UPDATE: Amazon has restored The God Species. There has been no official explanation for their action. Naturally I still suspect Greenpeace activists.
This is shocking. Some extremists have used a clever subterfuge to cause Amazon to withdraw Mark Lynas’ just-released paperback edition. This is a disaster for the author. Let’s help Mark get Amazon to restore the UK page for The God Species (paperback). I just sent an email to Amazon customer support.
Starting some time on Friday morning a strange note appeared on the Amazon.co.uk page selling The God Species paperback. This read that the book had been withdrawn from sale “because a customer recently told us that the item he or she received was not as described”. Since then Amazon has stopped selling the book, and despite attempts by my publisher to resolve the situation the book is still not on sale.
…Although I cannot prove it, I now believe that this is a malicious attempt at censorship by individuals or organisations who find the content of The God Species threatening. That is also the conclusion drawn by Peter Forbes, who is reviewing the book for the Guardian, and wrote the following email to try to draw attention to this apparent attempt at censorship:
BTW, I just bought the Kindle edition from the Amazon.com site, where both hardcover and paperback editions remain available for sale.
Update July 9, 2011 2:10:58 PM PDT. As I wrote the above I submitted a customer service request at Amazon.co.uk regarding the withdrawal of The God Species. I just received the following response from Amazon:
Thank you for contacting Amazon.co.uk.
I understand that you do not want us to withdraw the item “The God Species” from our website.
Please be informed that due to the defective batch of these items received from the supplier we had blocked this item for some time.
However the issue has now been fixed and the item is available now in our website and you can place the order for the item.
I can also confirm that this item will not be removed from our website in the future.
I hope this is a welcome news.
and I see that the Amazon book page has indeed been restored. I went to Mark Lynas’ website to update the comments — for the past four hours I only get an Error 403 Forbidden on Mark’s entire site. That is obviously suspicious.