My sister asked if the events of “The Labyrinth” are meant to be Sarah dreaming, or are they real? Although my primary reaction was that she shouldn’t put that much thought into any children’s movie (or any instance of David Bowie in tight pants), I’d like to take this opportunity to put so much thought into this children’s movie, that it’ll blow your mind.
So why is David Bowie kidnapping a child from an underage Jennifer Connelley?
In a time long long ago a sorcerer named Jareth fell in love with a girl named Sarah. Sarah’s father and step-mother would not let her marry Jareth because they wanted her to keep her, as a servant, to care for their other child. In a fit of rage Jareth kidnapped this other child and spirited it away to the fairy world. In this new world Jareth built a palace for his Sarah. He turned the spoiled child into a goblin, and kept it to be a servant.
Many stories of the fairy world tell us that time moves differently there than in our world (Rip Van Winkle for one). In the time it took for Jareth to build his kingdom, which he may have thought was little more than a few years, Sarah grew old and died.
Overcome by grief and addled by a lifetime spent in a strange world filled with monsters, Jareth goes mad. He refuses to believe that he has lost his love. He searches the mortal world from his castle, looking for her.
Sarah is Hebrew name. So, it is common, and has been in use for thousands and thousands of years. It does not take long (for him) to find a dark haired girl named Sarah, who has a younger sibling, and who feels that she is treated unfairly by her step mother. In a fit of rage he kidnaps this other child and spirits it away to the fairy world. Perhaps this new Sarah dies in the quest to find the child, perhaps she wins her sibling back and flees.
Jareth searches the mortal world from his from his castle, looking for her. It does not take long to find a dark haired girl named Sarah…
This is how Jareth becomes the goblin king. Every goblin in the goblin city is a child Jareth has stolen, who was not recovered by a Sarah. (he told the current Sarah that Toby would become a goblin if she did not find him in time)
This is why he builds the maze. The magic bog, the junk yard of useless treasures, all tricks to slow Sarah down. Because if he can only have his Sarah for the time it takes for her to regain the stolen child, he will make it take as long as possible, keep her as long as possible.
This is why there exists in our world a book containing the story. Because it has happened before. So many times. At some point some lucky Sarah must have returned to our world to tell the story.
This is why when the most recent Sarah first meets Hoggle at the start of the labyrinth, and introduces herself; “I’m Sarah”, Hoggle responds “That’s what I figured.”
Because of course she’s Sarah.
They were all Sarah.
I saw someone complain that the illegal version of my book was taking too long to download, and I wanted to take a moment to apologize to this person. So here we go…
Dear Person Pirating my Book,
I am sorry you can’t have your instant gratification. That book that I spent 3 years of my life…
I’ve seen people request a free pdf of my book from other readers here on tumblr and on GR. I never say anything, but it always hits me hard.
If you do pirate a book, I hope you’ll think of other ways to give back to the writer. Buy the book sometime down the line when you can afford it. Ask for it for a birthday gift. Request it from multiple libraries. Even create fanart or talk up the book to other people.
But really, I hope you won’t steal books. Most authors I know have no hope of ever getting rich. They want to make enough money to pay the bills, and they want to sell enough books that their publishers will keep publishing them. Every illegal download makes that less likely.
I see it for my books, too. I get pirated a ton, because I am active online and not popular, so my books aren’t in the average B&N. Sometimes I see conversations on twitter, with people who seem to be enjoying reading my book, looping me in. I go to look at their twitter… and realise they pirated it. It’s the same sinking feeling, every time.
It’s authors who bear the chief brunt of this, not publishers, who can easily stop publishing one writer and go to another.
I worry all the time that I won’t get to publish another book.
I know there’s a lot wrong with price points and DRM. I’m not saying the way books are distributed is perfect. But I always hope, for the love of books but also so’s not to do this to other people, that people won’t steal books.
Don’t assume all pirating is theft, per se, in the sense that people are taking books as an alternative to paying for them. I mean, certainly some of it is! Illegal downloads are, indeed, probably eating a small percentage of your book sales. But I don’t think there’s a one-to-one ratio of “books pirated” to “books not purchased” the way many authors seem to assume.
You know Seanan McGuire? Awesome author. The first time I read her stuff was when I pirated a book of hers, a few years ago. I still have pirated copies of several of her books on my kobo. But, also: in my room I have ten of her books on my shelf, and an eleventh on pre-order, not to mention the legal ebooks I’ve bought of her novellas and short stories. None of which would be true if I hadn’t pirated that first book.
When I’m pirating a book, a lot of times it’s “dang I want to read that book, but my hard copy is in another city and I don’t want to pay for the same book twice,” or “hm this author looks interesting but I don’t want to pay for the book until I’m sure I’ll like it and the library doesn’t have it and I need something to read on the bus tomorrow” or “gosh I think you’d enjoy this book, friend, but I can’t loan you my copy because we’re in different cities, so I’ll email you this pirated ebook instead” or whatever.
