Authors… what the hell is going on? I would say that Twitter has made you insane, but I know some of you have been bringing the foolishness for a while, so obviously it’s not new media that is causing you to act out like a 10-year-old on too much sugar.

Alice Hoffman, get your butt off the internet before you embarrass yourself any further! Posting a critic’s phone number on Twitter? NO. *smacks on nose with paper* Bad author!

Ayelet Waldman, stop damning your critics to hell. It doesn’t reflect well on you. See above about 10-year-olds.

Again, I know that criticism hurts. And hey, complain about your critics all you like… in private to your friends. That’s what I do. That’s what most sensible people do. Your friends will tell you that the critic is an ass and you’ll feel better. But telling it to the world? Just makes you look like an ass.

What Real Abuse, Attacks, and Hate Looks Like

What Real Abuse, Attacks, and Hate Looks Like

Hey guys, remember Luke Jackson?  The guy who started the whole Helix thing on accident and recently has been running around these here Internets being super offensive just to gain kudos (and perhaps sweet lovin’) from William Sanders and the people who hang out on his message board.  Well, he’s just taken his crazy act up to a whole other level!  Our boy is growing up so fast.

Previously on As The World Fails, there was a nasty commenter named Igor Sanchez who often left blatant and stupid racist and sexist hate comments on people’s blogs.  As you do in such instances, I and many others banned him.  Life went on.  During the recent RaceFail, Igor made a comeback, just once, with a comment that very, very closely followed one by Luke Jackson in the same post.  Both were moderated by default, and I only took note of them being together because they happened to be in the mod queue.  Something in the back of my mind said that it was related, but I didn’t care all that much.

Yesterday Kynn exposed Luke as Igor Sanchez, which wasn’t surprising but still, WTF people?  Luke upgrades from a Fail Boat to a Fail Ocean Liner — Failiner!

But wait, there’s more!  Upset at the fact that no one cares about or listens to him (including, apprently, Mr. Sanders himself), Luke is determined to do something so awful that people will may SO MUCH attention to him.  So, when attacking Kynn for being trans didn’t drive traffic enough, he decided to try posting Kynn’s home address and phone number.  Not only is that massive fail in and of itself, but even moreso since he got it wrong — that’s not Kynn’s address.

Any intelligent being who reads this blog understands full well the multilayered disgustingness going on here.  And were it not so very deep and wrong, I wouldn’t bother giving Luke the Google Juice.  However, this is not longer about a blog pissing contest, it’s about a mentally unbalanced person hunting down someone’s “real” name, address, and phone number thenn inviting his (non-existent) fans to call and get to the bottom of things.  (things being Kynn’s private parts, which Luke is desperately curious about.)

The bottom line is, Luke Jackson (lawyer in the prestigious firm of Choe, Jackson and Weitz, for all your sexual harassment needs!) is a sad, dangerous troll who is so screamingly frustrated with his own insignificance that he would rather committ borderline illegal acts than be ignored or mocked.  I suggest you all act accordingly.

WTF Authors?

WTF Authors?

Scalzi encourages authors to post their 1-star Amazon reviews because, hey, it may sting, but it’s not the end of the world. What inspired this? Why, an author acting as if bad reviews are the end of the world! Not just by whining and complaining about them, but by actively harassing the reviewers and encouraging her readers, friends, and authors from her small press to do so as well. And, as if that’s not bad enough, she isn’t even going after a professional reviewer, but some poor Amazon reviewer. Just a regular person.

WTF author?

I thought Anne Rice was bad, but this is above and beyond.

It’s easy for me to sit here and say, “Oh you authors should calm down and stop whining!” because I don’t have a novel up on Amazon. I’ve also had to contend with very few bad reviews (because I haven’t published much that was reviewed at all, not because I’m super fantastic). Still and all, I hope that I have the sense and civility not to go careening after the bad reviewers with a virtual sledgehammer. In fact, many years ago I made a vow to have a good attitude about reviews and Amazon reviews in particular because of something I witnessed in another author.

