Communion, by Whitley Strieber has been selling well for almost six months now. It tells the story of Strieber's abduction by three-and-a-half-foot aliens in late 1985. Once they got him where they wanted him, he claims that the aliens performed a number of experiments on his mind and body. The publishers (Morrow for cloth, Avon for paperback) say they believe it to be a true story. Strieber's previous books include horror fiction and bleak visions of the end of the world. Gregory Benford, professor of physics at the University of California, Irvine, who wrote a negative review for the New York Times, considers it part of a deplorable trend in publishing.... United States publishers pulling out of South Africa may wish to consider the reasoning behind the policy statement issued by the Publishers Association in the United Kingdom. Noting that cutting off the supply of books to countries ``with governments which practice unacceptable policies, of whatever persuasion, is more likely to confirm those policies than to ameliorate them,'' the statement indicates that, ``within the provisions for the protection of the intellectual property of authors through copyright,'' the Publishers Association opposes any restrictions on international trade of books.... When Boris Pasternak's Dr. Zhivago, outlawed in his native Russia, was first published in the 1950s, it was published in Italy and against the wishes of the Italian Communist Party, of which its publisher, Giangiacomo Feltrinelli, was a member. Now, more than 30 years later, thanks to Mikhail Gorbachev's policy of openness (at least toward the honored dead), the novel will be published in the Soviet Union for the first time. The Soviet copyright agency has promised the heirs of Giangiacomo that the Feltrinelli copyright will appear on all translations of the book done for the Russian market, regardless of language.... On the British blackmarket, Spycatcher, Peter Wright's expos'e of the British Secret Service, at one point recently was selling for $160 a copy. The book was banned by the British government as in defiance of the Secrecy Act.

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