading this, then you did not take the above warning seriously. In that case, you’re probably as stupid as me. I’m Logan, by the way. I didn’t pay attention to any warning signs either. Being an unemployed deadbeat in Edmonton with no family and getting dumped by your girlfriend for her best friend can wear a guy down. All I had was my cokehead buddy, Skip, to cheer me up.

Surprisingly, my precautionary tale was not caused by either Skip or the drugs. Let’s just say a drunken make-out session with a pale girl by a dumpster, who was supposedly pronounced dead earlier in the evening, can leave you mentally jumbled up. A good motivator to figure this scenario out is having robed cultists stalk you, asking where the girl is.

Is this an ill twist of fate? Did I bring this on myself? Is there a reason behind my misfortune? Is the moral to not make out with spooky girls behind dumpsters? Hell if I know…


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The Origin of F.O.R.C.E. Review (Invasion Sci-Fi)

The Origin of F.O.R.C.E. The Origin of F.O.R.C.E. : The first scout ships of the Chrysallaman Empire made contact in 1947. Their mission was simple: find a suitable planet for colonization. Earth—HG-281—was the perfect target. Rich with land, minerals, and water, the blue planet could boast only of a primitive race of defenders known as Humans, bugs who could be easily squashed by the might of a single Chrysallaman’s mind. When one of the scout ships is unexpectedly brought down, the advance party is forced to return to their home planet 30 light-years away to report and regroup. In their wake, they left behind a broken ship, dead crew members, and a young alien boy who would grow to become one of Earth’s greatest assets—and her greatest ally.

The lizard-like aliens would be back, and in force. Mankind must prepare a strategy capable of defending against not only superior technology, but superior psychic ability and strength. It will take an elite group of military personnel, brilliant scientists, a sombrero-wearing alien, and another generation to plant the seeds that will grow into a World Wide Defense, the likes of which the Chrysallamans have never known. – Goodreads

 


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Do You Dare to Discuss Magonia?

magonia-discussion

Dare to Discuss Magonia?

Dare to Discuss #2

Bookbloggers, don’t you ever get tired of seemingly talking to air when you review books? Don’t you want interaction beyond “Yeah, I loved it” or “Hmph, I hated it it!”? Sometimes you want to dive into a book. To actually discuss it instead of just talk about it. That desire is how the decision came about to try out our hands at this, a ‘daring deliberation’ of the occasional book. Though we’ll only be featuring reviews from a few bloggers in the main body of the post, everyone is welcome to comment.

Rules for Participation:

It is okay to disagree. In fact, we welcome you to disagree with others. Give your opinion on the book. Talk about it! Just…be POLITE about it. The minute I see it getting out of hand, the ban hammer will come down with mighty vengeance. We don’t care if you’re 14 or 54, keep it polite or keep it shut.
Feel free to link to your own reviews of Ready Player One, but keep the discussion here please!

 

Just click on the biiiiiiiiig blue banner to get directed to the discussion, which is being hosted on Melanie Bernard’s site this month!

Or click here: https://mnbernardbooks.wordpress.com/2016/09/28/dare-to-discuss-magonia/

T5W: Badly Behaved Books (Naughty Sci-Fi Novels)

This Top 5 Wednesday post is supposed to be all about gateway books into your favorite genre. However, because it’s Banned Books Week, we’re going to do things a little different. The science fiction books on this list are very naughty. So naughty, in fact, that people have either challenged them, or outright succeeded in getting them banned in various places. I guess you could consider them your gateway into being a bookworm rebel.  Are you rebel enough to read some of these badly behaved books?

Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly book meme, done by most book bloggers and booktubers. It’s started out by Lainey, but is now hosted by Sam at Thoughts On Tomes. Here’s the Goodreads group if you want to join in!

Badly Behaved Books

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

brave-new-world Badly Behaved Books

Reasons: butts, boobs, racism, questioned/bashed religion, and sexual activities.

hitchhikers-guide-to-the-galaxy

Reasons: Bad language and questioned/bashed religion.

Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card

Enders Game 2

Reasons: Nekkid people! NEKKID PEOPLE! (For a further ranting on this, please see this post.)

Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut

slaughterhouse-five

Reasons: Dirty words. LOTS and lots of dirty words. Because we all know only uneducated heathens that are damned to the pits of hell let loose with a good f bomb every now and then.

The Giver by Lois Lowry

the-giver

Reasons: People doing naughty things, questioning/bashing religion, and obviously too mature for its age range.

So, what have we learned from this Top 5 Wednesday about Badly Behaved Books?

Well, we’ve primarily learned that a good bit of religious people absolutely can’t stand to have religion questioned (not all, though. Some of y’all are actually pretty cool.) That daring to not bow down at the feet of your continent’s primary divine being is a horrible, awful, no good, very bad thing. (Honestly, I don’t have much of a problem with religion itself. I have a problem with religious zealots who do stupid crap like try to get books banned because they don’t toe their particular line.)

