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‘Uncontacted’ tribe attacks Amazon village

'Uncontacted' tribe attacks Amazon village

This Nov. 2011 file photo shows members of the Mashco-Piro tribe, photographed at an undisclosed location near the Manu National Park in southeastern Peru. (AP Photo/Diego Cortijo, Survival International, File)

Peru is evacuating a remote village near the Brazilian border after an unusual display of aggression from one of the 15 or so “uncontacted” tribes that live in its Amazon forests.

Last week, 200 men from the tribe, called Mashco-Piro, raided the village of Monte Salvado armed with bows and arrows.”There were no injuries although the men fired off arrows,” says a minister for intercultural affairs.

“The villagers took refuge in a guard post. They are safe but have no food and are terrified.” Officials are moving 39 people, 16 of whom are children, along with 22 more from nearby Puerto Nuevo to the region’s capital, Puerto Maldonado.

The Mashco-Piro raiders took tools, blankets, and food, reports the Guardian, as well as killed domestic animals. “We believe the Mashco-Piro are still in the area,” says the official running the evacuation.

It’s the third time this year that this particular tribe has traveled to Monte Salvado, reports the BBC, but this is the first time such a large group of just men (instead of families) have arrived armed.

Some suggest the tribe is growing desperate as loggers and drug-traffickers encroach on its protected land; others point to climate change, which has led to steeper drops in temperature.

“When there’s pressure on their territory or attacks against them, that’s when there are these violent reactions,” one anthropologist tells the Guardian. The Mashco-Piro were first spotted in May 2011; more on the tribe here.

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Amazon Buys Goodreads

Amazon purchase of Goodreads stuns book industry

Alarm from Authors’ Guild, and many Goodreads users, over ‘shocking vertical integration’ but at least one writer declares move ‘cool’


Goodreads news, bad news? The Goodreads website

“Truly devastating” for some authors but “like finding out my mom is marrying that cool dude next door that I’ve been palling around with” for another, Amazon’s announcement late last week that it was buying the hugely popular reader review site Goodreads has sent shockwaves through the book industry.

The acquisition, terms of which Amazon.com did not reveal, will close in the second quarter of this year. Goodreads, founded in 2007, has more than 16m members, who have added more than four books per second to their “want to read” shelves over the past 90 days, according to Amazon. The internet retailer’s vice president of Kindle content, Russ Grandinetti, said the two sites “share a passion for reinventing reading”.

“Goodreads has helped change how we discover and discuss books and, with Kindle, Amazon has helped expand reading around the world. In addition, both Amazon and Goodreads have helped thousands of authors reach a wider audience and make a better living at their craft. Together we intend to build many new ways to delight readers and authors alike,” said Grandinetti, announcing the buy. Goodreads co-founder Otis Chandler said the deal with Amazon meant “we’re now going to be able to move faster in bringing the Goodreads experience to millions of readers around the world”, adding on his blog that “we have no plans to change the Goodreads experience and Goodreads will continue to be the wonderful community we all cherish”.

But despite Chandler’s reassurances, many readers and authors reacted negatively to the news. American writers’ organisation the Authors’ Guild called the acquisition a “truly devastating act of vertical integration” which meant that “Amazon’s control of online bookselling approaches the insurmountable”. Bestselling legal thriller author Scott Turow, president of the Guild, said it was “a textbook example of how modern internet monopolies can be built”.

“The key is to eliminate or absorb competitors before they pose a serious threat,” said Turow. “With its 16 million subscribers, Goodreads could easily have become a competing online bookseller, or played a role in directing buyers to a site other than Amazon. Instead, Amazon has scuttled that potential and also squelched what was fast becoming the go-to venue for online reviews, attracting far more attention than Amazon for those seeking independent assessment and discussion of books. As those in advertising have long known, the key to driving sales is controlling information.”

Turow was joined in his concerns by members of Goodreads, many of whom expressed their fears about what the deal would mean on Chandler’s blog. “I have to admit I’m not entirely thrilled by this development,” wrote one of the more level-headed commenters. “As a general rule I like Amazon, but unless they take an entirely 100% hands-off attitude toward Goodreads I find it hard to believe this will be in the best interest for the readers. There are simply too many ways they can interfere with the neutral Goodreads experience and/or try to profit from the strictly volunteer efforts of Goodreads users.”

But not all authors were against the move. Hugh Howey, author of the smash hit dystopian thriller Wool – which took off after he self-published it via Amazon – said it was “like finding out my mom is marrying that cool dude next door that I’ve been palling around with”. While Howey predicted “a lot of hand-wringing over the acquisition”, he said there were “so many ways this can be good for all involved. I’m still trying to think of a way it could suck.”

“Right now, I spend a lot of time on both sites in both capacities,” said Howey. “My guess is that we won’t see many changes at all. I’m betting that the real acquisition here is all the data behind the scenes. The algorithms that tell me what to buy (and almost always nail it) are going to get better. The social networks that feed my reading habit are going to get stronger. The people who helped make Goodreads awesome are going to get richer. And the people at Amazon, who I have gotten to know this past year and who to a man and woman love the fuck out of some books, are going to keep trying to get the right ones in the hands of readers.”

The acquisition of Goodreads follows Amazon’s purchase of Shelfari, another social reading site, in 2008.

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Facebook Ad

Just started a Facebook advertisement for The Travelers’ Club and The Ghost Ship  that will run until the end of March.  Let me know here if you see it pop up on the right of your Facebook page!  Wish me luck.


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Truth in Advertising

Hal C F Astell at www.apocalypselaterfilm.com told me at DarkCon that he liked the fact that my book was exactly what it advertised.  The cover reflects fun and adventure and the back flap description was accurate.  He enjoyed actually reading a book which was true to its own advertising.  I hope everyone will check out the Travelers’ Club and the Ghost Ship and it still has a 5 of 5-star average on Amazon reviews.  It is what it advertises to be.  Just for fun, I wanted to repost this to show how that is not always the case:


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Reviews are Coming in From Amazon!!!

Here are the first four reviews of The Travelers’ Club and the Ghost Ship Kindle version on Amazon.  If you have a copy of the e-book, and have not yet commented please do!  Currently, I have a 5 star rating and hope I can hold on to it!
5.0 out of 5 stars Great, Fresh Take on This Genre,November 6, 2011
This review is from: The Travelers’ Club and The Ghost Ship (Kindle Edition)

This was a very unique, intelligent take on a style that I’m not normally a big fan of. The characters are great and the story takes its time when it should, while packing plenty of action into a very well-thought plot. Its clear to me, with the charisma and repartee between the characters, that this needs to be a series. And I’m eagerly waiting for the second installment! (*wink to the author*)

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
5.0 out of 5 stars The Travelers’ Club and The Ghost Ship,November 5, 2011
Susan Bushmaker (Phoenix, AZ United States)
This review is from: The Travelers’ Club and The Ghost Ship (Kindle Edition)

My first adventure into sci-fi steam punk and I loved it. I will be reading a lot more. Can’t wait for the next adventure.

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Read!,November 3, 2011
This review is from: The Travelers’ Club and The Ghost Ship (Kindle Edition)
This story has plenty of action and adventure. I loved the mysterious Sci-Fi elements while being taken back to Victorian times. Reggie and Ash are my two favorite characters and I hope to read more adventures about them in the future. All in all, a great read.
4.0 out of 5 stars Steampunk Sci-Fi,October 30, 2011
This review is from: The Travelers’ Club and The Ghost Ship (Kindle Edition)

The novel’s characters and story are interesting, and the setting is definitely Steampunk science fiction. This book is a good read for any science fiction fan.

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