Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Author vs Reviewer

By Steve Weddle

I've been known to see something that doesn't make sense, then poke it with a stick.

Usually it's people acting like jackasses. Best-selling authors. Dumb arguments. Unmitigated arrogance. Poorly applied hair color. Hypocrisy. Sexism. Salinger's history of drinking his own urine and writing letters to teenage girls. Bigotry.

I'd fully intended to go off today about how the Hugo Awards have somewhere around 83 categories, but have decided not to have a YA category. What is YA, I think they argued. Are Harry Harrison's Stainless Steel Rat books (some of my favorites) Young Adult fiction, for example?

But then I read this lovely post from Laura Lippman. (HatTip, Laura Benedict) And, as we all remember, Laura Lippman and I sat near each other once, so we're pretty much besties.

That post led me to this post, about the fight between a reviewer and an author.

Not long ago, I poked a stick at, well, yes, that idiot. But I mean another situation. Not him. No, no, not her. [EDIT: Links removed upon the advice of counsel.] I mean that whole piracy thing in which the author posted personal information about someone who had illegally pirated the author's book. To me, the piracy/personal-info situation wasn't as much a "look at this ass" kind of thing as it was something to consider. How, as authors, are we to deal with piracy?

Part of the concern was that the pirate might be targeted for retribution, that the author might send legions of fans out on "stallions dark as blackest night" (or whatever that author would say) to attack the pirate.

I also, at some point in some rant, blathered on about authors attacking bad reviews, clearly hoping to send their readers to defend them.

Well, this blog post (the one Laura Lippman mentioned) about Emily Giffin and her fans borders on the tl;dr, but I'd suggest you give it a good look. It's a perfect example of where we are. I don't know any of the participants personally, and I hesitate to make any judgment calls on them as human beings. But this behavior is completely ridiculous. Have a look.

Also, there are some great new books out. The new THUGLIT is one of them. PROTECTORS is also out. BTAP: Superhero should be out shortly, as should OTR:2. Full Disclosure: I have stories in those last few. More full disclosure.


Nick said...

Authors need to stay off the internet.

Anonymous said...

I don't know which woman seems crazier.

Anonymous-9 said...

It's the Wild West all over again in publishing. In time, technology will improve to thwart thieves and pirates, but right now, it's a jungle out there. Thanks fr a thoughtful post, Steve.

Anonymous said...

Pirates deserve whatever they get. If someone steals my livelihood -- hell, yes, I will seek retribution. And sometimes pirates just dig in and smugly defend their "right" to rip you off…they don't "get it" unless you take drastic measures.