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Not sure I should be writing this, but what the hey, it’s on my mind…

Can't stop now someone is wrong on the internet

I’ve talked on here about how authors react to reviews, and how they probably should react to reviews (hint – they probably shouldn’t). But how does one react to a review of a review? Do the same caveats apply? Do they apply if you’re a writer as well? It’s an interesting conundrum…

Some context for you.

A big name author has taken a quote from a fairly balanced review I wrote of one of their books and pulled a quote out of it to use out of context, in order to score a cheap political point with their fans about female agency in fantasy novels. To my mind, this is a bit of a Dick Move. Especially as, in the SFF sea we all swim in, where George RR Martin is the all-conquering blue whale, and I’m Nemo, this person would be a tuna.


I’m particularly hurt because I’ve always been broadly supportive of and sympathetic to this author, who comes in for a lot of stick from some of the more shouty corners of the SFF blogosphere, and the review I wrote (in context) took on some of the points that people tended to be most shouty about and debunked several of them. The BNA also lumped my review in with the work of followers of notorious hate-blogger and internet troll Requires Hate / Benjanun Sriduangkaew, which I find really upsetting.

I have always tried to live my online life in a way that is the diametric opposite to the way RH lives theirs, to the point that I won’t write negative reviews – this blog is about celebrating the positive and sharing the good stuff, mostly.

So that troubles me… maybe it is this author’s narrative, playing the “I’m being picked on” card to their fans. Maybe it helps this person sell more books…. If so, fair play to them. Doesn’t mean I have to like the way they go about it.

Or maybe I’m just being oversensitive and should shake it off along with the other negative aspects of this job I love, dismiss this person and move on?

What do you think? Am I being a delicate over-reacting flower and getting upset for no reason, or was this a Dick Move on the part of big-name-tunafish author? Should authors ever react to reviews, or manipulate them and use them out of context? Is there a difference between what BNA has done, and using, say, a good quote contained in an otherwise bad review as a pull quote?

Either way, I will be far less inclined to stick up for this person in the future, and I’m very unlikely to buy any more of their books.

What do you think?