Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Drilling Through Rock Bottom With The Write Agenda

Though I never knew or conversed with Ann 'A.C' Crispin she was clearly a wonderful and principled human being. She was also a brilliant author, dazzling her readers and paving the genre road for the female authors that followed her. But don't take my word on it; here's what Tor.com has to say. She passed away last week, mourned by family and many, many loyal friends.

And yet...

Here is how one Twitter account--familiar to long term Spool Pidgin readers--reacted to the news:

(Spoolnote:  You can enlarge by clicking on images)

If you find something as wretched as this unreadable I can't say I blame you. Worse is to come. I only wish to cast whatever light this blog can on the twisted souls that lurk in the shadows at the edge of the publishing industry, waiting to financially exploit aspiring writers.

Crispin's crime? She, along with friend and fellow author Victoria Strauss, headed up Writer Beware, a non-profit, SFWA-backed drive to expose 'publishing' con-artists. It has been remarkably successful. Indeed, the dawn of the internet has been a stake through the heart of the snake oil industry generally. It's a situation I've likened elsewhere to the invention of sonar reducing the Nazi's U-Boats from a hidden predator to an all-too-visible farce.

(Here's another example:  Absolute Write, a forum where aspiring and professional authors share notes. Highly recommended)

 The Write Agenda is a last ditch attempt by the forces of scammery to counter their ongoing decimation. Claiming to be a cadre of 'concerned authors and industry professionals', they tellingly wear paper bags on their heads and remain nameless. Like the cigarette companies back in the day or the fossil fuel conglomerates nowadays, their aim is not so much to bury the facts but to sow doubt, peppering the web with confusion. It's just fortunate for us they're so shit at it.

(By way of example here's a list of contrived comments about Ann Crispin's death on their site with no links, names attached or references where they came from. Yes, W.A really is that incompetent)

Even before she passed away they wrote this:

The guy kissing the nag is Tom Dark, by the way. Dark is another scam artist and ethical vacuum who poses as an avuncular, 'big time' agent. The peculiar thing is, when pressed, he refuses to disclose who his big time clients are, something I've never known a lit agent to do. In fact, it's pretty much the entire opposite of what that vocation's about.

"Hello, Mr Dark; I represent Penguin books and we were wondering if J.K would be interested in--"     

"Keep walkin', asshole."

I suppose it's a testament to Crispin that she brought so many sociopaths together in a desperate attempt to corral their swag wagons (I've read she even predicted something like this would happen).

Hearteningly--and inevitably--droves of actual writers and others called their vileness out:

W.A really doesn't help itself, does it? Oh, there's more...

And in this following screen capture, W.A reveals its homophobia:

Not that that was a shock, my friends. Here's an entire blog post where W.A uses the fact Crispin attended a same-sex wedding as proof of moral degeneracy. Well, that rabid blog's proof of someone's moral degeneracy, I guess. Hey there, Write Agenda: Westboro much?

What the heck, why not go for broke and show support for fandom's leading white supremacist and rape apologist too?

Which makes you think.

Y'know, I've got in a few ugly online fandom spats in my time. I'm no angel. But Requires Hate's motivations, say, are basically laudable at root (and I hate to put her in this company, truly). Her 2011 rash of Twitter abuse becomes fairly understandable when you consider all those sweaty western tourists sex-cruising her home country. And whereas Vox Day is a bigoted turd purse, you can at least be certain he wakes up each day mistakenly believing he's doing right (It's noticeable he keeps a distance from W.A despite their support).

But Write Agenda... god. They must know they are parasites, that they and their ilk drain aspiring writers of money and their dreams. I honestly can't picture how someone goes about their day like that. I really can't. Damien Walter's above suggestion of personality disorder is an attractive thought. Because the only alternative is that W.A, Tom Dark et al are merely evil and stupid to a degree that drags all us hairless ape descendents down.

Well, if these shits weren't a nasty joke already they've certainly proved it now. And Google doesn't forget. The funny thing is they snatched a crushing defeat from the jaws of a potential minor victory. Imagine if, with Ann Crispin's passing, they had offered condolences? Wouldn't that have caught us all out? Perhaps it might even have caused a few naive aspiring writers to second guess, maybe even give these scammers the benefit of the doubt?

But, no. They couldn't have thought of that in a thousand years on account of being thick as shit. Evil and stupid is always a suicidal cocktail.

Let's end this with the wise, wise words of Caroline Hooton:


  1. I dunno about your qualified forgiveness of Requires Hate--read a little about the Chinese in Thailand, and if RH's claims are accurate, she's one of the exploiters.

    But other than that, yeah. There probably is something lower than a pseudonymous coward celebrating the death of someone who openly worked to make the world a better place. But I'll be damned if I can think of what it is just now.

    1. Man that was a quick reply! I think I added more after you left it (I accidentally published when I should have saved).

      But, yeah, the vileness of these people is an utter no-brainer, ain't it? Next to it, Requires Hate looks like Po from the frigging Teletubbies!

      Well, they've screwed themselves now. We can be thankful for that.

  2. Never been accused of having wise words before!

  3. In fairness, I'm no expert on wisdom!


    It wasn't the invention of Sonar that reduced the U-Boot threat, but the invention of *Radar*. Sonar was available from the the very beginning of WW2.

    (Sorry. I *am* an insufferable smartass)

    As for the topic at hand:
    As much of a waste of perfectly good carbon Vox Day might be - at least he doesn't actively *hurt* people (well, other than melting brains with his screeds). TWA's level of vile is almost on par with Voxiebunny's - but they *also* scam people out of their money.
    They might not hold as much sway over the ghoulish hordes as Vox does - but I'd say that on the Objective Scale Of Evil, TWA score at least a few hundred Kilonazis more than Vox.

    1. Oops! My bad! And don't apologize- that sonar boo-boo deserved to have the ever-livin' shit nitpicked outta it.

      Kilonazis is a great term, BTW. Is the opposite unit of measurement a Micro-Luther-King?

    2. I prefer "Femtoghandis" myself. Rolls off the tongue easier :D

  5. A oklahoma drilling company named first liberty energy is providing good service.

    1. Bullshit. You should see what they did to my teeth.