A Raffle, A Reading, and a Rant

Been a busy few days, as you might imagine, between recovering from jetlag and Launch Week. But three things make a post, so going to pile them all in together here for expediency’s sake.

The raffle: The Carl Brandon Society is doing a fundraising raffle for an ebook reader. But wait! This isn’t just any ebook reader, it’s one that comes pre-loaded with short stories and fiction by CBS members, including Yours Truly. This raffle is specifically intended to support the Octavia Butler Memorial Scholarship fund, which sends writers of color to Clarion — the (expensive) SF writing workshop that helped Ms. Butler’s career get started. I’ve donated my Nebula/Hugo nom’d short story, “Non-Zero Probabilities”, to the effort. Buy tickets here!

The reading: Folks in Albany, NY or thereabouts, I’ll be reading tomorrow at the Flights of Fantasy SF/F bookstore again, to debut The Broken Kingdoms. The FoF folks are great, and I’m looking forward to seeing them again. Afterward, there will be jazz! (Wish I could stay for that, but I can’t, alas.)

The (mini) rant: Been following, first with amused Schadenfreude and finally in awed wonder, the Cooks’ Source debacle (those are two of many, many links on the subject by now). In short, an editor done a writer wrong by using her freely available work for commercial purposes without permission or payment. The writer complained to her writer friends, said friends shared with more friends, and pretty soon the entire internet came to camp out on Cooks’ Source‘s lawn. With popcorn. I feel no sympathy for Judith Griggs, the editor in question; she should’ve known better, especially given that she’s stolen from corporate as well as individual sources as well. A little internet shame is the least of her problems, now. I’m told Disney’s lawyers are particularly vicious.

But my point is this: I’ve seen repeated complaints in the last few years about “dogpiling” — which I assume refers to the large number of comments that attach themselves to any given instance of faildom in the SF blogosphere (e.g., BoobFail, MammothFail, LettuceFail). I have an issue with such complaints in general — they usually represent “the tone argument” scaled up, and are an effort to shift the goalposts of the conversation from “what was done wrong” to “how (and whether) people should express their anger about the wrongness”. But aside from that, I now know nothing that has happened in the SF/F community is a dogpile. Not even close. What happened to Cooks’ Source yesterday? Ya’ll, that is a dogpile. Calling anything less by the same name, IMO, is the equivalent of calling a schoolyard scrap “World War Three.”

I, like most people who make a living selling intellectual property, will be watching the Cooks’ Source affair closely as it continues to unfold.

4 thoughts on “A Raffle, A Reading, and a Rant”

  1. I’m still entertained, but I’m starting to wonder if anything is actually going to happen as a result. Cooks Source and Judith Griggs (assuming the magazine isn’t just a one person shop) have been amazingly recalcitrant, and I can’t figure out if they’re just trying to ignore the storm or what. I’ll keep coming back though for the sheer entertainment value of the internet hate machine.

  2. Hi Aaron,

    I think CS will do nothing. That’s frankly the wise thing to do at this point; anything else just incriminates them further, for all the lawsuits that are likely to come later.

  3. At this point I’m not sure CS really *could* respond on Facebook, even if it wanted to. It’s hard to tell what’s official out there anymore, and the page that appeared to have been a second attempt at a Facebook presence was either a hoax from the beginning (likely) or has been hijacked through social engineering (plausible, but only just).

    You’re probably right. Any other public response at this point may be too incriminating.

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