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Benjanun Sriduangkaew and RotyH


Nearly Headless Ned

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I was one who linked to a few of her reviews in 2011-2012 because I found some value underneath the scorched-earth blistering flame-reviews she would do (sometimes, we critics can be too civil). But I did become troubled by seeing the rhetoric ramped up on Twitter and after a while, I just stopped paying attention, because it was a combo of too much vitriol and nothing of continued interest being said. Seems that I missed out on the worst of the name calling, although I do recall in the earlier days having some arguments with online acquaintances about that (and those I regret having happened, for the most part at least).

But there really are some things missing here:

1) It's been a sort of open secret about her identity. I heard rumor of the RH/BS connection well over a month ago, for example, and when Trish Sullivan made a post near the beginning of this month on her blog alluding to "toxicity," I knew immediately the persona(s) she was talking about. All Mamatas did was spell out in open what Sullivan, Liz Williams, and CaitlĂ­n Kiernan had been saying to various SF/F online and print magazines about RH/BS over the past few months. Whether that was a dick move or not I leave up to others to decide, but that is something I didn't see mention here while glancing through the posts. There are some politics in play here, some believe.

2) There is an issue of doxxing/RH/BS's own stalkers that complicates matters. There does seem to be some evidence for the latter.

3) However forced/sincere the apologies are, I fully expect a lifetime of good behavior before I could trust her. Like I said, I liked some of ideas behind the acerbic reviews, but the social media stuff went into the realm of verbal abuse and I think that the focus should be on her making good to those genuinely hurt. Doesn't help to moralize on this; after all, I can't spare to have my glass house shattered by stones.

That's about it. Just tired of seeing authors I know in the field damaging their friendships over this.

From what I've been told, what actually provoked the outing was that Liz Williams and some of her friends were sening e-mails to various editors, which included the conviction they SHOULD NOT PUBLISH Benjanun Sriduangkaew. Supposedly this is why she and Nick agreed to do this, with the idea that a public outing was better for her career than the long whisper campaign, which would not be stopping any time soon, if ever.

But that's only what I've been told, so who knows? even though I was told by people who seem to have every reason to know. MMV on that, with no blame and no foul.

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I don't doubt the sincerity of the RH apology. It's coming from a young place and it's impossible to atone in an instant for even an instant's wrong. The apology on A Bee Writes isn't directed at authors, or anyone commenting here, with the possible exception of Sci-2. It's for the folks who followed, championed, and assisted RH.

Yeah, though like Larry I'd say it would take a lot of contrition for me to really take an apology seriously. I mean she basically seemed to enjoy making fools out of anyone who had supported her by doubling down on irrational craziness. It was like she wanted to gain support only to embarrass her supporters.

That said, I still like the original site and the reviews, but I wouldn't go out and buy anything she's written. If it's $0, I might click on a link though.

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I can't understand how you folks are so quick to forgive this scum bag. Rape threats, murder fantasies, harassment of people of color, and different mind sets? All these things are behaviors we decry around these parts, and she did it /for years/! This isn't a new thing, nor is it something she gave up a long time ago.

This may be some of the most hypocritical behavior I've ever seen from some if you, and I get the feeling you are ok with it, because you feel like she was 'fighting the good fight' to expose how awful we evil white men are.

This is some sad shit.

Tl:dr: she's a dick, you shouldn't buy her stuff, you are being hypocrites.

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Yeah the Kiernan thing is short, I must have imagined it being longer.

Nick Mamatas sounds like a real winner.

I was thinking that, but I didn't want to throw around the S word to loosely. Although the evidence is pretty strong.

The Hurley piece is real good. She nails it no Ellison. I hate that guy.

See, by any objective standard, Ellison is a fucking bad ass author. But he guy is a sexist, harassing dick. So I don't buy his shit. Same thing with acm. I won't buy her stuff, and in my opinion, she's done waay worse shot than Harlen.

