Friday, December 25, 2009

SciFiRomgate - an update

A punctuation of sorts to my post last week, about the rather touchy author who initiated an Internet flame war with a bunch of readers after receiving a one-star review on Amazon. The novelist herself has written to fellow writers on Novelists Inc to explain her behaviour...

Hello everyone,

I was the nutcase involved in the FBI incident. Since I don't suppose this post will remotely move some who'll read it, I'll go ahead and make my statement and see what part of the Internet to which you flee to cross-post.

If you think it's appropriate for a so-called reviewer that no one has ever heard of and/or her juvenile blog ilk to find your home phone number and call at all hours; if you think it's appropropriate for them to contact your employers to find out about you or to attempt to invade/hack private sites you've set up on for family and friends to chat...when/if it happens to you please don't make any issue of it lest you also be labeled insane. Maybe LK Hamilton is insane as well? These same individuals (there are a group of them who post their side and no one else's on the Internet) did the same thing to this author when she took issue with their behavior as I have.

I make this statement in defense, identifying myself in front of everyone, because I wouldn't have cross-posted about the incident. I wouldn't have done that to you or to any other person. Doing so - inflicting pain on a total stranger without knowing what you're talking about and for your own amusement -makes me a crazy? I segue to your psychological and humane expertise and your ability to make less of us all. That you believed what some cowardly posters wrote on the Internet is saddening. Everyone knows that everything you read out there must be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but?

Still, I uphold your right to make any statement you want. I served my country in my own way so that you could. My insistence that you be able to keep and hold your opinions, even in light of your posts, makes me..."NUTS! BONKERS! OVER THE EDGE! OFF THE DEEP END! DOWN THE RABBIT HOLE!"

I'm a bit startled at the few posts in this venue - sent out at a time of year when folks should be a bit more charitable. I'm startled that you'd say what you have - in the way you said it - that you'd actually believe thereafter that others would think that there's something wrong with me. Please what the posters on this list said and draw your own conclusions as to who's mentally unhinged.

Somewhere on your block or in your hometown...there's an elderly person who can't buy a prescription or turn on their heat; an animal has strayed or has been dumped and is cold and hungry and in need of comfort. A sick person could use a helping hand by bringing in their mail from the mailbox. Someone who isn't able to do so could use some help shoveling snow. But this is how you choose to spend your time? And you could get some attention; maybe sell one of your romance novels at someone else's expense?

Yet I'm "over the edge"?

My apologies to the hundreds on this loop who've been inflicted with others' idea of an amusing event. I pray to God this situation never happens to you or anyone else.

Have a happy and safe holiday all,
Candace Sams (aka C.S. Chatterly)
~ Where Fantasies Embrace Legend ~

Hmmm. If you peer very closely you might be able to detect an apology of sorts in there, but also a great deal of self-justification. However, if the allegations she makes are true then that is extremely disturbing. Though, personally, I feel it just goes to prove my point that responding to criticism, good or bad, is a mug's game, regardless of people's motives. And is it any wonder that the odd reader gets irritated when half the five-star reviews of so many books on Amazon are palpably written by friends or family or the author in disguise? (Which reminds me, should we ever meet for a drink, remind me to tell you about the one about the publisher who posted a one-star review on Amazon about one of his own authors...).

I also stand by my vow to keep well away from the world of Science Fiction comedy. That's not to devalue the genre. Let's face it, Spock's gotta get some...

Anyhow, I have some Brussel sprouts parboiling and a bird the size of Scotland to cram in the oven. Merry Christmas to you all. May all you dreams be merry and bright.

Dan- Friday


  1. I have only just begun posting reviews on Amazon. What is the best way to post a review that will be evaluated as genuine?

    I have never met a published author and, to the best of my knowledge, I don't know anyone who has self-published. Reviews are by definition biased; anything that is opinion has to be. How do I not do the author more harm than good if I give the book 5 stars?

    I was put off posting because I had to come up with a title. Now I see rating the book is a greater morass.

  2. I think it's important to keep Amazon reviews in perspective. They'll only be seen by people who have sought out the page, and most people who have spent any time online can tell (a) the bogus from the real, and (b) the editorial and/or online reviews, such as PW, Reviewing the Evidence, etc., from the user reviews.

    I've had one-star and five-star reviews. My feeling is that the primary value of a good review is that it presents the story in an enthusiastic fashion and might help the reader decide whether to order the book or not.

    Also, I think user reviews are useless until there's a sort of threshold -- say 20 or so. If you're looking at 3-5 reviews and they're all 5-star, then judge the book by the other evidence on the page.

    Having said all that, I really love it when someone gives me five stars.

  3. Thank you, Tim. Leighton had posted on this blog that reader reviews are important because as newspapers disappear so do book reviewers.

    If I started a book that I thought only deserved one or no stars, it is very likely that I wouldn't finish it. So there won't be any one star ratings from me. I've not read any books by anyone on this blog that didn't earn many more.

    I am going to re-read those books that I read awhile ago so I won't be creating confusion for anyone who reads the review or consternation on the part of the author who wonders just whose book I am talking about.