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Long ago, in a galaxy...wait a minute--it is now and just next door

Plagiarism keeps rearing its ugly, unimaginative head. In the past few months there have been plenty of instances where people are caught dead on yet them manage to pretend not to know what they did wrong.

Or they didn’t know they were doing anything wrong.

Or plagiarism just occurred. *cough*

Or they were doing their victim a favor.

Or because they are not profiting from it.

Or they thought it was their own work, how could they know they had copied and pasted the entire thing without attribution in the first place.

Or it was ignorance about what plagiarism really is (never mind writing and posting on the topic long before indulging in their own theft)

Or…anyway, I’m sure anyone with half a working brain cell gets the idea.

For those who are still struggling with the concept, a few pointers: when a person plagiarizes/steals the  words/intellectual property of another person, the plagiarist is the thief–the other one? That one is the victim. (more…)

Willaful Review: The Malorie Phoenix by Janet Mullany

Reviewing this brought to mind a moment from the t.v. show “Gilmore Girls” (a discussion of “The Donna Reed Show”):

Rory: My favorite episode –
Lorelai: Mm…tell me, tell me.
Rory: – is when their son, Jeff, comes home from school… and nothing happens.
Lorelai: Oh that’s a good one. One of my favorites is when Mary, the daughter, gets a part-time job… and nothing happens.
Rory: Another classic.

The Malorie Phoenix started off with a bang — literally. Pickpocket Jenny is seduced by the charming Benedict de Malorie at Vauxhall. She leaves with his stickpin, an heirloom jewel, and a bun in the oven. About ten months later, an ailing Jenny finds Benedict, hands him a baby girl (with the jewel sewn into her clothes) and vanishes.

Seven years later, Jenny’s new life as a courtesan ends with her kindly protector’s death. When some strangers hatch a bizarre scheme for her to impersonate a young woman Benedict once almost married, she embraces a chance to reclaim her child:

And now, possibly, she had the means to support her daughter. With independence and an income she could achieve a modest respectability. Roly had taught her many things, including how to manage investments and run a frugal but comfortable household… She could not and would not raise Sarah as the daughter of a courtesan.

The beginning of this historical had me settling in happily for a good read. It felt fresh and different, willing to go in unpopular directions — such as Jenny having had a good sex life with her old, fat protector — and take chances. The writing style seemed somewhat elliptical, with surprising gaps in the action, but that felt acceptable as a stylistic choice.  Even when the plot veered into utter absurdity with the impersonation plan, I tried to just let it flow over me and willingly suspend disbelief. I liked the beginning and I really wanted to keep liking the rest of it. (more…)