Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Thoughts and Links

I don't typically do link posts these days, but I've seen a lot of fun and interesting things, so I decided it was worth a full post.

  • I can't say that I watch much many beauty pageants so it's through the links of others that I found out that the latest Miss USA show actually asked contestants if evolution should be taught in schools. As a scientist (and also as a religious person) I find the very concept horrifying and fear the future of a country that refuses to believe in science. Thankfully I'm not alone, and others are much more humorous than I - should math be taught in schools? (trust me, it's brilliant) Oh, and the actual winner was one of the few who stood up for evolution (and she's a big fan of George R.R. Martin).

  • I posted a mini-review* of Wolfsangel by M.D. Lachlan (Book Depository, Powell's Books, Indiebound) last night. The good folks over at @tordotfantasy retweeted the link. Apparently M.D. Lachlan (@mdlachlan) - a pseudonym for author Mark Barrowcliffe - didn't like that @tordotfantasy would tweet an ultimately negative review. I find that sort of public reaction fascinating, amusing and a bit troubling and unprofessional. I also find it troubling that @tordotfantasy quickly tweeted a link to a more positive review that Lachlan suggested. It's not so much that @tordotfantasy tweeted another review, it's the apparent influence that the author has. The inevitable question is do authors advocate for what reviews get tweeted (or not) for folks like this?

*For me, a mini-review is something short and to the point. There is very little detail or supporting evidence, just my quick opinion of a book. Basically, either I don't have the time or I don't have the inclination to write a full review.


Aidan Moher said...

Hey Ken,

Just to touch on the Tor.com Fantasy review stuff. The second review (directed to me by Lachlan) was a new review and would have found its way onto Tor.com Fantasy regardless of Lachlan's involvement. Tor.com Fantasy's not out there to be divisive or to make any points, but rather has an M.O. of spreading news about the genre, (mostly) good or (sometimes) bad.

It would have been of more concern had I apologized for re-tweeting your link or deleted the tweet (and Facebook post) pointing readers there. To me, there's nothing wrong with representing the two diverging opinions equally.


P.S. This is the opinion of me, myself and I and doesn't represent Tor.com, Tor Books, Macmillan, yadda yadda yadda.

Neth said...


Yeah, I know what your motivations are and I suspect that you would have found and linked that review regardless. It's more the reaction of Lachlan that I question - he called you out for posting a negative review and then suggested that you post a more positive one because it is 'more reprentative'. That just doesn't sit well with me.

Though maybe it was all in some sort of odd humor or sarcasm that doesn't tranlate well on-line (though it didn't seem to be).

Aidan Moher said...

It seemed a little pissy to me, too. I didn't feel like getting in an Internet fight today... so I just played nice. Was certainly a little off-putting for me, though, and moved WOLFSANGEL a bit further down by TBR pile (more-so than your negative review did, funny enough)

Neth said...

You were in a tricky position - it's one thing for Aidan to get in an internet fight, it's a bit different for @tordotfantasy to. You played it right, though I still think the situation leads to some unconfortable questions that you should consider.

Aidan Moher said...


And, yes, certainly a situation to learn from!

bcwoods said...

Granted, I really don't like Card, and sometimes feel as though I must have read much better books than he intended to write, but I don't know that's it's fair to call him pro-Hitler. Even if he did, consciously or unconsciously, write Hitler parallels into Ender's Game, taking that to "Card thinks Hitler is awesome" is a whole other argument.

It was definitely a douche move to call up a reviewer and try to bully them out of an article, but to then imply Card is responsible for someone being physically attacked, without any evidence, is neither fair nor reasonable.

I understand that it feels wrong when a person has off-putting, even odious, character traits (like activist malicious homophobic stances, which is why I can no longer morally purchase his novels) and can still be amazingly successful at what they do.

So, Card isn't a perfect guy by any means. I don't like him and don't support his work. I think his anti-gay activism is appalling and repugnant and is only made more so by his self-righteousness... but he's still not Hitler.

Salt-Man Z said...

I've heard the "Card didn't actually write Ender's Game" one before, and it never fails to make me chuckle. Mostly because it's pretty obviously written by the same guy who wrote Treason, Hart's Hope, The Worthing Saga, Songmaster, and Wyrms (all but the last written prior to EG.) Unless the theory is that OSC didn't actually write the entirety of his first decade or two of published novels and stories—that I could buy, as everything he's done since the turn of the century has been mediocre at best.

bcwoods said...

Wow. My computer totally ate the part where I wrote:

P.S. I understand totally that your posting of an article is not an endorsement of its content. This is simply a reaction to the content of that article.

Neth said...


I read the article I linked as a rather fair presentation of a set of facts (though obviously I cannot vouch for the accuracy of those facts). It was Card's reaction that is so illuminating.


I had never heard that accusation before, so I found it amusing. I agree that it's highly unlikely.

Anonymous said...

Great. Now I feel ashamed for having loved ender's game in the first place. While I don't think he is pro-hitler, he's still a little bitch nevertheless.

orson, if you're reading:


Now that I got that off my chest, I think i'll go and read some better scifi like kay kenyon's ENTIRE AND THE ROSE and the new LEVIATHAN WAKES (don't know about that one but it sounds hella promising anyway.)


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