We’ve also learned that dirty words are an absolute no-no! It doesn’t matter that little Johnny’s probably heard at least your basic 3 Staples of Cursing by the time he’s ten. Oh, no…  no chance of that. His mind has been untouched by the depravity of such words and it must stay that way!

(For the record: I have the mouth of a sailor, and have never restricted it around my daughter. She refuses to curse (not that I’ve ever tried to make her.) It cracks me up, especially since she knows I have no problem with her cursing as long as it’s used appropriate to her situation. So a stubbed toe that elicits a “D*mmit!” would be perfectly fine for me, but a casual “So this sonuva…” in conversation would not be.)

Have you ever read any of these badly behaved books?

 

 

Cover Reveal: Sorrow’s Edge by Danielle DeVor

All About Sorrow’s Edge

If you’ve been following my site for a while, you might remember that I (very stupidly) read the first book in The Marker Chronicles  (Sorrow’s Point) the night before Halloween. It succeeded in creeping me completely out, and I couldn’t go to sleep until I finished it. Because I HAD to get some resolution that didn’t involve possessed girl lurking in my mind.

You can find my review of Sorrow’s Point HERE.

Danielle DeVor gave it a great go from beginning to end, and I have been ANXIOUSLY awaiting this second book for ages! So when I saw that the cover was finally out, I had to share it with you all!


Sorrow's Edge

Sorrow’s Edge by Danielle DeVor
City Owl Press

 

 

Jimmy Holiday, defrocked priest turned exorcist, is trying to get his life in order. With his on-again off-again witchy girlfriend moving in, the spirit of the little girl from his last exorcism hanging around, and a secret organization of exorcists hounding him, Jimmy equals stressed.

When a stranger calls in the middle of the night asking for help with a possession, Jimmy is about to land in a mess of trouble. Especially since the man on the phone claims to have gotten his number from Jimmy’s old mentor. Too bad his mentor has been dead for years.

After a mysterious silver flask arrives at his doorstep, Jimmy is left with two options: either ignore the newest enigma the universe has tossed him, or listen to Lucy and travel to Arizona to solve the mystery before all hell breaks loose…again.


Danielle DeVor

Danielle DeVor

Sorrow’s Edge Excerpt: 

As Lucy predicted, I got the phone call at three. I was really starting to hate the true “witching hour.” I needed sleep, dammit.

I let the phone ring a few times, hoping that whoever was on the other end would hang up. I wasn’t that lucky. I rose, grabbed my phone off the nightstand, and swiped the screen.

“Mr. Holiday?” the man asked when I grunted into the receiver.

“You realize it’s three a.m. right?” My head hit the pillow. I did not want to be doing this right now.

The man sighed. “It couldn’t be helped. We need you.”

I twitched. Who the hell was this guy anyway? Kind of presumptuous to call somebody at random this late when you’ve never met the person on the other end. His mother clearly never taught him manners.

I glanced around the room. The light in the corner was still on. I’d gotten into the habit of sleeping with a light on ever since Sorrow’s Point. Yeah, it was irrational, but hey, I was trying to keep the darkness at bay. Lucy was sitting on the floor in front of the TV. I could barely see the program through her. Her hair was as pale as usual—so blonde it looked almost white. She was wearing the same white nightgown she always did.

“How did you get my number?” I had to know. I mean, I doubted Will would suggest me to someone else.

“You came highly recommended.”

That was news to me. Only a very small group of people knew I did something besides graphic design. “By who?”

“That’s not important right now. You’re needed. That’s what should matter.”

I sat up. Not important to him, maybe, but it sure as hell was important to me. This guy was starting to piss me off. “Listen. I’m not about to traipse around and do whatever the hell it is you want me to do when you won’t tell me who you are and you won’t tell me who told you about me.”

“O’Malley said you’d be difficult.”

I froze. Father O’Malley had been the one who allowed me to see the church as a vocation when I was a kid. But there was one problem. He’d been dead since before I left the church.

 


Sorrow’s Point is available on Amazon. Read it now while you’re waiting for book 2!

**Cover, Excerpt, all belong to the author and/or publisher. Items are used only for promotion of the book, and have been okayed by the author.**

Top Ten Stupidly Banned Books

TTTBanner

This Top Ten Tuesday topic is supposed to be “Books on my Fall TBR”, but given that this Banned Books Week, I’m doing something different. Interrupting our normally scheduled programming, I bring  you ‘The Top Ten Stupidly Banned Books” Banned or Challenged.  This is only my opinion, of course. The list is populated with books that – if I have not read them, I can at least immediately see the stupidity behind challenging/banning them. I’m sure there are lots more that should be on this list. Top Ten Tuesday is brought to you courtesy of Broke and Bookish.

