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doolie, make all the 'weasel sex' comments you want - EXCELSIOR, YOU FATHEAD!

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January 16th, 2008


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09:40 am - doolie, make all the 'weasel sex' comments you want
ayelle has brought to our attention the story of a nature writer whose textbook descriptions of the black-footed ferret were lifted, word-for-word, and used as pillow talk in a romance novel. Paul Tolme's article on the black-footed ferret, which he researched in South Dakota, was originally published in Defender magazine's summer 2005 issue. Somehow, he became an unwitting contributor of dialogue to Cassie Edwards' romance novel "Shadow Bear", in which the exotically-named Shiona Bramlett falls in love with a Lakota chief named, uh, Shadow Bear. Tolme, alerted to this lifting by a romance novel snark blog, reads the book and discovers that portions of his article were placed hot on the heels of a torrid sex scene. I quote:
...a few pages later, as Bramlett and Shadow Bear bask in their postcoital glow, my ferrets arrive on the scene.

Bramlett hears something rustling in the bushes and recoils in fear. Could it be the evil Jack Thunder Horse, come to steal the map that reveals the secret location of the gold discovered by her late father?

No!

It's just a family of ferrets. Phew. Let's put aside for now that ferrets live on the prairie, where there are no bushes—never mind the forest where Edwards has set her characters. Seeing the cute animals, Shiona and Shadow Bear launch into a discussion about the cute little critters.

"They are so named because of their dark legs," Shadow Bear says, to which Shiona responds: "They are so small, surely weighing only about two pounds and measuring two feet from tip to tail."

Shiona then tells Shadow Bear how she once read about ferrets in a book she took from the study of her father. "I discovered they are related to minks and otters. It is said their closest relations are European ferrets and Siberian polecats," she says. "Researchers theorize that polecats crossed the land bridge that once linked Siberia and Alaska, to establish the New World population."

Ohmygod that is so hot.
Well, we took a look at that and worried. You see, we had been hard at work on a romance novel of our own, tenatively entitled "Buffalo Love", and had just smoked two cigarettes (one for each of our protagonists) after finishing a particularly steamy passage. We worried slightly because, as you see, while we were in the midst of this strenuous writing, a Wikipedia window just happened to be open and we might have kinda glanced its way while tapping intently on the keyboard. However, after reading over the finished passage, we are certain that we did no wrong and that nobody will notice anyway.

AND SO, burning with desire and torrid passion, the two engaged in a lustful duet which would have brought tears of pride to the eyes of Eros and all those other sex gods. [note to editor: insert allusions and imagery here.] Then, after making love like crazed meerkats for what he'd later tell his friends was hours on end, the dashing Brick Chestly lay back on the alpaca pelts, exhausted, while the lithe maiden Heaving Bosoms lay her head on his abs of iron (they had no facilities for smelting steel on the prairie) and lovingly stroked Brick's long and flowing yet most assuredly masculine hair.

"The Alaska Mental Health Enabling Act of 1956 was an Act of Congress passed to improve mental health care in the United States territory of Alaska," Brick said, after a long and beautiful moment of silence. Heaving Bosoms made a mmm-like sound in her reverie, eyes half-closed in the afterglow.

"Yes," she murmured into a pectoral muscle, not wanting the moment to end. "My grandfather John Purple Prose often told stories of it to our people. Introduced in the House of Representatives by Alaska Congressional Delegate Bob Bartlett in January 1956, it became the focus of a major political controversy."

"The legislation was opposed by a variety of far-right, anti-Communist and fringe religious groups," Brick continued, "prompting what was said to have been the biggest political controversy seen on Capitol Hill since the early 1940s."

"Prominent opponents nicknamed it the 'Siberia Bill'", she said with a hint of a giggle. Brick chuckled as well, and idly fondled one of the maiden's long braids.

"Yes," he rumbled, "and they asserted that it was part of an international Jewish, Roman Catholic or psychiatric conspiracy intended to establish United Nations-run concentration camps in the United States."

Later on, once the sun began to glow all rosy-like in the eastern portion of the sky, the two would recall how, with the sponsorship of the conservative Republican senator Barry Goldwater, a modified version of the Act was approved unanimously by the United States Senate in July 1956 after only ten minutes of debate.


It's certain we've nothing to fear.

(27 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments:


[User Picture]
From:cheezdanish
Date:January 16th, 2008 03:16 pm (UTC)
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This whole thing is crazy, but you're insane and I love you for it.

