First Jeff Bezos with Amazon and now Michael Tamblyn and his Kobo (and Otis, but he hasn't got round to deletions for sex books yet. I'm sure that his boss, Bezos, will soon have him up to speed on that though).
I was reading this and thought to myself, "what kind of church does Michael Tamblyn go to?"
Censorship. Censorship. Censorship. Why this new Puritanism? Porn rape fantasies and sex with girls of legal age (just) is such a huge industry. No one has to like it to see that a) it is completely legal because no one puts that kind of money at risk and b) no one is forcing people to watch it, vast numbers of people just really, really like viewing it. And perhaps couples like rp'ing it a bit too. But they can't read it any more because according to Bezos and Tamblyn (and Chandler), Censorship is a lovely thing.
Tamblyn says writers can write it but,
"All I can say is that if your dream is to publish “barely legal” erotica or exploitative rape fantasies, distribution is probably going to be a struggle for you."
Out the window goes John Fowles' The Collector, which is a very dark book on definitely-illegal rape and kidnap fantasies. A brilliant 5-star read. What about Steig Larsson's Girl with the Dragon Tattoo? (With its genius pay-back scene). Then there is Shades of Grey itself, not well-written, but pretty much an exploitative fantasy, and enjoyed by many.
What about the classic, Fanny Hill? Exploitative sex fantasies were very popular in Victoria times, but generally at some point in the book it becomes a jolly good romp enjoyed by all. Would that go or does the 'romp' element make it ok? Ann Rice (writing as A.N. Roquelaure) with her pre-Interview with a Vampire trilogy, the Claiming of Sleeping Beauty, a mega-seller, that is nothing but exploitative and violent (mostly spanking and rape) sex fantasies? Will they pull Ira Levin's The Stepford Wives? Are we to read nothing but Disney princes kissing the beautiful girl amid sparkles and rippling music?
Why is wrong with violent sex fantasies? They are fantasies, not real. I suppose reporting on the Yorkshire Ripper with all his rapes, hammer attacks, mutilations and murders will be ok, because it really happened. Writing about rape for titillation will have to be couched in terms of reportage not fantasy.
But it will still be ok to publish books containing child abuse, violent out-of-control people, torture scenes, terrible murders, cannibalism, beating up, trafficking and enslaving women and anything else anyone damn well pleases, so long as it doesn't cross Tamblyn's sexual no-no line. Violence good! Sex bad :-(
I wonder what church he goes to?