Meanwhile at Goodreads and other Shrillness



A quick update from last week’s post about the author/blogger relationship. Bestselling author Ben Aaronovitch (whose Peter Grant series is absolutely brilliant) last week Tweeted that he reserves the right to comment on any review or discussion of his work in any open blog or forum, … well, now he’s out. Entirely:

I hereby resign from SFF fandom, or whatever its called. From now on I shall no longer particpate or even take any notice of fan discussions about my work or, indeed, SFF in general. Once my current commitments have expired I will cease to part in general panels at conventions except to discuss the art and craft of writing or to answer questions about projects I’m related to.
I liked being a fan, I liked taking part in forums and conventions, I liked discussing issues and writing and the things I felt passionately about but I just can’t be bothered to put up this shit.


This. Sucks. Big. Time. I’ve read his comments on Twitter and over on this Book Smuggler’s blog  post. I think he’s been courteous, respectful and polite. I don’t think he should have commented on the review, though.  Anyway, I love the guy’s books – hate the way the discussion went full-throttle flaming monkey poo.

Meanwhile over at Goodreads, more shrill monkey pooness. The social media site last Friday decided to do something (or be seen to be doing something) about reviews that go after authors as opposed to just plain ol’ reviews of an author’s books. They’ve got a hand-dandy new set of policies and an unknown percentage of the Goodreads community is losing its collective shit over the move. The word censorship is being used in pretty much 90% of the comments and even if the new policy is boneheady, it ain’t censorship. Goodreads/Amazon/Skynet own the infrastructure for people to post reviews. They can do what they want, when they want, as often as they want and without even telling members … if they want.  Sort of how like moderators of web forums can freeze your access or blog owners can delete your comments if they wish. It is, as they say, what it is.

Will people move over to Librarything or another book reviewing social media site? Some will, but I’m pretty sure Goodreads is going to be around for a while.

Me? I’m still hoping Planet Earth experiences a solar flare that will destroy the Internet/the electrical grid, smartphones and anything with a microprocessor. (It will save publishing, too. Just sayin’)  People living in the 1860’s didn’t have the time to live out the drama associated with book reviewing/social networking/author-blogger angst.

Anywhoo … too bad about Aaronovitch. I’m going to start the next Peter Grant book tonight.