Excuse me, I feel a volcano of desire getting ready to spew its (metaphorical) lava all over my soul and loins.
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From:susskins
Date:January 21st, 2008 06:33 pm (UTC)
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Please don't say loins.
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From:ron_newman
Date:January 16th, 2008 03:19 pm (UTC)
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"The legislation was opposed by a variety of far-right, anti-Communist and fringe religious groups,"

And Scientologists -- but any mention of them would instantly kill all thoughts of romance.
[User Picture]
From:fancycwabs
Date:January 16th, 2008 03:35 pm (UTC)
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Yeah.

I want to defy
The logic of all sex laws
Let the handcuffs slip off your wrists
Ill let you be my chaperone
At the halfway home
Im a full grown man
But Im not afraid to cry
[User Picture]
From:derspatchel
Date:January 16th, 2008 03:37 pm (UTC)
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Beck don't sing bout no romance!
Beck sings iconoclastically!
[User Picture]
From:fancycwabs
Date:January 16th, 2008 03:47 pm (UTC)
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Your search - "Scientological iconoclasm" - did not match any documents.

Suggestions:
* Make sure all words are spelled correctly.
* Try different keywords.
* Try more general keywords.

Edited at 2008-01-16 08:31 pm (UTC)
[User Picture]
From:greenlily
Date:January 16th, 2008 04:02 pm (UTC)
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Cassie Edwards is famous in fanfiction circles: under the name 'Cassandra Claire' she wrote several novel-length Harry Potter fanfiction works which were found to contain long passages of dialogue and description plagiarized from various sources. (Citations available on request. A lot of it's crap, but some of it's irrefutably pilfered.)

It doesn't in the least surprise me that outraged fangrrls went out of their way to scan her professionally published works for stolen work. Many, many of her fellow fanfic writers were furious not only that she'd stolen someone else's work, but that there was nothing they could do about it. There is now.
[User Picture]
From:derspatchel
Date:January 16th, 2008 04:51 pm (UTC)

pad, pad, pad the book...

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The fact that she shamelessly ganks is comtemptible enough.

But the fact that she sees fit to follow a sex scene with an educational discourse on the black-footed ferret, doing so in the clunkiest way possible and getting caught, turns that contempt into hilarity.
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From:gwynethfar
Date:January 16th, 2008 05:06 pm (UTC)
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Cassandra Claire isn't Cassie Edwards... Cassandra Claire is actually, unfortunately, another writer. She actually got a book published, albeit by a small house, took the pen name Cassandra Clare (in the hopes, apparently, of outrunning the word thief rep) and actually made an appearance at DragonCon.

I wish, wish, wish, Cassandra Claire and Cassie Edwards were the same person, because then the awful would be contained in one human, not spread out over two.
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From:greenlily
Date:January 16th, 2008 05:12 pm (UTC)
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Yikes. My bad. The stuff I read about the Cassandra Claire/Clare plagiarism debacle said she'd gotten a romance novel published, so I thought it was the same person.

(I would like to give Cassandra Claire some kind of benefit of the doubt, because she apparently hangs around with Holly Black, whose books I enjoy. But I just can't get past the word-for-word piracy of passages from the Secret Country trilogy. Quoting a TV show without attribution is perhaps an understandable mistake, although not for an experienced writer--but her explanation of how the SC pilferage came about is just unbelievable.)
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From:jennisis
Date:January 17th, 2008 02:20 pm (UTC)
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Oh, dear! I had not heard that brou-ha-ha. I feel dumb for having liked the fanfic. From whom/where did she steal it?
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From:greenlily
Date:January 17th, 2008 03:37 pm (UTC)
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There's a long write-up which begins here. It's not free of bad_penny's communal bias, or white_serpent's personal bias, but it at least makes an attempt to be (exhaustively) factually accurate.

Scroll partway down the first entry (the one I linked to) for side-by-side comparisons of Claire's stories with the source material. Some of it's arguable, but some (especially from Pamela Dean's Secret Country novels) is hard to refute.

