More in the “stupid plagiarism” category

January 17, 2008

It’s funny that people think in the age of the Internet, you can plagiarize and it won’t be noticed. All it takes is one person to notice, and since the blogosphere loves outing plagiarists, you’re done.

So really, all plagiarism these days is pretty stupid. But I think this case deserves special attention:

It all began when a mysterious e-mail arrived in my inbox last week with a link to a romance novel blog, While reviewing a novel by best-selling romance writer Cassie Edwards, the self-proclaimed “smart bitches” had discovered passages that matched, word for word, my ferret story [a scientific piece about endangered ferrets in South Dakota].

In the Internet age, every freelance writer fears that his or her words will be appropriated without compensation. First I was angry. Then I had to laugh. To see my textbook descriptions of ferrets in a bodice-ripper, as dialogue between a hunky American Indian and a lustful pioneer woman who several pages later have sex on a mossy riverbank, is the height of absurdity.

I rushed out to buy a copy of the book. The cover of “Shadow Bear,” $6.99 in paperback, features a shirtless, dark-haired hunk in a loin cloth with a machete strapped to his belt. His abdominal muscles ripple, and wind blows through his long mane.

It goes on. Right after Shadow Bear and his (white–why are they always white) lover go all the way, they hear a noise outside that turns out to be ferrets rooting around.

Shiona then tells Shadow Bear how she once read about ferrets in a book she took from the study of her father. “I discovered they are related to minks and otters. It is said their closest relations are European ferrets and Siberian polecats,” she says. “Researchers theorize that polecats crossed the land bridge that once linked Siberia and Alaska, to establish the New World population.”

Ohmygod that is so hot.

I’m still laughing. Thanks to my dear friend Claire for bringing this to my attention. I have nothing more to add; this is the highlight of my day plain and simple.


3 Responses to “More in the “stupid plagiarism” category”

  1. Vox Says:

    I know SO MANY PEOPLE who are totally gleeful about Ms. Edwards getting her ass caught plagiarizing. Her books are really offensive. I just can’t stop laughing. Especially after reading that quote.

  2. Rachel Says:

    Oh, you KNOW of this woman?

    I’d never heard of her!

  3. Vox Says:

    I know of her secondhand, though both the local library and nearby used bookstore have a wide selection of her books. Mostly I’ve just giggled at the occasional passage posted online. I’ve never been into bodice-rippers enough to actually wade through anything longer than the occasional Harlequin novel, though. A good novel about vampire weddings or mystery-solving dorm assistant directors or film set sexual tension or people stuck in virtual reality pirate MMORPGs with sexy MMORPG creators? Bring it on. If Fabio’s on the foil-embossed cover, not so much.

    Okay, so romance novels are my secret shame.

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