Top Ten Stupidly Banned Books

  1. The Lorax by Dr. Seuss was banned because forest industry people thought it made logging look bad. Imagine that, people chopping down our tree and ruining our environment concerned about looking bad. Huh. Who’d’a thunk it? This one definitely deserves the number one spot for stupidly banned books.the-lorax

2. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury. Coming in a close 2nd, we have the book about banning books that was banned because (shock and horror!) one of the books banned in it was The Bible. One mustn’t mess with religious texts, you know. They’re sacred. (Coolthulhu henceforth bans the burning of scientific texts because they’re sacred to him.)

3. Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card. Apparently it’s pornographic. But, er, having read the book multiple times, I can tell you that absolutely nothing pornographic happens. I mean, there is a scene with two boys wrestling naked whilst one is covered in soap, but considering it’s Ender fighting for his life… I don’t really think that can be considered pornographic. Unless maybe the person who was reading it got their rocks off on the idea of idea of someone fighting naked for their life… maybe that’s why they thought it was pornographic? (Coolthulhu says: “Don’t let your fetishes get in the way of my books!”)and-tango-makes-three

4. And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson. It’s a fictionalized account of the true story of two male penguins who became partners and raised a penguin chick.  So, excuse me for a second… *drags soapbox over, climbs up on it, shouts “You homophobic ignorant unwaxed, unwashed arsehats!” several times, then climbs back down and pushes the box to the side.*

5. Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank. God forbid a young girl in a horrible situation take a few minutes to talk about the fact that she’s going through puberty.

6. Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling. The Dark Arts! Occult! Satanic! Vioooooooolence. What I worry about, honestly, is the kids who live in families where they can look at Harry Potter as an evil/bad thing because of a little wand-waving. I mean, it’s not like it’s a pretty epic story of a young boy going up against great evil or something. Not like it points out to abused young children that they can still find acceptance and friendship. These same people are who are trying to ban it for violence..er..have they ever read the Bible? Like, truly read it? Because, uhm, thats violent. Like, really really really really violent. Harry Potter has a few fights and a few deaths. So…. yeah.

7. It’s Perfectly Normal: Changing Bodies, Growing Up, Sex, and Sexual Health by Robie H. Harris. Because it’s been proven without a doubt that avoiding talking about puberty, sex, and sexual health is the best way to make sure kids don’t do anything they’re not supposed to do with their ‘private parts’.

I mean, the best thing to do is definitely just to ask them to take a pledge to avoid sex all together. SO effective!! See, look at this example:

According to Columbia University researchers, virginity pledge programs increase pledge-takers’ risk for STIs and pregnancy. The study concluded that 88 percent of pledge-takers initiated sex prior to marriage even though some delayed sex for a while. Rates of STIs among pledge-takers and non-pledgers were similar, even though pledge-takers initiated sex later. Pledge-takers were less likely to seek STI testing and less likely to use contraception when they did have sex. – Advocates for Youth

8. Earth’s Children Series by Jean M. Auel. Now, I’ve read this whole series, and – on the whole – I love it, but I can see where parents might have thought about challenging it for graphic sexual content. ‘Cause wooo…yeah, uhm, it gets a little explicit.  However I still think it’s completely ridiculous because no one picks up these books for the sporadic intercourse contained within. They pick them up, and then get fascinated with them, because it is a richly detailed, wonderful immersion into the pre-written history world. Auel has a talent (and did tons of research) for painting such a vivid picture of not only the plants and animals from that time, but also of society, culture, and the trials and tribulations early man faced.  Challenging or banning these books because of the sex is just stupid.  By the time you get old enough to read and understand these books, trust me you know about tab into slot b and all the things in between.james-and-the-giant-peach

9. James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl. Are you freaking kidding me? Apparently this book encourages disobedience towards parental figures, and has bad language in it. (Coolthulhu would like to take a minute to note that if the parents who challenged this book want to hear a real example of bad language he’d be happy to oblige.)

10. Twilight by Stephanie Meyer apparently got banned or challenged regularly for “religious viewpoint” and “violence”.  Yep, take a badly written high-school drama about sparkly pedo vampires and personality-challenged young girls that you could rant about for ages because of the controlling, emotionally abusive relationship ……and grouch about the fact that it doesn’t conform to your religious beliefs, and that two groups of people beat each other up in. That makes perfect sense. Bravo. (and if you’re one of the people who think Twilight should have been banned for the religious viewpoint, etc, let me just take a moment to make sure you understand that “That makes perfect sense. Bravo” was sarcasm.)

