Tuesday, October 14, 2008


I came across a particularly irritating US-based website last week while carrying out a quick search for references to a non-paying magazine I once appeared in. I won’t dignify the site with a link or even bother mentioning its name, but its entire purpose seemed to be to deride a small number of authors’ writing and publication credits. Several readers had gleefully joined in with comments about how the publication in question was obviously rubbish if it didn’t pay and as they’d never heard of it was deserving of their scorn.

I’ve never heard of the people who wrote on the website, but that doesn’t mean I automatically assume they’re second-rate and worthless. Why impugn a magazine you’ve never heard of, and by implication the other contributing authors?

I’ve always found the SF community in the UK to be nothing but supportive and encouraging. Some markets may be less glamorous than others, but that’s no reason to mock the efforts of those who are probably very excited to appear in them.


Anonymous said...

Of course, by not mentioning the name of the site, you've now made us all insanely curious.

Jonathan C. Gillespie said...

Do sent the link to me, Gareth, please.

Don't let it get on your nerves.

One thing I've never understood is the desire of some fiction writers to play the elitist card and factionalize against others. As if they were never in the early stages of their career, and they have nothing further to learn about how this genre could work better -- which if it was working perfectly, would be the behemoth that, say, the romance genre is.

Then again, I've never understood people who seem to think it's trendy and edgy to walk around slamming the efforts of others. Why expend the effort being hostile?

If a person doesn't approve of a market or publishing method, they shouldn't slam it in public, unless there is some legitimate gripe like being ripped off by said market, or some other insidious act at work. If someone is convinced it has no readership and is utterly pointless to sell or give work too, then why would someone give it free publicity by harping about it? All they're going to do is piss off people that, whether one wants to admit it or not, could very well have brought them business in the future.

All this needless factionalism is counterproductive and damages the efforts of us all.

Gareth D Jones said...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts Jonathan. Glad it's not just me!