Oh, Authors, Why Must You Be Crazy on the Internet?

If I linked to every incident of an author being crazy on the Internet over a bad review, I’d be here all day, but this one is a perfect shining diamond of such crazy. It’s the platonic ideal of an author going insane over a bad review, and will be studied by future cockroach scholars as they comb through our lost civilization trying to understand why we spent so much time on the Internet being stupid.

At Amazon, L.B. Taylor gave a bad review of “Electra Galaxy’s Mr. Intersellar Feller”, an SF romance by Candace Sams. The first comment, by “Niteflyr One”, accuses Taylor of hating the author. Niteflyr One, of course, is the author Candace Sams.

What’s that? A sock puppet right out of the gate? That’s a classic move, the Queen’s Gambit of authors responding to bad reviews. But it gets better! She claims her response was just a social experiment! (“Here’s a run-through of the events of this experiment, for that’s what all this was ‘really’ about.”) The lurkers support her in email! (“For some time now, I’ve been getting messages from more equitable reviewers, agents and editors that this person (Taylor) was ‘known’ in the industry for having some very angry, almost hateful opinions…”) Godwin’s law in action! (“I’d liken their collective attitude to Gestapo tactics, but I don’t think anyone who left comments on the list on behalf of Taylor would know what I was talking about, let alone be able to spell it.”) I don’t actually mind the bad review! (“For those of you who don’t know…I was a police officer for almost ten years. I’ve been called things in languages from all over the world. Taylor and her webspinners hardly bother me.”) All of you people responding negatively are in on it and are out to get me! (“She responded just as I thought one of these nasty little reviewers would…she ran, hid and called out her little army of nothing-better-to-do malcontents.”)

And that’s only one comment! She ran through the whole Kubler-Rossian spectrum of wankery in one sitting.

What’s icing on the cake is her awesome claims. Thrill! to her claim that editors are responsible for the bad books, not authors. (I blame Joss Whedon fans for this defense.) Exclaim! when you realize that she points to Harriet Klausner as a model reviewer, the same Harriet Klausner whose reviews are typically nothing more than plot summaries that may or may not get the plot points right. Marvel! that she thinks that people who post bad reviews on Amazon then buy it in ebook format to sell illegally. Swoon! as she sneers how a sneer is the weapon of the weak.

But none of that can hold a candle to her calling in the Internet FBI. Seriously!

Candace Sams gives up around page 18, but who knows? Maybe she’ll be back!

10 thoughts on “Oh, Authors, Why Must You Be Crazy on the Internet?

  1. Probably because it doesn’t have as many (now deleted) posts from Sams, everyone’s forgetting poor PBB, whom Sams also derided. In fact, LB actually mentions PBB’s review in their review. Sams even wrote up an entire blog calling people to vote both said reviews down, though she mistyped PBB’s Amazon ID as BBB.

  2. Hi, got a link to your blog through an author’s post. Know this is an old post, so don’t know if you’ll see my comment. But as I’m a Joss Whedon fan I’m curious about your remark about his fans? I have no idea what you’re talking about here, and would like to be let in if possible. Hope you get to read this, so I can hear about this. 🙂

    1. Sure! Whedon, like any writer in Hollywood, has been involved with some…not so spectacular films. The usual defense for those efforts, from both Whedon and a number of his fans, are that the actors, directors and editors got it wrong. (See, for example, discussion Halle Berry’s rendition of the infamous “What happens to a toad when it’s struck by lightning?” exchange from X-Men or Whedon’s own assessment of what went wrong with Alien: Resurrection.) This is a better defense for movies and TV, where the writer is often very removed from filming, and their words are interpreted by actors and directors before the entire story is potentially changed in editing. When it comes to books, the author is far more in control.

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