Edited at 2008-01-17 03:40 pm (UTC)
[User Picture]
From:gwynethfar
Date:January 16th, 2008 04:53 pm (UTC)
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I wrote a letter to this guy asking why he had to be so nasty about romance. Yes, he did have to read a Cassie Edwards novel, but that's no reason to trash the entire genre. Hardcore romance fans don't even read her "noble savage" crap anymore.
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From:greenlily
Date:January 16th, 2008 05:19 pm (UTC)
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Seriously! I giggle every time I walk past the book racks at Walgreen's, or what-have-you, and there's Stephanie Laurens and Teresa Medeiros and even the reprinted Johanna Lindseys, up at eye level with Stephen King and John Grisham. And way down the bottom, where everyone can kick slush on them as they pass, are the 'noble savage' disposables, surrounded by their brethren in kilts. :)
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From:fancycwabs
Date:January 16th, 2008 05:20 pm (UTC)
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The phrase "hardcore romance fans" can mean so many different wonderful things. Thanks.
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From:annicat
Date:January 16th, 2008 06:36 pm (UTC)
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The phrase "hardcore romance fans" can mean so many different wonderful things. Thanks.

if you only knew ...


This has become a HUGE issue in the Romance Writing community. The writers and readers alike are really horrified that someone of Ms. Edwards' notoriety would stoop to such a level and be so blatant about it. She been the topic of many many a blog and article in the past few weeks.
[User Picture]
From:fancycwabs
Date:January 16th, 2008 06:42 pm (UTC)
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I'm still intrigued by what "hardcore romance" is. Such XTREME FEELINGS! Her bosom heaved in an AWESOME DISPLAY OF FINALLY TRUE LOVE!!!
[User Picture]
From:annicat
Date:January 16th, 2008 06:45 pm (UTC)
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I won't pepper Spatch's eljay with examples or explicit language, but I'd be happy to email you samples, if you wish.
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From:fancycwabs
Date:January 16th, 2008 07:15 pm (UTC)
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The only "romance" novel I've ever read is a now out-of-print book by Caroline Burnes, who may or may not still be writing that series under that name. She is still writing under her actual name, but since she declines to link the two together, I'll refrain from doing so myself (as it it takes more than a Google search to solve the mystery). It read like an episode of Scooby-Doo, complete with the obligatory "I would have gotten away with it, too!" line, only Daphne made out with Fred and Shaggy. I never read any other romance books, and never anything else by Ms. Burnes.

The little cwab is enamored of a series of books about sad romantic vampires who ride motorcycles and love greater than any mortal, which is the problem with romance novels--they hold us guys up to a standard of knowledge of ferrets that no real humans have.

Edited at 2008-01-16 07:16 pm (UTC)
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From:annicat
Date:January 16th, 2008 07:26 pm (UTC)
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Oh! Little Cwab is reading the Stephanie Meyer books? I've heard that they're excellent, as the genre goes for YA.

You know I'm going to be asking all of my writing gfs who Caroline Burns is, right? I think I know ...does she live in Ohio?

Some of them are still pure trash, poorly written and laughable, as are many mysteries, horror novels and mainstream fiction. Romance just gets a bad rap because it had to us euphemisms for so long in order to be "accepted" in polite society. Others are quite good, and enjoy the spots on the NYT bestsellers lists that they've earned. I'm lucky enough to count my friends among those authors.
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From:fancycwabs
Date:January 16th, 2008 07:49 pm (UTC)
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You could save yourself the trouble and just google her name.

Euphemisms? You mean it wasn't a "ferret" that weighed two pounds and measured two feet from tip to tail? Damn, there's something else I can't live up to.
[User Picture]
From:annicat
Date:January 16th, 2008 07:53 pm (UTC)
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"ferret"

"fur"

"paws"

I'll never tell!
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From:derspatchel
Date:January 16th, 2008 06:47 pm (UTC)
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I'm not sure either, but I'm pretty certain it doesn't involve ferrets.
[User Picture]
From:annicat
Date:January 16th, 2008 06:48 pm (UTC)
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I'd guarantee it!
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From:ratatosk
Date:January 16th, 2008 07:13 pm (UTC)

Sure, that's awful writing, but...

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There is this model of "novel with gratuitous sex scenes thrown in for character development", but I think this is the first I have seen "romance novel with gratuitous natural history."

For all that, I'm all in favor of media that is about multiple things at once. There is no reason why there _shouldn't_ be more naturalists writing good X-rated literature.

*thinks about the implications of this*

I bet "An Inconvenient Truth" would have done way better with an NC-17 rating.
[User Picture]
From:fancycwabs
Date:January 16th, 2008 07:17 pm (UTC)

Re: Sure, that's awful writing, but...

(Link)
Polar bears!
(Deleted comment)

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