Sunday, February 10, 2013
This did not sit well with one particular reviewer, a self-appointed guardian of Smashwords Lists, apparenty. The reviewer did not limit himself (or herself?) to trashing my book, but every book that eventually passed by a particularly favored writer of erotica. The reviewer eventually gave up this practice, but three reviews, including that of 'Zombie Nights', still remain on his or her Smashwords page .
The 'Zombie Nights' review has since been edited. Originally, it blasted me as someone who had evidently recruited an army of friends and family to spend all their time downloaded the book over and over again in order to top the charts. I was clearly a blatant cheater. The charge was redacted and unfortunately I can find no trace of the original, but what remains of the one-star review is still fairly revealing:
I do not normally write reviews, but this one prompted me. It climbed to the top so fast that I felt compelled to check it out, and I assumed anything with enough downloads to out-rank the Style Guide must have some broader appeal. If, like me, you are looking at this one simply because it is the most-downloaded book on Smashwords, don't bother. As near as I can tell, it is the most downloaded simply because it has the word "Zombie" in the title. The story doesn't stink quite as badly as a reanimated corpse, but it isn't very compelling. The formatting is poor, there are plenty of typographic errors, and it is far from the degree of imaginative writing I expected from such an apparently popular work. This story has earned a single star, because judging from the previous reviews a zero-star rating won't have any effect on the overall count.
I was extremely disappointed with this review. A lot of people have disliked the story, but most of them had better reasons. They did not like the ending, in which (spoiler alert! surprised?) the zombie dies, or they did not like the writing, or it did not match their sense of humor, or for other, genuine and valid reasons. But to have it "earn" a single star mainly because it had too many downloads? This was not the kind of one star review I had ever dreamed of. It reminded me of the hair color advertisement in which the model pleads, "don't hate me because I'm beautiful." I wanted to say, "It wasn't my fault, really! Next time I promise I'll try not to be overly downloaded". Happily, another self-published author came to my defense, which led to the reviewer's retreat from the original charges. He concluded with this: Oh, one more thing! If you read the story, take a moment and leave an honest review. Your words might help someone else decide whether or not they should give it a try.
Words to review by.
Tuesday, June 26, 2012
Four episodes in the lives of these three people over a period of fifty years explore the mysterious worlds of Dragon City in four short novels, including Snapdragon Alley, Freak City, Dragon Town and now, in the series finale, Happy Slumbers.
When his brother Argus disappears, Alex Kirkham finds himself once again involved in the mystery of the place once known as Snapdragon Alley, an empty lot on the edge of the city where people have been seen to walk into thin air and simply vanish. Some say there is a creature there, an invisible intergalactic dragon that comes back now and then and takes what it wants, or maybe it's a black hole, or a place where aliens do their abducting. Nobody knows, certainly not Alex who, with nothing to go on, decides to visit the site, and hope for the best. In this, the fourth and final installment of the Dragon City series, all questions are answered, and all ends are tied.
Happy Slumbers is now available for free from Smashwords
(Also, pigeonweather headquaters has moved to wordpress. You can follow here)
Tuesday, May 15, 2012
This is a very Southern California "indie" film and nicely done, a fairly mellow film that leads to a really good moment (if not a classic 'climax'). It doesn't have anywhere near the sheer quantity of action or emotion that define contemporary American movies, but it does have an interesting story, decent acting, zero special effects, and a handful of ideas. It did leave me with the feeling that things don't have to be 'great' all the time. It seems that in this superlative-infested era if something is not deemed 'great' it's therefore shit. One thing I liked about this movie is that it was just good and that's okay.
You can't really talk much about the details of the movie without wandering into spoiler territory. Spoilers follow here.
The main guy's transition from investigator to believer was not really believable and I'm not sure it was necessary, but the writers felt it was. The ambivalent ending is rare in that you think you can have it both ways - yes, she's a criminal gang leader and yes, she's from the future. Yes, they're training a cadre of true believers to use in some big score and yes, they're preparing them for the coming civil war. Of course, as the movie says early on, "no one's from the future". They have some sophisticated spying capabilities which explains everything, except why Klaus is not wanted by the Feds but Maggie is.
Monday, May 14, 2012
Thought two. It seems that child sexual abuse is the sewer towards which all modern American drama flows.
Thursday, May 10, 2012
Alice laughed. 'There's no use trying,' she said: 'one CAN'T believe impossible things.'
'I daresay you haven't had much practice,' said the Queen. 'When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day. Why,
sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.
Through the looking glass
Tuesday, May 08, 2012
Friday, May 04, 2012
I decided to publish Humanoid Central on KDP Select, meaning it won't be available through Smashwords or Feedbooks for free until August 4th. This is just an experiment, for the heck of it. It's not like the world is clamoring for any more of my little books for free anyway. Heck, it's only 99 cents if you can't wait - but it's free this weekend on Kindle (KDP Select Promotion Days)