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2005-02-18 -Short Attention Span Theater-
Science Fiction Authors Hoax Vanity Publisher (dumbass lit-snobs played for fools)
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Posted by Atomic Conspiracy 2005-02-18 7:00:19 AM|| E-Mail|| Front Page|| [713 views since 2007-05-07]  Top

#1 This is reminiscent of the famous Naked Came the Stranger hoax of the 1960s, but there are still people dumb enough to fall for it it seems. It should have been subtitled Naked Came the Jackass.
Posted by Atomic Conspiracy 2005-02-18 7:38:07 AM||   2005-02-18 7:38:07 AM|| Front Page Top

#2 I'm confused. PublishAmerica said in its rejection, "They will certainly publish your book at a fee." Which would indicate that PublishAmerica was originally willing to underwrite it. It's only a "vanity publisher" if you have to underwrite it yourself.
Posted by 2b 2005-02-18 7:50:10 AM||   2005-02-18 7:50:10 AM|| Front Page Top

#3 Travis Tea, that's great! But I bet the temptation was there to go with Heywood Jablomi.
Posted by BH 2005-02-18 8:16:19 AM||   2005-02-18 8:16:19 AM|| Front Page Top

#4 Haha, very funny. :) Reminds me of when the physicist Alan Sokal got a hoax paper published by filling it full of nonsense.
Posted by Laurence of the Rats  2005-02-18 9:05:11 AM|| [http://www.punictreachery.com/]  2005-02-18 9:05:11 AM|| Front Page Top

#5 2b
SFWA describes PublishAmerica as "a print-on-demand-based vanity publisher that poses as a 'traditional' publisher in order to ensnare thousands of gullible first-time writers."
Apparently, they don't reveal their hand until later in the process.
Posted by Atomic Conspiracy 2005-02-18 9:36:16 AM||   2005-02-18 9:36:16 AM|| Front Page Top

#6 My favorite literary hoax was Jean Shepherd's invention of a book titled "I, Libertine."
Posted by growler 2005-02-18 11:12:30 AM||   2005-02-18 11:12:30 AM|| Front Page Top

#7 It sounds as if PublishAmerica always accepts books for publication, then later you find that it's going to cost you, rather than pay you. I don't see what the great coup is in getting an outfit like that to accept a book.

This is the article that inspired the hoax. I won't comment on its general content, but it clearly says that most SF/fantasy writers are good writers, etc, but the genres also attract really crappy writers who think that writing fantastic literature means that anything goes.

This is indistputably true, and whining about it is childish. There are literary equivalents to those filmmakers who believe that a couple of weird-looking aliens and some explosions are all that's needed to make a decent science fiction movie.
Posted by Angie Schultz 2005-02-18 11:38:01 AM|| [http://darkblogules.blogspot.com]  2005-02-18 11:38:01 AM|| Front Page Top

#8 "It sounds as if PublishAmerica always accepts books for publication, then later you find that it's going to cost you, rather than pay you. I don't see what the great coup is in getting an outfit like that to accept a book."

Er, Angie, PublishAmerica does not admit that it will always accept whatever is submitted. Directly and decisively exposing this deception is a worthwhile purpose. The article was complaining about allegedly low standards in the genre. The exercise demonstrated conclusively that PublishAmerica has no standards at all and is therefore in no position to judge.

Secondly, the article clearly targets the Science Fiction Writers of America, which has led the way in exposing PublishAmerica's scams.
Check out their article on the dispute.

The Authors Market article clearly conflates SFWA with these "crappy writers," which is a lie, pure and simple.
Posted by Atomic Conspiracy 2005-02-18 12:15:37 PM||   2005-02-18 12:15:37 PM|| Front Page Top

#9 It appears this is one of those sweet times when the bad guy finally gets what he's had coming for a long time!
Posted by 2b 2005-02-18 12:49:28 PM||   2005-02-18 12:49:28 PM|| Front Page Top

#10 Er, Angie, PublishAmerica does not admit that it will always accept whatever is submitted. Directly and decisively exposing this deception is a worthwhile purpose.

OK, I'll agree with that. But both this post and the others I've seen on the topic focus on how "dumbass lit-snobs played for fools". Ha ha! Showed them! There wasn't much (if anything) said about PA possibly being crooks.

I read the SFWA's article on the dispute, but stopped when I got to the "Waaa waaa waaa they said we suck!" part. I love science fiction, and PA is right here: many of them do suck. Even, yes, the ones that get published. Some, even, who belong to the SFWA.

The rest of the PA article sounds like self-serving claptrap, which is why I didn't want to comment further on it.
Posted by Angie Schultz 2005-02-18 2:17:00 PM|| [http://darkblogules.blogspot.com]  2005-02-18 2:17:00 PM|| Front Page Top

#11 Remember Sturgeon's Law:
"Ninety percent of Science Fiction is crap. But the, 90% of anything is crap."

Jackals corollary:
"This rises to 100% in areas where post-modernism holds sway."
Posted by jackal  2005-02-18 2:20:13 PM|| [http://home.earthlink.net/~sleepyjackal/index.html]  2005-02-18 2:20:13 PM|| Front Page Top

#12 PA contended specifically that standards are lower in science fiction than in general fiction. This is certainly untenable given their acceptance of Atlanta Nights, a work of general fiction produced specifically to incorporate the lowest possible standards.
Posted by Atomic Conspiracy 2005-02-18 11:05:47 PM||   2005-02-18 11:05:47 PM|| Front Page Top

#13 From the PA front's article:
"As a rule of thumb, the quality bar for sci-fi and fantasy is a lot lower than for all other fiction...."

Tell me, Angie, how crappy are SFWA's writers compared to PA's? SFWA requires paid professional sales for membership. We have seen what PA requires. You have correctly identified this article as self-serving crap, though, motivated by the desire to retaliate for exposure rather than by any genuine concern (or even knowledge of) literary standards.
I have a challenge for the "sci-fi is crap" crowd: Get together some of PA's dupes and staff members, have them write a bogus SF novelette to what they assert to be the low standards of the genre, and submit it to, say, Analog.
Posted by Atomic Conspiracy 2005-02-18 11:31:12 PM||   2005-02-18 11:31:12 PM|| Front Page Top

23:31 Atomic Conspiracy
23:25 Phil Fraering
23:20 Sobiesky
23:19 DMFD
23:14 Phil Fraering
23:09 DMFD
23:08 JosephMendiola
23:06 Phil Fraering
23:05 Atomic Conspiracy
23:04 Phil Fraering
22:56 2b
22:54 trailing wife
22:53 Barbara Skolaut
22:49 CrazyFool
22:46 Eris
22:41 trailing wife
22:41 SwissTex
22:40 Jame Retief
22:39 trailing wife
22:33 JosephMendiola
22:20 badanov
22:20 trailing wife
22:19 SwissTex
22:14 Frank G

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