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Hey all, another of my stories is free this weekend. If you enjoy sci-fi like Doctor Who or Quantum Leap then you might enjoy this story and it’s free on the kindle store. Why not take a look?
Time travel is easy, getting home is the hard part.
Annie and her friends are used to harsh conditions, but a Victorian winter still comes as a shock. They have a job to do, but it isn’t long before they stumble upon a corpse buried in the snow, and a new mystery to solve.
As some of you know, I’m an indie author with a few books on the kindle store. One of those books is free today. It’s a Science Fiction short story in the vein of Doctor Who or Quantum Leap and is part of my Timewasters series.
If you own a kindle or have the free app on your iPhone/Android/iPad etc. then you can grab it for free today. I’d love to know what you think. Info below.
Harbour is a pretty nice place, but Annie and her friends are breaking the law just by being there. Now they must overcome an alien legal system and a paranoid politician to prove their innocence.
Unfortunately, they are all guilty.
I want to talk about something lurking on the Kindle Store that has been bothering me for a while. A lot has been said about the lack of scrutiny that helps flood the store with poorly written, unedited or even plagiarised slush. I’d like to take some time to talk about a different kind of bad writing.
These books might be perfectly punctuated and fascinating to read, but they are no less a problem. I refer to the growing amount of what James Randi would call “Woo-woo.” Books selling superstition, pseudo-science and dodgy medical theories.
This would not be so objectionable if the ebooks were contained to the, usually harmless, spiritual volumes you will find in any new age bookstore. Books on the healing power of crystals, books on witchcraft, books on the “science” of the spirit world. These books are all woo-woo, to be sure, but they are no more harmful than anything you would find in the religion section. While I will happily object to the peddling of any unprovable claims, it is the “alternative medicine” books that I find so troubling. While browsing Amazon’s Medicine category, I found a huge number of books proposing completely unsupported treatments, often for very serious diseases. It seems that wherever the opportunity to sell arises, the snake oil merchants are never far behind.
For example, it did not take me long to find three books claiming to offer a cure for cancer. My favourite proposes that “A malignant tumor is not a vicious monster that is out to kill us in retaliation for our sins or abuse of our body… cancer does not attempt to kill the body; to the contrary, it tries to save it.” If only somebody would tell CancerResearch to stop wasting out money on genetics and stem cells.
Another offers a juice diet that can apparently cure Leukaemia, here is a heartbreaking review that accompanies it:
“This is a warning for those contemplating to carry out the ‘cancer cure’ described in this book. The first part of the book recounts stories/letters of people who were cured of cancer when doing this fast. The second part of this short book explains how to carry out the fast.
Nowhere is there any explanation to how it works, what trials and experiments were done to test it, or how the author came up with it.
My husband tried this fast. He is a stickler to details, so did not deviate at all from the recommendations of Rudolf Breuss. On Day 30 of the 42-day fast, he fell ill. His sodium was critically low and he suffered from brain injury. His condition is called Central Pontine Myelinolysis. We are now living with the aftermath.
His cancer is not cured, and now he has an altered mental status in addition. This ‘diet’ is extreme. It does not make sense. It could damage you. ”
I did not delve any further into my search. I was only a couple of pages in, but three miracle cures were quite enough for me. Why haven’t you heard of any of these miracle cures? The blurbs didn’t say, but I imagine somewhere in the book there’s a nice chapter all about how pharmaceutical companies are only in it for the money, but if you buy their $6 book you can overcome that little roadblock.
My girlfriend is a recovering cancer patient. Phoney treatments are one of those things that push my buttons. We met while we were students at University, and we had only been going out a few months when she was diagnosed with lymphoma. I sometimes find it hard to believe, but that was four years ago.
It was a very strange time; I look back on it and wonder quite how we coped. I can only imagine what it was like for her to go through, but I can tell you it was terrible to watch. Cancer is one of those diseases where the cure can seem worse than the disease. Watching someone you care for being poisoned in front of you, and not knowing if it’s the treatment or the disease causing the damage is haunting. It is an experience I will never forget.
In times like that, people will do anything. And to someone who will do anything, a few dollars on a book is nothing.
Selling bad advice is not a crime, (depending on where you’re sitting,) but it does do real harm. Alternative medicine takes time and money away from real medicine. Alternative medicine gives people with terminal illnesses false hope, and can make them suffer more than is necessary. At its worst, alternative medicine kills.
Selling bad advice is not a crime, but legal and ethical are not the same thing. A few dollars might not seem like much, but it’s quite expensive for something as cheap as false hope.
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