Part Nine of the CONTROVERSIES thread which continues from Part One HERE and Part Two HERE and Part Three HERE and Part Four HERE and Part Five HERE and Part Six HERE and Part Seven HERE and Part Eight HERE.

Further discussion will hopefully be made in the comment stream below. Everyone is welcome to contribute on any aspect of book reviewing controversies and related matters in the hope that we may be able to cauterise them.

58 thoughts on “*

  1. There are too many non-literary controversies for linking. But think about Brexit imploding, sexual abuse scandals bedevilling all manner of walks of life, May’s cabinet crumbling, Trump ‘not calling’ the NK leader “short and fat”, Boris in free fall, and much else.

  2. From http://stjoshi.org/news.html on 22 Nov 2017 (Kennedy assassination anniversary):
    “Meanwhile, the antics of my enemies continue to provide rich amusement. Their staggering inferiority to me, in intellect and achievements, is becoming more and more apparent with each passing day; but what is now becoming increasingly obvious is that they are really not very nice people.”

    • I have now been shown a video of a public convention performance by an individual that seems to justify STJ’s: “and, like our Twitter-obsessed “president,” they lash out hysterically at their opponents with abuse and insults, in the grotesque belief that such puerile taunts could actually wound their enemies instead of merely provoking derisive laughter at their own expense.”

    • “Because of all the cruel and vindictive attacks on me of late, which have truly hurt my feelings (*sniff sniff*), I am giving up all literary work for the foreseeable future.”
      — from STJ’s blog 27.11.17

      Unless this is a joke, it’s a damned shame that someone not brought up all his life with the cut and thrust of a cyber-world’s potential misunderstanding and battle is inveigled into such a self-destructive stance as this possible posture or deep sincerity.

    • I don’t mind backing Kickstarters if they will bring something I want into existence that probably wouldn’t exist otherwise, e.g. the Hemingwrite, a new series of MST3K. I’m not keen on publishing Kickstarters where the project would be entirely feasible without a Kickstarter (e.g. the book is finished and the Kickstarter is to pay for expensive printing instead of using print-on-demand), where the minimum donation to even get an ebook is over twenty quid, or where it seems the only goal is to shift the risk from the publisher to the customers. All the Kickstarters I’ve backed have come through with their products, but I’ve watched others go quite badly awry over a number of years (e.g. Goldtiger: https://tinyurl.com/goldtigercomments). I think on the whole Kickstarted book projects tend to be a lot less exclusive than some of the more expensive titles you cover on this website, because there is usually, as well as the fancy deluxe hardback tiers, a cheap ebook tier. With this one, $25 for one issue on Kindle and $60 for all three issues seems quite steep, but they obviously know their audience. There’s a small group of people who are willing to pay quite a bit of money to make it happen.

      • I hadn’t looked at the Goldtiger updates and comments since they started sending it out, and it didn’t get much better. Seems like a classic example of how not to do a Kickstarter and who not to do it with.

        • Thanks. Food for thought.
          Abridged version of an effectively anonymous message I received today:

          “[…]Then, as now, the main route was the preorder.
          You paid up front, usually got a small discount, then waited six months or so for the book to arrive in your mailbox.
          The preorder helped subsidize the book, but it was also an act of faith.
          Anyone who preorders books for any length of time invariably gets burned. Usually by well meaning, honest souls who either overextend their ambitions, or peddle the undesirable.
          I must confess to not understanding the whole Kickstarter stroll.
          Buyers are asked to subsidize the enterprise, then *pay* for the product. Personally, it strikes me as double-dipping and a bit of bad form.[…]
          Few other publishing houses seem to do this, though.
          I cast a dim eye at Dark Regions who were early adopters of money begging, and, in my opinion, set a bad precedent.
          If every press hops on this bandwagon, they may well drain or kill what is already a niche market. […]”

    • What has intrigued me is that, recently at least, STJ has chosen people to review, not books and also chosen works that he feels instinctively negative about. I choose to buy and review books about which I feel instinctively positive. Neither method is necessarily damnable or desirable, just different.

  3. I must have done something good in a previous life to have been long-term blocked on Twitter and unfriendable on Facebook by LaIrd Barron in this life.
    Potential thread for FB Friends: HERE

  4. Possibly the potential greatest work to watch from one of the legendary #StoryvilleWriters

    Above @ and also #AndyCox who originated the Storyville discussion group, #NeilWilliamson #MFKorn #TamarYellin #LawrenceDyer #GaryCouzens #TrevorMendham #RosanneRabinowitz #JessicaTreat #SherryDecker #DawnAndrews #ForrestAguirre #ColinPink #DanielPearlman #EricSchaller #JaiClare #MikePhilbin #MarkRoberts #PhilRaines #RobertFreemanWexler #MikalTrimm #LizWilliams & of course #DavidMathew plus any I’ve forgotten. http://www.dowse.com/storyville-sanctum/

    My ongoing giant review of THE PARRY AND THE LUNGE: https://dflewisreviews.wordpress.com/2018/04/12/the-parry-and-the-lunge-david-mathew/

  5. Posterity and Planet: http://www.ligotti.net/showthread.php?t=11815&page=5

    Quote Originally Posted by mark_samuels View Post
    Let me advise you, in advance, of exactly what will happen in the future: my work will survive on its own artistic merits. I am already too integrated into the weird fiction culture for it not to do so. Only online deletion and physical print-removal on a vast industrial scale will finish my stuff off. It’s not going to happen.
    Hey ho. You lose, haters.”

    All of us losers; the planet hates us.

    • I don’t think Amélie Wen Zhao would agree. (Or outside of genre, Kosoko Jackson or E.J. Levy.) I will always defend people’s right to give books they’ve read bad reviews, to find them offensive and say why, but there’s an unwelcome trend now of people campaigning for books they find offensive to not be published at all. And it’s only going to get worse, three publishers and/or their authors having given in to it in the space of a month: the harassment has been shown to work. If The Satanic Verses came out now and was protested, I suspect the publisher would apologise, promise to do better in future, and send it off to a sensitivity reader.

  6. Literature should not be black or white. It can be subject to many interpretations. Literature should be like that, as part of its appeal in a polarised world.

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