According To Hoyt

The Games People Play

So, a site that shall not be named mostly because I don’t want to deal with them today, (since I have a rather tight schedule this week), has long been in the habit of “skimming till offended” and taking a sentence or two out of context which they then use to feed their mental-ward of psychos so they can engage in demonizing everyone not establishment-sf.

No site not-establishement-sf is too small, as posts by friends and distant associates with a couple of indie novellas out are scrutinized with the same avid appetite for bad-think-to-shun-and-mock as those by me or anyone else who has long been a professional in the field.

Apparently no post of mine is also either too small or inconsequential as they have now taken to scrutinizing the posts at MGC which has led to the most recent pratfall.

Anyone who follows the blog knows, unless something is really vitally important my posts are “teaching posts”.  I.e. I write the sort of thing I think might help a newby or someone who is indie and therefore hasn’t been exposed to the details, of say, what constitutes copyright violation.

These posts are often inspired by something a friend or acquaintance asks me, or sometimes by something in the media.

The most recent post to get the attention of the spin-mutilate-mock-destroy crowd, was one that used as a jumping point a public case of copyright infringement.  In the post I mention I have neither examined the claims nor interested myself in the details, so I’m not going to pronounce on the true merits.

However, what concerned me, about the case, was the way it’s being reported in the media, as a case based on the use of somewhat similar names for things, and of a band of humans defending against supernatural menace.

Again, I don’t know the true details of the case, so I never intended to (nor did) write about it.  I just pointed out as described the case would be laughed out of court, as the general description applies to Dresden Files, Buffy Vampire Slayer, and everything in between.  And the things the press uses to adduce the validity of the case (librarian and publisher confusion) aren’t.  Both libraries and publishers have confused things before that had nothing to do with each other.

What my post — being a teaching post — meant to make sure of is that no new writer, or indie writer went and shelved his work or hid it or pulled it off sale thinking they’d be next in this type of lawsuit.

The unnamed site, having read the first paragraph and seeing that a post followed, immediately went on to say that research was hard and that, without doing it, I’d done a whole post about the case.  When it was pointed out to them I hadn’t, but the case was a mere jumping off point, they claimed stupidity on my part since the post was an obvious sham or something.

I want anyone reading my post and considering its intent (to reassure newbies.  I often get asked whether someone is plagiarizing because they were inspired by a book, series or song, without any of the wording being used, or even the same elements save one) to understand this is what that site does.  This is how they are creating and widening a rift in science fiction and being a poisonous and malevolent influence.

I have — or had.  There was no break, but I haven’t talked to most in a while — friends among the readers of that site.  After years of friendship, I wonder how they can convince themselves everything I say is either stupid or not researched or somehow an attack.

I want what remains of the decent people I knew to consider if this kind of group-hate might not be a bad idea.

You see, hate is an emotion that demands feeding, and sooner or later all such groups eat their own.

We’re not the ones scrutinizing every possible blog for an offense — except when the offenses are against us — and we’re not the ones going after teaching posts in the craft for things to be offended about.

It seems like those flames of hate are running out of oxygen.  Beware when they turn on you.

Could you survive the sort of treatment meted above to a post that had less than nothing to do with the war in science fiction?  Are you sure?

Because sooner or later it’s going to come for you.