I blogged about this back then, but my old journal now only exists in Bloggers servers. (I’m trying to decide if I want to import it into this blog. I doubt it would be at all useful). But the gist of it was this:

After my first World Fantasy I attempted to read all of the books that came in the free book bag. I was young, what can I say? One of the books was Prince of Ayodhya by Ashok K. Banker. I put it down after about 6 chapters because it just didn’t engage me. Too much set-up and introducing the huge cast of characters and not a lot of moving forward with an actual story. I went over to Amazon to post my review and found that there was a bit of a kerfuffle going on there between some reviewers and the author. I wrote at the time:

The author of the book has posted three (yes, three) reviews of his own. And they’re starred reviews, which I thought authors and publishers weren’t supposed to be able to do. (they were removed I don’t know how long ago, but there’s another one here. –T) The reviews are weird, too. One is a rebuttal of a bad review that is at once intelligent and also incredibly egotistical to the point of being comedic. Another is just a long list of praise for the book. And I do mean long. (It’s also one of the spotlight reviews, which I find highly suspect) The last is a note to Amazon – which he claims he didn’t want published, yet submitted it as a review – that asks Amazon to remove the review because it is obviously a malicious attack on his book, unfounded, by someone who didn’t even read it. And they should take it down because Amazon is in the business of selling books, right? So they shouldn’t allow bad reviews on their site because it would discourage sales.

Around this time I joined a mailing list of people I knew from the OWW and other related spheres. One of our members asked the group if she could invite Ashok in. They’d met during a con and shared a publisher (possibly an editor?) and she felt he’d fit in with us. We said yes, and I giggled behind my hand a little since I had been a bit WTF about him just a few weeks before. At the time, no one read my blog, anyway. He certainly hadn’t. Life went on.

Remember a few years back when something went wrong with Amazon Canada’s code and all of the reviews that had been marked “Anonymous” suddenly revealed the actual names behind them? And it became apparent that authors and/or their friends were going about giving themselves or friends positive reviews? Yeah, we all had a good chuckle about that. But in the course of discussing this on the list, Ashok lamented the Amazon review system and its many faults. Just anyone can put up a review! They can give negative reviews! And they don’t even have to have read the book! If they put up a bad review, it’s probably because they haven’t read it, anyway. Don’t they want to sell books! How stupid!

At this point I thought he was going to bring up the little scuffle he had with that other reviewer, but instead he said something like: “There’s a reviewer called fluidartist who gave my book a bad review and he didn’t even read it. It’s ridiculous! And if you look at all his reviews, you’ll see they’re all negative He just goes around giving negative reviews for no reason.”

Take a look at the URL of this website (or the Permalink, if you’re on LJ). Yep, he was talking about MY review.

I sat there wide-eyed for a long time because, firstly, I didn’t think my review was that bad. Secondly, I was trying to decide if I should say anything or not. Because my email at the time (and some of my emails now) came from It’s right there in every message, every reply. But Ashok hadn’t noticed. Everyone else did, though. And no one commented about it, on list. The thread just died.

I asked some of the others if I should say anything, but everyone told me it wasn’t worth bringing up if he hadn’t noticed. So, I didn’t. To this day I have no clue if he ever connected the two. No big reason for him to do so, as we weren’t close or friends or anything. Still.

It was just very strange to see how angry he was about what I considered a not all that horrid review. Certainly I’ve written worse. (Jim Butcher’s Furies of Calderon is still bleeding on the bookshelf, as is Master of None.) It left me feeling like authors need to have a thick skin. Not so thick that they can’t learn, improve, and admit to mistakes. But thick enough that random Amazon (or any other) reviews don’t send one over the edge.

I vowed never to be like that, if I could possibly help it. It’s also good to have role models in this regard. Though I suspect that Scalzi is not as level-headed, cool, calm, and collected about everything as he pretends to be, if he has nasty things to say about his negative reviews, he isn’t saying it on his blog. He hasn’t yet called me up to raise the pixel pitchfork in anyone’s general direction. In fact, most of the published authors of my acquaintance don’t do these horrid things. I respect them all the more for it. Sure, I know some people who are fakely aloof and passive aggressive about their negative reviews (“Oh, look at this bad review! Hahaha I don’t care. I REALLY DON’T CARE AND NEITHER SHOULD YOU BUT GO LOOK AND SEE HOW SILLY AND WRONG THEY ARE.”), but I try not to spend time around them.

More importantly, I try hard not to be them. Now, we’ll see how well I succeed when my first book comes out.