Ms Denard’s statement that pirating a book is the equivilent of “walk[ing] into book stores and take[ing] the book right off the shelf” without paying is inaccurate. I’m not shoving ebooks into my metaphorical purse and running cackling into the night with my stolen goods. Instead, it’s more like Neil Gaiman says: “It’s people lending books. You can’t look at that as a lost sale. No one that wouldn’t have bought your book is not buying it… what you are doing is advertising.” When I pirate a book, it’s the internet-era equivalent of walking not into the store but into my friend’s room, pulling a book off the shelf and saying, “Hey, this looks cool - I’m gonna borrow it, okay?”
In that scenario you are walking into a friend’s room and asking to take a book, and they are answering ‘Yes, you can keep my copy.’ (Let’s face it, you don’t give it back.)
There’s no friend here—there is someone giving away thousands of free copies that the writer and their publisher have not authorised.
Think of it as a cycle.
Writer writes a book—sells it to a publisher to publish it—publisher publishes it and generates copies to be bought—library buys copy and loans it out because it’s the library’s copy and that’s OK—or person, maybe your friend, buys copy, friend loans it out and that’s OK. It’s her copy.
The writer sold the right to make copies to their publisher, and nobody else. It’s the writer’s book—the writer produced it with a great deal of effort, without the writer it wouldn’t exist.
So pirating a book is more like the pirate going into the writer (who they don’t know)’s house, saying, ‘Hey, this looks cool, I’m going to take it, okay?’ and the writer saying ‘No, please, please don’t’ and the pirate replying ‘I don’t care, and I’m taking it anyway.’
‘Illegal downloads are, indeed, probably eating a small percentage of your book sales. But I don’t think there’s a one-to-one ratio of “books pirated” to “books not purchased” the way many authors seem to assume.’
I agree with you and I never said I assumed that. Some people who pirate the book would never have bought it. Some people would have.
Some people cannot afford to have a percentage of their book sales eaten. Neil Gaiman certainly can. Neil Gaiman, in this situation, may well be saying ‘Yes, you can borrow my copy.’
Neil Gaiman can have one view on the topic, and I can have another. It’s worth noting, I think, that Neil Gaiman is a multimillionaire and does not ever have to worry about his next book not getting published. He can afford lost sales, and to regard them in any way he wants. Neil Gaiman can ask his publisher to give away one of his books free for a time, and his publisher will do it—most people’s publisher would never do it. Neil Gaiman has his books advertised, discounted, put before thousands of people in a way most people’s books never are. Neil Gaiman’s career was well-established before the digital revolution. Neil Gaiman is not speaking from a typical position. Neil Gaiman is in a position of power. Neil Gaiman is very privileged.
And who is more likely to have their book in a library or bookshop, so it is convenient when you ‘need something to read tomorrow’? Neil Gaiman. If it’s a struggling author, they are less likely to have their books in the library or the bookshop when you need something to read tomorrow—so their books are more likely to be pirated. It is something to consider, that it’s much easier to hurt those who are struggling—and that people do it more.
The people suffering most from this are struggling authors, not mega bestsellers. I think that’s something to keep in mind. (Though I also don’t think it’s okay to go to a mega bestseller’s house and take the book if the mega bestseller also says ‘No, please don’t.’)
Seanan McGuire *is* an awesome author. She’s made awesome posts about internet piracy.
I’m really glad that you have bought ten of her books. I’m really sad about the people who pirated one, and then said ‘wow they’re awesome’ and pirated the rest.
If Seanan McGuire or any author I loved had to stop writing a series that I loved due to poor sales, I’d be mad at those people, because they do exist.
It is a complicated, complicated situation. I would like e-books to be shareable, once someone has bought a copy, among at least a certain number of friends who don’t live close to each other. I would love one of my books to be given away in a special promotion. I have several times, and now again, given free permission to any teen who is forbidden books with GLBTQ content in them—pirate mine away, and I hope they help you, and I wish I could have done better for you, and my thoughts are with you. But those for whom it’s just more convenient to pirate my book, because they don’t have it in the library—well, I wish they would think twice.
Let me close with a quote from Seanan McGuire—‘I am a human too.’ That’s what writers are trying to say: to make people think of the hurt to, and the cost to, other people.
It’s release day!!! Book 2 in the Blood Blade Sisters trilogy is out! A Bandit’s Broken Heart is available wherever you like to buy your ebooks :D
They expect my reaction to be something like:
When really, my reaction is something like:
Always liked him. Like him even more now.
lol LOVE this :D
These are not the droids for which thou search’st.
William Shakespeare’s Star Wars
lol awesome :D
why would you post the same picture twice…
LOL I love this movie :D