Monday, November 10, 2014

Requires Decency

I don't know if you've been keeping up with the latest in the science fiction/fantasy community, but there's a very big discussion going on right now about the author who has been outted as the "Requires Hate" blogger. For a full, insightful rundown on all the things regarding this, I point you to Laura J. Mixon's post on the subject: A Report on Damage Done by One Individual Under Several Names.

I've mostly stayed out of this one, as I do most of them, because I've been fortunate enough to never REALLY be a target of "Requires Hate" under any of her pseudonyms. Now, she did "review" Archangel Protocol in her usual style. I wrote about my reaction to finding it skewered there in my post: Nerves of Aluminum. It was painful to read, but, in my case, what she wrote was no more than what any writer who publishes professionally can expect (to some degree.) Which is to say, she kept her reactions within the context of her personal reaction to my writing. She was gleeful to discover I was out of print, which is a little more personal, but again, nothing I can't just shrug off (with my nerves of aluminum, by which I mean, easy to say now, but yeah, it stung at the time.)

I, however, was not harassed or internet stalked or... worse.

So, I can't really complain about a review, except to say that for my part, I believe in this model: "It Costs Nothing to Encourage An Artist."

But, by saying she didn't hurt me that does NOT mean that I excuse her harassment of anyone. Anywhere. Ever. Full stop.  Because there's a very serious difference between a mean-spirited review and some of the internet stalking and harassment that this person has been involved in.

But, I feel inspired to weigh in a little about Requires Hate in general after reading Jim C. Hines's post: "Only a Sith Deals in Absolutes."   Some books should be taken to the mat and CONSTRUCTIVE criticism makes us all better readers, writers, and people. Similarly, there should be a place for snark and snide comments and humor with an edge. And, if you go back and read my post, I actually considered her complaints of my work with some seriousness, because, you know, that's part of the dialogue between reader and writer.

You can do this, however, with minimum douchbaggery.

That is all.


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