A few tweets established that other genre writers, such as Gareth Powell, (Ack-Ack Macaque) had the same block in place. So we checked a few more:
Genre Writers Blocked
Adrian Tchaikovsky (Shadows of the Apt)
John Scalzi (RedShirts, Old Man’s War)
Emma Newman (Split Worlds)
Neil Gaiman (The Graveyard Book)
Robin Hobb (Assassin’s series, Ships series, Dragons series)
Children’s & YA Authors Blocked
Eoin Colfer (Artemis Fowle)
Philip Pullman (Dark Materials)
Suzanne Collins (Hunger Games)
Philip Reeve (Mortal Engines)
Eric Carle (The Very Hungry Caterpillar)
They even blocked Jane Yolen, ‘the Hans Christian Andersen of America’.
Not to mention various publishers, such as Angry Robot, Solaris, Gollancz, and Jo Fletcher Books.
Don’t worry, people – it gets better. Scholastic’s web site specifically for children’s books and encouraging children to read is – Blocked!
It turns out that a surprising number of sites are potentially risky – like that well-known bunch of dodgy geezers, the Directors Guild.
Best of all, O2 have wisely blocked Save the Children, and – wait for it – Childline. So potentially a child might have to go to their abuser and ask for the parental controls to be unlocked so they can get help to deal with abuse. Right? (Because we all know that abuse only happens in households where the adults are Poor and therefore Feckless, and not where they are the kind of responsible sort who switch on parental controls and please tell me I don’t need a sarcasm smiley here).
If you think this is nonsense, there’s a petition you can sign here.
Our Christmas challenge – find a web site or blog specifically aimed at helping children that is NOT blocked by O2. The first three entries will win a free copy of Dave’s SF novel, Shopocalypse. The next three will win a copy of the first ‘Babylon Steel’ novel.
Here’s the link to the O2 checker. (We haven’t covered BT, TalkTalk, Virgin Media, or Sky – it was late and we were tired).