I’ve seen the subject of this post around quite a bit lately. Yahoo Publishing News, Pub Rants, and most recently on Nathan Bransford’s This Week in Publishing. And I thought that since I’m about over my Olympic-themed kick, I could move onto another hot topic: terrorism.
And as an added bonus, not only will this be a “Friday Forecast” post, but it will also be a “Here’s a Question For Ya.” I know, TGIF, right?
Ok, so here’s the story:
Random House decided to cancel the publication of The Jewel of Medina after an Islamic scholar speculated that it would draw strong reactions and potentially spark acts of violence. Renowned novelist, Salman Rushdie, condemned the cancellation saying that the publishing giant gave into “censorship by fear.”
Now, Mr. Rushdie is probably a guy who knows what with his attempted assassinations by Hezbollah and death threats from the Ayatollah. I mean, we don’t negotiate with terrorists, right? But should we censor our books to keep them “happy?”
On the other hand, is it really worth publishing a book if the cost of publication could be human life? And we can’t exactly say that Random House’s choice was selfish. The publishing house could have certainly made money off the book. I must assume that Random House was doing what they thought was right.
A sticky situation for sure.
So my question for y’all is: Should Random House have published The Jewel of Medina?
And further, what does the cancellation of this publication mean for future controversial books? If books are the main medium of presenting detailed information, will stopping publication of tough-topic books be akin to forbidding the dissemination of Galileo’s theories for fear of the Inquisition?
Status: Finished Breaking Dawn. Thank goodness because I really, really need to start reading for school. But I can’t because I’m waiting for another page from Scott and then I’m going to double check my submission package and then send a few off to agents who have requested.
Also! Did you notice? Over 10,000 hits! Having had this blog since the last day of May I feel pretty good about that number. Page views are gradually growing. I have a Google Page Rank of 5, so hey! not too shabby.