Ninth City Burning (Sci-Fi Fantasy)

Ninth City BurningNinth City Burning: Centuries of war with aliens threaten the future of human civilization on earth in this gripping, epic science fiction debut…

We never saw them coming.

Entire cities disappeared in the blink of an eye, leaving nothing but dust and rubble. When an alien race came to make Earth theirs, they brought with them a weapon we had no way to fight, a universe-altering force known as thelemity. It seemed nothing could stop it—until we discovered we could wield the power too.

Five hundred years later, the Earth is locked in a grinding war of attrition. The talented few capable of bending thelemity to their will are trained in elite military academies, destined for the front lines. Those who refused to support the war have been exiled to the wilds of a ruined Earth.

But the enemy’s tactics are changing, and Earth’s defenders are about to discover this centuries-old war has only just begun. As a terrible new onslaught looms, heroes will rise from unlikely quarters, and fight back. – Goodreads


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The Exorcist Pilot Review (Possession Horror)

the-exorcist-pilot Title: The Exorcist
Synopsis: A mother seeks help from her local parish when she believes her eldest daughter is possessed.
Tagline: Every soul is a battlefield.
Premiere Date: September 23rd 2016
Trailer: The Exorcist


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Dealing with the Naughty Books in Your Life

standup250 - Naughty Books

It’s Banned Books Week again. You know, that one week a year where everyone with common sense gathers ’round to celebrate the ridiculousness of banning books. Where we take up bookworm arms, gather the pages unto us, and celebrate the joy of reading those naughty books.

Books are banned for various reasons. Some of them make sense, and most of them don’t. Here’s the thing, though, even for the ones that maybe make sense to not have around… you can’t do that. Because once you ban one book, then it makes it easier to think about banning another, and another… and you see where I’m going with this. Instead, what I’d like to suggest is that we all institute this little thing called COMMON SENSE.

See, I’ve created some step-by-step guides below to help you deal with the three most common scenarios when dealing with books with objectionable material in them.

Dealing with Naughty Books

Scenario 1: You are reading a book, and discover that you don’t like the material contained within for some reason or another.

  • Step 1. Close the book.
  • Step 2. Donate the book to your local library, bookstore, etc.
  • Step 3. Try another book.

See how EASY that was?!

Scenario 2: You have read a book and don’t think your daughter/son should be reading it. Because it might make them have bad thoughts.

  • Step 1A. Exercising common sense, you may tell your child that you do not believe they are in the appropriate age range for the book (if that is true). For example, a seven year old should probably not be reading Twilight.
  • Step 2A. Take them to the library, and let them pick out another book. See? Much easier than trying to get the book banned, yeah?

However, if your child is in the appropriate age range for the book:

  • Step 1B. Slap yourself upside the head. Because if your child is in the appropriate age range for the book, you trying to ban it because you don’t want them reading it is just blatantly STUPID.  ‘Cause, wow, “If we ban it/make it illegal, they won’t do it!” has worked for us as a country so many times in the past. Yes, I’m rolling my eyes here.
  • Step 2B. After you’ve smacked some sense back into yourself, discuss the book with your child as they read it. Ask them questions about the things you find troubling. See what they think. Talk about how the ideas contained within may have been a product of their time but are no longer applicable. If it’s a really naughty book that, you know, might contain talk of S-E-X, then use it as a springboard to talk to your child about safe intercourse, and making sure they’re waiting for the right person.
  • Step 3B. Congratulate yourself on being an adult instead of being a  knee-jerk reactionary douche. Good adult!

Scenario 3: Your child’s class is reading a book you find objectionable, and you don’t them to.

  • Step 1. Grow up. Consider what your child sees in movies and on TV on probably a daily or at least weekly basis. Now, compare that to the ‘horrible’ book they’re reading in class.
  • Step 2. Suck it up. Teachers have kids read books for a reason and its generally not to convert your child to the dark arts.
  • Step 3. Reference Step 2B above for further instructions.

Simple fact, folks, the more fuss you make over something, the more people get interested in it, and want to see what’s so inflammatory. So every time you get on your high horse with a Mount St. Helen sized chip on your shoulder, the better it is for a book’s sales.  So, I guess, really, keep doing what you’re doing. Because it guarantees those books are going to get read, instead of fading into obscurity like some of them need to do.

By the way: Whenever you’re thinking about challenging a book, make sure you stop to ask yourself why you’re doing it. Here’s a small check-list for you to run through.

  1. Am I reacting to something without considering it?
  2. Am I on a power trip fueled by ignorance?
  3. Is there a legitimate reason why this book should be banned?
  4. Instead of trying to fight this book, is there something more effective I could do instead?
  5. Am I being a bigot/snob/toe-rag?

 

More information can be found at: http://www.bannedbooksweek.org/

  • I love Audible. Tons of books, fantastic narrators, good prices.