Saturday, November 13, 2010

Reviews for LGBT Nautical Fiction Coming Soon

I have decided to start reviewing nautical novels and other books with Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, or Transgendered (LGBT) characters on a time available basis. I'm doing this because I enjoy the field and I want to help other readers find quality books to read.

Many reviewers are informal reviewers, and that's helpful, but often reflects "Why I dis/like this book" rather than a critical analysis of  "This is the book the author wrote, and here's how where it works and doesn't work." I am principally a poetry author and editor, and I have published a number of reviews of poetry and established a reputation for honesty and fairness: the purpose of writing a review is not to provide a free advertising service to the author but to provide a service to the reader to help them find which books match their interests and are worth their time. Even if I don't like a book, if it is competently written, I shall do my best to describe its merits and demerits so that a reader whose taste is different from mine can decide if this is something they want to check out.

However, because I don't have much time, and due to a disability, reading is a time-consuming and difficult undertaking for me, I will prioritize books based on what I want to read. Therefore, authors and publishers who want me to read their books will need to follow some guidelines:

1) It MUST be published through an edited venue. I am not a free editorial service, I won't look at your self-published novel posted to a fan fiction site, I won't help you find an agent, I won't be your cheerleader, etc. I am here for the READER. Note about self-published books: If it was previously published through an edited venue and the rights have now reverted to you and you are republishing it, that's fine. Tell me so in the query. Yes, I'm aware that some very fine books have been self-published, this is an indie business where choice matters, blah blah blah. All true. But my time is limited.

2) My preference is for historical fiction or period fiction set during the Age of Sail, or some reasonable connection thereto. A fiction set during the Chinese Treasure Fleet is eligible. A mystery set on a modern day tall ship is eligible.  Of course, the usual British naval adventures are eligible. I'm not interested in steamships. There has to be a sail vessel involved.

3) I will read non-fiction related to the above that deals with LGBT issues. I will also read some works that are not necessarily LGBT but which touch on personal interests of my own, such as the maritime tradition of North Africa (Barbary corsairs, Sallee rovers, etc), or which give excellent insight into the historic world (Guilmartin's Gunpowders and Galleys is the classic in this area).

How to submit: Send a QUERY to Kujakupoet (at) gmail (dot) com with the following information:

Series (if applicable)
Author's Name
Date of First Publication (If a reprint, include date of current publication as well as first publication)
Size of File:
File Formats Available: (ile formats available to the reader, eg, Kindle ePub, etc)
Where Sold: Amazon, GLBT Bookshelf, AllRomance, etc.
Accessibility: eg, is text to speech enabled, large print, etc?
Author Bio: Brief bio (under 100 words) of anything that might be relevant to interpreting your work; eg, if you're a tall ship sailor in real life, that matters. If you won the Lambda Award for Bisexual Fiction, that matters. Do not send a complete resume! Relevant highlights only.

My preference is for Kindle with text to speech enabled. Because of my disability, I listen to books. I also use large print so that I can see because I refer to the printed text to make certain I have understood the spoken text. Books that are accessible will receive priority over books that aren't accessible. Accessibility will be noted in the review

If the book is only available in print your query should mention this so that we can make suitable arrangements.

What I will Do: I will read your book or not solely on my own discretion -- reviews are never guaranteed. All reviews are free. If you need a rush review or review for some special purpose, I charge a flat fee of $100, paid in advance. The fee is for the special service, not the review itself.

I will read the book you wrote, not the book I wish you'd written. I will evaluate the quality of the writing, the believability of the story (competent research matters!), the ability of the characters to engage the interest of the reader, etc. If it stinks, I won't review it, but from time to time I will publish a 'Books Received' list where it will appear. In the case of m/m romance, I will evaluate them both as nautical fiction and as romances and give them a dual rating based on that.

You are welcome to use properly credited quotations and short excerpts (20% or less) of the review in your promotional materials. Any other use requires proper authorization from me. Note that reviews are protected by copyright the same as any other work.

Sample credit 1: M. Kei, Kujaku Poetry and Ships (wonderful if you include a hotlink to the blog, but not required)

Sample credit 2: M. Kei, author of Pirates of the Narrow Seas

My reviews will appear on and if your book appears there. I will also post them to my personal blog, Kujaku Poetry and Ships. I will post them to other venues as appropriate. Please feel free to link to Kujaku Poetry and Ship. You do not need to ask permission to link to me, just do it. Links will not be reciprocated -- this is a personal blog, not a full service review site.

DO NOT SEND BOOKS WITHOUT QUERYING FIRST. Unsolicited attachments will be trashed.


M. Kei

Friday, November 12, 2010

What If It's Not Autism?

A pediatric doctor and researcher offers a compelling presentation about his theory that Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) and autism are the same disease. He theorizes that CFS is an adult onset Neuro-Immune Disorder and that autism is what happens when it onsets in early childhood and that ADD and ADHD is what happens when it onsets in older children.

His research with neuroSPECT scans and other medical data make a provocative case. If you have an interest in autism, CFS, or ADD/ADHD, it's a very interesting video that is well worth checking out. It proposes a radical paradigm shift in thinking about these orders, their impact on society, and how to research and treat them. He does not advocate weird treatments like chelation -- on the contrary, he debunks such bogus treatments. He advocates old-fashioned pediatric treatment with conventional tools and evidence based medical testing.