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I can't understand how you folks are so quick to forgive this scum bag. Rape threats, murder fantasies, harassment of people of color, and different mind sets? All these things are behaviors we decry around these parts, and she did it /for years/! This isn't a new thing, nor is it something she gave up a long time ago.

This may be some of the most hypocritical behavior I've ever seen from some if you, and I get the feeling you are ok with it, because you feel like she was 'fighting the good fight' to expose how awful we evil white men are.

This is some sad shit.

Tl:dr: she's a dick, you shouldn't buy her stuff, you are being hypocrites.

Yeah, I agree with this. I keep trying to take "be the better person" and look at this from differnt povs but it all comes out to the same result. She is a horrible, evil, manipulative person that makes Stanek on a bad day look like Jesus. And thats without the winterfox stuff. Who ever THAT turns out to be should be in prison.

And again, I must state how disturbing I find her Bee persona to be in relation to who she is. Particulary the "I just discoverd SFF" bit. Thats not trying to be a differnt/better person, thats lying about yourself to sell books.

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I can't understand how you folks are so quick to forgive this scum bag. Rape threats, murder fantasies, harassment of people of color, and different mind sets? All these things are behaviors we decry around these parts, and she did it /for years/! This isn't a new thing, nor is it something she gave up a long time ago.

This may be some of the most hypocritical behavior I've ever seen from some if you, and I get the feeling you are ok with it, because you feel like she was 'fighting the good fight' to expose how awful we evil white men are.

This is some sad shit.

Tl:dr: she's a dick, you shouldn't buy her stuff, you are being hypocrites.

I might of missed a post, but who is defending all the stuff you're talking about?

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So what we, as readers are supposed to do now? Do we need to google about the new or unknown author if we think the book sounds interesting? To see if their online or real life persona is hurtful to my ethnicity, faith, or gender that i may take offense?



Can you enjoy your reading knowing the author of the book is kind of a dick? I don't think i can do that without feeling miserable, no matter how talented that writer is.

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Cautioning temperance, education, confirmation, and context is pretty much what I've done in every discussion for years, isn't? As has aknowledging legitimate truths about public figures and their output without resorting to vitriol and invective. But, like, y'know, whatever. This isn't the first time I've received a drubbing for supposed hypocrisy.

Forgiveness and faith in sincere contrition aren't really the same thing. I'm not even sure the former is any of my business. And the latter is hardly advocacy.

Anyone mind if I appreciate the irony?

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I don't make my book buying choices based on the morality of the authors. Yes, she is apparently a terrible person. Still won't stop me from buying a book of hers if it seems good enough. I would be a bit less likely to do it, but it won't be not a deal breaker at all for me.

And that's why these fucktards still exist, because you enable them

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Can you enjoy your reading knowing the author of the book is kind of a dick? I don't think i can do that without feeling miserable, no matter how talented that writer is.

Yeah, it doesn't bother me. I'm of the art isn't synonymous with the artist philosophy. I didn't know that RH was involved with telling people to kill themselves and the like - I was only vaguely familiar with the site and had thought it was satire/obvious hyperbole (I said on Goodreads that The Stand made me want to set myself on fire). I can understand why people would want to boycott her or not give her money. But there are dead authors who have done worse things than this and it doesn't keep me from reading their work without endorsing their life decisions. Or things that I've read partly *because* the author was a terrible yet influential person. I mean, I'm not saying I'd buy Mein Kampf if Hitler was going to get a dollar, so I realize that it's a subjective and arbitrary judgement, but overall things have to be pretty bad before I won't separate the art from the artist. Or another example, a friend wants to read a book of short stories written by prisoners in a creative writing class. The stories aren't necessarily about being prisoners. I don't know the situation, but I hope that they are able to collect some money from their work to help them when they get out of jail. And these are people who many have certainly done terrible things. If I can hope that they benefit from their art separate from their situation of (presumably) deservedly being in jail, then I think it would be hypocritical to feel differently about this. It's not that I don't want her to have no consequences for what she's said - I just don't think that should be part and parcel of her ability to create and sell literature.

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